Pilonidal Cyst Surgery and Recovery

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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.

What Are Pilonidal Cysts?

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.

How Can Pilonidal Cysts Be Treated?

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.

Incision and Drainage for Pilonidal Cysts

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.

Post-Surgical Care For Pilonidal Cysts

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.

Recovery Period for Pilonidal Cysts Surgery

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.




  1. i wanna know how i can go about getting rid of it for good please someone give me a call me and let me know how my number is 918 850 4331 thank you

  2. I want to know why was my husbands pilonidal cyst surgery like a nightmare? was it done rigHe felt everything i mean everything screaming grabbing me the bed sweating crying i was crying He kept saying the numbing is not working but the guy kept going I watched everything with him grabbing me and begging it to be over I have bruises from him squizing my arm, was this a quak doctor or is this normal it was litterally like a torture nightmare I cant get out of my head oh and it took 3 incisions before he found the spot to drain it I just thought is this guy doing this on purpose at one point I just yelled stop please stop ?

  3. If he was draining it, that is not surgery. Doctor should of gave him a local be for he tried to drain it. It still hurts BAD but if your husband did that to you I would say your husband needs to man up a little. No need to do that to you!!!

  4. i’m about to do the surgery soon but i am terrified i have never done surgery does anyone have any comforting words about the surgery please respond

  5. i have been living with a pilonidal cyst for over 3 years now have gone under to have it sergicaly removed and lanced and drained numerouse times in casualty at hospital and still have the problem

  6. I have had 2 surgeries for this so far. The first time it was stitched up but it came back and reopened. Now the doctor left it open and its been over 2 months, no signs of closing. I’ve dealt with this for 5months and idk what to do.

  7. katherine says:

    to anyone and everyone having this problem get it removed surgicaly im 20 and just had surgery its a pain no doubt. mine was the size of a tortilla…the wound i mean they made sure they got EVERYTHING out once and for all if you just drain it it will come back it varies could be months or years but it comes back and it will be even more painful there is nothig to be afraid of its been three weeks and my wound is now 6×2 :D its an open wound i promise youll be fine :D

  8. this is for kristal. How did surgery go? I am asking because my son is going to have surgery to remove one. Hoping all went well, would appreciate hearing your story. Thanks

  9. I had my surgery about a month ago. I had a midline flap procedure. Went under. Stitched and taped up. Had a pump to drain out the rest and it was removed by a nurse that came to my house 48 days post surgery. I didn’t really need to take my meds because the pain wasn’t really that bad. Had to lay on my side and whatnot. Couldn’t sit without a pad/pillow. So I’m on week four and incision has been closed for like 2 weeks now. Incision was around 5-6 inches long. I have some pain when I sit now. Didn’t have it a few days ago. I think it’s because it’s really healing. Might becoming more scabby. This surgery is close to the tailbone and might be why im feeling this pain. Not sure. My surgeon told me I can resume full activity four weeks after surgery. I have three more days! Hope I could answer any questions.

  10. Are a pilondial cyst and pilondial abscess the same thing? My doctor calls it the latter. I had to have mine lanced and drained. I have to pack and unpack the wound till it completely drains and the doctors think it will heal on its own. The packing and unpacking are the most uncomfortable part. Is it supposed to itch while it heals? I heard if it itches that means its healing.

  11. @Rebecca-my doctors warned me that if it is too infected the anisthetic might not work. I felt certain things they did bc of a highly inflamed area they were working on. I don’t think your doc was a quack I think there was no point in stopping since he was in there already. Hope your husband is doing well.

  12. I had my cyst a week ago the doctor put packing in and I went back two days later and had it removed just to have another one put in I was told to cut an inch everyday until it’s all out is this right??? My wound also became infected and doesn’t seem to be healing correctly so I was given an antibiotic now I’m told I need to see a surgeon what will he do???? Please help I’m very confused and the doctors haven’t been much help.

  13. Hey folks, I just had my pilonidal cyst surgically removed last Thursday (jun.8) I was in the pre-surgery room for 2 hours wing an I.V in me and liquid pain killer running threw my I.V. The surgeons told me before my surgery what to expect after surgery (pain,large hole from cyst removal,and really nauseated) I was then given the anasthesia got surgery for about an hour the most and woke up spoke with my doctor and he told me I’m gonna have to spend 5 to 6 weeks in bed with little movement , let a fan hit the surgery area , take 2 baths a day (morning & evening) NOT SHOWERS OR YOU WILL REALLY KNOW WHAT PAIN FEELS LIKE, don’t pack the area at all and change the padding twice a day as well as take 2 pills of oxycodo/acetamino 5-325mg , Generic for > percocet 5-325mg every 4 hours . I’m draining a lot from the wound and it seems to be doing good so far , now I’m just waiting for my next doctors visit in 2 weeks. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS JUST ASK AND I WILL BE MORE THEN HAPPY TO ANSWER YOU GUYS! :D

  14. Please going to surgery on 06/15/12 to remove the pilonidal cyst.no inflamattion now and probably the size of a pea.
    Very concern about the dressings and showers.
    It will be a open wound and first time doing a operation.
    Very ready and calm to face it but very scare anout infections.
    Please help me if you can! Thanks. Marcia

  15. I have been dealing with this issue since I was 16 I am now 27 I have had about my cyst flare up about 20 times I’ve had it lanced and drained 3 times , they say they numb it but my surgeon told me with something that infected the numbing medicine doesn’t work it is the worst pain in the world and I have 3 children!!, so I’m having surgery to get it completely removed on the 19 , I’m scared but I will be happy to know I won’t be getting these anymore .. by the way I screamed and cried like a baby the last time I got it drained and my 2 yr old my 6 and 9 year old was with me smh .. but they were like mommy its ok its ok lol .. I love my girls :) So to anyone who gets these don’t wait till you have a flare up to talk to a surgeon, my doc says its best when its not flared up more healthy tissue to work with

  16. My son just had surgery to have his removed completley now it’s a big cut and i was told he will be recovering for sbout 3 months really. and by the look of ts size wise yea thats probably accuate i know he is uncomfortable now but since this surgery took a year to finally do and after his constant pain and bleeding everywere well undeerware wise i know this is the best solution to anyone have it completly removed COMPLETELY remember when they ask do you want it lanced and drained or completely tooken out go for completly honestly youll see the difference…..

  17. @Marcia: Now let’s first start off with are you getting it removed from the tissue which will cause you to have a hole from the surgery or are you having it drained ? Next is if your having it drained all your doing is waiting your money cause these things never leave until you have surgery to get it removed by the surrounding tissue. If your having surgery expect to be bed ridden for about 2 days eat chicken noodle soup and sal crackers for your first meal right when. You get home from your surgery and only take your pain meds when your in pain other than that you should be fine. Next DON’T take a shower or you will find your self in really bad pain take a bath TWICE a day morning and evening add some hydrogen peroxide in the water and sit there for about 30 minutes, Expect excess amount of blood all over your dressing looks somewhat like kool-aid. Other than that you should be done and recovering somewhat from 2 to 3 months and DON’T get it laced cause that would just be a waste of surgery and recovery time cause their prone to return if laced ! Best of luck to you and I hope you have a speedy recovery ! Eric

  18. Oh and lay as well as fall asleep on your stomach the better there’s no contact to your rear the faster the recovery and be prepared to be somewhat grumpy &depressed for about 3 days ! :) Eric

  19. I had my first cyst at 14,got it lanced and drained and it never closed up all the way. Im 19 now,had my surgery on may 24th and it was very painful. Now that its been three weeks i barely feel anything at all, i can move around without any pain :) by the way: i got my first cyst because i was treating my hair so awful and straightening it while it was wet and never really cut it,so my split ends ended up creating the holes in my skin and then the cyst. If you have long hair,trim your split ends!

