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surfsuncali

Some questions about ETS

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I have flushed during hard aerobic exercise for as long as I can remember, but it always went away quickly in the past. When I was a kid, I also would flush when too hot. Unfortunately, over the past year and a half I have started blushing and flushing with increasing severity. It started out very little, but now I blush and flush for multiple hours several times a day. I flush while I sleep, while I do any kind of exercise, in stressful situations, from talking to people or even just being around people, indoors or outdoors when there is no moving air like breeze or a fan, and seemingly for no reason at all. I think the worst part is that my blushing can be quite painful. It burns badly at times, especially the flushing from feeling anxious or stressed. I also have a bit of baseline redness all the time now.

I have been diagnosed with rosacea. I think I have that, but I don't think that's the cause of all of it. I used to have excessive sweating from my armpits in middle school, which was successfully treated with medication. I think that my blushing/flushing is linked to this as well. I also used to have a very elevated heart rate of about 100 BPM before this med, as well as somewhat high BP. I still have the high BP. So I am wondering if ETS surgery would help me with my problem. It is getting to the point where I have to have a fan on my face constantly to avoid flushing. I also saw that ETS decreases heart rate and BP, which I honestly think would be a good thing in my case.

If any of you out there got ETS for FB, could you tell me how it went for you? Did the results last, and how bad were your side effects like compensatory sweating? Also, if any of you had permanent facial redness before the surgery, did it disappear afterward? Did the surgery help you in all the circumstances where you used to blush or flush, or only certain ones? If you can be specific that would be great. I have seen some people report decreased flushing with exercise, which would be nice. Thanks :)

 

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Hi surfsuncali

 

I gave a glowing account of my experience with ETS.  Here are some points related directly to your situation:

1. Obviously the sympathetic nervous system is there for a reason - not just to allow us to blush.  But an overactive system can cause elevated heart rate, and BP.  My heart rate was bang on 100 prior to surgery.  Luckily the ABSENCE  of the other 'uses' of SNS i.e. after it has been severed,  WORK IN FAVOUR OF THOSE WITH ELEVATED HEART RATE AND BP PRIOR TO SURGERY.  My pulse is now around 70, and my blood pressure a little lower than before. (I have become fitter as well, so not all drop in heart rate is attributable to surgery.)

2.  As I exercise I remain pale.  I cannot make my face red, other than by standing on my head basically.  And certain medications bring on a bit of colour.  When I work out I get a bit of sweating on my back.  But if I fixate on it - rather in the manner that someone tries not to blush - it comes on stronger.  This happens one day in 50 or so.

 

3.  The results have very much lasted for three or so years now; there seems no way that a severed or ablated nerve can spontaneously re-connect.  In fact the problem is more that the procedure cannot be reversed! (For those unhappy with it)

4.  As I mentioned in my story, I had phantom blushing - the full on experience of a blush; but face pale - for some years (!) before I realised that my face was pale.  That is a bit rare.  Now - for the last year or so - that I know it's a phantom, these sensations of blushing have faded.  Because I'm secure in the knowledge that my face is pale, the phantom blushing is diminishing pretty rapidly

5.  I'd avoid the clamping method, which allows a theoretical possibility of being undone.  But I don't think it has really ever been successfully undone, and just creates complications.  Why not just 'fry' the bastards, and be rid of your problems.

 

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Sorry, I forgot to add:  A New Yorker article by the surgeon Atul Gawande stated that the single best predictor of the outcome of any operation is how many times the surgeon has done that exact same operation before.  My surgeon had done it somewhere in the region of 900 times when he operated on me.  I'd never go to one that had done it just a couple of hundred.

And I misspoke when I said it was T2-T4 fried - it was t2-t3.  T4 is intact. (I caught up with him last week to thank him, and he told me.)

 

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