Novel surgical approach for axillary hidradenitis suppurativa using a bilayer dermal regeneration template: a retrospective case study
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Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic debilitating disease of apocrine gland-bearing skin characterized by recurrent abscesses with subsequent rupture, scarring, and draining sinus tracts, most frequently affecting the axillary, inguinal, and anogenital regions. Conservative and temporizing treatment methods have been used to treat mild to moderate disease, but wide local excision of affected tissue is necessary for advanced disease. This creates a large soft tissue defect for which there is no consensus for reconstruction. Recovery is hampered by disease recurrence, tissue necrosis, and reoperation. The authors have described in this case study an alternative surgical approach to treat severe HS. All surgical procedures were performed by dedicated burn surgeons at a regional burn center using a two-stage surgical approach. The first stage is a wide local excision of all affected axillary tissue with immediate placement of a bilayer dermal regeneration template to cover the defect. This is secured with a negative pressure wound therapy dressing. The second stage uses a thin split thickness skin graft to close the wound. Results of four patients are presented. There were no recurrences of HS. Two patients required reoperations to address granulation tissue overgrowth and small areas of autograft loss. One patient experienced skin substitute loss as a result of infection. Inadequate excision of HS is the leading cause of disease recurrence. Using a bilayer dermal regeneration template with subsequent skin graft, surgeons can be aggressive in their excision of HS, achieving satisfactory functional and cosmetic results and minimizing axillary recurrence.
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