The Most Common Condition you Never Heard of, Until You’ve Got it!

Have you ever heard of a pilonidal cyst (really should be termed pilonidal disease as it’s just an infection and is not caused by a cyst) until you or a loved one were diagnosed with one?  The prevalence of pilonidal cysts in the population is reported as low (<< 1% of the population at large), but there is much recent evidence that the prevalence in young people (particularly males) is 3-5-8% (the latter in a study of Turkish soldiers).  In addition, the physical and emotional trauma that is caused by pilonidal disease can be tremendous.  Some young people have frequent discomfort and drainage.  Others have a series of failed operations and endure weeks, months, even years of wound care with frequent trips to wound clinics.  The most unfortunate of pilonidal sufferers miss prolonged periods of work or school, some even being home schooled.

 

This has got to stop as there are good, reliable cures and treatments.

 

Some important truths:

 

Dealing with a pilonidal problem can seem daunting.  Please do your research and seek the best treatment possible by the most experienced surgeon you feel comfortable with.  If travel is involved it’s going to be worth it.

Author
Jeffrey A. Sternberg, MD, FACS, FASCRS Pilonidal Surgery, Board-Certified Colorectal and General Surgeon located in Civic Center, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA

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