Pilonidal cysts are abnormal pockets of tissue, which form in the upper part of the gluteal cleft (e.g., the upper region of the buttocks). Sometimes, these cysts can become infected or inflamed, leading to significant pain. At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, we boast a team of experienced pilonidal cyst doctors who can treat this uncomfortable pathology and also perform any surgical reconstruction work that is required for the surrounding skin. We invite you to learn more about the work of our pilonidal cyst doctors.

What Causes Pilonidal Cysts?

While the exact cause of pilonidal cysts remains unclear, it is generally assumed that the problem stems from loose hairs that penetrate the skin. Friction and pressure force those hairs deeper into the skin; meanwhile, dirt and debris cause the cysts to become inflamed, potentially leading to painful, swollen, and red abscesses.

Perineal sinus tracts may also be involved. These are small holes or tunnels under the skin that run in a vertical direction between the buttocks.

What are the Symptoms of Pilonidal Disease?

There are a number of common signs that indicate a pilonidal cyst has become infected and requires treatment. The most common symptoms of infected pilonidal cysts include:

  • Pain
  • Redness of the skin
  • Drainage of blood or pus from the opening of the skin
  • A foul smell that emanates from the pus

If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend contacting the pilonidal cyst doctors at Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, to find out more about treatment options.

Diagnosing Pilonidal Disease

During your initial appointment with Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, you will receive a physical examination from your doctor. This will include an examination of the creases of your buttocks, where pilonidal cysts form. If you have these cysts, they should be visible to the naked eye, allowing your doctor to offer a prompt diagnosis.

You can also expect that your doctor will ask some questions about your symptoms and about your medical history in general, to help guide the diagnosis and treatment plan.

Meet Your Reconstructive Surgeons

Thrive Reconstructive Surgery is a practice that is devoted to tackling difficult cases and solving complex problems. This focus has led us to develop skills in a number of less-common pathologies, including infected pilonidal cysts. We are pleased to be trusted pilonidal cyst doctors serving patients.

How Do You Treat a Pilonidal Cyst?

Treatment for pilonidal disease typically involves local or generalized anesthesia. An incision is made for the abscess to be drained. After this, the remaining cavity is debrided, which means damaged, or inflamed tissue is removed from the body.

The next step is to reconstruct the skin and tissue surrounding the wound. This is most often done using fasciocutaneous flaps (includes skin, subcutaneous tissue, and underlying fascia). There are many techniques for creating a flap, including a rhomboid flap and a V-Y advancement flap. An incision is made into the healthy surrounding tissue and rotated/advanced into the defect before being closed.

Following your surgery, you may be left with stitches that hold your new skin flap in place, ensuring complete healing. Your provider will give you detailed instructions on recovery and wound care, and also alert you to any steps you can take to prevent the further occurrence of pilonidal cysts.

Post Surgery and Recovery from Pilonidal Disease

The recovery timeline for pilonidal disease patients can vary. If you have your wound closed with stitches, you can expect that it will take about four weeks for the surgical site to heal completely. If the site is left open, recovery time may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Following the removal of a pilonidal abscess, some minor scarring is common. At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, we can help you ensure a scar that softens with time, resulting in minimal visibility.

For most patients, we recommend taking two to four weeks to rest and recover before resuming your normal activities. It is important to ensure your wound has entirely healed before you return to robust physical activity, including strenuous exercise.

Your provider will share some detailed instructions about how to care for your wound site and also provide a prescription for pain relief as needed. During recovery, you are welcome to resume your normal diet but may want to shift to bland foods if you experience an upset stomach.

Learn More About Recovery from Pilonidal Cysts

At Thrive Reconstructive Surgery, we specialize in providing relief and reconstruction for patients batting pilonidal cysts. Our surgeons are problem solvers, ready to tackle even the most complex cases. If you have experienced pain or discomfort from pilonidal cysts, we welcome you to contact our offices.