A Basic Algorithmic Surgical Approach for Nicolau Syndrome

Yeniocak A., Kelahmetoğlu O., Özkan M., Temel M., Güneren E.

Aesthetic Surgery Journal, vol.13, no.2, pp.154-159, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Case Report
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/jcas.jcas_139_19.
  • Journal Name: Aesthetic Surgery Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.154-159
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes



Background: Nicolau syndrome (NS) is a rare complication that develops after the administration of intramuscular diclofenac sodium. The etiology and surgical treatments of 11 patients with NS were evaluated and studies in the literature were examined. The aim of this study was to compose a basic algorithm for surgical approaches to treat NS.

Materials and methods: Eleven patients were evaluated for NS between December 2013 and January 2018. Two patients did not accept treatment, and nine patients underwent surgical debridement of necrotic tissues. The tissue defects of five patients were closed with a fasciocutaneous flap and, in four patients, the defects were repaired primarily.

Results: No complications, such as wound infection, wound dehiscence, seroma, or flap necrosis, were encountered. Of the seven patients who received concurrent antibiotic therapy, no patient had any problems at their follow-up (2-30 months). The results were satisfactory from an aesthetic and functional point of view.

Conclusion: NS was more frequent in women with a high body mass index and high fat in gluteal regions. We considered that any kind of medication could lead to NS. Different methods are discussed for treatment.

Keywords: Diclofenac sodium; Nicolau syndrome; injection; intramuscular.