  20. hi im 14 and im going to have the surgery this coming wednesday and the doctor says that they will most likely be able to close it up although they are not sure. Im very nervous about the surgery and after care cause i do not deal with pain very well and i cant swallow pills. if you have and advice that’d be great. i also would like to know what you actually have to do for the aftercare and how quickly it heals. thank you. :)

  21. Im 16 and had one removed two months ago. Mine was really bad. Im just now researcing about it and i can just tell how bad it is. I didnt have a visible cyst i fell and was in pain. I thought i hurt my tailbone. Withen half an hour of being in the ER they said it was serverly infected and i would need surgery. I was completly knocked out for it. I was then in the hospital for 5 days. My wounds unpacked and repacked with this gause like stuff that when all rolled our is 3 yards long. The surgeon got two rolls in the first time. After a copule of weeks my wound was 8 inchs deep and 7 inchs long. Its not much smaler. I see the surgeon once a week. Except my last visit he changed it to two weeks. It was very painful at first and annoing haveing people constantly wanted to look at it. And the doctor said a hair could of caused it but they didnt really think it did.they also said it was there for a while that me falling caused it to come out. I was also super sick for a copule weeks before i fell. The pain eventualy goes down. It just boreing not being able to do anything. Exspesially since its summer. And now im behind in school.

  22. Joshua here I just wanna put this out here,,, I’m so sick of this Pilonidal Cyst thing…. I’m 23, had my surgery may of 2011. A year later the place on my bottom has open and closed few weeks go by I’m fine some weeks I ve a little bit of clear and blood coming out… And it stays open. for Like a day. Still in a lot of pain and nothing helps.. trust me I keep that area clean… I know I sweat and stuff,,, I’m a guy but please Jesus help me find the answer. I can’t find anything on line about what’s going on a year later after ppl have surgery . Just something don’t seem right. Thanks for letting me vent :-) if anyone as a clue please email me webber062003@gmail.com

  23. i am 19 years old, ive had my cyst since i was 11. the doctor i had at the time thought it was a boil and just gave me steroid cream which did not work. mind you i have had this problem for years and over the past few weeks it is not starting to affect me. it feels like i broke my tailbone. i had it lanced a couple weeks ago but not completely so of course it came back and hurt even worse, i was sent to a surgical office and they lanced it again yesterday, which hurt so bad my father could hear me screaming from the waiting room. they packed it, had me come in today to look at it, unpack it and repack it. they are talking about having me go into surgery in a couple weeks. honestly id rather them do it now this is very uncomfortable, but lancing it again was well worth it, feeling much better than the first time. my only concern is how uncomfortable it is having to pack and unpack the wound…

  24. I got the second surgery done on May 27th. The wound was kept open and I still go to the hospital to get my dressings changed after every 2 days. The first surgery was done 2 years back, but unfortunately I started but couldnt complete the laser treatment on that area.

    I wish to get well in next 20 days, as I need to travel abroad on 25th of this month….

    Is there a way by which I can get the wound to heal quicker? Anything- May it be to get dressings changed more often, take medicines, eat some food which helps healing faster?? Can anyone suggest me somethhing?

  25. Sara my wounds pretty deep and i went through surgury and its not that bad haveing it un packed and repacked once a day. If u have the right person doing it it shouldnt be too bad. It also helps if they give u pain meds whitch they should. I had a horrible nurse the day after my surgery that took like all my meds away from me and made me wait 5 and half hours til i could take more when i was dosed for every 4-6. With other stuff in between that she took away. I didnt have her again and the next nurse gave me what i needed.

  26. Ok so i just had surgery on this idk what the doc did besides be a Dick my bf was with me in the er he told me the guy was rolling his eyes and he was talking to me hella rude the while time I had the operation it fuckn hurt omg after he was gone I cryd like thirty mins all I knew was that I was done the nxt morning I had my mom help me n low n behold there was a string she pulled on it and I nearly fainted screamed out to god wtf did this guy do I need help

  27. I have had this type of cyst on my tailbone for over 5 years now… It was the size of a softball and the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Surgery had been put off several times because the area had recently become irrated or swollen and anastetic wouldn’t work, for an area that large it needed to work!
    I finally had my surgery today!
    I was terrified going in, was worried I would have a large hole or terrible scarring… But my surgeon was amazing, he had cut a small V in the least irrated area and removed all of the cyst. A local anastetic was used and did its job very well, the most pain I felt were a few pinches in the irrated areas, some pressure and my bum being poked a bit.
    I was prescribed pain killers but the freezing has long since worn off and I feel only a little bit of discomfort, took some tylenol and had a nap and feel fine!
    I will still need to avoid sitting and sleeping on my back for the next week or 2 but compared to years of draining and lancing and the thing bursting in its own… Not being able to wear jeans without wanting to cry… Time off work.. The list is endless! I’m really happy I was finally able to get this done
    I would highly recommend the surgery option to anyone. I am personally the type of person to sweat it out, go to my doctor maybe once every 2 years… But this was unbearable! Not to mention all the other problems that can happen.
    I have had blood poisoning, my spine is now out of line because of having to sit and sleep weird, have walked with a limp for quite some time… The list goes on!
    You may be scared to do it, I was. But even now, hours after the surgery I feel less pressure in that area and hardly any pain! I couldn’t be happier!
    The surgeon did as little trauma as pissible and he expects in the next 3-4 weeks I’ll be back to normal.. In the next 8weeks I’ll have a fully functioning bum!!!
    So please, anyone who has this stupid thing get it out!!!
    Sadly it’s a chronic thing but I’ll gladly take a year or two no pain. The procedure was literally 30min, if the area is smaller than mine (softball size) it will be even less!!
    Trust me, recovery is nothing if you have had to have it drained!!

  28. My surgeon said he couldn’t num the area because of the infection, so what he did was freeze it with the liquid nitrogen. Didn’t feel a thing. I had to get it packed daily in their office for 5 weeks until it healed from the inside out.
    Today, I get the buildup of pus and blood about every 2 weeks, it pops through the drain hole he left, and it goes away for a few weeks. This last non-pus period was about 6 weeks. It’s like I was on vacation.
    I’m told that even if they remove the whole cyst, it still can come back. I’m just glad it drains. If it didn’t, then I’d have major pain like the first time.

  29. Good site with a lot of comments.

    I had mine removed 3 days ago. Had spinal anastesia.

    Didn’t feel anything during or after surgery. Didn’t feel anything that night. Didn’t feel anything next day OR during the first packing/repacking of the wound.

    I thought maybe my hole would be small due to lack of pain but it is absolutely MASSIVE. Hopefully this means all the infection was removed and it won’t come back when it eventually heals.

    Long story short there are only 3 or 4 bad things about post-op recovery:

    1) I feel sorry for the person that has to change the wound daily. It is absolutely disgusting. Located in the buttocks region and a massive hole. They have to take the tape off, then take the gauze out, then spray it with saline, then repack it with gauze, and tape over. It is a job for a nurse and if they do not have the stomach for disgusting wounds then it is going to suck for them.

    2) Knowing the size of this thing. No pain but simply knowing it is this big really is the only mental complaint.

    3) Going to the bathroom. You feel like you might go on the bandage (it’s been 3 days and so far no problem at all). Also when the nurse changes the wound they are really in that area and it is embarrassing if you are “dirty” in that area because showering/bathing is limited which brings me to the final point.

    4) Showering. No pain at all but you have to be very careful not to wet the wound. So basically it is tough to clean yourself. Now most people seem to have instructions of bathing. I am told not to bathe. Only showers. The doctor says the wound can get dirty if you take a bath and also it gets really wet. The nurse explained to me that you want to think of the wet/dirty gauze bringing out all the gunk and nastiness of the wound every time you change it. So putting more wetness in the region is not good for the healing process. I am not in the medical field but this made sense to me.

    Anyways, I am looking at a good 2 months before this closes. And I will be happy a few weeks from now if it shows some signs of closing. Literally you could almost stick a 12 oz can of pop in my wound, it is that big!

    But other than showering, going to the bathroom, and changing the packing….It is not bad at all.

    Finally, I was prescribed Vicodin ES (others seem to have gotten percoset which is stronger)….And I was prescribed Keflex and Flagyl. Well, it burns very slightly when I first start to take a piss. Nothing major. I thought it was due to having a catheter on my private during the spinal anastesia. I looked up the side effects of Flagyl and it says burning/painful during urination. So I called the doc and he said to stop taking the Flagyl….

