Establishment of a Standard of Care in Surgical Sympathectomy (ETS Surgery) sign now

We, the undersigned, wish to send a message to the medical community and the public at large about thoracic sympathectomy for excessive sweating and facial blushing, a surgical procedure commonly known as ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy), and which has several variations that go by the names like ESB (Endoscopic Sympathetic Blockade), VATS (Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Sympathectomy), micro-ETS and likely other names as well. They are all common in that the aim of the surgery is to stop function in the upper thoracic region of the sympathetic chain of ganglia.

First, we object to the classification of excessive sweating and facial blushing as diseases. While it is true that these conditions can be very embarrassing, causing the afflicted to dislike or avoid social situations, and this can indeed have a negative impact on the quality of life, from a physiological point of view they are entirely harmless. We believe that the recent official classification of these conditions as diseases is borne not of medical accuracy, but rather out of a desire to legitimize and justify the surgery in the eyes of both prospective patients and their insurance carriers.

Second, and more importantly, we object to the procedure itself. Interrupting the sympathetic chain in the thoracic region (by whatever means) is proven to cause a litany of permanent physical and mental disabilities, including anhidrosis, lowered heart function, lowered mental function, diminished lung volume, loss of baroreflex, paralyzed blood vessels, dysfunctional thermoregulation, chronic pain, paresthesia, lowered alertness, decreased exercise capacity, lowered response to fear, thrills, and other strong emotions. Thousands of unsuspecting patients are having psychiatric surgery without consent, forever robbed of their strongest feelings.

And, infamously, ETS surgery can cause uncontrollable, clothes-drenching sweating from the nipple-line down. In other words, the cure for hyperhidrosis can actually cause WORSE hyperhidrosis. Some cure.

Third, we believe that the total combined effects of thoracic sympathectomy constitute a physiologic disorder, a disease in and of itself, one worthy of its own name, and that this newly christened disorder shall hereafter be known as Corposcindosis meaning split-body syndrome defined as An autonomic neuropathy in which sympathetic nerve function has been divided into two distinct regions - one dead and the other hyperactive. Victims of ETS often complain of living in two separate bodies. Corposcindosis is definable, diagnosable, predictable, measurable, photographable, disabling and incurable.

The results of ETS surgery have been so catastrophic that a large percentage of patients say it has ruined their lives. There have been suicides by distraught ETS patients who could not tolerate the nerve damage another minute. We, the undersigned, hope and pray that they found some relief.

List of Demands

1. We, the undersigned, demand that ETS surgeons establish a clearly defined standard of care for their practice.

2. Foremost in this newly established standard of care shall be a standard ETS surgery consent form which includes warnings about the risk of all of the following: anhidrosis, compensatory hyperhidrosis, loss of vascular function, lowered heart function (possibly requiring a pacemaker), diminished baroreflex, thermoregulatory problems, loss of strong emotion, lowered alertness, Horners syndrome, Freys syndrome, and chronic pain. Patients must be warned that they may be forced to change their lifestyle or career, especially if those activities involve warm weather, exercise, or reliance upon strong emotion or alertness.

3. We demand that every patient consenting to sympathectomy (in any variation) be advised and sign a written consent form which contains all of the warnings in #2, and which also contains a simple picture showing the predicted areas of anhidrosis and hyperhidrosis.

4. We demand that each and every ETS surgeon website be updated to include all of the warnings in #2

5. We demand that each and every ETS surgeon website be updated to include at least one negative patient testimonial alongside the positive ones.

Having said all that, we, the undersigned, fully support the right of the patient to undergo surgical sympathectomy, and the right of the surgeon to perform and derive income from surgical sympathectomy, so long as informed consent (as defined above) has taken place.

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Goal reached !
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Latest Signatures

  • 26 December 2015100. Shawnalee Lucero
    I am suffering
  • 23 December 201599. Kula K
    I just talked to a doctor about surgery today and was so ready to commit to the procedure. Thankfully, my insurance would not cover it, and while I was initally disappointed, I now realize that it was perhaps for the best.
  • 08 December 201598. Michael G
    I support this petition
  • 25 November 201597. Andre M
  • 21 November 201596. John V
    I support this petition
  • 05 November 201595. Patti S
  • 03 November 201594. Kari H
    I support this petition
  • 30 October 201593. Alex P
    I support this petition
  • 10 October 201592. Delores K
    I support this petition
  • 09 October 201591. Richard T
    we need to put an end to this madness and ban performance of ETS surgery for good
  • 04 September 201590. Conor Q
    Ban ETS all its done is given me a whole host of problems whenever i only had one problem before surgery.
  • 29 July 201589. Mikaela K
  • 19 July 201588. Scott J
    I support this petition
  • 12 June 201587. Lori S
    I wisjh I would of read this before I had the surgery
  • 08 June 201586. Gina Tate
    ETS sucks, wish I never would have gotten it. Dr. never told me I'd stop sweating frommy head, my back would be drenched 24/7 , nor that I'd be numb from the areas he cut through, nor that I'd have HUGE headaches from the heat not leaving my head properly
  • 02 June 201585. Hazel W
    More information on side effects of operation
  • 02 May 201584. Michael Mata
    No more ETS
  • 28 April 201583. Christian G
    ETS has ruined my life.
  • 26 April 201582. Yokasta Holt
    Stop ETS
  • 11 April 201581. Sunanda V
    I support this petition
  • 18 March 201580. Mari M
    I support this petition
  • 06 March 201579. Peter Dev
    I support this petition
  • 26 February 201578. Cassandra C
    I support this petition
  • 19 February 201577. Victor R
    This operation has ruined my life.
  • 03 February 201576. Carolina W
  • 17 January 201575. Mark B
    As a person whose health has been greatly harmed by ETS I wholeheartely agree with the details in this statement and petition
  • 09 January 201574. Angel W
    I suffer from HH, and I would want to know about all of the treatments out there, including their side effects!

browse all the signatures


Ophelia PerezBy:
Petition target:
The American Medical Association


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