Pilonidal disease is a common debilitating condition that usually affects young men of working age.
An acquired disease in which hair follicles become inserted into the skin, creating a chronic sinus tract, usually in the natal cleft.
Conservative (non-surgical) treatments have yielded mixed reports of success. Definitive treatment is usually surgical, although many different techniques are available, and complications of tissue healing are frequent.
Acute infection may lead to a pilonidal abscess, requiring urgent surgical drainage.
Pilonidal sinus is caused by the forceful insertion of hairs into the skin of the natal cleft in the sacrococcygeal area. This promotes a chronic inflammatory reaction, causing an epithelialised sinus. Sinuses may be multiple and communicate via a deep cavity. Chronic discharge usually occurs. Infection may supervene and lead to an abscess.
History and exam
Department of General Surgery
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
IJDM is an author of a reference cited in this topic.
Mr Iain J.D. McCallum would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Seamus Kelly, a previous contributor to this topic. SK declares that he has no competing interests.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery Chair
Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery Kaiser Permanente
MAA declares that he has no competing interests.
Consultant Colorectal Surgeon
Clinical Manager of General Surgery and ETC
Department of Surgery
Manchester Royal Infirmary
AJMW is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.
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