Pilonidal Sinus: What do you need to know

Pilonidal disease is actually a very common condition, but most people won’t notice it unless it has become infected. A pilonidal sinus is a small tunnel or hole, situated where the buttocks separate and treatment typically involves surgery, but even after surgery, there is a possibility it could return.

Surgery for pilonidal sinus involves cutting it out and leaving it open to heal or stitching it up. Leaving it open to heal means longer recovery period with the need for regular dressings but it has a lower risk of it coming back. Stitching it after cutting it out means quicker recovery but a higher risk of recurrence.

What can you do to reduce the risk of pilonidal sinus coming back?

There are a few reasons why pilonidal sinus could return after surgery. It could be there was more than one sinus tract before surgery, but only one was identified and treated. The other could, therefore, start to cause problems if it remains undetected and untreated.

It’s also possible you could develop a recurrence from new hair growing back into the wound. It is therefore very important to keep the area free from hair and clean.

One option is to get a friend or family member to shave or trim the area between the buttocks to remove all the hair at regular intervals. Another option is to wax the area or seek laser treatment for removal of hair in that area. Some beauty clinics might be able to offer to laser hair removal. This involves multiples treatments depending on the amount and colour of hair.

Ways to prevent pilonidal sinus from returning

Making sure you choose the right treatment option is one of the first steps to prevent recurrence. There are different types of treatments available and some do have a much better long-term success rate than others. Choosing a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon who can advise you on the best treatment option for you is essential.

New pilonidal sinus laser treatment

A new technique of treating Pilonidal sinus disease offered at the Leicester Bowel Clinic involves one or two operations with no cuts by using pilonidal sinus laser treatment. If you wish to discuss the PiLAC (Pilonidal Sinus Laser Assisted Closure) treatment, please contact the Leicester Bowel Clinic for a consultation.