What is a Pilonidal Cyst?
If you suffer from this condition, you know what this is. You also know that nobody wants to talk about it. Especially you. It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing. So let’s get down to business so you can find out what you need to know and how we can help. Then you won’t ever need to talk about it again.
A pilonidal cyst is an abnormal collection of hair, sweat, and lint that accumulates in pores in the cleft over the tailbone. People who are hairier than average and have a deep buttock cleavage (butt crack) are uniquely qualified to suffer from this condition.
The cyst forms as a result of the skin at the cleavage point over the tailbone flattening and re-bending repeatedly in the course of daily living. So in other words, the tension in your butt crack creates the conditions for the cyst. This tension stretches out the sweat glands in the midline. As you go from sitting to standing, your butt cheeks create a suction-like effect that basically vacuums in lint and hair fragments, collecting the unpleasant contents of the cyst. This creates a cavity that gets larger and larger with time.
Why Does It Matter?
Pilonidal cysts develop a lump that becomes a problem when performing sit-up-like activities, but more importantly the accumulated debris eventually creates infection. You know you have this infection when you have severe pain from abscesses, and they generally need to be drained as an emergency. Once an abscess is drained, the cyst cavity continues to exist. The cycle starts all over again. The unique anatomy creates the suction of abnormal material, and the problem sometimes creates chronic infection and the drainage of pus and blood.
People with this problem can experience weekly flare ups or just a couple of times a year. While cancer can result when a person does not have access to good medical care, for most people, pilonidal cysts are just an ongoing nuisance. We can help.
What Do I Need To Do About It?
The first step in is usually to drain an abscess. This is best done with an incision off of the midline. When these are drained with an incision in the midline, they frequently will have a very prolonged healing period in a really inconvenience location that’s hard to take care of. Once the infection has cleared, a surgeon can remove the abnormal pores and rearrange the skin so that the cleavage point can no longer produce more of these cysts.
Where Can I Get Help?
At Cascade Hernia & Surgical Solutions, we have helped more than 1,000 patients with pilonidal cysts. We can help you determine the appropriate steps for your care and find the right timing for surgical intervention.
- Flap Advancement Closure—If you have had an open wound for a long time, you may need a flap advancement closure to help your wound to heal.
- Abscess Drainage—Or, you may need only an incision and drainage of the abscess. Doing this proactively, in an operating room with intravenous sedation is a better route than waiting for an emergency room experience.
- Cyst Removal—If you’re ready for pilonidal cyst removal, a surgeon performs this procedure in an operating room while you are under general anesthetic. After removing the cyst and its site of origin, the surgeon rearranges the skin to eliminate the cleavage point over the tailbone. The procedure takes about an hour.
Why Should I Pursue Surgery Now?
If you are in horrible pain and can’t sit, you may need to get the cyst drained in an emergency room setting. But it’s best to be proactive and tackle your pilonidal cyst before it’s an emergency. That way, you will control the timing of your procedure in a convenient outpatient setting. That means more personalized care, lower costs and a lower risk of infection.
Whether you’re experiencing extreme pain or just ongoing discomfort and embarrassment, you likely need to explore a long-term surgical solution to your unpleasant condition. Pilonidal cyst removal will eliminate the ongoing threat of chronic infection, the discomfort and the utter unpleasantness of this condition. Then you’ll never need to talk about it again.
Please contact us to arrange an appointment or evaluation.