The pilonidal cyst is a condition in which the upper part of the buttock near the tailbone is filled with hair and skin debris causing irritation and sometimes infection. This health problem is more common among men than women who are between their teenage and thirties.
If the cyst becomes infected, it can rupture, ooze out pus or blood. There are two kinds of pilonidal cyst surgery that can be performed:
Incision and Drainage
This is the most common type and the procedure is done at the doctor’s office using local anesthesia to number the skin. A cut is made in the cyst to drain the fluids and pus. The hole is packed with gauze and left open to heal. It can take up to 4 weeks for the wound to heal, and the gauze has to be changed frequently.
If the problem with the cyst worsens or reoccurs, you might need to have it removed surgically. The procedure is done at an outpatient ward, and you don’t have to stay the night at the hospital.
The doctor might give general anesthesia to put you to sleep or regional anesthesia to numb your body down the waist. A cut is made to remove the skin and underlying tissues near the hair follicles. Depending on how the tissue is removed, the area may be packed with gauze or left open. It may be hard to remove the entire cyst, so chances are that the procedure might have to be repeated.
There are several reasons why you should think twice before going for a pilonidal cyst surgery. Once excision is done, you can’t go back and the consequences can be sometimes devastating.
The possible risks or complications that may arise during or after the cyst removal are:
• Injury to a blood vessel or excessive bleeding
• Slow recovery process which can take up to 2 weeks or longer
• Recurrence of the cyst which happens in 25-30% of the cases
• Infection within the surgical wound or medicinal reactions
• Complications with anesthesia causing nausea or vomiting
• Packing wound regularly if left open which can be a tedious task
• Increased risk of wound and chest infection in obese people
• Increased risk of heart and lung complications in smokers
• Difficulty in sitting for long periods of time until full recovery
The pain and recovery time from the pilonidal cyst surgery often discourage people from getting treatment. However, there are natural remedies which can reduce the symptoms of pilonidal cysts with lower risks involved.
1) Keep the Area Hair Free
Pilonidal cysts are common around the hairy areas, so start by carefully removing unnecessary hair from the affected region near the tailbone.
2) Wash the Area Regularly
Washing the cyst prone area regularly and keeping it dry can lower the chances of infections or pus in the cyst. Use a gentle soap or cleanser to wash the tailbone area regularly twice a day.
3) Maintain a Healthy Diet
A weak immune system can often aggravate the symptoms of pilonidal cysts. So include a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits packed with healthy nutrients into your diet to boost your immune system.