Monday, April 2, 2012

Article about ETS surgery published in Sydney Morning Herald's 'Good Weekend' magazine

The article, published on March 10 2012, was written by journalist John Van Tiggelen and looks at the social and professional impacts of facial blushing, why people would seek surgery for this misunderstood condition, and some of the controversy around the surgery offered for facial blushing (and hyperhidrosis) - ETS.

Here is a link to the full text and scans of the article that were shared by an Australian ETS patient on the US-based support forum for those living with adverse side effects of ETS:

The article was not published online, only in print.

The Australian ETS surgeon interviewed for the article is Dr Roger Bell, a Melbourne vascular surgeon who specialises in ETS. In the last two years, since he advertised on the radio, he has done 100-150 sympathectomies a year. He claims he has a patient dissatisfaction rate of around 10%, though the journalist points out that he does not follow up his patients beyond one week post-surgery.

From the article:

Bell fell into his specialty almost by accident. “For years I knew there was a big need out there and that if someone just marketed this, you’d make a killing. People with facial blushing or sweaty hands suffer in silence. They hide it and their GPs don’t generally know anything about it. But I didn’t have an entrepreneurial streak in me. Then a couple of years ago I became friendly with a plastic surgeon and he said, ‘Why don’t you set up a website?’ So I did. One of the first guys who came to see me was from [Melbourne’s] Fox FM and he said, ‘Why don’t you put ads on the radio?’ I did, and things just took off. Until two years ago I was doing about five or 10 sympathectomies a year. Now I’m doing well over 100 a year, maybe 150.”

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