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Pilonidal Sinus: Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery and Prevention

7 mins read

A pilonidal sinus refers to a small tunnel, that occurs at the top of the buttocks crease. Trapped hair can lead to an abscess and this may result in a pilonidal sinus. Many people feel embarrassed mentioning this condition. However, it is highly important that you get the best treatment for pilonidal sinus as soon as possible.

Pilonidal sinus comes with a lot of discomfort and irritation. It sometimes resolves on its own. But many people require proper treatment to get rid of the disease.

Here in this article, we are going to discuss how PNS (pilonidal sinus disease) is diagnosed, its treatment, recovery afterward and prevention techniques. No doubt there exist a lot of questions including those about pilonidal sinus laser treatment cost and is pilonidal sinus treatment without operation possible.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis involves a full physical examination, where the doctor checks the crease of the buttocks for signs of the disease. It looks like a pimple and should be visible to the naked eye.

Going further, the doctor asks you whether the cyst changed in appearance and did it drain fluid. S/he may also ask you about any other symptoms experienced.

A CT or MRI may be required to look for sinus cavities that may form under the skin surface, though it’s very rare.

Pilonidal sinus
Pilonidal Sinus Formation

Pilonidal Sinus Treatment

Treatment depends upon factors such as the following:

  • A pilonidal cyst experienced in the past
  • Whether or not you had any other skin issues in the same area – an abscess or a sinus
  • How quickly you are recovering

So what are the treatment options?

Depending upon the severity of the condition, pilonidal sinus treatment without surgery is also possible. Conservative treatment, lancing and phenol injection are some of the treatment options.

Conservative treatment

If the condition is in its early stage and pain is not much, with no sign of inflammation, then your doctor will most likely prescribe some medication to treat the bacteria. This does not heal the sinus tract. But it gives immense relief from the discomfort and the infection.

The doctor suggests a follow-up exam, regular removal of hair from the site and maintenance of hygiene.

Lancing

Lancing alleviates symptoms from the abscess by removing the collection of pus inside the sinus. It involves the application of a local anesthetic and the use of a scalpel to open the abscess. The doctor then cleans away the hair, blood and pus from the abscess.

S/he’ll pack the wound with some sterile dressing to let it heal. The healing time is usually around 4 weeks and no more treatment is generally required after this.

Phenol Injection

Phenol is a chemical compound that works as an antiseptic. This type of treatment involves giving a local anesthetic and injecting phenol into the cyst. However, this procedure type needs to be done several times to make the lesion hard and eventually close. Also, the rate of recurrence with this treatment is very high.

Pilonidal Sinus

Pilonidal Sinus Treatment Surgery

Surgery is the only option when the PNS keeps on recurring, or when there is more than one sinus tract.

The surgery for pilonidal sinus involves giving a local anesthetic, opening the lesions, and removing all pus and debris. Finally, the wounds are stitched. The doctor will guide you on how to change dressings. Shaving the site is recommended to prevent any hair from growing into that wound.

It’s a common question – is laser treatment for pilonidal sinus available. So yes, laser pilonidal sinus treatment is also there. Laser therapy is another way of dealing with PNS. It helps remove the hair which may become ingrown. Thus, laser treatment prevents the development of more pilonidal cysts.

Recovery

So we see, that there are several pilonidal sinus treatment options. Talking of recovery, if a patient undergoes surgery, s/he can return home the same day. 2-3 weeks are required to return to work after pilonidal sinus surgery.

Further, people should clear all doubts with their doctor to know when they can return to regular activities and exercise.

It is important to keep the wound clean and dry. Dressings should be used for open wounds. It is also essential to keep the wound area and the crease of the buttocks free from hair.

How to prevent Pilonidal Sinus?

The following steps can help you prevent PNS:

  • Regular washing and drying of the buttocks for keeping the area clean.
  • Losing weight in case you are overweight, as being in the right weight lowers the risk of PNS.
  • Avoid sitting for too long. This will prevent pressure in that area.
  • Once a week, you may shave the area around the buttocks to avoid getting ingrown hair.

We at Medfin, the Surgery expert team, offer you access to the latest and most advanced treatment for elective surgeries at the most affordable costs. Our Personal Medfin assistants answer all your concerns related to surgery and ensure that your needs are met in your entire medical journey. 

To consult an expert Medfin surgeon near you, please call us on 7026200200. You can also WhatsApp us on 9986828963 (click here to initiate a whatsapp chat).

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Author: Surbhi JainContent writer, who has experience in writing on varying niches, healthcare being one of her favorites. She's an MBA in finance and her other interests include dance, music and sports.

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