A patient is suing a hospital and claiming an operation to cure blushing ruined his sex life.

Fitness instructor James Woodward, 32, was embarrassed by his red cheeks, and underwent two courses of laser treatment.

But the blushing returned, and he developed excessive sweating, problems with his sex life and became depressed, needing Prozac.

Mr Woodward, of Valencia Road, Worthing, claims he was the victim of medical negligence and is suing Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust for £200,000 damages.

Before the treatment the fitness instructor suffered problems from excessive facial flushing, which caused problems at work by making it uncomfortable for him to attend meetings.

He decided to go ahead with an operation called endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy in which a medical team cut some of his nerves.

A surgeon warned him of possible side effects, including dryness of the hands, and the risk of his eyelids drooping.

But he went ahead with the operation on January 15, 2004, at The Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.

According to a writ submitted to the High Court Mr Woodward said that after the surgery he developed difficulties with heavy exercise and sex.

He says he now suffers dizziness, depression, chronic fatigue and sexual dysfunction, as well as an inability to cool down, and sore and aching muscles and sensitivity to light.

He also developed excessive perspiration from his chest down. He says sweat pours uncontrollably from his chest, pooling on the floor.

His clothes become soaking wet and he has to change his bedding several times a night.

Mr Woodward said the sweating was linked to emotions such as despair and anxiety, and he either felt too hot or too cold - and cold inside even when he was sweating.

He said he was not told of the nature and extent of the sweating he might suffer after the original operation and the risk that his quality of life could be substantially reduced.

He claims if he had known of the dangers, he would not have had the operation done.

According to the writ the surgeon, Mr Brookes, expressed regret for carrying out the operation at a meeting on February 25 2004.

Mr Woodward claims the surgeon said he would not have carried out the surgery if he had read the medical notes and known that the patient had been prescribed Prozac.

He paid more than £10,000 for a reversal operation in Italy in April 2004, which was partially successful.