Skip to main content

About pilonidal disease

Pilonidal disease is a recurring condition affecting the skin near the tailbone, which can last for months or years. It occurs when a hair under the skin or a hair follicle in the tailbone area (just above the cleft of the buttocks) becomes infected and spreads to the surrounding tissue, causing an abscess that contains hair, skin debris, fluid and pus. Since the cyst is near the tailbone, it can be quite painful, especially when sitting for long periods.

Pilonidal disease is most common in adolescents and young adults, and it’s three times more likely to affect males than females. Obesity, along with having dense, curly hair, can be contributing factors.

Our approach to treatment

The Cohen Children’s Pilo-Center provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for patients with pilonidal disease. Staffed by a highly trained team of pediatric surgeons, pediatric advanced care practitioners and nurses, we are deeply committed to providing top quality care for this chronic condition. When your child is evaluated, your doctor will review with you an individualized treatment plan with options using the most effective and least aggressive approach.

In the past, we often used a procedure called the cleft lift procedure, which involved surgery to create a large skin flap to remove the pilonidal disease and flatten out the gluteal cleft. It took about two to four weeks to fully heal from this procedure. Always raising the standard of health care, our experts have pioneered a renowned new treatment approach called less invasive pilonidal surgery. It’s minimally invasive, relatively painless and has great success rates. It can be done with sedation, rather than general anesthesia. Recovery is so minimal that children can return to school the very next day without physical restrictions.

Go to top