Post Surgical Pyoderma Gangrenosum in flap surgery: Diagnostic clues and treatment recommendations

Salvatore D'Arpa, Salvatore Darpa, Patrick Peeters, Nicholas Dhooghe, Patrick Peeters, Nathalie Roche, Sebastiano Oieni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Post Surgical Pyoderma Gangrenosum (PSPG) is a neutrophilic dermatosis causing aseptic necrotic ulcerations within surgical sites. It is often misdiagnosed as infection or ischemia and worsened by the inappropriate treatment. Therefore diagnostic clues must be identified and awareness for PSPG raised.Methods: We present two cases of PSPG after flap surgery and a review of the literature.Results: Seventeen cases of PSPG after flap surgery were found. Fever, pain and redness are the most common initial symptoms. In 63%, lesions were on the flap and the adjacent skin. In 63%, the donor site is also involved. Time to diagnosis was nine days to four years. Frequent debridement (89%) and administration of antibiotics (74%) illustrate the misdiagnosis of infection or ischemia. PSPG in flap surgery seems to be less associated with underlying diseases, than other forms of Pyoderma Gangrenosum. Corticoids are the most commonly used treatment. Of the 19 cases, 10 experienced partial or total flap loss.Conclusion: PSPG must be included in the differential diagnosis of postoperative wound problems. Recognizing the diagnostic clues can lead to early diagnosis and treatment with systemic immunotherapy. Associated diseases should be investigated and additional surgery can only be successful when associated with immunotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalActa Chirurgica Belgica
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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