Pilonidal Sinus – Symptoms
Symptoms for pilonidal sinus do not show up until it becomes infected. Generally, a sinus appears like a lump when touched at the cleft right above the buttocks. When the sinus becomes infected, it can show symptoms like
- Redness, swelling of the lump
- Bleeding or leaking pus
- Pain when sitting or standing
- Hair protruding from the lesion
- Multiple cysts and tracts
You may also experience low fever but this is uncommon.
Pilonidal Sinus – Causes
Men are more likely to get pilonidal sinuses due to presence of hair in the buttock region. The reasons for occurrence of pilonidal sinuses are
- Pressure or friction between buttocks can cause the hair to be pushed inwards and inside the pilonidal sinus
- Tight clothing, cycling, long periods of sitting are likely causes for the hair to be pushed into the skin
- The body builds a cyst around the hair considering it to be a foreign substance which later develops into a sinus
Pilonidal Sinus – Diagnosis
Any general surgeon or proctologist can quickly identify and diagnose treatment for pilonidal sinuses on thorough examination of the lump and underlying symptoms of the patient.
Pilonidal Sinus – Treatment
The treatment for pilonidal sinus depends on the size of the sinus and the severity of the symptoms associated with it. Treatments are carried out under general / local anaesthesia with same day discharge. It takes 4-12 weeks for the wounds to heal depending on the size of the wound and the type of treatment.
- Incision and Drainage – A small hole is usually made in the sinus / abscess to drain the pus. This treatment is generally used for uncomplicated sinuses where the infection is not too severe.
- Large Incision and Open Healing – For large and recurring sinuses, a wide incision is made to cut out the sinus. The area is then left open to heal naturally.
- Wide Incision with Stitching together of the Flaps of Skin – This is the most permanent of the treatment options where the sinus is removed and the skin on either side is stitched together so as to flatten the cleft between the buttocks.
Pilonidal Sinus – Risks & Complications
The complications arise if chronic and repeatedly infected pilonidal sinuses aren’t treated properly. The treatment options are generally low risk and only carry risks associated with any other surgery.
Pilonidal Sinus – Pre Op Care
Depending on the type of anaesthesia, fasting rules will need to be followed.
Pilonidal Sinus – Post Op Care
- The wound due to surgery needs to heal properly. For this, the doctor may prescribe topical creams. The doctor will also give specific instructions on how to care for the wound and dressing it properly
- The area needs to be kept clean
- It is advised to wear comfortable, loose cotton clothing
- Plenty of roughage and fibre in food can help with bowel movement and avoid straining
Most people are able to return to work in 2 weeks after surgery.