Pilonidal Cyst Removal: Should You Get Surgery?

surgeons performing a surgery

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  • Some surgeons recommend completely removing the cyst to stop it from filling up with fluids again
  • While surgical removal of a pilonidal cyst is usually recommended to significantly lower your risk of developing one again, surgery also poses a handful of health risks

One of the treatment options for a pilonidal cyst is surgery, where a colorectal surgeon either drains the cyst or removes it to stop it from refilling. However, before getting a cystectomy, you should consider the length of time required for recovery and the cost for the surgery itself.

Different Types of Pilonidal Cyst Surgery

There are numerous ways on how to remove a pilonidal cyst or help speed up its healing process. Some surgeons recommend completely removing the cyst to stop it from filling up with fluids again. Although this might be logically sound, it may also have physical repercussions. Some of the options that you can choose from are:

  • Lancing: Draining a pilonidal cyst may be done by making a small incision into the abscess, allowing the pus and other debris to drain out of the cyst. Once all the liquid is removed, the cyst is then packed with sterile gauze.1 However, 85 percent of patients who get their cysts drained suffer from the condition again as the cavity fills up with debris again.2
  • Marsupialization: Doctors cut a slit on the portion of skin that covers the cyst. The edges of the wound are then sutured down to the base of the wound. This will leave the wound open to heal. Patients who choose this type of removal will need a longer recovery time. This will also leave a sizeable dent in the sacral area.3
  • Incision and drainage: The cyst is removed, but the wound will not be closed. This will let it heal on its own, which will normally take about two months.
  • Incision, drainage, closing of wound: This entails the draining of the cyst and the wound is closed by the surgeon.4
  • Cleft lift: Developed by Dr. John Bascom in the 1970s, cleft lifting consists of a doctor making the natal cleft – where pilonidal cysts usually grow – shallower. This will lower the chance of debris and moisture buildup.5

Possible Complications and Risk Factors of Pilonidal Cyst Removal

While surgical removal of a pilonidal cyst is usually recommended to significantly lower your risk of developing one again, surgery also poses a handful of health risks. If you’re considering getting your pilonidal cyst removed, you should be knowledgeable about the complications that you could be facing. Some of these include:

  • Risks with anesthesia use: During cyst removal, the area around the cyst might be put under local anesthesia. It should be noted that anesthesia use has a wide array of complications, including allergic reactions and possible overdose.6
  • Infection or bleeding: There is the possibility of suffering from an after-procedure infection if the wound is not properly taken care of. Bleeding during the operation may be heightened by blood thinning medications. Before going through a pilonidal removal, make sure that you consult a medical practitioner on what medications you should stop to avoid unnecessary blood loss.7
  • Cyst reoccurrence: While it decreases the possibility of a pilonidal cystreemergence, surgery does not totally erase the risk. It still boils down to maintaining proper hygiene and maintaining good physical health.

MORE ABOUT PILONIDAL CYST

Pilonidal Cyst: Introduction

What Is a Pilonidal Cyst?

Pilonidal Cyst Symptoms

Pilonidal Cyst Causes

Pilonidal Cyst Treatment

Pilonidal Cyst Surgery

Pilonidal Cyst Prevention

Pilonidal Cyst Diet

Pilonidal Cyst FAQ

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