Pilonidal cysts occur in the cleft that exists between the two buttocks. When a pilonidal cyst becomes infected, it is called an abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus that can be extremely painful and needs to be drained by a healthcare professional in order to obtain relief. Antibiotics may also be prescribed. Pilonidal cysts form when hair or other debris makes a small puncture in the skin and becomes embedded. While it starts out as a small problem, the cyst will grow over time as hair, lint and other matter can become trapped.
These cysts may be congenital (present at birth) or may result from hairs penetrating the skin and accumulating beneath the skin. They occur most commonly in men, but women can also suffer from them. Once a pilonidal cyst forms, it does not go away on its own. While it may lie dormant for long stretches and not bother you, it will eventually flare up in an infection. Surgical removal of the cyst is the only course of treatment in this case.
During a Pilonidal Cystectomy, a surgeon will excise the cyst itself and some surrounding tissue to ensure that no small openings in the skin are left for hair to become caught in again. In order to reduce the risk of the pilonidal cyst recurring, the post-op wound care is important.
There are two approaches to the healing process: leaving the wound open or suturing it shut. Your surgeon will be able to tell you the best treatment option for you.