Your scenario of surgeons being flummoxed by unhappy patients complaining after surgery doesn't hold water. The rules of professional medical ethics require that the treating physician be well versed in the published literature on the treatments he delivers.
There is a mountain of published research (spanning nearly a century) documenting the adverse effects of sympathectomy. There are numerous studies, for example, showing very high rates of severe side effects and studies showing that satisfaction diminishes substantially over the long term.
It is a doctors job to know this stuff and it is their ethical duty to disclose that information to patients.
So, I see the blame thing as pretty cut and dry. Surgeons perfoming sympathectomies routinely withhold information vital to informed consent. Anyone who does objective comparison between what is documented in medical/scientific literature and what is typically disclosed to prospective ETS patients has no choice but reach this conclusion.
And, to make matters worse, many surgeons use testimonials from a hand-selected group of their happiest patients to advocate the surgery. That practice is considered unethical by all medical professional organizations.
"also it seems like the more bad and negative affects were from 10 to 12 years ago when they had just started performing the surgery.. they must have improved it a lot by now.?"This procedure has been performed since the 1920's. Yes, the 1920's. In the 1980's they started to do it using "keyhole" surgery which means they don't have to make a big incision. But, the surgery is no different than what they've been doing for the last 70+ years. It's a nerve injury. You can't "improve" they way you inflict a nerve injury. You can't injure the nerve in some "special" way such that the injury suddenly has a different effect on the body.
The functional name for the this surgery is "sympathetic denervation". It's not some super-advanced, modern cure based on recent discoveries in neurophysiology. It's a primitive, destructive procedure. It's a method used on animals for research. It's brute force method...destroy the pathways to the sweat glands over a large region. Unfortunately, it destroys pathways to and from many other organs including the heart and lungs and causes a large number of neuropathological dysfunction. That hasn't changed in the last ten years. It will not and cannot change in the next 1000 years because it will still be a nerve injury 1000 years from now. I'm not making this up. It's a simple fact. Don't let some doctor take advantage of your ignorance