Testimonial of a successful Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy


March 6, 1998

Dear Dr. Reisfeld and Prospective ETS Patients:

There are no words to express my appreciation to Dr. Reisfeld for performing my successful Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) on February 27, 1998. For those who may question my reason for writing this testimony, I want you to know that I was so leery about ETS surgery, everyone involved with the Center for Hyperhidrosis, and especially Dr. Reisfeld, that I felt this must be a scam. I spoke with Dr. Reisfeld on the telephone and said to myself this surgeon must really need the business since he’s calling me on the phone. I had read a number of testimonial letters from previous patients and began questioning who had written them. I started looking for inaccuracies with the information I was given as I was extremely paranoid about everything. As I few to Los Angeles I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t go through with this operation if I was not comfortable with the entire situation. Dr. Reisfeld and his team are truly exceptional and I hope that I might bring some light to others who may be feeling like I did.

For the past 40 years there was never a day that I did not think about my sweaty hands and feet (sometimes swelling occurred) wishing they would be dry. I never discussed this condition with anyone as I knew the traditional Sympathectomy surgery was not for me and it was easier to hide this problem than to talk about it. There were so many situations in my life which involved a handshake. While I consider myself a social person I backed away from people where I knew a handshake was involved. Through corporate downsizing I went from a sales position to a retail position and felt that a major weight had been lifted off my shoulders as the new job required less hand contact. As a member of a Catholic Church, I dreaded a part of the ceremony when the congregation is asked to hold your neighbors hand. Over the years comments had been made about my clammy hands and I always responded that my heart was warm. Beyond the social aspect I found hyperhidrosis to be extremely annoying, uncomfortable and dangerous (electrical shocks) and had no choice of escaping it. I tried every non surgical procedure: drysol, anticholinigeric drugs, the drionic machine and found no relief.

When my interest in ETS peaked I began writing my insurance company. For eight months I battled by writing letters to concur with my doctors letters, I wanted to make sure my insurance company was aware of all of the symptoms and problems associated with hyperhidrosis. I was denied coverage three times and took my final appeal to Johnson & Johnson, my employer, attached is a copy of my letter. I found the paperwork extremely frustrating but my motivation to end hyperhidrosis kept me writing. Had I been denied by my employer I would have appealed my case to the Insurance Commissioners Office. I soon knew how important this surgery was as I said that I would have it at any expense.

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