Inflammatory and infective conditions
Certain conditions of the skin affect the area of the groin, buttock cleft, and the perianal or perineal regions – the area around the anus and genitals. These conditions include hidradenitis suppurativa and pilonidal sinus disease. These conditions can be painful, difficult to treat, and understandably cause social and psychological distress.
Our plastic surgeons are experienced in the assessment and management of these conditions and we work with colleagues in general surgery, gynaecology and microbiology to devise safe and effective treatment plans based on your particular needs. These conditions often require a combination of surgery for hygiene reasons, antibiotic treatment, and reconstructive surgery using flaps, grafts or suction dressings, commonly known as “vac” or “topical negative pressure”.
After these operations, our expert team of plastic surgery dressings nurses and our clinical nurse specialist in complex wound care will work alongside your district nurses to make sure wounds, grafts or flaps are cared for appropriately. Sometimes these wounds take a while to heal and you will have contact details for the complex wound team to help you through this period.
Reconstruction following cancer
Sometimes patients are referred to us when surgery is planned to remove cancers from the lower part of the bowel or for gynaecological cancer surgery when the general or gynaecological surgeon anticipates there will be a large gap in skin or the soft tissue beneath following removal of the cancer.
We often work with the surgeons in other specialties to plan the cancer surgery and reconstruction to happen at the same time. Our reconstructive operations often involve flaps, where large pieces of skin and / or muscle are moved from one area of the body to the area of the cancer surgery to cover the gap. These can sometimes be long and complex operations and we are fully supported by an expert team of anaesthetists and intensive care doctors, with recovery beds available in the high dependency unit at MFT when necessary.
After surgery there is often a period of recovery where we involve our expert team of dressings and complex wound specialist nurses, as well as specialist nurses from other teams including stoma nurses and continence / catheter nurse specialists. We recognise that the run up to these operations can be an anxious time for patients and their families – your surgeon will be able to discuss your concerns and answer your questions in detail in clinic.
Patients are referred for this specialist service by their GPs or by consultants in other surgical or medical specialties.