A pilonidal sinus is a small hole or “tunnel” in the skin. It usually develops in the cleft of the buttocks where the buttocks separate.
A pilonidal sinus will not usually cause any noticeable symptoms unless it becomes infected.
This can cause a pus-filled abscess to develop.
Signs that you may have an infection include: pain, redness and swelling in the affected area.
The cause of pilonidal sinus is probably loose hair piercing the skin.
The disease is more common in men than in women and it appears most often between puberty and 40 years of age. It is more frequent in obese and hairy people.
Excessive sweating and prolonged sitting may also be causes of pilonidal sinus.
One of the causes of pilonidal sinus may be a minor abnormality you were born with, in the skin between the buttocks. Part of the abnormality in this part of your skin may be that the hairs grow into your skin rather than outwards.
Another cause is that you develop skin dimples in the skin between your buttocks.
Whatever the cause, once hair fragments become “stuck” in your skin they irritate it and cause inflammation.The infection causes the sinus to develop which often contains broken pieces of hair.
A pilonidal sinus may not cause any symptoms at first.Some people notice a painless lump at first in the affected area. However, in most cases, symptoms develop at some stage and can be acute or chronic.
You may develop increasing pain and swellng over a number of days, as a ball of pus with surrounding skin infection. This can become very painful and tender.
Usually, the sinus discharges some pus. This releases the pressure and so the pain tends to ease off but the infection never clears completely.
How is the procedure carried out?
Doctors in the Atlas general hospital advise that the surgical intervention is the only efficient way of treating pelonidal sinus.
This procedure punctures and drains the ball of pus with the surrounding skin infection (abscess). The wound is not closed but just left open to heal by natural healing processes.
Antibiotics are prescribed after the operation but quite frequently they are prescribed prior to the operation as well.
There is also the possibility of closing the wound immediately after the operation but it bears the risk of a recurrence or of developing a wound infection.This risk may be reduced by using a wound technique in which the line of stitches is moved away from between the buttocks.
Search for additional information: Pilonidal Sinus
Dr Mladen MiloševićSpecialist in general surgery
Prof. dr Dragutin KecmanovićSpecialist in general and abdominal surgery
Doc. dr Maja PavlovSpecialist in general and abdominal surgery
Mr. sci. med. dr Igor PiponskiSpecialist in general surgery
Dr Dragomir MirkovićSpecialist in general surgery
Ass. dr sci med Slavenko OstojićSpecialist in general surgery