Pilonidal Disease Treatment


Pilonidal disease is an infected growth that develops in between the buttocks. Body hair and other debris may cause pores in this region to become clogged and infected, resulting in a pilonidal cyst or abscess. Treatment for pilonidal disease varies, but incision and drainage or excision of the abscess are typically recommended. 

Pilonidal Disease Drainage And Excision

Cleaning the affected area with antibacterial soap or ethyl alcohol several times a day can mitigate minor cases of pilonidal disease. Patients susceptible to recurrent growths should pay special attention to their personal hygiene, keeping the area shaved and free of hair. 

Extensive cases of pilonidal disease may require antibiotics, incision and drainage, or surgical excision. After evaluating your clinical situation, a West Valley Colon and Rectal Surgery Center physician will determine the best treatment option. The two surgical procedures for pilonidal disease include:

  • Incision and Drainage: An incision and drainage is typically performed in-office with the use of a local anesthetic. During the procedure, a physician opens the pilonidal cyst or abscess with a sterile surgical blade to encourage drainage. Following the procedure, the growth is allowed to heal. Although this symptomatic therapy helps relieve discomfort, it is not curative.
  • Excision: A surgical excision is an outpatient procedure that removes a pilonidal growth completely. The wound may be closed with sutures or be left to heal on its own. The healing process is usually slow, taking anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Although recurrences are possible, surgical excision eventually treats the disease.