What Is Hidradenitis?
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition of the appocrine sweat glands. Hidradenitis commonly affects the armpits (axilla) and groin but can also affect other areas of the body. The cause of HS is unknown.
HS is characterized by recurrent, painful lumps under the skin which often open and drain pus. These areas can become infected, requiring surgical drainage, and can result in thickened scarring and sinus tracts.
HS is a chronic condition with intermittent flare ups (including abscess formation and skin infection). These flare ups and infections can result in thick, painful scarring, sometimes affecting motion in the adjacent joints.
HS most commonly occurs around hair follicles in the underarm and groin areas, but may also affect areas where skin rubs together, such as the abdomen and breast region. It is not contagious, but causes long-term skin inflammation and can be painful.
Patients with HS often suffer in silence due to stigma surrounding their condition. When they do eventually seek medical treatment, it is often limited to treating the flare ups with antibiotics or drainage of infection.
Surgical excision of the affected area is the only treatment offering the possibility of cure of Hidradenitis suppuritiva. Surgical excision of the affected areas with reconstruction can offer cure rates of over 90% for most patients.
For more information: Hydradenitis Supuritiva Foundation
Am I a Good Candidate for Hidradenitis surgery?
Most patients are reasonable health are candidates for Hidradenitis surgery. You will meet with Dr. Jean to determine if you are a candidate for surgery. There are very few patients who are not surgical candidates due to health reasons. Most of the time, once your other health issues are treated, you can be a candidate for surgical treatment of Hidradenitis Suppuritiva.
HS is classified into 3 stages called Hurley Staging. Staging allows medical professionals to assign a severity level to HS, but it does not account for disease activity, measure pain, or quality of life impact. Any stage of Hidradenitis is treatable with surgery, but surgery is most commonly reserved for patients with stage II or III Hidradenitis or those with frequent flare ups.
- Hurley Stage I – is a single lesion without sinus tract (tunnel) formation.
- Hurley Stage II – Stage II manifests as more than one lesion or area, but with limited tunneling.
- Hurley Stage III – Stage III is defined as multiple lesions, with more extensive sinus tract formations and scarring. It involves an entire area of the body
How Is Hidradenitis Surgery Performed?
Hydradenitis Suppurativa surgery is performed under general anesthesia. You will be asleep and comfortable during for the entire surgical procedure. The surgery involves removal (excision) of the affected areas and most often coverage of this area with a flap (borrowing loose skin from another area) or with a skin graft. Those with active infection or abscess must be treated to resolve the active infection before undergoing definitive surgical treatment.
How Much Does Hidradenitis Surgery Cost?
Surgery for Hidradenitis is most often covered by insurance. We will work with you and your insurance company to verify insurance coverage for the treatment. While we cannot guarantee that your insurance will cover Hidradenitis surgery, we are here to help you through the process.
Recovering from Hidradenitis Surgery
While recovery is different for each patient, most patients can resume normal non strenuous activities in a week. Prescription pain medicine is given after surgery to improve patient comfort.