  30. I had pilonidal cyst for 20 years, with several flare ups each year but wit almost no pain coz i had several fistulae so the puss would go out trough them….

    And after last big flare up, i decided to go to operation. 10 days ago I had surgery, spinal block, and full excision of the cyst, with primary healing, 6 inches long wound with 10 stitches. I stayed at hospital for 10 days, getting antibiotic shots in my ass, heparin shots in my hand and metronidazol pills, to prevent inflamation. I had radon drainage for 5 days, with very little blood and puss…everything was almost painless….worst thing was headache from spinal block…wound is healing nicely and i hope they will remove stiches in three days….hope wound will continue to heal nicely…

    All i can say after all that…..get that cyst out of your body, dont waist time on incisions…

    P.S Sorry for my english…it is not my native language lol

  31. It’s sort of comforting to know that there are people who give great advice about this…i’ve had the cyst for about two years now, the first time it was drained at the hospital (more painful than giving birth) and then packed at my local clinic…after the packing it was like i was born again, the pain was gone….then after talking to my doctor i knew that hormones also affect the waking up of a cyst, proved in my case because as long as i am on the pill for birth control i feel no pain, only if i sit on hard surfaces for a while…today 7-14-12 i have been off the pill for a month now, my period hasn’t come and the cyst is wide awake and killing me, im literally in tears just remembering how much pain it is when it’s at it’s peak….i will take Katherine’s advice and i will be asking to get it surgically removed, my concern is college, i hate to miss classes now that im close to graduation ;( this sucks

  32. And forgot to mention i am only 22, wired how it affects so many young people

  33. I posted above July 14th at 3:30pm which was the 4th day after my surgery.

    I repeatedly said there is no pain. Well, I started to feel a lot of pain/soreness/bruising in that area. DEFINITELY could not sit on it or apply pressure. It is the 18th and I have not sat down on my bottom yet. Only on my sides and stomach or standing.

    I had to upgrade from Vicodin ES 750s to Dilaudid 2mg. Last night I took 1 Dilaudid expecting it to be out of this world! I can get hours of relaxation and euphoria off of Vicodin and I figured the Dilaudid would be about 5x greater. Well, nothing and the pain still there. Took a 2nd Dilaudid an hour later and nothing. Took a 750 before I went to bed in a lot of pain (but still very tolerable).

    Woke up at 4am and was in excruciating pain (but tolerable) just very uncomfortable. So bad you have to be careful walking!

    I took 2 Vicodin ES and 1 Dilaudid at 4am and had no relief but passed out. Woke up around 7am and felt a lot better. About 60% better. I was at the point where I was going to cancel the nurse coming to change the wound. It would hurt too much. Thought I needed an injection or something about 5x stronger than Dilaudid so that I can not feel anything when changing the wound.

    At 7:30 I did another combo of 2 Vicodin ES and a Dilaudid.

    I am much better and think the pain has peaked but boy was I in for a surprise. Looked into the spinal anasthesia and pilonidal cyst surgery and they say that the affects of the anasthesia won’t wear off for about 3 days after the surgery. So no wonder I felt great after the surgery for the first few days.

    I’d recommend not being embarrassed to call your doctor and getting an upgrade on pain meds. Because if it hurts and your pain meds don’t help then you need something stronger.

    This is a serious recovery but as all of us know that went through it, it is very tolerable and is the best thing to do. We’ll get over it and it will be a distant memory for the rest of our lives.

  34. I just wanna know how. Long do I wear gauze.my wound is only 1 cm deep. Is it supposed to air out sometimes ?

  35. for how much time should i expect pain aftre pilonidal sinus surgery??

  36. Rob, every situation is different. Some face no pain. I read that a guy was hospitalized for 10 straight days (he must have had a terrible case). Another lady saying she had pain worse than giving birth.

    So it all depends on the size of the wound.

    So…..In my case I had ZERO pain for the first 4 days. Then it started to sting a little pulling the gauze out of the wound. Then it built up and I went through about 3 days of chronic pain where literally every few hours I was taking a couple vicodin.

    Even at peak pain it wasn’t so bad. I am now 2 weeks into recovery and the last few days have been nothing. I am able to easily get into a car and drive and run an errand.

    The biggest thing to worry about is do you have someone to change the wound daily? And are they going to be able to take off the tape that sticks your bandage on (hurts sometimes because the tape sticks to hairs in that area). And when they peel away the tape and pull off the bandage and see a massive gash will they not be grossed out and be able to put on some gloves, pull out the gauze, pour saline into the wound, put gauze back into it, and retape it up until the next day.

    It is an annoying and tedious process but my wife is doing an excellent job. I have heard some people say they change their own but I’m not sure how they are able to do that.

    I think you will be absolutely fine! A little bullsh!t to tolerate and within 1 month you will be on your way to living a cyst free life. Even though I have a huge open wound down there I can sit down and it feels great knowing I am not crushing a cyst every damn time I sit!

  37. I am going in to have the surgery to have it completely removed! I have had to have it drained 3 times over the last 4 years so I am now going to completely get rid of it! I have read a couple of your stories about getting the surgery and they were very helpful. The only question I have is how long are you in the hospital for when you have the surgery? If anyone can let me know I would appreciate it! And thank you to everyone who shared there story! Big help!

  38. Ailsa Lishman says:

    I’m 20 years old, and had a pilonidal abscess removed last monday, it was right below my tailbone. All these experiences sound so different. I was put to sleep for my operation where they removed and drained the whole thing. I have an open wound currently that’s being packed everyday, I had the district nurse come for a week, now I go down to the local doctors, I have to remove the packing everyday before showering, then have it repacked. I currently experience no pain at all, sometimes a little discomfort but that’s it.
    I was kept over night for my surgery, but that is only because I was on an emergency list, so I was pushed down the list if other emergencies came in. I wasn’t seen till 1.30am. Otherwise this is an in and out procedure. Fingers crossed I should be healed soon!

  39. My 20 year old daughter had a pilonidal cyst in October, 2011. What we thought was a simple procedure, ended up to be a medical nightmare! She had the cyst drained, however, it did not close. Therefore, they scheduled out-patient surgery. The took an area the size of your fist out and the surgeon closed the wound. We took her home and 4 days later were at the emergency room. She could not walk, was vomiting, high fever, etc. When we got her to ER, her blood pressure was 78/38, heart rate 169, and temperature over 103! The ER dr opened her wound, drained out a large amount of infection and was going to discharge her. My husband and I refused to take her home with her vitals as they were. The Dr. was very aloof to her vitals, but agreed to admit her. The next morning she was being rushed ito emergency surgery as her temp was now 104.5 and her vitals were still at critical levels. They were doing exploratory surgery to see what was going on. They drained a small pocket of infection and immediately was taken to ICU where she progressively got worse, Our daughter was now in critical condition. They finally realized she had severe sepsis and toxic shock! After two days in ICU, we were told she only had a couple of hours at most as her breathing was so labored and her body was too weak to continue breathing and trying to fight the infection even though they were pumping the strongest antibiotics into her constantly. Kayla had gotten a rare form of Strep A in the operating room which caused the sepsid and toxic chock. She was then put on life support in an effort to let her body rest and breathe for her so her body could concentrate on the infection. My family stood in disbelief that a simple cyst had led us to our child being in critical condition and on life support! She was on the ventilator for two days and made a miraculous turn around. Kayla was in ICU for a total of 9 days and then in a regular room for 3 more. We had nurses coming to the house for 2 1/2 months to treat her wound and went to a wound center once a week. We are so blessed she is still with us and is now doing well. We do not know how she contracted the Strep A, however, I have read and heard that the wound should not be closed, that it is to be left open to heal from the inside out. Anyone who is having this surgery needs to talk to the Dr. prior to surgery. As I said, we don’t know if closing the wound had anything to do with our daugher getting this infection, but I would urge you to inquire before the surgery. This was a medical nightmare for our family and I still cry when I think or tallk about it, The vision of my child on life support fighting for her life is forever engrained in my mind, I don’t know if it could have been prevented or was a freak occurence. but I do know how fortunate we are that our daughter survived!

