Pilonidal cyst

"When the cyst becomes complicated, surgical drainage is necessary to avoid major problems".


What is a pilonidal cyst?

The pilonidal cyst is a cystic formation located in the intergluteal groove and contains hair formations inside.

They normally remain asymptomatic and are diagnosed when complicated by a secondary infection, forming an abscess in this location.

Pilonidal cysts usually remain asymptomatic and can be discovered accidentally.

The diagnosis is made only by the clinic presented by the patient. An examination by the specialist will be sufficient to establish the existence of a pilonidal cyst.

The differential diagnosis must be made with boils, perianal fistulas and sacral osteomyelitis.

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What are the symptoms of a pilonidal cyst?

Usually the pilonidal cysts usually remain asymptomatic, and the presence of small holes through which hairy formations emerge in the space between both buttocks, the midline of the sacrum, can be discovered accidentally.

It is, frequently, from the second-third decade of life, when, due to a process of superinfection of the latter, a typical clinic of an abscess is produced in that location, with tumour, inflammation, pain, etc.

Most common symptoms:

  • Pain.
  • Abscess.
  • Inflammation and redness.
  • Fever.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a pilonidal cyst

What are the causes of a pilonidal cyst?

It is currently discussed whether this is an acquired aetiology (growth of a hair follicle inwards instead of outwards) or congenital.

What is your prognosis?

Depending on the greater or lesser size of the cyst and, therefore, the greater or lesser removal of tissue, we can proceed to close the defect created or allow a closure by second intention, leaving the wound open, requiring subsequent cures.

With either method, there is a small percentage of patients who present recurrence of the cyst.

How is a pilonidal cyst treated?

Pilonidal cyst drains when it produces symptoms

The treatment of a pilonidal cyst is considered when it becomes complicated and produces symptoms.

In its acute phase, in case of abscessification, it is recommended to drain the purulent material and then proceed to the complete removal of the cystic formation and the secondary fistulose paths, if they exist.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of General Surgery
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of General and Digestive Surgery is made up of specialists dedicated to the surgical treatment of endocrine, breast, gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, pancreatic, colorectal and abdominal wall diseases, with special dedication to oncological surgery.

The application of laparoscopic surgery in the interventions reduces the hospital stay, the post-operative discomfort and shortens the patient's recovery.

We have a great experience in laparoscopic colorectal surgery, of the adrenal gland, liver and pancreas, as well as in obesity surgery.

Treatments we perform

  • Colorectal surgery.
  • Breast surgery.
  • Surgery of the hemorrhoids.
  • Pelvic floor surgery.
  • Endocrine and obesity surgery.
  • Esophageal and gastrointestinal surgery.
  • Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery.
  • Abdominal wall surgery.
  • Liver transplant.
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Why at the Clinica?

  • Center of Excellence in Obesity Surgery by the International Federation for Bariatric Surgery.
  • 90% survival rate in liver transplants.
  • We are the private hospital with the largest technological equipment.

Our team of professionals