Why choose Mayo Clinic for hidradenitis suppurativa?

Dr. Afsaneh Alavi, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN: Hidradenitis suppurativa, or HS, is an inflammatory disease presenting with acne-like lesions. Lesions are either deep nodules or tunnels in certain areas of the body like under arm, groin, genital area, under breast. It is very frequently misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed.

Dr. Christian Baum, Professor of Dermatology, MOHS surgeon, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN: We take HS very seriously. We approach it comprehensively and, to the degree possible, we manage and come up with a plan for every aspect of their condition.

Dr. Alavi: At Mayo Clinic, the needs of the patient come first.

Dr. Laura Raffals, Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN: That shared mission, that shared purpose that we have here at Mayo Clinic is what really drives us to form these teams such as the HS multi-disciplinary team to take care of our patients' needs — not just the needs of providing the right diagnosis and the right treatment, but holistically ensuring that we're meeting all the needs of our patients.

Dr. Baum: Many of our patients who come to our clinic for HS have a number of additional appointments set up for them because of the complexity of their disease. Obviously, we have at least two appointments in dermatology.

Dr. Raffals:There are GI colleagues who often are involved, and certainly our experts in radiology, pathology, and this entire team is incredible in terms of making the diagnosis. But then we also lean on our surgery colleagues who often help us with the management of HS.

Dr. Baum: We make sure that they have the support that they need from a mental health and well-being perspective from our colleagues in psychiatry as well.

Dr. Alavi: It's very important to provide multidisciplinary care. It takes a village to treat HS.

Dr. Raffals: I think it can be challenging for patients with a condition such as HS where they know that they're always at risk for having an eruption of this condition in the future or a flare of their disease. So that uncertainty can really weigh on someone. But I do want to offer hope to our patients who have HS because we do have excellent treatments at our hands that we can use to treat patients. And not only that, but we continue to run clinical trials allowing us to find new treatments that we can also lean on to treat our patients.

Dr. Alavi: We are here to help patients with hidradenitis suppurativa by offering an interdisciplinary care and attacking this disease from multiple aspects with multiple modalities, a combination of surgical and medical therapy, and looking at this disease as a systemic disease by referring this patient to the disciplines that they need. It makes the result of the treatment much better.

Oct. 15, 2015