A pilonidal abscess is an infected cyst-like formation near your tailbone in the crease of your buttocks. Common amongst men whose lifestyle or occupation demands long periods of sitting still, a pilonidal abscess calls for immediate medical attention. If left untreated, the infected cyst may eventually lead to pus and blood drainage, foul odors, and medical complications. Dr. Murrell is an immensely talented Los Angeles-based colorectal surgeon specializing in the long-term treatment of pilonidal abscesses and their underlying root cause.
Causes of Pilonidal Disease
Sometimes, when a hair follicle starts growing out of the skin, it’s pushed back into the skin due to tight clothing or extended periods of sitting still. When this happens, your body reacts to the hair follicle as an external object and covers it with a cyst, which, in turn, gets infected and becomes an abscess, leading to pilonidal disease. The crease of the buttocks is the most common region for pilonidal abscesses because the hair in the region has trouble growing out.
Your Consultation with Dr. Murrell
If you identify the signs and symptoms of a pilonidal abscess, you must contact a colorectal surgeon immediately. Pilonidal cysts lead to immense pain and an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer). During your consultation with Dr. Murrell, he’ll carefully examine the pilonidal cyst, review your medical history, curate the appropriate treatment plan, and explain the procedure details. He’ll take you through every step of the treatment, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Pilonidal Abscess Treatment Options
Pilonidal Cyst Drainage
The most common treatment for an acute pilonidal abscess is in-office drainage under local anesthesia. Dr. Murrell delivers local anesthesia to ensure you’re comfortable during the procedure. He makes a small incision to drain the cyst or removes the cyst entirely. The wound is packed with dressing to let it heal naturally from the inside. He avoids closing the wound immediately because that increases the risk of recurrence. This treatment only alleviates the infection—it doesn’t fix the underlying cause.
Bascom is the long-term solution to the root cause of pilonidal disease—this treatment ensures you don’t get the pilonidal abscess again. Bascom procedure is generally performed if the pilonidal abscess fails to heal or you experience a second outbreak. Also known as a “cleft closure” or “cleft lift,” this procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately 45 minutes. This procedure also has a more involved recovery process, but it’s worth going through the trouble because it dramatically reduces the risk of recurrence.
You’re put under general anesthesia, so you’re not awake for the procedure. The infected or abscessed tissues are removed entirely—it’s usually more extensive than it seems on the outside. The open wound is closed while removing the “cleft” between the buttocks—the scar lies beside the midline. Removing the cleft where the infection usually occurs reduces the risk of a future pilonidal breakout. Temporary drains might be placed for a few days to prevent fluid accumulation.
Schedule an Appointment
Dr. Zuri Murrell is an exceptionally talented and reputable colorectal specialist in Los Angeles. He has a compassionate and friendly attitude with the ability to make his patients feel comfortable through every step of pilonidal abscess or disease treatment. You may schedule an appointment online or call us at (323) 310-1137 to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Murrell today.