M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS
General Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery & Robotic Surgery located in Upper East Side, New York, NY
A pilonidal cyst can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but there are effective treatments that can help. Through his practice in New York’s Upper East Side, M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS, has helped many men and women find relief from these types of cysts. If you’re searching for treatment options and would like more information about surgical solutions for pilonidal cysts, request a consultation with Dr. Dawson in New York City today.
Pilonidal Cyst Q & A
What is a pilonidal cyst?
A pilonidal cyst is an abnormal skin pocket that can collect hair and dead skin cells. These types of cysts almost always develop in the cleft at the top of your buttocks and are more common in men than in women.
According to researchers, more than 80,000 soldiers developed pilonidal cysts that required hospitalization during World War II. At the time doctors believed the condition was brought on by spending too much time bumping along in military Jeeps, which led to the name “Jeep disease.”
Today, researchers think that some people are simply more prone to these types of cysts. An ingrown hair can contribute to developing a pilonidal cyst, and trauma in the area may also play a causal role.
Additional risk factors include:
- Excessive hair growth
- Prolonged periods of sitting
- Insufficient exercise
- Heavy sweating
Many men and women who develop a pilonidal cyst will encounter the problem more than once.
What are the symptoms of a pilonidal cyst?
The primary symptom is a noticeable lump or bump in your skin that can range from the size of a small dimple to a lump that covers a large area of skin. Additional symptoms include:
- Swelling, redness, or pain at the base of your spine
- Pus or blood that drains from the site
- Foul-smelling pus
- Tenderness when touched or rubbed by clothing
Home remedies like warm compresses and baths can help, but many pilonidal cysts require medical intervention.
How are pilonidal cysts treated?
One pilonidal cyst treatment approach at the office of M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS, involves making a small incision in the cyst to drain accumulated material. If Dr. Dawson finds hair follicles within the cyst, he removes them. This surgery is performed with microscopic incisions and there is almost no recovery time
For cysts that recur, complete surgical excision may be the best treatment path. Dr. Dawson removes the cyst walls as well as any accumulated skin, hair, and pus or other fluids.
When treating pilonidal cysts, Dr. Dawson prefers minimally invasive procedures. Upon examining the area and discussing your history with cysts, he creates a customized treatment plan to resolve the issue and reduce the risk of recurrence.
When you’re ready to explore treatment options for pilonidal cysts, call the office of M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS, or use the online tool to request an appointment.