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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Feb;29(2):379-82. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12376. Epub 2014 Jan 25.

Skin-Tissue-sparing Excision with Electrosurgical Peeling (STEEP): a surgical treatment option for severe hidradenitis suppurativa Hurley stage II/III.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.



Surgery is the only curative treatment for removal of the persistent sinus tracts in the skin that are characteristic of severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Complete resection of the affected tissue by wide excision is currently regarded as the preferred surgical technique in these cases. However, relatively large amounts of healthy tissue are removed with this method and suitable skin-tissue-saving techniques aiming at creating less-extensive surgical defects are therefore needed in severe HS.


We describe a skin-tissue-saving surgical technique for HS Hurley stage II-III disease: the Skin-Tissue-sparing Excision with Electrosurgical Peeling (STEEP) procedure.


In contrast to wide excisions that generally reach into the deep subcutaneous fat, the fat is maximally spared with the STEEP procedure by performing successive tangential excisions of lesional tissue until the epithelialized bottom of the sinus tracts has been reached. From here, secondary intention healing can occur. In addition, fibrotic tissue is completely removed in the same manner as this also serves as a source of recurrence. This tissue-sparing technique results in low recurrence rates, high patient satisfaction with relatively short healing times and favourable cosmetic outcomes without contractures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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