  40. Kathy…what a shocking story, i am so glad for your family….good job on not taking her home that night !!!! i guess there are drastically different stories about Cysts :( i hate having mine still and ive had it drained twice in 2 years now and considering the surgery soon

  41. Katy i had to look up Strep A to know a little more about it…i found this helpful link that helps a little on understanding why it is caused http://infolific.com/health-and-fitness/strep-a/

  42. I had my cyst drained and feel alot better. My husbamd packs it for my but i cant lay on my back and feel pain when i try. Is this due to tye wound being open or is thi not normal? Any help would be appreciated thanks

  43. im 16 and i had my cyst drained 2 weeks ago, it all started when i had a little lump on my tailbone, i asked my mum about it but she told me that it was normal, every couple of days the lump got really sore and then it would just stop hurting, this happend for about 5 months. i was at work and i slipped over and thats when the pain got really bad, i went home and told my mum she said to put ice on it and she will take me to the dr tomorrow. the next morning i could not sit, laydown, bend over nothing, i was in soo much pain nothing helped, my mum took me to the dr and he said that i may of fractured my tail bone as the lump was tiny u couldnt see it, i put up with the pain and complained about the pain, 2 weeks from then i noticed all of a sudden i had a tennis ball size lump in the middle of my bum crack, i showed mum and she said it looked like a cyst and she would take me back to the dr. later that night i had a high temperature. i went back to the dr still with the fever, the dr put me on antibiotics and told us to come back when i had taken them, i was on 4 tablets a day for a week and still no change, all the skin around it was all flaky and it still hurt and i still felt really sick, we then went back to the dr and he told us to go to ER and get it drained, we went straight to the hospital and after 2 hours waiting in the waiting room we finally got seen by a dr. he took 1 look at it and he said it will defiantly need draining and he will go call the surgeon. the dr came back and said the surgeon will drain it tomorrow and to come back in the morning. we went back at 8.15 and waited another hour in the waiting room until we were finally seen by the surgeon. The surgeon said it should have been drained a week ago and he also told us its a 50% chance that the cyst would come back and if it did he was going to take my back sinus out . They took me to my ward and prepared me for surgery. After my surgery they kept me in over night because they gave me more antibiotics by my drip. they next morning they made me get up and shower, the packaging all came out it was really gross i actually kept fainting. the surgeon came to look at it and said it didnt need to be packed just some Bernadine and a thick patch. i went back to the surgeon a week later and he said we were cleaning too well and it was staying too wet, he told us just to put a bandade over it now. a week after that the open wound was pretty much healed over just a little bit of bruising was left, but it felt like my cyst was coming back up. mum took my straight back to the surgeon. the surgeon put me back on anti biotics and said if it didnt go down by thursday he would see me in surgery on thursday. the antibiotics didnt work at all. we went to the hospital again and saw the surgeon he had another look at it and he told us that it could be just scar tissue that is steal healing. the surgeon was right, it is the scar tissue and it seems to be going down slowly. i am very happy with the way it has all healed and hopefully it wont come back :)

  44. Hi, my brother just had a cystsand it opened by itself. I am reading to see what should or could be done. Doctor he saw said if not taken care, infection could go up to your brain.
    I saw a cream advertised as I was looking up web pages and I found- Aidance Skin Care is the company and the cream is called Terrasil, suppose to be very good. Has anyone heard about it or tried it?

  45. Andrew River says:

    I just had my Cyst Lanced on Friday, Im removing the gauze padding today. I believe there is a small tube like structure he put in there to help with the draining. how does that come out?

  46. I had my cyst removed on saturday late evening it was the worse pain I have ever felt. Even worse then my second degree burns. I now have to have the packing changed. Its so far in that I can not remove it without going in and still being sore. Has anyone else had problems with having to take a bm and then changing the packing so its not to become infected?

  47. hi i noticed there are 43 comments written about the cyst and if you include me then it is 44 comments written on cyst and most of the patient got the cyst growing back again and planing to do the surgery again… why is the cyst comes back again that is my concern because if they did the surgery carefully and without contaminating the area of the cyst i believe it should not come back again……. i had a surgery only once and the whole wound was packed up accept a tinny little whole which gives off the puss and that is only the problem i have and the doctors are saying to have a surgery again and i am a student and also 20 years old as most of the people in this blog are 20 years old and had the surgery…. there should be a prevention from getting it again after the first attempt surgery……any solutions and updates please let me know……thanks…..

  48. My Daughter who is 14 has one of these and I am so frustrated at the doctor because we go back every week just to hear the same thing. “Keep doing what your doing and come back next week”. He told my husband today that he dosen’t want to remove it right now because she will miss alot of school. Like 2 months? Is this so? I just want her to be rid of it and I know my rn sister is so tired of doing wound care on it every day.. I am thinking about getting a second opinion. What do you think? Or should I just wait and follow through with the visits every week?

  49. rebecca, go to a different doctor who actually cares, it needs to be drained properly….maybe ask for “packing” that helped me the most..

  50. i first had mine in at 17yrs old and now im 21 and i feel it coming back. it gets inflammed whenever im on my time of the month it seems. i just want to get rid of it but am afriad of the surgery. i cant afford to not work while living with my bf. how long it the recovery if you get the full thing. cuz i agree that the lancing is a waist of money cuz it is only temporary.

  51. Hello everyone! I had Pilonidal full excision surgery back in Jan. 19th, 2012. I had been living with it for about 5 years and finally just got annoyed. It would bleed a lot and had to get on iron due to losing a good amount of blood various days. I was lucky to have a higher pain tolerance because it can become very painful in some people. I went to a surgical oncologist to have my surgery done. He was referred to me by my general physician. The moment I made my first appt. he knew I had a pilonidal cyst/disease in a matter of seconds due to the characteristics it showed being pretty common. Over the years, I did the lancing 4 times prior to surgery with no luck. It just kept growing back and bleeding more every time it seemed. This surgeon was straight up with me. He mentioned if you do everything I say for recovery, the chances of it returning would be super slim to NONE. I went in as an outpatient and forced an early checkout after surgery which took an hour. I never took pain meds afterward BUT was left with an open wound about 5″ long and 4″ wide at top of my buttcrack. The open wound was purposely done. Open wound healing is MUCH less apt for infection than getting it stitched up! For this procedure if you get stitched, you are begging for infection to occur and usually does! With Open Wound healing for PCysts, the MORE SCAR tissue you develop in the “HOLE” after it is removed….the BETTER!! My surgeon removed every piece of that sucker he could find!! I am sure glad he did too! I was up walking right after surgery and moving around into the days ahead very slowly I might add. I did not want to be confined to the bed. I actually walked around my neighborhood everyday as part of my slow progression of exercise. I also needed to take a bath in the tub EVERYDAY for 2 to 3 times a day…15 to 20 minutes each time all the way up until he declared I was fully healed up. I NEVER packed the wound as my surgeon did not want that done since I was taking baths all the time. Yes baths were kinda disgusting since i was constantly “draining” excess crap from where the PC used to be. YUCK!! The “draining” went on for about 40 days after surgery. The length to fully healed was about 85 days. It was a lonnnnnng, frustrating haul but in the end WELL WORTH IT! You really learn about how your body functions after something like this being done! Our bodies are truly amazing! If anyone would like to speak with me more in depth, feel free to write back. Good luck to everyone!

  52. So, I had this surgery performed and afterwards the doctor filled the hole with about 12 inches of gauze and the wound healed completely before I could remove the gauze. Is this dangerous? The gauze has been in me for about 6-7 months. Is this dangerous?

  53. I’m 16 and had mine drained when I was 15 and It was the worse pain ever now I think it iss comming back and its been a year and 2 months I’m very scared because this will be my 3rd time having it first time I just took antobiotics and it was gone then the second time it was drained and now this might be my third time I was to scared to be put to sleep so I suffered it was the size of a golf ball and it healed within weeks. I’m starting to feel a pain their and I think because yesterday I been siting down on concrete floor all day so it hurts a bit and I’m scared but. This time I might have to go do surgery. And it made me very sick before the drainage fever,chills and could never sleep.

