Pilonidal cyst disease is a common painful infection that occurs on the cleft of the buttocks. At Southeastern Plastic Surgery in Tallahassee, FL, Dr. Laurence Rosenberg is an expert in providing surgical treatment for this common and painful disease.
What Is Pilonidal Cyst Disease?
A pilonidal cyst forms at the base of the tailbone, within the cleft of the buttocks. When this cyst gets infected, it can cause pain, swelling, discomfort, and an abscess in more severe cases.
Pilonidal cysts are thought to form due to the presence of ingrown hairs combined with long periods of sitting, excessive sweating and/or excessive amounts of bacteria in the area.
More than 200,000 people are affected with pilonidal cysts each year. The symptoms may range from minor irritation and drainage of pus from the cyst to severe infection and abscess formation, which can require surgery to repair.
What Are the Treatment Options for Pilonidal Cyst Disease?
Most patients can be treated without surgery. If the disease is caught early enough, their symptoms can be treated with antibiotics and local wound care.
If the disease is allowed to progress and an abscess develops, surgery may become necessary. Unfortunately, most people have abscess excision with wound packing. This may take weeks or months to heal. The packing is extremely painful, and the recurrence rate of the pilonidal cyst is over 50 percent. Dr. Rosenberg does not recommend excision with packing to treat pilonidal cysts due to the prolonged, extremely painful recovery and the high recurrence rate.
The Cleft Lift Treatment, A Contemporary Solution
The contemporary approach that Dr. Rosenberg uses at Southeastern Plastic Surgery is excision of the pilonidal cyst using the cleft lift operation. This operation leaves a closed, sutured wound — no packing needs to be performed.
With the cleft lift procedure, the recurrence rate of pilonidal cysts is less than 5 percent. Patients can return to normal activities within 2 weeks, often sooner.
An Expert at Treating Pilonidal Cyst Disease
Dr. Rosenberg first became involved with pilonidal cyst disease when he cared for a patient who had suffered through 10 traditional abscess excision operations and still had a recurrence of the pilonidal cyst. As a plastic surgeon, Dr. Rosenberg has been trained to manage problems related to the body’s soft tissue. This has enabled him to take a different approach to treating this painful and often debilitating disease. Dr. Rosenberg is the only surgeon in the Tallahassee region who performs the cleft lift procedure to treat pilonidal cyst disease. He performs many cleft lift procedures each year, providing much-needed relief for his patients and enabling them to return to a normal life.
“It is incredibly gratifying to help these patients. To restore their quality of life, control their pain and restore a sense of normalcy” says Dr. Rosenberg.