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Pilonidal Cyst Excision

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 3, 2022.

What do I 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 do I prepare for pilonidal cyst excision?

  • Your surgeon will tell you how to prepare for this procedure. You may be asked to not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.

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 area. With local or spinal anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing but you should not feel pain.
  • You will be placed on your stomach. 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 the cyst show up 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.

What should I expect after pilonidal cyst excision?

  • You may have pain after surgery. Pain should get better within a few days.
  • A scar may develop as the incision heals. The scar may become large and raised.

What are the risks of pilonidal cyst excision?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your stitches may come apart. The cyst or abscess may develop again.

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Further information

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