How does VATS work?

Similar to ETS, video-assisted transthoracic sympathectomy (VATS) may be carried out to remove some of the nerve tissue that connects the sympathetic nervous system to the sweat glands. VAT is a key-hole technique that is extremely effective in treating excessive sweating in the hands and very effective at treating excessive sweating in the armpits. This method is not recommended for the feet because there is a risk of irreversible sexual dysfunction, as damage to the nerves that run down the back and the legs could also damage the nerves that run to the genitals.

Are there any side effects?

This procedure has been proven to be effective in many cases but there is a risk of side effects. The most common side effect is compensatory sweating, where the body sweats through another part of the body to compensate for the lack of sweating from the treated areas, which is most commonly experienced in the back and legs. Other possible side effects include:

  • Dry hands
  • Changes in the way foods and drinks taste
  • Heightened sensitivity to the cold
  • Phantom sweating (this occurs when someone feels like they are about to break out in a sweat but never do)
  • Sweating after eating, which usually affects the face and neck