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Pilonidal cyst, sacrococcygeal fistula

What is a pilonidal cyst?

Pilonidal c yst (or sacro-coccygeal cyst) is a cyst with liquid/corpuscular content that forms at the level of the skin at the apex of the intergluteal groove, roughly at the level of the transition between thesacrum and coccyx.

It is usually caused by clumps of hairs and skin debris that become trapped in the pores of the skin, which increase in size, can become inflamed and even infected resulting in the appearance of an abscess; sacro-coccygeal cyst can also form true fistulas that connect the cystic cavity with the skin surface.

The risk factors of pilonidal cyst

The main risk factors for the development of pilonidal cyst are:

  • male
  • sedentariness
  • presence of hairs of increased thickness
  • familiarity
  • overweight
  • trauma repeated in the sacrococcygeal area
  • Having already suffered from the same problem

La pilonidal cyst is manifested by the appearance of a nodule, which can become sore and cause a rednesspilonidal cyst skin towering above it; sometimes there can be fever, which is a sign of cyst infection. Diagnosis is based on clinical examination.

Pilonidal cyst: what therapy?

Treatment of pilonidal cyst is surgical. If an abscess is present, drainage is necessary (antibiotic therapy alone is usually insufficient). If the cyst is not infected, surgery can be scheduled, which involvesremoval of the cyst. Unless the latter is really conspicuous in size, the surgery can be performed under local anesthesia. The remaining wound can be sutured, which promotes faster healing; or be left open, which implies longer healing times and more assiduous outpatient care.

Recurrences are frequent, and are not dependent on the technique used.Careful depilation in the area of surgery (especially if the open technique was used), hygiene of the area, and avoidance of local trauma (e.g., avoiding sitting for a long time) can help prevent a pilonidal cyst from recurring.


  • Pilonidal cyst - by FamilyDoctor.org, an important U.S. resource curated by theAAFP(American Academy of Family Phisicians), an association of more than 120,000 family physicians throughout the States. In English.
  • Pilonidal cyst - on WebMD, one of the most important medical hubs on the Web. English.