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Pilonidal Cyst Removal: The procedure, risks, complications, preparations

  • Posted on- Sep 26, 2016
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Written by site author.

A Pilonidal Cyst Removal procedure involves the surgical removal of the pilonidal cyst. The pilonidal cyst is a benign cyst filled with hair and skin debris, located close to the tailbone in the upper part of the buttock. The cyst can be very painful, which is usually caused by the cyst becoming infected. The Pilonidal Cyst Removal procedure involves the surrounding parts of the tailbone (lower back region).

What are the reasons behind pilonidal cyst removal procedure?

A Pilonidal Cyst Removal procedure is performed for the following reasons:

  • Relieve pain associated with an infected pilonidal cyst
  • Prevent an infection from spreading

How a pilonidal cyst removal procedure is performed?

  • The Pilonidal Cyst Removal procedure maybe performed under local anaesthesia
  • The patient lies face down on the operating table. The buttocks are held gently separated to expose the pilonidal cyst
  • After numbing the area with local anaesthetic, a probe is passed to find the extent of the sinus (a sinus is a space that is formed in the tissue)
  • After identifying the cyst and sinus, the diseased tissue is removed
  • The wound may then be either sutured or left open to heal slowly

A general surgeon performs a pilonidal cyst removal procedure. The procedure may take up to an hour to perform.

Preparations needed before a pilonidal cyst removal procedure

  • The physician may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient including information related to the medications that are currently being taken
  • Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time before the procedure is performed
  • Blood tests may be performed to determine if there is a bleeding tendency or any other medical conditions that prevents the person from undergoing the procedure
  • Inform the physician if you are allergic to any local anaesthetics, lidocaine, etc.
  • Avoid application of any cosmetics, deodorant, or topical medicines on the area prior to the procedure
  • It is advisable to quit smoking and the use of any nicotine based products for a while before the surgery Consumption of alcoholic drinks must also be avoided for a period of time, as instructed
  • The patient must avoid eating or drinking at least 8 hours prior to the surgical procedure, depending on when the procedure is arranged
  • For individuals suffering from diabetes, it is important that the blood sugar stays within the normal range if not, their diabetologist may have to control blood sugar by recommending insulin or a combination of oral medicines

Diagnostic lab tests needed before a pilonidal cyst removal procedure

Before a pilonidal cyst removal, the patient has to undergo certain tests such as:

Risks and complications during pilonidal cyst removal surgical procedure

The possible risks or complications that may arise during the pilonidal cyst removal surgery are:
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection surrounding the surgical wound
  • Anaesthetic complications

Risks and complications after pilonidal cyst removal surgical procedure

The possible risks and complications that may arise after a pilonidal cyst removal surgery are:
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Slow healing
  • Recurrence of the cyst
  • Infection within the surgical wound

Post-operative care needed after pilonidal cyst removal surgical procedure

At home, the following post-operative care is recommended after a pilonidal cyst removal procedure:
  • Slowly resume daily activities as early as possible, which aids in faster recovery
  • Avoid all activities that are physically strenuous for up to 6 weeks after the surgery
  • Wash the surgical wound with a mild soap while bathing and keep it dry thereafter
  • Avoid drying the area surrounding the surgical wound with a towel
  • Replace dressing often, if the surgical wound is left uncovered to heal
  • Sit on a padded cushion to help relieve any discomfort
  • Complete the course of prescribed medication as advised by your physician
  • Take stool softeners to prevent constipation, per the physician’s advice
  • Take antibiotic medication to help combat or prevent infection, per your physician’s advice
  • Resume driving 1 week after being discharged from the healthcare facility or, when advised by your physician
  • Avoid sex till a complete healing has taken place (under advise by the physician)
  • Individuals are advised to have to clear liquids immediately after surgery, until the gastrointestinal tract begins properly functioning. They may then proceed to have a well-balanced diet, which can aid in a faster recovery
  • Also, one’s fluid intake may be increased to prevent constipation and stress during bowel movements and urination


user profile image
17-01-2018 11:52 AM

I had the surgery 17 years ago when I was 16 and the dr removed a big lump of hair (so he told my father). Also he said he went deep in there to find the gland and remove it. My healing was tough and I’m all these years I haven’t had a problem.

user profile image
12-12-2017 05:29 AM

I had surgery 4 years from today & the first surgery came out to be the worst surgery ever. Pilonidal cyst came back again after surgery went through the worst pain ever.

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