Lenox Hill Surgeons

Surgical Treatments for Pilonidal Cysts

Pilonidal-CystA pilonidal cyst is a cyst located at the coccyx and they can present a problem if they become infected and pus filled. If this happens then it becomes a pilonidal abscess and these can be very painful. Initially, a pilonidal cyst looks like a pimple over the coccyx. They occur more in men than women and more in the young than the old. There is some evidence to show that a sedentary lifestyle or job can raise an individual’s risk of developing a pilonidal cyst; it also makes it more likely that they will develop into pilonidal abscesses.

Incision and Drainage

This is the standard procedure for dealing with pilonidal abscesses. The area of the abscess is anesthetized using a local anesthetic. An incision is then made in the abscess, the abscess is drained, and then any hair follicles within are removed. The wound is then left opened and packed with gauze.

This is a simple procedure performed at a pilonidal cyst surgery clinic and because it uses a local anesthetic, there is almost no chance of complications. The drawback is that the patient will need to change and dress the wound properly themselves until the cyst heals, which is usually around three weeks.


Pilonidal-CystThis is a method similar to the incision and drainage method, but after performing the procedure, still under local anesthesia, the edges of the cut are sewn to the edges of the wound to make a sort of pouch.

This is an outpatient procedure that doesn’t require dressing to be changed every day. However, it takes roughly twice as long to heal and the technique is considered obscure, meaning not all doctors will perform it.

Incision, Drainage, and Closing

Pilonidal-CystIn this method, once the cyst is drained, it is then closed surgically. Again, this method doesn’t require any packing of gauze and thus requires no action on the part of the patient post-op. The drawbacks of this method are that the cyst is more likely to cause problems further down the road.

After Surgery Care

Following the removal of a pilonidal cyst, it is important that patients are advised properly in postoperative care. They need to ensure that they keep the wound clean and know how to check for signs of infection.

Pilonidal cyst surgery is a simple procedure which has a minimal recovery time. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the most suitable method for you and will show you how to properly dress and redress the wound, but if you need any advice, drop by our pilonidal cyst surgery clinic.

Contact us at 646-846-1136 to schedule an appointment.

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