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Is the Treatment of Axillary Osmidrosis with Liposuction Better than Open Surgery?

Perng, Cherng-Kang M.D.; Yeh, Fa-Lai M.D.; Ma, Hsu M.D.; Lin, Jin-Teh M.D.; Hwang, Chih-Hung M.D.; Shen, Bing-Hwei M.D.; Chen, Chien-Hua M.D.; Fang, Rong-Hwang M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July 2004 - Volume 114 - Issue 1 - p 93-97
doi: 10.1097/01.PRS.0000127801.15386.99
Original Articles

Axillary osmidrosis is an annoying, although not life-threatening, problem that includes unpleasant odor and the occasional staining of clothing. Suction-assisted lipectomy has been tested as a treatment for axillary osmidrosis with variable success. The authors retrospectively reviewed 134 patients who underwent superficial liposuction for bilateral axillary osmidrosis in their division between June of 1998 and June of 2002. The surgical complications and results were compared with those reported in their previous report of 343 patients (102 available for postoperative result evaluation) who received open surgical treatment with partial excision of axillary skin and subcutaneous tissue. The overall complication rate was 3.73 percent, significantly lower than the 11.08 percent complication rate seen with open surgical treatment. Of their 134 patients, 114 were available for long-term follow-up. Thirteen patients (11.40 percent) had very good results, 79 patients (69.30 percent) had good results, and 22 patients (19.30 percent) had poor results. Significant differences were found between those who underwent superficial liposuction and those who underwent open surgery. The number of patients with very good and good results decreased significantly from 91.18 percent (open surgery) to 80.70 percent (liposuction), and those with little or no improvement increased from 8.82 percent (open surgery) to 19.29 percent (liposuction). Compared with open surgery for the treatment of osmidrosis, liposuction produces significantly fewer complications but is less effective. Of the patients who underwent liposuction for osmidrosis, 80 percent were satisfied with the result. Further study is needed to determine whether liposuction for osmidrosis can be improved.

Taipei, Taiwan

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Veterans General Hospital–Taipei, National Yang-Ming University.

Received for publication March 24, 2003; revised July 25, 2003.

Fa-Lai Yeh, M.D. Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Surgery Veterans General Hospital–Taipei No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Road Taipei, Taiwan

©2004American Society of Plastic Surgeons