JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Hidradenitis suppurativa of the groin treated by radical excision and defect closure by medial thigh lift: aesthetic surgery meets reconstructive surgery.

INTRODUCTION: Hidradenitis suppurativa of the groin is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Radical surgical excision is the treatment of choice. Often split-skin grafting or wound healing by secondary intention are used for defect closure, sometimes with disfiguring results. We describe our experience with radical excision of localised inguinal hidradenitis suppurativa and immediate defect closure with a medial thigh lift.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Our hospital database was searched for all patients presenting to our institution for surgical treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa between 2001 and 2006. Only patients with hidradenitis confined to the groin were included. Exclusion criteria were simple abscess incisions, recurrence after previous grafting or flap surgery and extension of the disease outside the groin and presence of clinical signs of infection at the time of surgery. We documented patient demographics, sizes of defects, complications, time of follow-up, recurrences and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: A total of 8 patients with localised inguinal hidradenitis suppurativa were identified and 15 thigh lifts were performed. Defect size assessed on pathologic examination of the excised specimens averaged 15.9 cm x 4.3 cm x 1.3 cm (length x width x depth). All wounds but one healed primarily. Functional and aesthetic results were satisfactory. No major complications and no irritations of the genital area were observed. No recurrences were observed either.

CONCLUSION: We propose the medial thigh lift to be considered for immediate defect closure after radical excision of localised inguinal hidradenitis suppurativa provided that no perifocal signs of infection are present after debridement.

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