Pilonidal sinus disease

Learn more about Pilonidal sinus disease

Pilonidal sinus disease

Pilonidal sinus disease is a disease of the crease of the buttock (gluteal cleft). It involves the development of small midline holes (pits) which collect hair and debris. This triggers an inflammatory response and can have secondary infection. Infection can then track under the skin to form a pilonidal abscess.

It most commonly affects young men and women in adolescence and early adulthood. It occurs as a result of the combination of the shape of the buttocks and the crease, local skin integrity and moisture, and the nature of the individual’s hair. The condition first gained attention after it affected many ‘jeep drivers’ during World War II. It can be more common in those who need to sit for long periods, such as truck drivers.

The priority for a pilonidal abscess is to drain the infection. The pits may not be visible or able to be dealt with at this time. The chance of a second infection is roughly 30-50%. After a second infection, treatment normally then aims to surgically remove the midline sinuses.

Treatment of pilonidal disease is surgical. It requires removal of the sinuses and or cavities lying beneath. There are minimally invasive options for certain disease, and excision and flap repair required for more complicated disease.

Other Conditions

Make time to see me about your medical problem.