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Pilonidal Sinus: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Pilonidal sinus is a dent in the skin that looks like a hole and usually occurs above the cleft of the buttocks, that is, the portion of the skin under which the tail bone exists. When that area gets infected, pilonidal cyst(s) formulates. It is a condition that occurs mostly in adult men whose work involves a lot of sitting or post-pubescent young male adults undergoing hormonal changes which entails hair growth.

When the hair forming around the dent gets driven into the burrow due to friction the chances of infection increase as the body considers these bodies to be foreign and thus reacts against it, resulting into cysts or abscesses developing around the hair. The cyst or abscess may be filled with fluid, pus, blood or refuse, the cleaning of which forms the primary aspect of (infected) pilonidal sinus treatment.

Pilonidal sinus can be treated at an early stage with simply antibiotics. This will reduce the chances of infection. Obnoxious smelling cyst containing pus or dirt can be treated by cleansing the area and closing the lesion after doing so. Injecting antiseptic into the area is another process; however, this treatment is usually avoided. Surgery is the best option for those who contain multiple sinus tracts.

Despite the availability of various cures, the pilonidal sinus can develop cyst even after treatment. Therefore, maintaining hygiene and shaving the area from time to time is recommended to those who have a tendency of developing boils or pus.

How is the treatment done?

Pilonidal Sinus is basically the dent in the skin existing right above the buttocks. Treatment is usually sought when the area gets infected causing severe discomfort besides emitting an obnoxious smell.

There are many ways by which this condition can be treated. But there is one significant thing that patients should keep in mind, and that is, the condition can recur and to avoid that maintaining hygiene is of paramount importance.

The easiest method of treating pilonidal cyst involves cleansing, wherein the doctor removes the dirt and pus collected in the infected area and closes the area with a particular kind of absorbing glue. The infected sinus tract can also be cleansed off debris by cutting the area open using local anesthesia; after which the patient is fit to be discharged.

However, many people suffering from multiple pilonidal cysts might have to undergo wide excision surgery to get relief from this agonizing discomfiture. Here the wound is opened extensively to perform surgery. After the completion of the operation the patient needs to get the wound dressed regularly for a few months.

One of the surgery methods includes the cutting off of the infected skin before closing the lesion. This process brings about quick recovery, but increases the chances of recurrence. Surgeries involving midline incision are considered to be a better option when it comes to the treating of pilonidal cyst.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person suffering from infected pilonidal sinus is fit to seek the help of doctors. An individual should immediately visit the doctor when he/she feels pain around the area or finds the cyst to be swollen or red. If blood or pus is discharged from the tract one should address the doctor. Other symptoms of infection include multiple dents in the skin or profuse hair growth around the sinus.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

The existence of pilonidal sinus, or the little hole in the skin under which the tail bone is placed, is not an uncommon factor. But a person having pilonidal sinus may not seek treatment until and unless it is infected and develops into a pus-filled cyst or abscess.

Are there any side effects?

There are very few side effects of pilonidal sinus treatment, except for the fact that post-operation the patient might feel some agony which can be easily tackled by pain killers that a doctor might prescribe.

Other than that in rare cases pilonidal sinus infection might recur even after surgery.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The surgeon might prescribe pain killers to a patient who has undergone surgery to reduce the amount of post-operation discomfort. Other than that, depending on the intensity of the ailment, a patient could be asked to stay away from cumbersome activities for a few weeks.

Patients with dressed wound should clean the area daily and those who have received stitches shall avoid bathing for a few days. (In this case a doctor’s advice should be taken). A damp dressing should always be replaced by a dry one. An individual should wash the area gently, and keep it dry. Talcum powder or harsh soaps shall not be used. Patients should wear airy undergarments. Eating food rich in fiber is also recommended for people who tend to develop pilonidal cyst.

How long does it take to recover?

A patient can recover within 4 weeks from treatment or might take more than 10 weeks to recuperate, based on the type of treatment and the intensity of the ailment.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

In India the cost for pilonidal cyst surgery starts from Rs 35,000 and can go up to Rs 90,000 based on the facility and the treatment required.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Wide excision pilonidal sinus (infected) surgery has higher success rates than other procedures. If the patient maintains proper hygiene after surgery the chances of recurrence decrease, but in some cases the condition can develop again.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are people who do not wish to face the difficulties of surgery. For this lot homeopathy medicines are available; other than that patients can also opt for home remedies like warm compress three to four times a day. Natural remedies include application of garlic, neem, (Indian lilac) turmeric or aloe vera paste on the affected area. Apple cider vinegar (which could be either consumed or applied) and castor oil are other natural components containing anti-inflammatory properties that can heal the affected area.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 18 year old and suffering from pilonidal sinus from past 2-3 months recently from yesterday it is paining on sitting and blood and pus is also coming out from between the buttocks.

M.S. (Ayurveda), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Delhi
Pilonidal sinus can not be treated by oral medicines so usually, surgery is advised in pilonidal sinus patients. But surgery is not the right choice for the reason of the recurrence of pilonidal sinus after surgery and other complications. However...

What is the cost of pilonidal sinus surgery, if the wound or affected area is about to 4-5 cms in length.

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopathy Doctor, Vadodara
It can be cured by homoeopathic treatment. The cost should be 2000 around. Major benefits is permanent solution. After surgery it can occur again.

Dear sir, maine 3 - 4 saal pehle pilonidal sinus ka operation karwaya tha fir ab present mein mere sharir mein thakan aur main kafi jyada slim ho gaya hu. Back se matlab kulhe se ruyi si nikalti hai baalo ke saath, kya mujhe operation nhi karwana chahiye tha. Please help me sir. Aur yeh bhi bataye steel ke filter pani ke liye shi hai kya ya hindustan unilever ka filter shi hai. Woh paani mujhe nuksandayak dikh raha hai.

MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Chennai
Pilonidal sinus aap ko rab rehne ke karan, aap ka operation kiya gaya he. Aap ko yeh samajh na hoga ki abhi koi infection ke karan aap ko aise nikal rha he. Sab se behtar ho ga ki aap paas mein koi surgeon se consult karlenge to wahi shi rahega. F...

Hi Dr. .what would you prescribe for pilonidal sinus .went to a surgeon friend he just listened did not see the area and prescribed cefuroxime tabs fot 7 days .i have a boil like thing between the buttocks for quite sometime heals ans come up again.

MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Chennai
Did your surgeon tell you that it is a pilonidal sinus? If it is, then that is the course of the treatment. Initial course of antibiotics, then after the infection subsides, we have to do imaging studies with a mri to understand the course of the ...

I have around but I am confused between pilonidal cyst or its a infection? I am 22 years old and I am a female.

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Delhi
It's called a pilonidal cyst, and it can become infected and filled with pus. Once infected, the technical term is “pilonidal abscess,” and it can be painful. It looks like a large pimple at the bottom of your tailbone. If your cyst becomes a prob...

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