The notion of a pilonidal cyst is incorrect. It’s not a pilonidal cyst, it’s a pilonidal infection. If there’s a tract that drains intermittently or always it’s correctly termed a pilonidal sinus. Put more simply and inclusively, all pilonidal problems can be lumped together as pilonidal disease.
The symptoms may include pain, drainage, smell, swelling, and in its most severe form fever, redness of the affected area, and inability to sit.
If you are reading this website, you are probably looking for a better way to treat your pilonidal disease. Please our patient explainer.
Pilonidal problems are caused by factors associated with a deep valley or cleft between one’s buttock cheeks in an area termed the natal cleft. Sitting or trauma ruptures hair follicles in the middle of this cleft and they become plugged with a protein called keratin and eventually rupture in the under-skin space (called the subcutaneous space). Hair often becomes entrapped in the abscess over time and a draining sinus tract can eventually form (often above and to one side of the cleft).
The diagnosis is usually quite straightforward, but the doctor must understand the fundamentals of pilonidal disease in order to recognize it. Many don’t, and misdiagnoses are common.
Treatment consists of simple drainage for acute or first-time pilonidal abscesses. Once the condition has been present for many months or years and is not improving, surgery is usually required.
When choosing and operation and a surgeon, please do your research. The Cleft Lift Procedure is the only operation that I feel is appropriate for patients requiring pilonidal surgery. Please do your research. Choosing the correct operation and finding the right surgeon can be life changing in a positive way.
Meet Your Surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Sternberg
After many years performing major abdominal operations including open and laparoscopic resections for colon cancer, rectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative colitis, I have chosen to concentrate my efforts in a few highly specialized areas of surgery where I feel I can make the greatest positive impact on patients.
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Read success stories from surgery patients
- ‘I’m back to doing my daily activities again and even more’I honestly have no clue where to start. But long story short, the first time I started to notice my problem with Pilonidal Disease was back in December of 2018. Went to urgent care the next day and all theyContinue reading “‘I’m back to doing my daily activities again and even more’”
- Patient Prep: Traveling to San Francisco for Pilonidal care during COVID-19This has been a difficult eight months for all of us. The time has been particularly challenging for patients with Pilonidal Disease, particularly those who must to travel outside of their local medical community to find a surgeon who canContinue reading “Patient Prep: Traveling to San Francisco for Pilonidal care during COVID-19”
- ‘The “Guru” of pilonidal disease’Dr. Sternberg saved my son from years of problems and potential surgeries! He is an amazing doctor and we feel so fortunate to have been referred to him. My 16-year-old son had pilonidal disease and was treated at Urgent CareContinue reading “‘The “Guru” of pilonidal disease’”
Contact our San Francisco Office
To learn more about treating your Pilonidal Disease with surgery and the Cleft Lift procedure, contact our office staff for information or to schedule an appointment.
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Member of ASCRS, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation,
American College of Surgeons, and Pilonidal Support Alliance