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
- Get your Pilonidal Disease treated by an expertYou would think that surgeons would be more willing to refer when they’re out of their comfort zone Andrew is a college student who aspires to be a doctor. Hours of study made the pilonidal abscess that he had sinceContinue reading “Get your Pilonidal Disease treated by an expert”
- Surgeons, Don’t Do That. Please!Lori is a vibrant woman in her 20s who lives in the Southwest of the United Sates. In her late teens she began to develop Pilonidal Disease. Abscesses would flare a few times a year. They would swell, pop, andContinue reading “Surgeons, Don’t Do That. Please!”
- ‘I’m overwhelmed with relief ‘Thanks to Dr. Sternberg I have a new shot at a normal life. For five years I had to deal with a never ending leaking wound on my backside that never went away, until now. From start to finish, everyContinue reading “‘I’m overwhelmed with relief ‘”
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