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What is a Pilonidal Cyst?
A Pilonidal Cyst is a non-contagious pocket or sac of tissue that forms on the top of the skin above the tailbone that can become infected and painful.
The plastic surgeons of North Shore Center for Plastic Surgery in Great Neck, Long Island, NY, specialize in Pilonidal Cyst treatment and can properly advise you on your surgical and antibiotic treatment options.
Meet The Doctors of North Shore Center For Plastic Surgery
Long Island Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Lin is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in Breast Reduction Surgery.
Dr. Lin is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery and has hospital privileges at the following institutions: North Shore University Hospital-Manhasset, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Syosset Hospital, Winthrop University Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Plainview Hospital, Glen Cove Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital and ProHealth Ambulatory Surgery Center.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The two most common theories on what causes a pilonidal cyst are that they are caused by ingrown hairs or trauma to the tailbone region. In fact, when a Pilonidal Cyst or Pilonidal Abscess is removed it’s common to find hair follicles inside the cyst cavity, hence the name “pilonidal” which means “nest of hair”.
Patients who have a Pilonidal Cyst will often experience:
- Pain in the tailbone region
- Redness and swelling on skin above the tailbone region
- Patients can also experience draining pus, if the cyst has formed into an abscess
- Men: Men are four times more likely to develop a Pilonidal Cyst than women. However, that’s not to say that it’s impossible for women to develop a Pilonidal Cyst.
- Patients with Thick Body Hair: Because it is believed that a Pilonidal Cyst can be associated with ingrown hair(s) above the tailbone, it is also believed that men with thicker hair may be more at risk.
- Patients with a Family History of Pilonidal Cysts
- Patients who Routinely Shave Hair Above The Tailbone: Routine shaving of the skin is thought to place men & women at a higher risk because there’s a higher chance of damaging the skin and/or developing an ingrown hair later on.
- Overweight or Obese Patients
Dr. Lawrence Lin and Dr. Jacob Cohen-Kashi diagnose patients who believe they have a Pilonidal Cyst first by doing a physical examination. Through the physical examination, the doctors at North Shore Center for Plastic Surgery will determine if the region in question is indeed a Pilonidal Cyst or a Pilonidal Abscess.
The two most common ways to treat a pilonidal cyst are antibiotics and surgical removal. The proper treatment method and the options available with each treatment type can be determined after a proper physical examination and diagnosis.
Antibiotics are used to calm the area when it is an active draining Pilonidal Abscess, and also peri-operatively at the time of surgical excision.
Recurrence of Pilonidal Cysts is not common once excised, but non-healing areas around the site of excision can occur requiring local wound care.
If you suspect that you have a Pilonidal Cyst, contact Dr. Lawrence Lin and Dr. Jacob Cohen-Kashi at North Shore Center for Plastic Surgery to setup an appointment.