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Treatment depends on the acuity of your condition, severity and how it is affecting your life:

  • Pilonidal disease is an infection. Therefore, if you are in "manageable" pain, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics. This will not make the disease go away, but it can help relieve pain until surgery to remove the disease can be done.

  • If you are in severe pain, then you most likely have a pilonidal abscess that must be drained right away. The doctor can usually drain the abscess in the office using local anesthesia, which numbs the area where the surgery is done. After the procedure, you will need to receive antibiotics and you will need to care for the wound by frequently soaking the incision. You will receive information about how to care for the wound.

  • If you just have ongoing pain, chronic discomfort with sitting, draining pits or an open wound with bleeding and drainage then you have chronic pilonidal disease. In this case, your natal cleft skin likely has multiple pits where debris and hair can collect and get infected. When pilonidal disease exists, it is likely you will need surgery to prevent future infections and pain.

  • The best surgery for chronic pilonidal disease is the Cleft Lift Procedure.

  • However, some patients can be good candidates to have a less invasive procedure called "pit picking".

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