Not everyone with hidradenitis suppurativa needs invasive treatment. Find out if surgery could be right for you.
When is surgery an option for HS? Christopher Sayed, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses the role surgery plays in treating hidradenitis suppurativa.
I think surgery has a very important role to play, but it shouldn't be used at times when it's not necessary. If someone has Hurley stage one disease, where it's just lesions that can resolve on their own, there's no reason to do surgery unnecessarily in those instances. Once those tunnels develop, surgery can be a very helpful part of treatment. That's because as much as we can turn off inflammation with the different medications that we use, it's very difficult a lot of times to remodel scar tissue or to remodel those tunnels that have formed over time.
We can make symptoms a lot better in those areas, but those areas may still drain a little bit over time, and they may still flare up intermittently from time to time. Often those become the most frustrating areas for patients. That's where surgery can come in and play a role in physically removing those tunnels. That can make a big difference for patients. It's not perfect, but it can be a
very important way to make patients better.