Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Recurrence after surgical treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 21 February 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:487
  1. B J Harrison,
  2. M Mudge,
  3. L E Hughes


    From six to 89 months after surgery 82 patients who had been treated by radical surgery (118 excisions) for intractable hidradenitis suppurativa were reviewed. Local recurrence rates varied greatly with the disease site, being low after axillary (3%) and perianal surgery (0%) and high after inguinoperineal (37%) and submammary (50%) excision. Recurrence results from inadequate excision or an unusually wide distribution of apocrine glands, but physical factors such as obesity, local pressure, and skin maceration played a part in a few patients. Recurrence due to inadequate surgery tended to be the most troublesome. At follow up 75 (91%) of the patients were pleased with the results of their operation. A quarter of the patients developed disease at a new anatomical site after operation. Radical surgery gives good symptomatic control of severe hidradenitis suppurativa of the axilla, inguinoperineal, and perianal regions but is less satisfactory for submammary disease.