One of the conditions that the pediatric surgeon Dr. Stovroff and the Children’s Surgical Associates in Atlanta, Georgia, commonly treat is a pilonidal cyst. Because these cysts occur directly above the tailbone on the buttocks, many people avoid getting help for them until they are in severe pain and unable to sit down. And then, there are usually no other options for treating them besides a pilonidal cystectomy. So this article will discuss more information about who is most at risk for getting pilonidal cysts and some treatment and prevention methods that can help.
What is Pilonidal Cyst?
A pilonidal cyst is an infected lump that occurs at the very end of the tailbone from the hair follicles being pressed into the skin for a long period of time. The hairs are very irritating to the delicate skin in this region, so the body’s immune system responds with inflammation, swelling, and pus. This makes the small, irritated area turn into a large cyst.
What Causes A Pilonidal Cyst?
These cysts happen most often in men who have to sit for hours at a time, but boys going through puberty get them frequently too. Women and girls in puberty are not affected by this condition as often. There is a genetic predisposition to these lesions and clearly a relationship with how hirsute (hairy) you are.
How are Pilonidal Cysts Treated?
If a person seeks help from pediatric surgeon Dr. Stovroff and the Children’s Surgical Associates in Atlanta, Georgia, right away, then this type of cyst can be easily treated by lancing it. This is done by first carefully cleaning the cyst to avoid the risk of infection. Then, an anesthetic is injected around it. And finally, a small incision is made in the center of the cyst. This allows the fluid that has built up to drain out. The embedded hairs that are causing the source of irritation have to be removed too. Unfortunately, this condition has a high recurrence rate though. So if lancing the cyst doesn’t help, a pilonidal cystectomy has to be performed. This refers to the surgical removal of the entire cyst and some of the infected tissue that is closest to it. The wound can either be primarily closed or left open.
What Happens During the Recovery From the Treatment?
Once the pediatric surgeon Dr. Stovroff performs the pilonidal cystectomy, the area is going to be sore. So the wound will have to be cared for properly. This requires doing a wet to dry dressing change on a daily basis. In some cases the incision may be closed primarily to which no significant care is required. The healing process takes about four to six weeks.
How are Pilonidal Cysts Prevented?
There are several ways to help prevent a pilonidal cyst from forming. First of all, it helps to take breaks from sitting every few hours. Even just ten minutes of walking around will ease the irritation to the tailbone. Next, keep the area as clean as possible by bathing daily. And lastly, consider shaving or waxing the tailbone regularly to remove any ingrown hairs.