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Pilonidal Cyst Excision


What you need to know about pilonidal cyst excision:

A pilonidal cyst excision is the removal of a cyst on your lower back that has become infected or abscessed (collection of pus).

How to prepare for pilonidal cyst excision:

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for this procedure. You may be asked to not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. You will be told what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking medicines such as blood thinners or NSAIDs a few days before surgery. You may need a ride to and from your surgery if you do not need to stay in the hospital.

What will happen during pilonidal cyst excision:

You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local or spinal anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local or spinal anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing but you should not feel any pain. You will be placed on your stomach during surgery. Your surgeon will make one or more incisions on your lower back on or around your cyst to remove it. Your surgeon may put dye in the incision to help them see the cyst clearly. The incision may be closed with stitches or left open to heal. A bandage or wound vacuum will be placed over your incision to keep it clean and dry, and to prevent infection.

Risks of pilonidal cyst excision:

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have pain after the procedure. A scar may develop as the incision heals. The scar may become large and raised. Your stitches may come apart. The cyst or abscess may develop again.

Call 911 if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have chest pain.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You are bleeding from your incision.
  • You are having severe pain.
  • Your stitches have come apart.
  • Your incision is red, hot, or draining pus.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Antibiotics may be given to treat infection caused by bacteria.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for yourself at home:

  • Care for your wound as directed. Keep your incision clean and dry. Your healthcare provider will give you instructions for changing your bandage. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can bathe or shower.
  • Do not sit for long periods of time. Limit your activities that create tension in your lower back.
  • Keep the area free from hair by shaving. Consider laser hair removal after you have healed.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.