ETS Surgery

You’re on the edge and losing hope. You’ve tried out everything you possibly can to get rid of your blushing problem that’s keeping you away from the rest of the world, but every effort has failed. You’ve burnt the midnight candle for months, spending a lot of time and money in searching the web and buying self-help books to help you boost your confidence to deal with your problem. Every effort you exhaust only seems to heighten your anxiety and makes everything worst. You finally put your hands up in surrender thinking that you have to live with a red face for the rest of your life. 

Hold it right there. This may seem a little extreme but you may want to consider surgery.

ETS, or Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy, is an invasive surgical procedure that is usually done on people who have problems such as excessive blushing and hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating.  The purpose of the surgery is to destroy the nerve that supplies the signals that cause a person to blush or sweat out of normal proportions.

Micro ETS

With technology, conventional methods of performing ETS are pinned to history giving way to Micro ETS. With Micro ETS the surgeon makes two or three cuts on the lateral side of the chest in between the ribs. In one of the cuts, the surgeon inserts a device with a camera connected to a screen monitor that would serve as the guide in performing the procedure. The camera eliminates the need to make a bigger and deeper cut requiring lengthier hospital stay and a longer time for recovery as in the conventional method of ETS. The rest of the cuts are where the other necessary instruments are inserted. The surgeon finds the nerves supplying the signals that cause excessive blushing or sweating and destroys or cuts them. Micro ETS makes the procedure minimally invasive decreasing the risks of the surgery.

If you want to reserve the chance of being able to reverse the operation in case you might regret it, you can opt for having titanium clips applied to clamp the nerve instead of having it destroyed. Remember though that reversal will only be effective if it is done within days or just a few weeks after the initial procedure.

The entire operation should take about one to three hours in total and in normal circumstances where no adverse complications occur, patients are normally made to stay just overnight in the hospital.

ETS Surgery Cost

The cost of ETS surgery may vary depending on the surgeon you hire to perform the surgery and even the place or country where you want to have the surgery done. Nonetheless, the average cost of a Micro ETS should be around 10,000 US dollars.

ETS Surgery Side Effects

 One of the most common side effects of ETS surgery is compensatory sweating. People who undergo ETS surgery tend to sweat more in areas not affected by the surgery such as the back and the lower belly. Some people who experience it said that the condition gets better the farther away from the day of the surgery they are; however, there are also those who think that the new sweating problem is far worse than the blushing problem the surgery was supposed to fix.

Other side effects include Horner’s syndrome where the eyelids droop and the pupils constrict, bleeding, and air leakage from the lungs. There are also reported cases of patients having difficulty regulating their body temperature as a result of the procedure. 

All surgeries have risks. No matter how worst you think your blushing problem is, careful consideration is prudent before moving forward with any surgery to weigh the risks. Although medical professionals have a certain checklist to follow when you ask them about side effects of any surgery, every person’s body is unique. Genetics, heredity, and lifestyle are examples of factors that make every person different from another in terms of potential reactions that can result from surgery.

No matter how minimally invasive, surgery is still surgery. Don’t rush into it. Don’t make society dictate what you should or should not do to your body. You have the right to decide.

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Beta Blockers

What are Beta Blockers?

Stress, in its worst, is an experience that involves a wide range of unwelcome physical symptoms, mental tension, and emotional exhaustion. These effects are brought about by an array of internal body changes in reaction to a detected threat to one’s overall well being.

Whenever the body identifies a stressful stimulus, a hormone called adrenaline is released. This hormone attaches to receptors found in major body organs such as the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, and the blood vessels to enable these organs to actively participate in the body’s effort to fight and defeat the stressful stimulus. In simpler terms, the heart beats faster, the lungs demand more air so breathing becomes faster, the kidneys work harder to excrete more waste as evident in sweating, and the arteries constrict to raise the blood pressure. This is the body’s natural reaction to stress.

Nevertheless, the physical signs and symptoms that manifest make the body’s honest effort to help counteract stress gets unrecognized and even unappreciated. This is where beta blockers come in.

Beta blockers are drugs that help minimize the body’s reaction to a stressful situation. They are commonly known drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms by preventing adrenaline from attaching to their receptors so as not to activate the major organs of the body. Beta blockers keep the body organs relaxed in the event of stress.

Beta Blockers for Blushing

Blushing, which is the sudden reddening of the face, is one of the body’s natural responses to stress. To its great misfortune, it is one of the most dreaded responses. However, there’s good news for all you blushers out there. Since beta blockers diminish body reactions to stress that cause uncontrollable blushing, these drugs can be used to help you overcome your blushing problems. 

