Why Hidradenitis Suppurativa surgery is not a long term option

hidradenitis suppurativa surgeryMany doctors prescribe surgery as a treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa. There are different surgical procedures that are used in the treatment of HS. Depending on the severeness of the condition, techniques like skin grafts, laser therapy and various other surgical procedures can be used to combat Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Read on to find out if this is really a viable method of treating HS, and whether you should consider surgery.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a chronic condition which entails the inflammation of glands and follicles, which leads to painful lumps and cysts. These lumps resemble skin boils, and can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. Most doctors will only prescribe surgery in cases where a patient has severe and chronic acne inversa (the lesser-known name for HS).

Different types of Hidradenitis Suppurativa surgery

If your doctor has prescribed surgery as treatment, your HS is most likely in a moderate to severe state. Surgery can vary from draining the sores, to completely removing (excising) the bumps and cysts.

The type of surgery most often used is to completely remove the cyst. This is done by making an incision larger than the cyst, and completely removing all the skin tissue. There have been numerous studies that have shown that when this type of surgery is used, that the sores return in up to one out of every three patients. In my opinion those are not great odds for what can be considered aggressive surgery. What is worrying, is that the lesions can sometimes return in parts that weren’t affected before.

Another form of surgery sometimes used, is to make a small cut in the abscess. The cyst is then left to heal. There has been some success with this type of surgery. Another minor surgical procedure is to drain the lesion of any fluids.

If the Hidradenitis Suppurativa is of a more acute type, draining the lesion can provide temporary relief. This will quite often be the first step in treatment of HS, and is a predecessor to the more extensive surgeries.

As you might gather from this, surgery can start small, but the chances of a single procedure completely healing your HS is quite low. The draining of abscesses will often lead to the major procedures.

Recovery time

After Hidradenitis Suppurativa surgery, you will need some recovery time. The length of this recovery period can vary greatly, and depends mostly on the extent of the surgery. If the lesions are drained, recovery time is much shorter than when the lesions are completely removed. Skin grafts can also lead to a longer recover time.

Most patients who undergo surgery will spend 3-7 days in hospital. Depending on which part of the body the surgery is done on, recovery time can be anything from 4 weeks to 3 months.

Why I am not a big fan of surgery

While I will admit that in some cases surgery is warranted, there seems to be plenty of doctors prescribing surgery where other, more natural treatments could be less risky.

Surgery can have complications, and are a more risky approach when compared to a more holistic approach. I have read of HS sufferers that had to undergo extensive physical therapy to regain full range of motion.

Summary

The likelihood of Hidradenitis Suppurativa surgery largely depends on how severe your HS has become. If you are a chronic sufferer, surgery could provide some relief. If you are suffering from a more acute version, a more holistic approach could work better.

It is my opinion, that a holistic approach, such as described in The Fast Hidradenitis Suppurativa Cure™ by Therese Wilson, is required to beat HS completely. This will ensure that you battle this painful condition on all fronts, and eventually beat it into submission.