  54. Hello everyone,
    I have read all the comments and have herd some pretty bad stuff and some good stuff. I wanted to ask RUSS or anyone who may have the answer, how long will I have to take off of work once I get the cyst surgically removed? I would also like to say it is hard to tell where or not people had the cysts removed or just lanced from their comments. My understanding is having it surgically removed doesn’t hurt so bad and is much less painful compared to lancing. Can someone please confirm this, Please email me at lucasboermans@yahoo.ca. I would like to know how much time I will have to take off to get this surgery done? thankyou

  55. Hello I am a 26 year old female ive been getting treated since I was 15 I had a incision from the top of my crack down to my rectum its been a long run most is healed except for the areA near my rectum I just cant take it anymore I have a huge scar which im self concious about can anyone give advice cuz I hate my life

  56. Hi Russ I hope you are all healed now.
    How soon could you get up and walk around with there not been much pain, I also have a high pain tolerance.

    Also i have a very busy job and if i have this surgery performed i may lose my job, i work in an office so i sit at a computer.

    Can i be back in work after a couple of weeks?


    Aaron P

  57. I had my pilonidal cyst removed by my cousin, who is a nurse practitioner, and she decided to just stitch it up since it was a small one. About a week after the surgery I had my stitches taken out, and about a week after that it was bleeding again. My mom squeezed it dry, and used about two complete rolls of gauze, but after that, the bleeding stopped, and it hasn’t happened since. If you’re nervous or scared about the surgery, it really doesn’t hurt, it feels like someone’s poking you with their finger, and in my opinion, it’s well worth it.


    help me! I need a surgeon for a pilonidal cyst! call me (940)-228-6916 call me now

  59. Hi Carly, I have that same problem of it flaring at that time of the month, i suggest you go on birth control for now, it levels your hormones and puts it to sleep…i am scheduled for surgery to get it removed permanently in dec 20 of this year 2012…sucks to get it drained, if you read above many of us go through hell itself to get it cleaned out…but every experience is different. my doctor told me that they will close the wound and recovery should be only 2 weeks, however if an infection develops they have to leave it open to heal slower and it takes 5 weeks for that…i am doing this december because i have winter off of work, i see why you also hesitate…good luck

  60. Russ….oh my you are scaring me now, my doctor is saying i will get it stitched up after surgery…i don’t want it to possibly infect ;( what to do???? hate this so much

  61. Dear all, I underwent my first surgery in 2004. later it recurred several times but i didn’t mind. it comes and goes. But in 2011 it was really made me in hell of pain. I underwent surgery in 2012 September. It was a big C-type wound with 14 stitches in the wound covering by 6 long tagging stitch’s. Just after one month of surgery it came back. Dont know what to do next. Doctor advised me to undergo flap reconstruction plastic surgery procedure. will look into that later

  62. I had done the surgery myself this month 4th oct 12, my doctor did not stitch it up…she said it needed to be left open unless i wanted to get infected…I have a cyst bath every day (sitting in a tub of warm water) its gonna be a month now and the healing is slow and is now painful…but i can see progress…I hope it closes soonnnn

  63. Hi, im 16 and i just finished getting surgery a day ago and my doctor left the wound open with 12 inches of gause.. Today before going into the shower i tried pulling it out but it was too painful, and now it’s hurting. Is that bad? How long is it supposed to stay in there? When am i supposed to take it out? Is it bad to mess with it ? I hope not and I sure hope a recurrance doesn’t happen, i seriously HATE having a pilonidul cyst

  64. Hi everyone. I’m very new to this. I never knew I had one of these until it ruptured a few months ago. Blood and pus everyday. I finally made it into the walk-in clinic today and got a referral to have it surgically removed. Sounds like I’m lucky to not ever have to experience the lancing/draning method. I’m seeing a few mixed things in these comments–some people were to only use the shower and some had to use the bath. I only have a stand-up shower. Is this okay? Also, how long can you expect to be off work? I work full-time in an office and go to school part-time. I can not afford to take off more than a few days from work without financially screwing myself. Also, my fiancee and I are planning to move back home across the country in a few months. That is going to require a 3-5 day drive depending what route we take. Is this surgery a good idea right now?
    Thank you!

  65. Hi everyone! I have not had access to the internet for awhile. I am back. Thank you for the feedback and questions regarding my particular surgery. I am (knock on wood) healed up! Thanks Azz! Ok here are a few things based off some comments and questions from what I do know and experienced.
    Lucas/Azz – lancing it will not “cure”, it only relieves it for a short time but it will grow back 8 to 9 times out of 10. Some people might get lucky but honestly lancing is a waste of time. Full cyst excision via open wound is your best bet. If you have a high pain tolerance, you should be fine within 2 to 4 weeks to hit work but sitting on a soft pillow for a good amount of time until you heal fully. It also depends on the size of how large your incision will be too. Everyone heals different ….fast, medium, or slow. I am not a doctor but I can relay my surgeon’s opinions and my experience which in the end….he was right! I was a little bit of a nutcase by going on walks everyday- 5 days after surgery but VERY SLOWLY. I could not stay still. UGH!! Good luck with your surgery!
    Teresa – Hey sorry to be scaring you but I am being honest. Why get the stitches and risk infection or possibly them splitting??? You will have to go thru open wound anyhow if that happens. Stitching is an easier way but many many more risks involved. If you want it done right take the extra time and care of healing open wound…take baths 2 to 3 times a day in warm water …just sit there and soak it. NO PACKING!!! I would go see a surgeon who will do open wound in my opinion. It may take double amount of time to heal but totally worth if you want highest chances to eliminate it once and for all. You have to watch yourself carefully and maintain the routine during healing. i wish you the best with your surgery. I hope I helped out some!
    Diane – Hey you are on the right track!! Congrats! Hang in there….keep your head up because by now it should be 5 weeks or so. You must be seeing better results. It will close up in coming weeks. Try to keep a walking schedule everyday if you can. Oxygen is hard to come by down there and walking allows blood to circulate and bring oxygen to that area rather than be dormant. so in hindsight healing will take place a little faster. Of course the cyst baths are excellent too!! Best of luck to you Diane!
    Thanks everyone and best of luck to all!

  66. hi russ can you help me please, i have developed such a cyst only recently in which there is a golf ball like pressure on the top of my butt crack. Would you suggest that such a cyst should be removed surgically straight away, rather than lancing it, which may just be temporarily and could you kindly tell me if the surgery effects hurt afterwards because im a bit confused what to do , thank you,

  67. akhinashudanan says:

    i am khinash from india, i am having pilodinal sinus on my extreme end of spine .. surgery hasbeen done successfully. it was on 2nd november. now i am having painfull days. how can i overcome from this dusease1 i am 21 years old now . i am having this disease from my 19th age

  68. I am just too scared, i hate how doctors talk like they know what’s best for you always, but i do believe you that an open wound has higher chances of healing properly. I have a pre-op appointment with him two days before the surgery, and i will annoy him with questions, and hope he lets me pick the method. :/ i’ve never had surgery and i am also scared of a lot of other things haha…Thanks Russ

  69. You are very welcome Teresa- Surgery is never fun to go through. It is very normal to be scared. it also makes you more at ease if you actually are comfy with your doctor. I hope you are! I hope he does the open wound kind for you! I wish you the best of luck…..ask plenty of questions and keep head up! Be well!

  70. Russ, my fiancé is having the surgery this Friday! Could you e-mail me so I can ask you a few questions please please please???!!!! klredford@icloud.com

  71. I just had the surgery done 3 weeks ago. I saw my doc 4 days ago, he said I’m healing fine. A scar is to be expected, as is a decent recovery time! There are things in life that can’t be rushed, recovery after this surgery is one of those things. I went through depression the first 2 weeks, I feel fine now though! 2 stitches, 45 minutes of surgery and the “severely infected” cyst is gone! I’m a stay at home mom to a 3 year old and let me tell you, he hasn’t made recovery easy. Just get the surgery done, you’ll be thankful to have it gone!

