What Is the Typical Pilonidal Cyst Laser Treatment Success Rate?
An infected pilonidal cyst can be incredibly painful and cause intense discomfort during everyday activities. Surgery can resolve this problem, but if the cyst comes back, it will need to be treated again.
I know that you don't want to go through pilonidal cyst surgery more than once, so I encourage you to select a treatment method with a proven success rate, such as laser ablation. Because the pilonidal cyst laser treatment success rate is high, by opting for this minimally invasive treatment method, you will have good reason to hope that this one surgery will be the only procedure you will ever need.
How Does Laser Treatment for Pilonidal Cysts Work?
Laser surgery is a relatively quick and effective treatment for pilonidal cysts. Located near the top of the tailbone, these cysts are pockets that become embedded with hair and debris, and infection results. The intent of surgery is to clean out the infected area and remove the pit so that infection does not recur.
Laser treatment is a minimally invasive surgery that begins similarly to traditional pilonidal cyst procedures. First, the medical team anesthetizes the area or provides general anesthesia so the patient is comfortable during the procedure. Then, the doctor removes hairs from the cyst. If there is more than one opening, each one is cleaned out.
A sharp instrument may then be used to remove the pit of the pilonidal cyst from the body; when this step is done, the wound is flushed out before continuing with procedure. In some laser treatment surgeries for pilonidal cysts, there is no excision performed at all; the laser treatment alone is used to heal the infected area.
A special laser fiber is used to finish the procedure. It has a conical internal fiber that produces a ring of high-intensity light. The laser probe is topped with a glass tip. The doctor inserts this probe into the opening of the pilonidal sinus and positions it so the laser beam is in line with the pilonidal opening.
Pulses of laser energy are applied to the wound to close up the sinus. The laser light destroys the lining of the tract and collapses the opening. This treatment is repeated along the length of the tract.
Learn more about what is involved in laser treatment by watching the entire procedure. The short video "Pilonidal Sinus Laser Treatment with the neoV" shows the steps to this surgery. It also demonstrates how quick this procedure can be; from start to finish, it can usually be performed in less than 15 minutes.
What Is the Recurrence Rate for Traditional Pilonidal Cyst Surgery?
Patients undergo pilonidal cyst surgery with the expectation that the procedure will remedy their problem for good. Unfortunately, one study showed a recurrence rate of 22 percent with traditional pilonidal cyst surgeries.
Two types of traditional surgeries were studied. Primary closure procedures had a recurrence rate of 30 percent. Excisions in which the wound was left open for healing had a recurrence rate of 17 percent.
What Is the Pilonidal Cyst Laser Treatment Success Rate?
Studies such as this one suggest laser treatment is a promising newer technology for treating pilonidal cysts, with stats indicating a first time success rates in the 87.5 percent range.
Of those patients, the procedure had long-term success for almost all of them. The recurrence rate was only 2.9 percent.
How Does Laser Treatment Improve Recovery Times?
The pilonidal cyst laser treatment success rate is not the only reason that this procedure is advantageous over traditional surgeries. It is also beneficial because the recovery time is usually shorter and easier.
A one-day hospital stay is all that is typically required for this type of treatment. The patient may stay overnight at the hospital or may be discharged the same day after a short observation period in recovery.
Patients who have laser surgery are usually able to return to normal activities sooner than those who have traditional surgeries. Studies have shown that people who opt for laser treatment can, on average, return to work 2.4 days before those who undergo traditional procedures.
Additionally, laser surgery results in less pain for the patient. People who have laser treatment report less pain immediately after the surgery than those who have standard procedures performed, and they also report lower pain levels one week after the surgery. On average, laser treatment patients take painkillers for about five days after surgery.
What Practices Will Help Prevent Recurrence?
Although laser treatment for pilonidal cysts has been shown to have a high success rate, there are things that a patient can do to help reduce his or her chance of a recurrence.
During the recovery period, patients must take care to follow their doctor's directions closely. This may involve multiple showers each day. Patients may be advised to apply an ointment or a compress to the wound each day. Shaving the hair from the area will probably be recommended.
Additionally, for long-term hair removal from the site, laser epilation is sometimes recommended, especially if the patient has heavy hair growth. This follow-up treatment is useful because it reduces the opportunity for hairs to irritate the area and cause the development of a new cyst.
Laser surgery is one of the most promising treatments for pilonidal cysts. Research has shown that this approach to cleaning and closing a pilonidal sinus has better long-term results than traditional surgical treatments. Please leave any questions about this minimally invasive procedure in the comments.