Advanced, minimally invasive treatments at affordable costs only at Medfin.

Advanced, minimally invasive treatments at affordable costs only at Medfin.

Pilonidal sinus is a condition wherein a small pouch of infected fluid develops near the tailbone region of the lower back (just above the cleft that separates the buttocks). As the infection progresses, it may develop into a cyst or an abscess.

Treatment options for pilonidal sinus are:

  • Pilonidal sinus drainage: This procedure is very common for the treatment of an infected cyst. It treats the infection and relieves pain. In this procedure, the doctor uses a sharp knife to make a small cut into the abscess. This drains out the pus and removes hair and other debris. Then s/he fills the abscess with sterile gauze. You may go home the same day after pilonidal sinus drainage.

Untreated pilonidal cysts, in the long run, are prone to develop into a type of cancerous growth of the skin, called squamous cell carcinoma.

You must visit a doctor noticing the following signs and symptoms:

  • ​High fever.
  • Extreme pain and an increase in the size of the swelling.
  • Discharge from the sinus opening (blood or pus).
  • Multiple sinus openings.
  • Foul smell coming from the area of the sinus.

The specific cause of a pilonidal sinus is not known. It is believed to arise due to a mixture of different factors like abnormal and excessive hair growth, hormonal imbalance, and external factors like constant sitting habits. 

A person who has a sedentary lifestyle and job (like clerks and taxi drivers that sit for long periods of time) are more likely to develop this because of the constant friction due to chaffing or contact of clothes to the skin in the tailbone region. 

This stimulates new hair to grow. The hair might abnormally penetrate the skin and trigger the immune system to fight against it, causing the development of a sinus or cyst.

1.Overview: The doctor uses a sharp knife to make a small cut into the abscess. This drains out the pus and removes hair and other debris. Then s/he fills the abscess with sterile gauze.

2.Snapshots:

  • Procedure Type: OPEN surgery
  • Anesthesia: Local/General anesthesia
  • Hospitalization: 0-1 day
  • Procedure time: 45 minutes - 1 hour
  • Recovery Time: 4 weeks (1-2 months for complete healing)

3.Post-Surgical Care: 

  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions
  • Keep the area clean, shave the area or use a hair removal cream every 2-3 weeks
  • Check the site for signs of infection, such as pus, redness or pain
  • Keep follow-up appointments for dressing and checks of the wound. 
  • Also, take medication as prescribed.

4.Advantages of this Procedure: You may go home the same day.

At first, the doctor may relieve the symptoms of pain and swelling with medicines and antibiotics as well as advise you to maintain good hygiene around the sinus. This will help to reduce the infection and decrease the size of the swelling. Regular follow-ups are required to monitor the condition.

  • Phenol injections may also be performed into the pilonidal sinus using local anesthesia. But the chances of the sinus coming back after this procedure is more frequent.

  • Surgical Draining of Pilonidal Sinus: ​If the symptoms do not subside, increase, or if the sinus fails to heal, the doctor may suggest draining the lesion surgically using a procedure in which the lesions are removed, the remaining debris and waste including blood, pus and hair are cleared, the area is sutured, and the wound is bandaged.

           The surgery can be performed using local or general anesthesia depending on the size of the cyst or as the doctor suggests. 

  • Other advanced treatments like endoscopic laser treatment can also be offered as an alternative. A few visits for regular cleaning and bandaging of the area after treatment is needed to promote healing.

To prevent pilonidal sinuses from recurring after treatment the doctor may advise a healthy diet, maintaining good hygiene measures, shaving the area that has been treated, and avoid sitting at one place for a long time.

The following are a few risk factors for developing a pilonidal sinus /cyst:

  • ​Sedentary lifestyle. 
  • Obesity
  • Younger age (those who are in their 20s) 
  • Those who have more body hair and excessive hair growth in the region of the tailbone.
  • It has been seen to be more common in males than in females.

The pilonidal sinus may appear like a small dent initially at the tail bone region of the lower back above the cleft separating the buttocks.

On stimulus by either hormonal imbalance or external triggers, the region may become infected to develop further into a cyst or an abscess. This may appear as:

  • ​Pain and swelling with red inflamed skin around the sinus.
  • A foul-smelling discharge may be seen from the hole or opening in the region (blood or pus).
  • In rare cases, the patient may also experience a fever.
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