Is Pilonidal Cyst Surgery Necessary? What You Need to Know...

Is Pilonidal Cyst Surgery Necessary? What You Need to Know…

Pilonidal Cyst Surgery

If you're like most people, having surgery probably isn't one of your preferred activities. Therefore, if you've been diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst, also known as a pilonidal sinus, you might be asking the question "Is pilonidal cyst surgery necessary?"

In some cases, surgery may be your best choice. Not everyone needs to have surgery for pilonidal disease, however. The following guide will help you learn more about when surgery is needed and how you can make smart choices about this type of treatment.

Pilonidal Cyst Treatment Options

If you are experiencing pilonidal sinus symptoms, your doctor may recommend one of several treatment options. He or she may advise starting with simple remedies and moving onto more complex treatments only if the initial steps don't solve the problem.

The approach tried for your pilonidal sinus may involve one or more of the following options:

  • Antibiotic medications.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Draining the cyst.
  • Surgical procedures to close, reduce or remove the affected tissue.

What to Try Before Undergoing Surgery

Doctors don't usually jump straight to suggesting surgery when a patient has a pilonidal cyst. For one thing, if the tissue is not infected, then you may not need to do anything right away. Simply monitoring the opening may be sufficient for the time being.

However, if your pilonidal sinus is showing signs of infection, it can be a good idea to take steps to begin treating the problem. An antibiotic prescription may help to resolve the infection. It won't close the sinus tract, but it may help to ease the current flare-up.

Over-the-counter medications like as ibuprofen may reduce the pain, swelling and tenderness as you wait for the symptoms to subside.

It's not uncommon for doctors to recommend that you have your abscess drained. This procedure can be done in the doctor's office under local anesthesia. Your caregiver will make a small incision in order to drain any blood, pus or other fluids from the affected tissue. This cut will also allow the doctor to clean out the cavity.

The incision may need to be packed after the procedure. The recovery process can take up to four weeks.

As with antibiotic treatment, draining a pilonidal sinus will not close up the foreign tract. The pilonidal cavity will still be in your body, and it could become infected again. When that happens, your doctor may recommend doing another draining procedure or moving on to some form of surgical treatment.

In the following video, you can hear the steps that one patient went through before finally deciding that it was time to have pilonidal cyst surgery:

When Surgery Is Necessary

If you experience repeated pilonidal infections, it may be time to ask your doctor, "Is pilonidal cyst surgery necessary?" At that point, your pilonidal disease may be better classified as a chronic condition rather than an acute incident. Your doctor may determine that your best option for long-term healing is to perform surgery.

In the long run, pilonidal surgery may help to improve your quality of life. Once you recover from the procedure, you'll no longer have to deal with the pain and tenderness of recurring infections. You also won't have to worry any longer that blood or pus will start oozing from your wound.

Even if you have not experienced repeated infections, your doctor may advise that you have surgery if your case appears to be complicated. Your doctor may advise that simple treatments won't be enough to knock out your serious pilonidal sinus, so going straight for surgery could be your best option.

Choose the Right Treatment Option

Some patients choose to put off surgical treatment for years due to concerns about the long healing process. Fortunately, there are options that can deliver successful treatment that don’t require extensive healing time.

Two such approaches include different types of pilonidal sinus excision:

  • Open Healing: The doctor may leave the wound open after cutting the sinus tract out of the body. The open wound must be packed until it heals. It can take around three months to recover from this surgery. However, some doctors recommend this treatment because the recurrence rate is low.
  • Closed Healing: The doctor may stitch the wound shut after excising the tissue. This approach requires less healing time, but it does present a higher chance of recurrence.

However, these are not the only surgical options for dealing with a troublesome pilonidal sinus. If you are in need of surgical treatment and are concerned about the long recovery process associated with traditional treatments, consider asking your doctor about alternative surgeries.

Some medical teams perform pit-picking. Less tissue is removed during this procedure than with a full excision, so the recovery may take only a few weeks. This procedure is best for fairly straightforward pilonidal sinus cases.

One of the best surgical options involves using a special laser on the sinus tract. The pulses of the laser cause the cavity and the tract to collapse in on itself and then seal shut. Laser surgery can be used as the sole treatment for pilonidal disease, or it can be used to improve the outcome of a pit-picking surgery.

Laser treatment can be much less painful and offer quicker recovery times. Use of the laser does not require significant reshaping of the butt area and doesn’t leave large scars. The incisions created by laser treatment are very small to allow the sterile laser fiber to enter the Pilonidal Sinus pocket to “ablate” the cells keeping the pocket open.

If your doctor recommends that you should have pilonidal cyst surgery, be sure to fully explore all of your options. Pilonidal surgery comes in a wide range of forms, and your recovery time and long-term success will depend largely on which procedure you have done.

For many people, laser surgery may be the top choice because of its relatively easy recovery period and its overall effectiveness. If you need to have pilonidal sinus surgery, visit our website to find a doctor who can treat you using a minimally invasive laser procedure.

Brian Chandler

Brian Chandler