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Pediatric General & Thoracic Surgery

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Pilonidal Cyst

What is a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst or sinus is an abscess (localized collection of pus) or a chronically draining sinus (canal or passage leading to an abscess) located in the opening between the buttocks muscles. This cyst may have a deep cavity containing hair and may be without symptoms unless it becomes infected.

How is a pilonidal cyst treated?

Treatment consists of antibiotics if the area is infected. After the infection is cleared, a day surgery procedure to remove the cyst is performed. The cyst may be a simple abscess or may be draining from sinus tracts that need to be closed. The process of raising the borders of the emptied cyst and stitching them to form a pouch is called marsupialization. The interior of the pouch then empties the collection of pus and gradually closes. Several weeks of packing the pouch with gauze is needed to collect the pus while the pouch closes. Please feel free to ask any member of the pediatric surgery team if you have any further questions.

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This information, although based on a thorough knowledge and careful review of current medical literature, is the opinion of doctors at The University of Texas Medical School and is presented to inform you about surgical conditions. It is not meant to contradict any information you may receive from your personal physician and should not be used to make decisions about surgical treatment. If you have any questions about the information above or your child's care, please contact our doctors.