The Correlation Between Social Phobias Anxiety and ETS
Some patients who suffer from excessive hand sweating are also known to show signs of anxiety and social phobias. This combination of excessive sweating and clinical manifestations are believed to be due to excessive sympathetic discharge.
We know that patients who suffer from hyperhidrosis can experience heart palpitations and the inability and cope with certain social situations. This led some of the ETS surgeons around the world, mainly in Europe, to offer the sympathectomy to patients who suffer only from social phobias and anxieties.
Some of their work was presented at several international meetings, but those findings promoted a healthy discussion about the validity and the success of those treatment modalities to cure them.
In the U.S. and Canada, most of the surgeons who perform ETS did not adopt these approaches as suggested by their European counterparts. Dr. Reisfeld himself feels that because of the uncertainty of these situations, he does not recommend patients to undergo ETS when their only clinical manifestations are those of social phobia or anxiety.
ETS does have a beta-blocking effect. As such, it does provide some relief to patients who suffer from excessive hand sweating and palpitations. Dr. Reisfeld does not believe in performing the operation unless the patient has excessive sweating to signify hyperhidrosis.