Medical Q&As

Pilonidal sinus - recurrence?

I had a pilonidal sinus removed last September and I am worried that I will get another. What do you think are the chances of that happening?

The term pilonidal is derived from pilus meaning hair and nidal meaning nest. A sinus is like a large pore in the skin. Therefore a pilonidal sinus means a hair containing sinus and these sinuses are usually located in the sacrococcygeal area, which is located on the back in the upper part of the cleft between the buttocks. The sinus becomes plugged with minor skin debris and bacteria. This triggers an inflammatory reaction that eventually results in the formation of an abscess, which we call a pilonidal abscess. There are several different surgical procedures for treating pilonidal sinus and there is an acknowledged risk of recurrence of the condition. The risk of recurrence depends on the nature of the procedure that is performed. Therefore the answer to your question is that the risk of recurrence certainly exists but most people that are treated surgically do not experience a recurrence.