Should I get surgery?

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I have been suffering with HS since I was a teen, I am now 20 and I'm considering whether or not to get surgery.

I have it under my arms and groin area and has recently started to develop under my right breast (I have two lumps)

I know that weight can seriously affect it as well and up until now I fear it has gotten worse. I used to take medication but I found that it did not work so I decided to undergo different methods to get it under control. Using hemp oil body wash did help and for a while I had no recurrences until now. I want to get surgery for both armpits but I am unsure if surgery will help.

when I went to my GP when I first got HS he said surgery won't help and I will be unable to lift my arm above my head, also I am kinda scared as I have never needed surgery.

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  • Posted

    I would recommend figuring out what you are eating that triggers your HS before considering surgery. HS can still re surface even after surgery. I’ve had HS since I was 12. I’m 32 now. It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I finally figured out my trigger. It was sugar. I get absolutely no bumps or flairs or any of it when I don’t consume sugar. It feels like I don’t even have HS any more. Doctors really don’t have all the answers. They just prescribed me with antibiotics or would upfront tell me they didn’t know much about it. So it really takes research on our parts. It’s a disease that won’t just go away, but we can help it. Surgery and antibiotics are just ways to cover it up for a time. It’s hard doing elimination diets, I know, I tried everything, but it’s the greatest gift of all when you discover you can control the outbreaks! I know HS sufferers are all different. A large part of the community avoids night shades and they see relief. But I and others are discovering sugar is the culprit. There really isn’t exceptions for me. I’ve had to cut it all out period. So I guess my advice is to research ways of starting an elimination diet or talk to a doctor on how to begin one where it is healthy and wise. I truly believe after having HS for this long is that food is the key. Do lots of research and hear what others have to say about surgery and then only you can make that decision. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying I have have been eliminating dairy products from my diet (mainly milk) And i don't think that's causing my flare ups and i have cut down on sugar but its really hard since I've got a sweet tooth haha. also I'm deciding on going on a Paleo diet and see if that helps. I am also considering going back to meal replacement drinks. thank you again

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    • Posted

      At one point during my journey I thought dairy was the trigger. But no, nearly a year off dairy I was still getting flair ups. I totally get the sweet tooth, it’s hard. I have to find special desserts that are dessert free. One cookie and bam I will see a cyst. A healthy diet is a big part of it, but keep looking for your triggers as it’s more than just eating healthy food.

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    • Posted

      I've been trying to think of the possible cause for my flare ups as well as what foods I have been eating more of recently but it is quite hard, as I don't think my diet has changed all that much from when I didn't get as much flare ups. The only thing that comes to mind is that lately I've been going out and eating at restaurants and drinking slightly more coffee. To be honest going off sugar completely I reckon will be hard for me like many others but I'm willing to try

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    • Posted

      I ate everything growing up. But my HS hadn’t surfaced yet. Before 12 I had sugar constantly but no HS. I think even if you once ate a certain food and were ok doesn’t mean that can’t change. When HS shows up you can then get a reaction to it even if you hadn’t before. I know it’s so hard to figure it out. It takes a lot of work to eliminate foods. It took me 19 years to find mine. If you take everything out, keep a log and slowly reintroduce food you can begin to pin point what your trigger is. But I personally think sugar is the key. You have to watch what you even purchase and make sure it isn’t packed with sugar. I look for foods under 8g. None is ideal. But not having flairs is better than any dessert I could ever have 😃

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    • Posted

      I'm struggling to put together a meal plan while trying to avoid certain foods also I think avoiding sugar and potatoes are gonna be hard because I came to the realisation that I won't be ables to eat any roast potatoes 😢 and I think they may be the main cause of flare ups haha 😅 I am determined to find out if this is true or not though and thank you for talking to me about this I will definitely keep a log!

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    • Posted

      You never know, potatoes are not my trigger and are my favorite food so I’m glad! But I have read that they are for others. I am just refined sugar. Good luck with your log! I hope you discover yours soon! 19 years was too long 😦

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    • Posted

      haha I'm glad that its not your trigger I think that my only cheat food would be potatoes and thank you 😊 its a shame that you couldn't discover your trigger sooner 😔

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    • Posted

      I will do though but I haven't been to the doctors since I got diagnosed with my HS I was going to arrange another appointment soon but haven't been able to and I will ask about it thank you 😊

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  • Posted

    I had surgery under my arm that had 5 cycts that werent doing anything they were large and getting in the way and I got tired of having so many. After my surgery to remove them the H.S started up under there. I had never had HS there only cysts. I thiink because they cut so much skin it is blocking my sweat glands there now. So in the end surgery is not the answer might even make it worse.

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    • Posted

      thank you! I heard removing the sweat glands helped and that people have not had any more boils since they got the surgery and it can help improve their quality of life!I was reading an article about excision and split skin graffting and when taking in the stages, especially stage 3 "least minor recurrence is expected" I figured that it can't be as bad as I have it now if it does reoccur.

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  • Posted

    Also, for me I have been avoiding milk for 35 years I get bad IBS if I drink it since I was like 23 its not lactose with me.

    I can get away with it in some products but have to be careful.

    I think mine flares up on like chocolate. Like Easter time, xmas with chocolate and cakes. I think those heavy sugared items causes mine.

    Antibiotics dont do anything. In fact I had some of my first flareups while on antibiotics for a week. Also those washes they love to subscribe you on dont do swat for me. I still use them but those topical things do nothing.

    One drug that may be able to fight it is accutane I had been on that like 4 times in the past and it pretty much shut down my acne and cysts problems for years after being on it for like 6 months. I dont know if it can get rid of HS as HS is a new one for me.

    I was one humira for a few months but its not a safe drug for me and I got off it. I got H.S while on it.

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    • Posted

      when I first went to my GP he gave me antibiotics but they weren't doing anything and it wasn't long after till I discovered hemp oil body wash from Holland and Barretts it really helped i also discovered aloe Vera gel and it helped as well. I

      would recommend you try it maybe?? and see if it helps. I don't think the antibiotics help many people and I'm sorry to hear that it caused you to have flare ups.

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  • Posted

    Its a hard decision. Surgery is very invasive. Skin gets grafted from your arm or thigh and that skin is placed over the skin removed from the infected area and pretty much leaves you with a patch over the area being treated. There are other treatments less invasive that you can consider first. Accutane, laser hair removal, and even your diet. I was also once in the same spot you are in and after talking to 5 different specialist from Stanford here in California, they all told me that surgery will temporary work, and you can still get new flare ups along the area you get the surgery. Surgery is mainly done as a last resource or just severe and it must be done.

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    • Posted

      I had surgery and the H.S just shows up in other places near the scars.

      Accutane one treatment for 6 months last like 5 years or more for skin issues. Nothing else worked for me when I was young. Not sure how it works with H.S but the results were amazing for cysts and other acne problems. I would think it could take out H.S as well. There is some warnings the doctor needs to go over over with you if you go to accutane.

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    • Posted

      Hi thank you for replying 😊 I was unsure if laser hair removal will work or not and I have to admit accutane is a new one for me what is it?? I think I might do some more research about laser hair removal and accutane thanks again.

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