  72. Im 32 years old and never had any pain or drainage until this past summer. I play golf regularly and the pain became pretty substantial not to mention im a mail carrier soo. I went to my primary physician and he gave me antibiotics because the infection was what caused the pain. Mind you i had never heard of a pilonidal cyst up to this point and the antibiotics worked (temporarily). I was back at the doctor within 2 months with pain again. He referred me to a surgeon for removal. I was very anxious about the surgery, but I did not want another summer with that pain. My surgery was on 11-16-2012 and I am returning to work this monday 12-10-2012. My wound was sealed and i was told I had a 50/50 chance the stitches would hold. Luckily they have and Ive had zero problems with infection or anything really. I was very careful not to do much while my stitches were in and it paid off. Surgery is scary but dont punish yourself worrying about this stupid little thing. Get it out and over with! Good Luck

  73. Hi Alain – I am sorry I did not see your post last time I was on for some reason. You should speak to your doctor about the cyst on top of the butt. With the PCyst, lancing is a waste of time….it is only a temporary fix. Get the surgery to remove the whole thing! It depends on your tolerance how much pain will be apart of the surgery. Some people get a fair amount and others may have it for a little bit. I hope this helps you.
    Hi kadi – I just got back on here and did not get your message until now. Did your fiance have it already? Did it go well? Would you want me to still email you? Let me know. THanks!

  74. Alain, get antibiotics, wait for it to calm down then get an excision, they won;t operate on it while it is inflammed and infected but you can get away without lancing if the puss has a way of escaping. I had repeated infections in my pilonidal sinus and am now on my second week of recovery from a stitched excision (which consequently split and is now open wound), pain is minimal, wound site is about an inch deep, inch diameter, its being packed and dressed daily, went back to work as a builder after one week off and apart from the daily routine of queuing in my doc’s surgery, no major hassles

    Everyone will have a different experience but according to my doctor everything i have experienced is very common IE stitches splitting, repeated infection prior to excision, recovery and healing progress.

  75. I had my done on 29th Nov i was working form 3rd Dec did no had any pain killer or didn’t bleed. i had two type of stenches deep tension and closer. deep tension was removed at 10th day and nurse confirm that wound is healed . no dressing or other care was required. other stitch will be in about two weeks. nurse was surprise at the technique used by the surgeon.

  76. Hi all. Thank you for posting your expereinces as it really helps to learn how it affects others differently and how each responds to particular treatments. My husband has had several recurrences in the last year and now we are looking to find a good surgeon. We are in Southern CA. If you had/have a good surgeon, please post and let us know. We want to get this done as soon as possible in case I lose my job next year. Thank you! It hurts me to see him in so much pain and I know you guys are experiencing the same. Sending all of you my best for full recovery from this disease!

  77. Well Russ, you seem to have good advice. But my doctor is still going to stitch me up, i hope all goes well. my surgery is this thrusday the 20th :/

  78. i got my surgery on dec 11 2012. ive read alot of scary stuff but nothing has hapened to me so far. i have been stitched up with about a 3 inch incision. i also have two tension sutures. it does not hurt at all. the only thing you may have is a slight discomfort. you can sort of lay on your back if you have a hemroid cusion. but it does get a little sore if you lay on it to long. i was told to only stand or lay down. so sitting is not a good idea it really really hurts. also i was instructed to not shower or bathe but to take sponge baths. i have no inflamation or bleeding. only cramps in my sides from laying on them for a week and a half. hope this helped aleviate soe fears and answer any questions

  79. I first discovered that I had a pilonidal cyst three and a half years ago and after getting my cyst lanced four times, I am finally getting it surgically removed next Friday on the 28th. However I am very nervous because it is my first surgery. Are there any complications or side effects I should be aware of and are there any cases of people dying during surgery?

  80. All, so first dont panic, I had this done few yrs ago and it was a huge one, my doc. left me open for a quick recovery, there was a hole as big as a fist, my shock was that i had no idea what the hell he is doing until after he was done. It all started when my general doc. removed a mole from the back area and sticked me, well apperently she did not shave the area well and a hair got in and the rest is history….I helled in a month and the scar closed all up, but make sure someone shaves your area once in a while or it will come back. Good luck

  81. Naresh Dhanjal says:

    I had pilonidal sinus, it was very painful & irritating but i researched a lot on it & finally found a doctor who cures pilonidal sinus with ayurveda without any surgery & without any pain..the method is known as “KSHAR SUTRA” this is a medicated thread used to cure pilonidal sinus..if all you my friends want to get rid off from this infection then you can watch video on youtube for KSHAR SUTRA for plonidal sinus. mine has been treated & is permanently cured forever without any surgery & pain.Please do not go for surgeries at all, these will spoil your body & it will reoccur for sure.If anybody needs some help regarding the same may contact me on nareshdhanjal23atgmaildotcom. wish you all good luck & speedy recovery.

  82. Got my surgery yesterday and feeling great today! Granted i had no pain before the surgery either but i hope my doctor did this to benefit me forever.

  83. I just had my polinidal cyst lanced a week ago. On Saturday I woke up to what I thought was going to be a pimple or simple ingrown hair. By Tuesday, the area around my tail bone was bulging and I could no longer deal with the pain. I was fortunate that my cyst was small but the doctor did recommend to leave the wound open and eventually have surgery to remove a small piece of skin containing the hair follicles and then stitch it closed. A week later and I am no longer getting any drainage and experiencing little to no pain. I am also soaking in a bath of antibacterial soap as recommended by my doctor. I am going crazy not being able to work out though!!! I am an avid runner and cyclist and not being able to do both is driving me insane. Any recommendations?!

  84. I had pilonidal surgery in 2005. It was troubling me for over 17 years ! and started once I was 18 and in military service. I did surgery in Johannesburg. Before surgery it trouble me for 10 days which finally I gave myself a green light to go to Hospital as a sign of misery! finally not telling anyone and not asking anyone ,I went to hospital by my own car but unable to get off and finally crawling to clinic. This was the moment I broke to tears from pain for first time after all those ten days of Nightmare. Due to the size of infection and other risks,They immediately sent me to theater and after an spinal anesthesis was administered it took only 15 to 20 minutes as they left a big and deep cut in my cleft which stuck me to the Hospital bed for 9 more consecutive days due to the size of infection with cyst. Still I remember the words of surgeon who said me : My friend it would not heal less than 2 months!! Yes, It only healed after 50 days which I spent another 20 full days in home bed unable to move around. If I am writing these over here and do not be shy with Pilonidal cyst as the more you resist the pain the more you are prone to a deeper and broader cut. I never ever believe as I healed an open wound size of 3 inches deep and 4 inches long!! A type of wound which was scary to every body even saying from ex-wife if it will ever heals! According to what I heard It was close for me to be paralysed if I was not on the final right days for surgery due to spinal infection.
    If you have such a problem then do not be shy like me for 17 years since it developed on military service.

  85. Wow, to the individuals who have not changed the dressing in the open wound (especially the one who has had the gauze in the wound for 6-7 months!!!). I don’t know what your surgeons’ instructions were, but my son had this procedure done and his post-surgery instructions were to sit in sitz baths twice a day and change the dressing twice a day. We put in 10-12″ of fresh gauze twice a day that has been soaked in sterile saline, then gauze bandages over the top taped down. His pilonidal cyst was large and the open wound is 5 inches long by 4 inches wide by almost 2 inches deep. The risk of infection would be high leaving the gauze in longer than a day. I would definitely talk to your surgeon’ if you are unclear about the post-surgery treatment. My son’s surgeon left the wound open as this is the preferred method for less chance of recurrence. He was told the healing process takes 3 months for complete healing. He had the surgery 12/27/12 (2 days ago) and is doing really well. Not a tremendous amount of pain, but slow getting around and difficulty in getting comfortable (sleeping and sitting) as you must sleep on your stomach or side. I made him a small, soft pillow with memory foam for sitting on and it has been helpful. He is a college student and will be able to resume school in two weeks, so those who ask about the “down time” with the surgery I would say going back to work after a couple weeks with light-type duty would be tolerated. Best of luck to everyone!

  86. First, does anyone know if you can swim in the ocean about a month after surgery?

    I got my cyst removed December 5th and it is now december 31st. I am seeing serious recovery and my procedure was like Russ’s, complete surgical removal of the area, with a gaping hole 3 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1 inch deep. Now it is significantly smaller, Every day my nurse comes to my house, packs the hole with a gauze made from algae (to help healing) and then puts a bandage over it. It hurt for the first couple weeks, and now there is no pain, but the bandage becomes soaked every day with the natural “juices” draining from the area.

