Every person would want to experience being a couch potato at least during the weekends, especially after five days of stress and tiredness. But as much as you want to sit all day and not get up in your soft and warm cushion, this would not be very possible if you have pilonidal cysts. Yes—you heard it right, pilonidal cysts are a bummer most especially if you want to spend 24 hours in front of your home theater watching your favorite flicks.
Pilonidal cysts are basically pus-containing inflammations which develop in the sacral or coccygeal areas—that is, in the area about a few centimeters above the cleft of the buttocks. Pilonidal cysts are literally a pain in the butt. If you have a pilonidal cyst, you would get up on your seat or couch frequently or turn your butt to the other side to prevent your cysts from being compressed or further traumatized.
Pilonidal cysts are not congenital—they are acquired conditions and most often than not result from too much and prolonged pressure to the sacral area. Our skin is composed of hair follicles and with trauma or pressure, these hair follicles may puncture into the skin and cause inflammation. If you want to get more information, read my other article about what are pilonidal cysts.
There are a number of ways you can treat a pilonidal cyst. If you have only a simple, not inflamed, dimple or sinus tract you do not need any immediate treatment.
If it’s not the case you must take a consultation. Upon consultation, the physician may prescribe some antibiotics to treat the inflammation and further bacterial infection. Pain relievers may also be prescribed but this is a symptomatic treatment. The most common form of treatment to accurately get rid of these cysts is through a surgical procedure called incision and drainage.
An inflamed pilonidal cyst is basically an abscess, therefore requires incision and drainage in order to improve. The procedure is fairly simple, but you must go through it. First of all, an anesthetic agent will be given to the area of affection. Afterwards, the surgeon, with the use of a scalpel will incise the skin in order to expose the cyst and remove the pus, hair, and other skin debris inside the cystic formation. Once everything has been drained, the surgeon will either close the incision or just leave it unstitched and just covered with gauze. This procedure can be done even in the outpatient department or in the clinic of the surgeon and no specific preparation is needed before it is performed.
Here is a video with the surgical procedure of removing of a pilonidal cyst.
After the surgery, the patient may leave the clinic as soon as possible. No further admission to the hospital is needed since the procedure is in fact an outpatient procedure. The patient will have to take pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics to prevent discomforts during recovery.
Wound care is also an important aspect during the post-surgical phase. Thus, it is important that the patient, as well as his or her caregiver is given correct instructions on how to perform wound care effectively in order prevent recurrence, infection and further complications. Try to keep the wound area clean and your sacrococcygeal area hair-free to increase your chances of preventing recurrence.
Sitz baths are recommended after the packing has been removed. Also, don’t worry about skin marks because the wound will heal and close on its own in almost all cases.
Full recovery may take from several days to weeks depending on the form of surgery performed. For cases where the wound is closed after drainage, recovery would take a lot faster while for cases wherein the wound is left open and allowing the insides to heal first would take several weeks.