Factors Affecting Healing in the Treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Annals of plastic surgery


BACKGROUND: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic debilitating condition. Treatment of HS depends on disease stage, goals of care, access to care, and frequency of symptoms. We present our experience with surgical treatment for patients with HS.

METHODS: Patients were followed longitudinally for at least 2 years post-surgical intervention. Demographic data, participation in a multidisciplinary program, type of surgery, healing rates, and potential factors contributing to wound healing were retrospectively reviewed in all cases using multivariate analysis.

RESULTS: Two hundred forty-eight patients met the inclusion criteria with a total of 810 involved sites. Overall, 59% of patients had Hurley stage 3 disease at the time of surgery. Healing rates of 80% were observed in stages 1 and 2, and 74% were observed in stage 3. Hurley stage was not a significant predictor of healing (P = 0.09). Surgical treatment consisted of 38% incision and drainage, 44% excision without closure, and 17% excision with primary closure. Incisional and excisional treatments healed 78% and 79%, respectively, at 2 years. Primarily repaired defects (grafts and flaps) were 68% healed at 2 years. Observed healing rates were uniform regardless of the number of sites involved (P = 0.959). Participation in the multidisciplinary program was the strongest predictor of healing (78% vs 45%, P = 0.004). Sex, age, body mass index, tobacco use, diabetes, presurgery hemoglobin, and family history of HS were statistically not significant. Continuation of immune modulating therapy within 2 weeks of surgery was a predictor of reduced healing (odds ratio, 0.23; P = 0.004), whereas holding biologics for at least 2 weeks was not significant (odds ratio, 1.99; P = 0.146).

CONCLUSIONS: Participation in a multidisciplinary program is a strong predictor of long-term success when treating HS. Hurley score and number of involved sites did not correlate with successful healing after surgery. If taking biologics, we identified 2 weeks as an appropriate break from biologics before and after surgical intervention. Healing rates were highest with ablative procedures (incision and drainage, excision) alone.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page