Developing an interdisciplinary consultation service for vulvar disorders

Waltraud Anemüller, Andreas Recke, Christopher Altgassen, Katharina Kelling


BACKGROUND: Diseases of the vulva often cause severe impairment and long-term problems for the affected women. Adequate treatment requires expert knowledge on the part of treating dermatologists and gynecologists. This was the reason for the initiation of an interdisciplinary consultation service for vulvar diseases at the University Hospital of Lübeck.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Over a period of 2½ years, 208 patients were seen in the new consultation service. Cases were classified as inflammatory diseases, neoplastic diseases, infectious diseases, vulvodynia, or genodermatoses. The effectiveness of treatment was documented by photography, biopsy and - whenever applicable - a quality of life assessment using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI).

RESULTS: Inflammatory dermatoses were diagnosed in 133 patients and neoplas-tic diseases in 32 patients. Infection was diagnosed in 25 patients, vulvodynia in 8, genodermatoses in 3 and other diseases in 7. The DLQI was assessed in 140 patients. Of these, 55 patients had a DLQI > 10 (0-30), indicating severe or extreme impairment of quality of life. A follow-up DLQI was collected in 81 patients, showing a significant improvement.

CONCLUSIONS: The patients and both hospital facilities benefitted from the interdisciplinary consultation service. The initial high costs in terms of medical staff and time was compensated by the development of diagnostic and treatment algorithms. Overall, the concept received positive feedback from patients and medical staff members.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft = Journal of the German Society of Dermatology : JDDG
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)350-7
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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