A Comparative Study of the Surgical Treatment of Axillary Osmidrosis by Instrument, Manual, and Combined Subcutaneous Shaving Procedures

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Abstract

Between 1986 and 1996, 128 patients underwent surgery for axillary osmidrosis via en bloc removal of subcutaneous cellular tissue. The patients were followed for 6 months to 7 years (average follow-up, 25 months). The authors propose three categories in which they classified shaving procedures: instrumental shavings (N = 84), manual shavings (N = 96), and combined shaving procedures (N = 76). A modified Inaba's shaver was used in instrument shavings. Combined shaving is mixture of instrument and conventional manual shaving. All patients were asked to complete a questionnaire postoperatively. This follow-up demonstrated that 92.9% of patients who underwent instrument shaving, 95.8% of patients who underwent manual shaving, and 97.4% of patients who underwent combined shaving experienced no odor or occasional, very mild axillary odor postoperatively. Postoperative scar formation was either invisible or excellent in 92.9% of instrument shavings, and 92.1% of patients who underwent the combined procedure reported either a hairless axilla or a marked decrease of axillary hair. The total satisfaction rate in the combined procedure was 94.7%, which is a better result than the instrument (92.9%) and the manual (91.7%) shaving procedures. The wound complication rate per patient with the combined procedure was 13.2%. There was no scar contracture or limitation in arm abduction. The combined subcutaneous shaving procedure using the modified Inaba's shaver has the advantages of rapid and accurate shaving, low incidence of hematoma formation, enhanced wound healing, and easy postoperative care. Therefore, en bloc resection of subcutaneous cellular tissue by combined shaving is a viable option for treatment of axillary osmidrosis.

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