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Management of Pilonidal Cysts

A pilonidal cyst is a cyst or abscess usually located near or along the gluteal fold. Most physicians believe that a pilonidal cyst is an abscess or cyst that develops due to an ingrown hair. Other possible etiologies include excessive sweating or sitting as well as congenital tissue. Regardless of the cause, most patients will require some sort of operative intervention.

  • Incision and Drainage – Pilonidal cysts can range in size and severity. Patients report pain and redness at the cyst site as well as often some yellow or purulent fluid when pressure is applied. The first step is usually antibiotics and warm compresses. However, if the area is severely inflamed or purulent it may require an incision and drainage to resolve the inflammation and drain the abscess. Occasionally, this is all the treatment that is necessary. However, usually this fails to resolve the underlying issue.
  • Cyst Excision – Pilonidal cyst excision requires general anesthesia for optimal patient comfort. All of the infected tissue and ingrown hair must be removed. This area can be primarily closed. Alternatively, a flap can be placed, often with the help of plastic surgery. However, the tried and true method of wound care is to apply packing material to the incision site and let granulation tissue fill in the tissue defect over time. This can take several weeks. During this time the depilatory cream is often used to prevent subsequent pilonidal cysts from forming. The entire recovery process can take four to eight weeks until the patient is able to adequately resume activity and adequately heal.

Patients should seek out a surgeon who is board-certified because this certification means that the surgeon has passed a challenging series of board exams. Dr. Jenna Kazil is a double board-certified vascular and general surgeon in Bradenton who performs surgical procedures at the Florida Surgical Clinic located in Bradenton, FL. Dr. Kazil is a Bradenton vascular surgeon with a vast amount of experience managing pilonidal cysts. Call today to schedule an appointment.