Perianal hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic recurrent inflammatory disease of apocrine glands, adjacent anal canal skin, and soft tissues, is characteristically ignored and misdiagnosed. A retrospective analysis of 43 patients with perianal hidradenitis suppurativa was performed; 40 patients (93 percent) were male and 3 (7 percent) were female, with a median age at presentation of 29 years. Symptoms, including pain, swelling, purulent discharge, and pruritus, had been present for a median of six years. Diagnoses at the time of presentation included pilonidal disease (28 percent), anal fistula (37 percent), and perirectal abscess (16 percent). Associated medical conditions included diabetes (12 percent) and obesity (12 percent), and 70 percent of the patients were smokers. Once the correct diagnosis was established, 72 percent of patients had wide local excision with healing by secondary intention, and 28 percent of patients had incision and drainage or limited local excision. Although 67 percent of the patients had recurrence of disease after initial treatment, wide excision was more successful in preventing recurrence. Skin grafting failed uniformly, and colostomy was rarely necessary. Despite its relatively common occurrence, perianal hidradenitis suppurativa is infrequently diagnosed correctly and recurs in many patients despite appropriate surgical treatment, making the disease a source of frustration for surgeon and patient alike.
Poster presentation at the meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 11 to 16, 1989.
© The ASCRS 1990