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Pilonidal Disease Specialist

Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford

Colon and Rectal Surgeons located in Bloomfield, South Windsor, & Plainville, CT

Pilonidal disease is an infection in the crease of the buttocks near the tailbone. Though very common, many people find the condition too embarrassing to discuss. But ignoring the infection places you at risk of more serious health complications. The experts at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford specialize in diagnosing and treating pilonidal disease, including surgical removal, that can prevent a recurrence. To schedule an evaluation, contact the office in Bloomfield, South Windsor, or Plainville, Connecticut, or book an appointment online today.

Pilonidal Disease Q & A

What is pilonidal disease?

Pilonidal disease is an infection that develops from an ingrown hair embedded in the skin. The hair creates a pit in your skin that leads to inflammation. If not treated, your ingrown hair can develop into a pilonidal cyst (a fluid-filled pocket), abscess (a pocket of infection), or sinus (a cavity under the skin).

Most people with pilonidal disease develop an abscess that turns into a pilonidal sinus. Though your pilonidal sinus can resolve on its own, most people require surgical removal of the deep skin cavity to prevent repeated infections.

Anyone can develop pilonidal disease. However, it’s significantly more common in men than women and often diagnosed before age 40.

What are pilonidal disease symptoms?

Pilonidal disease symptoms vary depending on the severity of the infection. Common symptoms include:

  • A small dimple in the crease of your buttocks
  • Swelling or mass in the crease of your buttocks
  • Buttock pain when sitting
  • Cloudy or red drainage
  • Foul-smelling drainage

If you have a fever, nausea, or vomiting, you could have a severe infection that requires immediate medical attention.

The experienced team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford diagnose pilonidal disease during a physical exam. In some cases, the team will suggest diagnostic imaging to determine the depth of your pilonidal sinus.

How is pilonidal disease treated?

The experts at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford develop individualized treatment plans for pilonidal disease based on the severity of your infection. For an abscess, the team makes an incision and drains the infected fluid.

If your pilonidal disease is severe or keeps coming back, the team will recommend surgical excision or unroofing of the pilonidal cavity. When unroofing, the experts at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford open your abscess and sinus tracts and trim away the skin.  We also perform Cymetra injections for small pits to try and avoid a larger wound.  This is associated with less pain and a quicker recovery. 

After surgery, the team closely monitors your healing at regularly scheduled follow-ups. To prevent pilonidal disease from coming back, the team recommends you keep the crease of your buttocks clean and hair-free. You must shave or use a hair removal product every 2-3 weeks up until at least age 30.

For an evaluation of your pilonidal disease, call Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford or book an appointment online today.

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