  87. Hey Teresa! Happy New Year! I hope your surgery is going well now after a couple weeks. The stitch method will allow you to feel less pain and recover quicker. As long as your doctor got “everything out” and you keep clear of infection down there…you should be fine for the long haul! I hope for the best! Keep me up to date. Take care,

  88. Added – Infection prevention is the hardest part of the stitch method since dead and infected tissue from surgery can’t drain due to closure. You might one of the lucky ones hopefully. I keep my fingers crossed!

  89. I had a rather large pilonidal cyst removed when I was 15. I’m 45 now and haven’t had an issue since. The good part is that the scar isn’t in a place where many people will be able to see it ;-)

  90. Hi, Russ you seem to have so much information I would like to ask you some questions! I have had my cyst for years now and my surgeon has tried to schedule surgery a number of times however, she has told me it will be 6-8 weeks recovery at home, and I will have to have a home health aide change my wound twice daily (my surgeon wants to do the open wound method ) I am not in a position with my job to take this much time off, and to be confined to my home for this long with a home health aide! This does not sound like anything anyone else here experienced, I am curious as to how your wound was packed daily, if you also had to have a home health nurse come to your house twice daily, and even though you were able to recover pretty quickly it sounds, is it uncomfortable trying to walk around and wear clothes with the open wound? I myself actually work at the hospital so I wish I had these answers myself, but I do not deal with this type of thing, but I don’t think I would be able to go back to work quickly being that I do work at the hospital myself. Also, My surgeon has told me she is scheduling me to be in the hospital after recover for at least 48 hours, and everyone on here seems like they were an outpatient, and went home the same day, so I am not sure why I have experienced my surgeon donig so many different things, but this is why I have been fearful of having it done but if it was a much quicker and easier recovery I would be able to get it done. I cannot deal with it much longer, it is terribly painful and is constantly flaring up and bleeding out onto my clothes. I was also curious if anyone on here was able to recieve any sort of disability while they were out of work? I havent really looking into it but I was just curious. Thank you I appreciate any feedback!

  91. i have made the surgery with open wound before 8 days ago, i go walking to near clinic to be opened from the bandage and cleaned then packing it again, now i see progress and the pain is going away, for those who think to make surgery, go with open wound method its better and the pain is OK , for me i didn’t use any medication for the pain , and i was laughing in the hospital when the surgery finished and i woke up happy and joking hhh good luck everyone

  92. Hey everyone… I am 30 and have had this pain in the ass for years now. I am a police officer which requires me to sit down a lot in my car. My cyst has now flared up and is extremely painful. With my job, it requires me to sit down and drive a lot. How long before I can come back to work after the surgery is completed.?

  93. russ i am supposed to be going in for surgery asap. i am going to mexico in may for a wedding with is just over 3 months away, can you email me please.
    sherrym_12@hotmail.com. thanks soo soo much

  94. Russ, Can you please shoot me an e-mail Syvette024@yahoo.com. My boyfriend just had the surgery and I’d like to connect the two of you. Do e-mail me regardless whenever you see this post*

  95. try a skin flap procedure, it is a surgery where it is completely removed and covered with a flap of your own skin. Newest way

  96. Was referred to a surgeon specialist today. He is going to do an excision by open wound surgery. How much or how deep do they usually cut. I’ve googled some images and it looks quite scary.

  97. I have had my first PC surgery back in January of 07. The first two days after really sucked movement wise. But if you get up frequently and move around as comfort dictates you will be fine. If you have a job that requires you to sit all day then get a hemroid cushion for the surgical area.

  98. Sophia Udubasceanu says:

    Hey guys, I had the surgery done in November. Still not fully healed, had to go through with packing. But it was the best thing ever. The relief was instant, Yes you do get pain, and need time off for a long time. If you have questions or are going through sth similar and need advice you can email me at sophie_udubasceanu [at] yahoo.co.uk x

  99. I am an 18 year old female (ill be 19 in three weeks) and i have to have the excision tomorrow! :( the only thing I have a question about is how do they find the cyst if its fine right now? Two weeks ago, A doctor pressed on it a whole lot to kind of drain it since it was bleeding through some tracts. Then put me on some antibiotics. Since then ive had no pain or swelling so how will the surgeon know where to cut? Do they just cut all around and hope for the best or what? Thanks. I am seeing a colon and rectal specialist and he also said it seems to be fairly superficial so does that mean it wont be too deep and will heal faster? He is doing the open wound and packing way.

  100. My daughter has a PC that was about the size of an orange – grew very quickly from the size of a quarter to the size of an orange. She has had it lanced and drained yesterday, but today she can still feel bumps in the area. Her appointment with the surgeon today resulted in her just waiting 3 weeks before any decision is made. Seems a little lackadaisical to me. Unfortunately, she is on Medicaid – but is entitled to medical care just as anyone else for necessary treatments. Should she push to have this huge thing surgically removed?

  101. I just had mine removed, packing gauss the first time was 12in and when i had it changed it was 6in. Let me say this, make sure if they pack it they throw some lidocaine on the gauss makes it bearable. The pain with out it omg could be a new form of torture.

  102. I had two pilonidal cyst removal surgeries about 10 years ago. One cyst that got taken out was the size of a doorknob. Just found out yesterday that I’m going to need a surgery. Also, this cyst makes the other two look tiny.

  103. Hi guys. I have a polindal cyst. This is horrible. I’ve had it for three years now. They wanna do surgery. The two open holes at the top of my butt crack are getting larger and clearish blood comes out. I looked on you tube these doctors cut out like 5 in of flesh off of you. I hope I heal well.ryan

  104. i will recommend all those who want to have a surgery for pilonidal to get Bascom surgery because recurrence is very less in it.

  105. I’m a 19 year old female and had my cyst surgically removed the first week of January. Recovery was not nearly as painful as the first time when I got the cyst lanced. I feel so much better, the only thing that bothers me is when I sit down for too long it begins to hurt. Otherwise, I suggest to get the surgery done. Lancing is just a pain in the butt…literally.

  106. Hello everyone!
    Has anyone used a wound vac after having the pcyst surgery and being left with an open wound? My better half goes in Monday for this procedure, and I can find much about the wound vac addition to the healing process.

  107. I had the sinus surgically removed on december 20th. For me the surgery was not very painful, but the recovery phase was very annoying. for the first 15 days I had to change my dressing twice a day, which included inserting and removing gauzes that were inside the wound. Then for another 25 days i had to change once a day. It was really uncomfortable, because I could not do sports, i was pretty much confined because car ride were very uncomfortable and the fear of opening the wound, bleeding and delaying the recovery time was too great. It took about 45 days for the wound to heal and for me to stop having to change dressings. After about 2 months, I had the confidence to go snowboarding for the first time this season, Not exactly my smartest choice of sports. long story short, I fell on my bum and reoppened about 2 cm deep of the wound, so I guess that would take about 20 days of inserted gauze and another 10 days of outer dressing. However, In parallel to that, I was getting laser treatment for the hair. If you want my opinion, dont do the surgery unless you think its absolutely necessary. Go for the laser treatment first, it will decrease the chances of the cyst getting inflamed and therefore not require to go through the ordeal of the surgery.

  108. My name is austin, i am 16, and i just had the full excision surgery about two weeks ago. My PC was only about the size of a grape at its largest, but i managed to get the swelling down over the course of about 2 months. When i had it diagnosed in november of 2012 my doctor told me to buy a sitz bath an use it twice a day with extremely hot water to draw anything out. In addition to that, i was told to by hibiclense soap and washed the sinus 3 times a day. The combination of these two things works excellent, but for full results the surgery is needed.
    I had a surgery similar to the open wound surgery that russ had, except i had internal stitches and the outside was glued. Even though they sealed up the cut, the inferior end happened to split back open due to pressure. I went back to the doctor an they removed the steri strips that were placed on it after the surgery and a looot of blood began coming out. Apparently what happened was a hemotoma formed from the surgery and it liquified in the first week of recovery and needed to drain out. Ever since then i have had to pack gauze in my butt crack and tape it up to keep pressure on it, but the leaking is dieing down. If anyone has any question feel free to e-mail me or respond on this thread.

