Close Button

Pilonidal sinus surgery

A pilonidal sinus is a small hole or infected tract under the skin at the top of the buttocks. These tunnels, also known as sinuses, often develop around a hair follicle where the hair has become ingrown.

Pilonidal sinus surgery at Benenden Hospital

Pilonidal sinuses are more common in young adults, and you’re more likely to experience one if you’re male, since men generally have more hair in the buttock area. Friction or pressure on the skin may also create a pilonidal sinus as can sitting down for long periods of time, being overweight or having an existing injury to the skin.

If a pilonidal sinus keeps becoming infected, your GP may recommend that you have pilonidal sinus surgery to remove the sinus and to prevent further infections.

We understand that surgery can be a daunting prospect. Our expert team is dedicated to delivering your treatment with care and discretion and providing the best standard of aftercare.

I have a question about pilonidal sinus surgery

Why should I have pilonidal sinus surgery?

You’ll have been recommended to have pilonidal sinus surgery (also known as excision of pilonidal sinus) due to an infected tract, commonly containing hair, under the skin between your buttocks.

What happens during pilonidal sinus surgery?

There are two different surgical methods used: wide excision of pilonidal sinus or excision and primary closure of pilonidal sinus. Your Consultant will advise the best pilonidal sinus surgery for you.

Wide excision of a pilonidal sinus

Wide excision involves cutting out the section of skin containing the sinus, leaving the wound open and packed with a dressing. The chances of an infection returning are low however, your wound will take a long time to heal and you’ll need daily dressing changes for two to three months.

A wide excision is carried out under general anaesthetic, so you’ll be asleep during the operation.

Excision and primary closure of a pilonidal sinus

This procedure involves cutting out the affected skin and then stitching the wound closed. While your wound will heal more quickly, there's a greater chance of the infection returning. This treatment is also carried out under general anaesthetic.

What should I expect after my pilonidal sinus procedure?

You may have some discomfort after your operation which we’ll help relieve with painkillers. You may have a small plastic drain in place, which is normally removed after 24 hours. You should be able to go home after two days.

If the wound has been left open, it will have a dressing that needs changing each day and this may be uncomfortable. More often the wound will be stitched and covered with a light pad; this is not usually painful. If you have a stitch it will need to be removed at around 10-12 days after your operation.

Whatever type of pilonidal sinus surgery you have, it is important to keep the site of the wound clean. Depending on your treatment, you may need to keep the area completely dry. You’ll probably be more comfortable wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear and, to reduce any straining when you go to the toilet, a high-fibre diet may be suggested to help soften your stools. Our experienced clinical team will discuss these arrangements with you before you go home.

You’ll probably need time off work, depending on how you feel and the type of work you do. You should avoid any strenuous work or exercise which might reopen the wound.

Are there any risks from pilonidal sinus surgery?

There’s a risk of infection at the site of the wound or that the pilonidal sinus returns. You should contact your GP immediately if you have any signs of infection such as pain, red or swollen skin, a high temperature, a feeling of heat at the site of the wound, fluid, pus or blood leaking from the site of the wound or an unpleasant smell coming from the site of the wound.

How much does a pilonidal sinus procedure cost?

For details of cost, view the colorectal surgery section of our pricing page or contact our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Men's health hub

Supporting men's health

Your wellbeing as a man should be a top priority. Your health needs change at different stages of your life whether you're young, middle aged or older.

Taking care of your body and mind at work or in your personal life and knowing who to ask for help is crucial. Our male health hub is here to provide you with further information and signposting to help.

Our Consultants

Mr Hamade

Ayman Hamade

Consultant Surgeon

Mr Hamade's specialties include colorectal surgery, laparoscopic surgery and general surgery.

Mr Adamek

Jacek Adamek

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon

Mr Adamek's clinical interests include a range of investigative and surgical procedures for colorectal and general surgery.

Contact us about pilonidal sinus surgery

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.