Blushing, alongside with sweating, trembling of hands, shaking of voice, and weakening of the knees, is a common reaction to social anxiety. The pressure you put on yourself to perfect an impromptu speech, say the right words on your first date, or give a flawless first impression of yourself to someone you just met is detected by the body as a threat. Beta blockers will help minimize the body’s reaction to allow you to relax and keep yourself calm when you have to face the world at your best.

Beta Blockers and Anxiety 

Anxiety is a very uncomfortable feeling. The more you try to get rid of it during an anxiety attack the more anxious you just get. Beta blockers could play a very important role in managing anxiety. Although this drug does not have a direct effect on the root cause of anxiety, it is vital in dealing with the symptoms that come along with being anxious such as increase in heart rate and respirations, trembling of hands, shaking of voice, and sweating. 

With the advice of their doctors, some people with social phobia who are anticipating a potentially stressful situation – like a performance or a public speech – take beta blockers in advance. It’s a way for them to manage their nerves before stepping into the spotlight.

It is very important to take note, however, that beta blockers do not cure anxiety. They do not have an effect on the emotions associated with an anxiety attack. Beta blockers help manage the symptoms but do not eliminate the source of it. They are not suggested for long-term treatment of anxiety. Talk to a professional if you think that your anxiety problems are getting in the way. Always remember that confidence is not something you get from medication. It has to come from within you.

Side Effects of Beta Blockers 

All medications have side effects. So do beta blockers. It is important that aside from the intended therapeutic effects, the side effects are also taken into account when considering beta blocker therapy.

To make a short list of it, common side effects of beta blocker therapy are nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, drowsiness, fatigue, weakness, cold hands and feet, and slower than normal pulse.

Beta blockers are not recommended for those who are suffering from heart conditions that cause the heart to beat slower than usual as the drugs may only aggravate the existing heart problem. Asthmatic people are also contraindicated to engage in beta blocker therapy. Asthma is a condition where the air passages constrict making it difficult to breath. Beta blockers have the potential to only worsen breathing problems which may worsen asthma, a very reversible condition.  Since beta blockers prevent palpitations and tremors, these drugs are not also indicated for people with diabetes. The blood sugar of a diabetic is in constant fluctuation. Beta blockers are advised against them because they need the palpitations and tremors to help them recognize – without checking their blood sugar level – that their sugar is dropping far too low.

List of Beta Blockers

Non-selective blockers that target all B1, B2, and B3 beta receptors, include Alprenelol, Bucindolol, Carteolol, Carvedilol, Labetalol, Nadolol,   Oxprenolol, Penbutolol, Pindolol, Propanolol, Sotalol, and Timolol.

There is a kind of beta blocker that acts specifically on receptors found in the heart and kidneys and they are referred to as B1 beta blockers. This type of beta blocker is the one most prescribe to manage symptoms of anxiety. It includes Acebutolol, Atenolol, Betaxolol, Bisoprolol, Celiprolol, Esmolol, Metoprolol, Nebivolol.

The suffix “-olol” is unique to beta blockers so don’t worry if you don’t get to memorize the long list of drug names.

Where can I get beta blockers?

Your ultimate and prime responsibility when considering going into beta blocker therapy to keep your nerves down is to make sure you talk to your doctor about it. NEVER take a beta blocker without a prescription. It may have worked out well for your friend but it doesn’t mean that things will work out the exact same way for you if you take the same drug regimen.

Talk to your doctor. Once you have that prescription, it should be pretty easy to buy beta blockers in any pharmacy. Don’t even think about asking for your friend’s leftover pills. It just doesn’t work that way.

Medication can help you manage what is physical. It can temporarily alleviate symptoms that you don’t want to have. But remember, no amount of drug can change the way you perceive yourself and the world around you. Always keep your body, your mind, and your emotions in check. Pay attention to everything that is you.

How to Easily Engage in Your Surroundings to Avoid Blushing

Avoidance is a defense mechanism people resort to as an easy escape from an uncomfortable situation. It may be the easiest but certainly not the best solution many out there employ to stop blushing problems. Christina, in her video “Tips on How to Easily Engage in Your Surroundings to Avoid Blushing,” suggests ways to help you get rid of blushing problems. Instead of withdrawing your participation from an embarrassing moment, go ahead and engage. Immerse yourself in whatever is going on around you and conquer your own fears so you can stop blushing. Christina shares that even if you are already as red as you can be, you have the power to decide whether the situation is going to make or break you. You have a choice. Go for the right one.

Christina also recommends participating more in public events. Build confidence by going more often for the spotlight. Confidence can be a great blushing cure if you learn how to keep it no matter how bad the situation can get. Don’t be too self-conscious and consume yourself in your own emotions because there are other people too and you have to acknowledge that. You can get more help and learn about ways to stop blushing through the book “Blushing Breakthrough”.

Avoidance is not the blushing cure. It’s an escape, not a solution.