  109. Hi am Rony and am 38 years old i did the pinodel cyst surgery for the 2ed time of my life the 1st time was befor 8 years and the 2ed was in Sep 4 OF 2012 until now am still bleeding and i hane some bubel stitches and an open holl too it is not heeling till today my dr, thinks he have to reopen it and do the surgery for the 3nd time i cannt go through agein why am not heeling what can i try to see if it will be heel ? can u halp me plz and thank u

  110. Hi Guys! I’m 19 years old, well 20 in 2 weeks! Ive been experiencing Pc. since April of last year. It all started with a severe back pain, me being me diagnosed the problem as a slipped disc but boy was I wrong! I had the continuos severe pain all over Easter weekend of last year and walked 4miles with the pain too, ( I will never no how). Eventually, I went to the doctor, I was unable to walk as the pain had became that bad. I was sent straight to A&E where I had the pc surgically drained under anastetic, it tooka bout 4 to 6 weeks after to heal. I was wishful thinking when I thought it would never come back! Come August I was crippled with the pain again, my doctor lanced it the pain was terrible again. So I decided to go for the surgery met with a surgeon and I got a date 12th November 2012, I had open wound surgery but had a vacc pump inserted into the wound, but I had it removed after 3 days as I could not cope with it. I am still getting my wound packed every 3 days and its March now :( I know its a long healing process and gets me down so much as I had to quit college because of it! but hey if it takes it away forever whats a year..eh? But I’m just wondering is anyone in my position that can enlighten me to when this will eventually close and my life can go back to normal.. or any vitamins I can take to help speed up the healing would be much appreciated :) atm i’m taking zinc and vitamin C but nothing is happening :( thanks in advance xx

  111. My name’s Lauryn…um I had open surgery. I had . It on October ,4 2012 Well it’s still open. A few weeks ago, it was completely closed then it opened we have no clue what happened. Any suggestions . On how too get it closed completely? I play y softball and . I miss it more than anything in the whole world !!!! Please anything will help me & I’m only 15

  112. For a PC surgery, what kind of anesthesia would they use? I’ve had local anesthesia for a lancing once, & i still ended up feeling EVERYTHING. I do not tolerate pain well. Worst pain i’ve ever experienced!

  113. Hey Everyone – i have my PC surgery tomorrow, May 7th, 2013. Somewhat nervous about it. I’m also an avid cyclist and am wondering if any of you think that this could have been caused by cycling. Also does anyone know if me getting back on teh bike after I heal completely could possibly make the cyst come back? I really don’t want to give up the sport as it’s one of the things in life that makes me really happy. Would love to hear from you.

  114. Hi, im 15 years old. I got the surgery last october & it hasnt gotten better. It was closed completely but then this weekend , i started too feel pain back there. This process has been going on for 8months. Is there another thing i can do too make this heal completely?? Im An athletic girl & now i cant be because of this pain in my butt !! Any help please ?!???!!!! I Want Too Lay On my back again..

  115. anonymous says:

    HI i am 18 years old and had a Pilonidal Cyst removed from my lower back about 2 months now and still hasn’t closed or healed i was wondering if someone ca help me with what i need and should do feel free to contact me me on my email.

  116. Had excision surgery in February. Was a 2 hour surgery. The surgeon left the wound open so it could heal. 4 months later and it hasn’t closed completely. Still lose blood after 4 months. Is it meant to take that long to heal?

  117. Brittany says:

    I’m a 18 year old female and I have to have PC surgery ! Two years ago I had to have one drained and it came back this weekend. I had to go to the emergency room because it hurt so bad. That didn’t help. Tomorrow I have an appointment with a specialist to figure out what I’m going to do

  118. Jeff Jones says:

    Has anyone experienced a really smelly discharge, about a week after surgery?

    This is my second PC removal in 10 years, last night I felt my pad and it was soaking, the gauze was a bit loose so I crammed it back in and filled the gap between the pad and the gauze with cotton wool. When I woke up this morning the cotton wool was soaked my bed stinks.

    Seeing the nurse in a few hours to change my packing but, no offence to nurses or anything, but the ones round here seem to not care so much (I’ve had amazing nurses in the past, but the ones this week seem to be a bit ‘oh shut up and man up’ – which I understand, I am complaining more this time, but a lot of things have gone wrong this time too)

    Also, do I not have to lay down and avoid strenuous excercise in the first few weeks? last time I had this op I didn’t move for at least 3 weeks, this time, because of government cuts, I have to walk half a mile to the surgery every day instead of having the nurse come to my house. I can’t sit in the waiting room so I have to stand there for up to half an hour waiting. I’m not sure these are ideal recovery conditions.

    should I just shut up and man up?

  119. I had a pc in 2004 you couldn’t see anything from the out side but the infection was deep! I was cut 2inches by 2 inches and a fist deep! It was so painful I had to heel from the inside out (left open and packed) The registrar said I would be able to go skiing 2 weeks after surgery the nurses laughed at my surgery and said no way! I was off work for 4 months to heel having to be packed on a daily basis! 9 years on I can not sit straight on my bottom for flights, cinema, hair dressers, long car journeys etc without being in pain sometimes enough to make my eyes water! Is this normal does anyone else still experience pain?

  120. My son had his pilonidal cyst removed by a General Surgeon 8 days ago and he’s in alot of pain. On a pain scale he was a 4 earlier this week and then a few days later jumped to a 5 … The cyst was around the size of a golfball. The incision is around 2/12 inches long or so and around 1 1/2 inches deep or so. The Dr stitched the inside so it’s not as deep and it’s a little over a half inch deep now, but left the hole open for packing with some sort of sodium chloride saline solution that the gauze is in .. He was on hydrocodone 5/325, but his pain has been so bad that we had to go into the ER to see if his Dr would give him a stronger painkiller. His Dr was at the hospital because he had just performed a surgery on someone so he asked us to come there to see him so that he could see my son and check to see if there was something going on causing him more pain… He had several tubes of blood taken and when the Dr looked at it he said that it looked really good and reminded my son that he told him that it was going to be painful , but who knew that it would be this painful and that the pain pills weren’t even touching the pain for any relief …So the Dr gave in and upped his dose a little to 7.5 hydrocodone .. I just want this over with, I cant stand seeing my son hurting so bad ..

  121. My son started dealing with pilonidal disease a year ago. He was 15 when it started. My very best advice to anyone would be to have the entire thing removed and have the Linberg Flap procedure done.After my son went through the initial surgery, (he had 6 cysts to remove at that time.) The doctor left the wounds open and did dry packing, having him remove a inch a day until it was all out. It was “very painful” for him, and it ended up with a bad infection. He was hospitalized 8 times within just two months, having to undergo more surgeries to drain them and clean area and then be put on I.V. antibiotics. This all started in October of 2013. In August of 2014, our prayers were answered when he was finally sent to a plastic surgeon to remove all of it and have the Linberg Flap procedure done. It has gone great! This is my recommendation to anyone suffering with this terrible disease! Don’t put yourself through all of that. Request that it all be removed the first surgery and to have the Linberg Flap procedure. It has been a long year, but our prayers have been answered with this surgery. Good luck to everyone! I have seen first hand how horrible it can be as my son’s caretaker. Prayers for you all…

  122. I am 15 years old and I have a pylinidol cyst past down from my dad. My parents noticed immediately after i was born but I noticed it last year when i fell down in the shower. it hurt everytime i went to stand from sitting down, but only sometimes while sitting. My mom said it was most likely a pyliniidol cyst. When should I remove it and will it hurt? sheb.dix@gmail.com


  1. [...] -          Incision and Drainage. Incision and drainage is a procedure wherein the surgeon injects an anesthetic to the sacrum to numb the skin and adjacent areas. After the anesthetic has taken effect, the surgeon will then make a small incision. After incision has been made, the pus will then be drained, including the hair and follicles and other skin debris inside the cyst. The wound is allowed to heal and covered with gauze. Check my article on pilonidal cyst surgery and recovery if you want take this route. [...]

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