Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Comparison of Institutional Experience and the Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons Registry.

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BACKGROUND: Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory dermatologic condition occurring most commonly in areas with large numbers of apocrine sweat glands. Surgical excision and wound reconstruction are indicated for severe or refractory disease. This study aims to explore institutional reconstructive outcomes following hidradenitis suppurativa excision and compare these to the nationally recognized Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons (TOPS) database to determine best-practice guidelines.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all patients with surgically treated hidradenitis suppurativa from January of 2004 to January of 2016 was performed. Data on patient characteristics, reconstructive methods, and outcomes were collected. Outcomes for each reconstructive method were analyzed and associations between reconstruction and complications were determined. These results were compared to TOPS data.

RESULTS: A total of 382 operative sites for 101 individual patients were reviewed. Overall complication rates were 80, 68.3, and 59.6 percent for simple, intermediate, and complex closure, respectively; 68.3 percent for adjacent soft-tissue rearrangement; and 100 percent for split-thickness skin grafts and perforator flaps. Statistical significance was identified between superficial wound dehiscence and adjacent tissue rearrangement compared to intermediate and complex closure (p = 0.0132). TOPS data revealed similar wound breakdown rates for primary closure methods but much lower rates with negative-pressure wound therapy, split-thickness skin grafts, and muscle flaps.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary closure techniques for hidradenitis suppurativa wound reconstruction possess high complication rates, whereas improved outcomes are observed with negative-pressure wound therapy, split-thickness skin grafts, and muscle flaps. The correlation in outcomes between our experience and that reported in the TOPS database provides a level of validation to this national database.




Oral presentation at Schaeffer Research Day in Allentown, PA. May 2021.


Medicine and Health Sciences




Human Resources, Department of Surgery

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