Hidradenitis suppurativa is a painful condition affecting the sweat glands of the skin. These areas are prone to chronic infections that can be extremely difficult to treat medically. In many cases, surgery can be curative. These particular sweat glands are located in the armpits, underneath the breasts, in the groin area, and around the buttocks. It is quite common in the African American and Middle Eastern populations.

In a typical scenario, a patient develops an abscess in their armpit or another affected area. The patient may seek treatment from their primary care doctor who would likely prescribe antibiotics. If the abscess is quite large or painful, the doctor may open it to allow the pus to drain.

After the abscess is drained and the patient finishes the course of antibiotics, the discomfort and pain resolves, but only for a short period of time. Typically, these sweat glands are prone to repeated episodes of inflammation and infection. The cycle continues until there is constant drainage of foul smelling pus or hard scar tissue, at which point the condition is considered chronic. Sometimes Botox injections may temporarily alleviate these symptoms.

Some patients may also seek advice from their dermatologist. Despite seeing various medical specialties, the problem will likely persist. For these chronic, painful cases, surgery offers an excellent option for the best long-term cure.

I could not be happier. The whole experience has been a good one. Dr. Ravi did as we had discussed and answered all questions on the procedure. Nothing went unanswered. I am extremely happy with the results and would highly recommend Dr. Ravi, and I already have!


Surgery entails removal of the chronically-inflamed sweat glands in the affected areas. The areas can generally be closed primarily, but in some instances may require skin grafting, local skin flaps, or muscle flaps for complete closure. Most patients go home the same day after surgery with a responsible adult.

Our institution has extensive experience in the surgical management of Hidradenitis suppurativa, a debilitating condition, with excellent long-term results. If you feel you might be suffering from this condition, call our office today to make an appointment to be evaluated by our board certified plastic surgeons.

Questions to Ask

  • Do you experience chronic infections and drainage in these areas?
  • Have you been placed on chronic antibiotic treatment for this condition?
  • Have you had previous surgery to treat these areas but the condition has returned?
  • Have you seen a dermatologist or your primary care doctor but have not seen improvement of your symptoms?
  • Do you have chronic pain and discomfort in your armpits, underneath the breasts, in the groin area, or around the buttocks?