Postoperative Pyoderma Gangrenosum: A Clinical Review of Published Cases

Stanislav N. Tolkachjov, Aodhnait S. Fahy, Felipe B. Cerci, David A. Wetter, Stephen S. Cha, Michael J. Camilleri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Postoperative pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a neutrophilic dermatosis characterized by PG at surgical incisions. It is often misdiagnosed as wound infection, and pathergy may complicate wound debridement. From September 1, 2013, through November 30, 2013, a literature search was conducted of articles published from January 1, 1978, through December 31, 2012. We referenced PubMed, MEDLINE, and Mayo Clinic Libraries using the keywords pyoderma gangrenosum, postoperative pyoderma gangrenosum, postsurgical pyoderma gangrenosum, superficial granulomatous pyoderma, pathergic pyoderma, and pyoderma gangrenosum associated with surgery, incision, breast, and wound dehiscence. In addition, all titles from PubMed with the words pyoderma gangrenosum were reviewed manually for postoperative cases. Of 136 patients, 90 (66%) did not have associated systemic diseases. If a comorbidity was present, hematologic disorders were most common. In addition, 29% (28) of women had predisposing disease vs 53% (19) of men. Women had more frequent breast involvement (P<.001); chest involvement was more common in men (P=.005). Girls and women aged 13 to 64 years had more frequent breast involvement (P=.01). Sites were distributed equally for men regardless of age (P=.40). Antibiotic drug therapy was begun and debridement occurred in 90% (110 of 122 treated patients) and 73% (90 of 123 available patients), respectively. Postoperative PG has less association with systemic disease than its nonpostoperative counterpart. Antibiotic drug therapy is routinely initiated. Affected sites are often debrided, causing additional wound breakdown. Early diagnosis may prevent complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1279
Number of pages13
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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