Pilonidal Cyst Drainage: When & Why Would You Need It

Pilonidal Cyst Drainage: When & Why Would You Need It

Pilonidal Cyst Drainage

A pilonidal cyst, better referred to as a pilonidal sinus, often causes pain, irritation and swelling around your backside. When the spot turns into an infected abscess, these problems can become even worse. Your doctor may recommend draining the site in order to help it heal.

Ahead, find out why you might need pilonidal cyst drainage and learn more about the process.

Contents of a Pilonidal Sinus

Located near the cleft of the buttocks, a pilonidal sinus involves a small pit or dimple in the skin. Beneath this, there may be a cavity that accumulates organic debris. This may include bits of hair and dead skin. Dirt from the outside world could end up in there as well.

Because this structure usually has an opening that connects to the outer layer of skin, oils from your skin can travel down into it. Bacteria that live on your skin can also build up in the cavity.

Over time, the pilonidal sinus may become infected. When that happens, fluid may accumulate inside. Your sinus may contain both blood and pus. This sometimes leaks out, and it may have an unpleasant smell.

Pain and Infection of a Pilonidal Cyst

When a pilonidal sinus is small, it may not cause you many problems. In fact, you might not even notice that it's there.

Over time, however, the pilonidal cyst may grow larger. Infection can cause it to swell. This puts pressure on the surrounding area and leaves you feeling sore and sensitive.

You may especially notice the symptoms when you are in a seated position. Sitting for long stretches may become an excruciating experience. When that happens, it's certainly time to do something about your pilonidal sinus.

You may also experience other unpleasant symptoms that are associated with infection. These can include fever, nausea and feelings of weakness.

Keep in mind that you don't have to wait for your symptoms to become this severe before seeking treatment. If you suspect that you have a pilonidal sinus, make an appointment with your doctor. Early treatment may be able to spare you much discomfort.

Treatment for First Occurrences

Your doctor may recommend a course of antibiotics as a first line of defense. Medication alone could be enough to take care of the infection.

However, if antibiotics don't clear up your infection, the next step to try is pilonidal sinus drainage. In some cases, the doctor may want to perform drainage right away. If you're experiencing a lot of pain or pressure, draining the site can provide quick relief.

Some medical professionals may even recommend draining the site before an infection develops. If the pocket is free of debris and fluid, there will be less chance of bacteria breeding in there. Therefore, draining it right away could help prevent an infection.

It's important to understand that drainage might not be a long-term solution for pilonidal disease. If you experience recurring infections, your doctor will probably recommend a surgical intervention. The sinus tract may be cut out of your body, or the doctor may close the tract with a laser.

Although recurrence is still possible, surgical treatments are generally considered a more long-term solution than drainage.

How Drainage Is Performed

Although a pilonidal sinus may occasionally leak or drain on its own, you should not intentionally try to pop or drain it by yourself. Attempting home treatments may further complicate your condition. Your doctor is the best source of safe, thorough treatment for pilonidal disease.

If your doctor determines that drainage would be beneficial for the treatment of your pilonidal sinus, the following overview of the process can help you prepare.

  • The medical personnel will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. If necessary, you may be given a sedative.
  • The doctor will make a cut in your skin to open up the pilonidal cyst.
  • Blood and pus may flow out. The doctor will remove as much foreign material as possible.
  • The wound will be packed and covered.
  • You may need to take pain medication after the procedure.

You can view the process of a doctor draining a pilonidal sinus in the video below:

You might be nervous about undergoing pilonidal cyst drainage, but once the procedure is over, you'll probably be glad that you went through with it. Draining a sinus can provide welcome relief for the pain and pressure associated with pilonidal disease. This quick procedure may have you feeling better in no time.

As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.

Brian Chandler

Brian Chandler