Pilonidal surgery

This procedure aims to remove the pits, with embedded hairs, in the cleft of your bottom.

Q: Why would I need the operation?

You may have had a severe infection of the pilonidal sinus before (ie. developing an abscess that drained) and the sinus has not healed completely. You may experience ongoing discharge from the sinus(es).  If you do not have surgery, the sinus is at risk of developing an abscess later on.

Q: What symptoms would you experience with this problem?

The sinus may develop an abscess.  With this you would experience severe pain and possibly develop a fever.  If it is not infected, you may experience continual discharge from the sinus.

Q: How do I know for sure that I have the condition and therefore need this operation?

You will experience the above symptoms and your surgeon will examine you to confirm this.

Q: What scar will I have and what does the procedure involve?

Depending on the severity of the sinus(es), you will have a vertical scar on your backside. A drain may be put in during the operation, which is often removed 12-24 hours later.  The procedure itself often takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Q: What anaesthetic will I have and do I have a choice?

This is usually done under general anaesthetic.

Q: What are the possible complications and what are the chances that they will occur?

The risk of this procedure depends on how severe the sinuses are.   Complications include: infection, wound coming apart and rarely recurrence of the sinuses requiring further surgery.

Q: What can I expect after the operation?

You may have a drain in which will be removed 12-24 hours later. You are usually in hospital overnight only.  Try and keep the area clean after hte operation to avoid infection.

Q: How long should I be off work?

This will depend on the nature of your occupation, but usually a week is sufficient.

Q: When will I see my surgeon for review?

The surgeon usually reviews you 2 and 6 weeks after the operation.