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Pilonidal Sinus Treatment


Surgery is generally recommended where a pilonidal sinus has become infected. The aim of surgery is to allow the buildup of pus to drain from the sinus. Sometimes the sinus may become re-infected, in which case further surgery may be required to remove the affected tissue.

Due to the location of a pilonidal sinus it can be difficult for it to heal after surgery. For this reason, it is common to use a technique known as 'skin flap technique' which closes the wound in a way that maximises the chances of it healing properly.

The procedure itself generally takes 30-60 minutes to complete.

How should I prepare for surgery?

The day before admission we will contact you to confirm admission time and to give you instructions regarding any fasting requirements for the procedure. You should bring any x-rays in with you (and ensure you take them with you when you are discharged). Also bring any current medication in with you to the hospital.

For day procedures you should not drive yourself home when you are discharged – please ensure you have made other transport arrangements.

If you smoke, you should reduce smoking before your procedure. Our strong recommendation is that you give up entirely at least 6 weeks before the procedure, or at least one week beforehand. Smoking greatly increases the possibility of chest infection and hampers natural wound healing.

In the case of major surgery, please inform Dr White's team if you take:

  • Warfarin.
  • Aspirin.
  • Plavix.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication.

We will need to discuss these medications with you prior to your surgery.

Dr White will provide you with a full set of pre-operative instructions for your specific surgery well ahead of the day of surgery.

Recovery Guidelines

Dr White will provide you with detailed guidelines as to how to care for the wound after surgery, to prevent possible infection and minimise the chances of recurrence. The recovery period can vary, although it is typically 2-8 weeks.

Surgical Risks

All types of surgery are subject to the following risks, which are rare, but can occur:

  • Allergic reaction to medication / anaesthetic.
  • Bleeding.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Infection.

Risks specifically related to pilonidal surgery include:

  • Formation of an abscess.
  • Pilonidal cyst recurrence.
  • Development of squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer) in the cyst – this is rare.

When you should contact Dr White

Most surgical procedures are uneventful, with minimal complications. However, you need to be aware of the following symptoms as they may indicate a developing serious complication...

  • Fever.
  • Excess bleeding.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Severe or increasing pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms or have any concerns after your surgery, please contact the rooms on 07 5598 0955 for advice.

A post operative appointment will be made for you before you are discharged from hospital. If you are discharged on a weekend, after normal surgery hours or it is not clear what follow up appointments are required, then contact the rooms the next working day to make an appointment.