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Hi I have suffered HS for 4 years now I have stage two ! I just got back from seen a surgeon today and I'm getting surgery on my right armpit for now ! He said I don't need a skin graph if it stays the way it is now when I go in for the surgery he will cut and remove the badist parts of my armpit so will be less scarring and easier to heal . I'm just wondering if anyone has had this done and what to expect do I be pit asleep? Will I be in hospital for long? Can I sleep in a bed cause I'm only getting one armpit done or will it still be best to sleep on a recliner ? How long do i need my arm up for ? I have a two year old daughter that hangs out of me so I need to be prepared thanks in advance ! I'm just a nervous wreak .

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Debz,

    I had a very similar surgery roughly 3 years or so ago, this was my experience.

    I had stage 2 in both armpits, I had connecting tracks in both and I also didn't need skin grafts, the easiest description for my surgery was it was 'cut and shut' , my armpits were opened up, the badness was cut out and my armpits closed up again.

    How was the surgery?

    I had it under local anaesthetic, it did hurt when when the anaesthetic was injected but that was only for a few seconds, no pain whatsoever after that.

    I went straight home post surgery.

    The aftercare was more awkward than anything, you cannot lift your arms above your shoulder too quickly or you could split the stitches, I also discovered I was allergic to the sticky dressing that was applied to keep the wounds dry and clean (tagaderm).

    It just took about 3 weeks of just generally being pretty cautious in my movement to avoid any potential problems.

    Sleeping was easy, I slept normally in bed straight away and just tried to avoid raising my arms too high.

    All in all, the surgery and recovery was MUCH easier than I anticipated, I also (touch wood!) have not had any reoccurrence since.

    Please try not to worry too much, if you have any more questions please fire away and I'll help if I can.


    • Posted

      Hi Dave thanks so much for your comment and I'm so sorry for my late reply I'm only after finding it going through my emails , that has been very helpful to me! Can I ask if u got your both arms done together? I have the HS in both armpits and both sides of groin every now and again but my surgeon refuses to operate on me till its very bad.. I'm so glad the surgery has worked for you : ) I can say now I don't feel so nervous it be worth it all in the end ! I'm still awaiting my appointment unfortunately and he told me if I arrive day of surgery with my right arm inflammed (which is the armpit he operating on) he will send me home there only two types of surgery he can do which is to drain or remove, so I just hope they stay down.

      Thanks debz

  • Posted

    I don’t have too much to add since I haven’t had this surgery, but just wanted to say that when I had a large, rather serious, abscess removed from my armpit under general anaesthetic it was very painful for the first few days, so I slept on my back with a pillow under my shoulder to keep it in a neutral position. The pain dissipated after maybe 3 days and then paracetamol was enough after that to deal with it. The surgery also damaged the nerves somehow so that I couldn’t raise my arm over my head afterwards and had to do some physio to recover that flexibility.

    I’d definitely look to have someone helping to look after your daughter for the first 3 days or so, especially if you need to lift her often. You don’t want to make it too hard on yourself and you don’t know how you’ll feel after the surgery as well. Mine was only an abscess but it was extremely painful and the medications and the infection made me quite delirious for a few days.

    • Posted

      Hey skellitor thanks so much for your comment.. i hope your ok with your armpit now? Im still awaiting my app for surgery hopefully not much longer. Thanks for letting me know id rather just be prepared for all this becausey little one in creche and that ill be unable to do school runs etc. Can i ask were u have had yours removed has it ever came back in the same spot?
    • Posted

      My arm was probably back to normal in a month or so (it was a long time ago now so it could have taken more or less time than this), I just had to do a lot of stretching. Nerves regrow if they are damaged but they do so slowly.

      I have a scar (obviously) and occasionally get some inflammation under the scar which is more painful than elsewhere since the scar tissue puts pressure on it and doesn't allow it to come to a head. It doesn't normally stick around for long though.

      Hope your surgery comes soon and goes well. The best person to ask is of course your doctor/surgeon as they should be able to tell you more about the recovery process and what to expect.

      In the meantime I hear a lot of people have good success with gluten-free/anti-inflammation diets and you could try that? I'm always looking for something new to try so that's probably my next test. HS is exhausting!


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