Pilonidal Cyst

Colorectal Surgery located in San Antonio, TX

Pilonidal Cyst services offered in San Antonio, TX

Pilonidal cysts develop in the buttock cleft at the base of your spine. If you have a painful, inflamed lump, visit fellowship-trained colorectal surgeon Tamara J. Merchant-McCambry, MD, at Lone Star Colon & Rectal Surgery and Clinical Services of San Antonio. Dr. Merchant-McCambry will promptly diagnose and provide expert treatment, including surgery where needed. Call the office in San Antonio, Texas, or book an appointment online today to get relief from painful pilonidal cysts.

Pilonidal Cyst Q&A

What is a pilonidal cyst?

A pilonidal cyst is a fluid pocket that develops near your buttock cleft. It often contains shed skin and hair.

At first, a pilonidal cyst might not cause any problems. But if it becomes infected, an abscess can develop, which can be very painful. An infected cyst is red and tender and might produce blood or pus.

Some people’s pilonidal cysts get infected repeatedly over long periods. If you have this problem and don’t receive treatment, your risk of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) increases.

Why would I have a pilonidal cyst?

Pilonidal cysts most often develop when a hair gets into your skin and becomes stuck. It’s unclear why this happens, but friction and pressure in the area could force hairs into your skin. A cyst forms because your immune system identifies the hair as an invader.

Your risk of pilonidal cysts increases if you:

  • Are a young male
  • Spend every day seated
  • Wear tight clothes
  • Bicycle frequently
  • Have a lot of body hair
  • Have coarse or stiff hair
  • Carry excess body weight
  • Are very inactive

If you’ve had one pilonidal cyst, you’re more likely to develop them again. Washing regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding prolonged sitting can help prevent new cysts.

How is a pilonidal cyst treated?

Dr. Merchant-McCambry can diagnose a pilonidal cyst by carefully examining the area. She can drain a pilonidal cyst under a local anesthetic if she confirms you have one. This relieves pressure and encourages healing.

Pilonidal cysts often come back. If you frequently suffer from pilonidal cysts, Dr. Merchant-McCambry might suggest surgery. She uses techniques that cause little tissue damage, so you heal more quickly.

Stitching the wound encourages tissue repair, but your risk of developing another pilonidal cyst is higher. Leaving the wound open means it heals more slowly but reduces your chance of new cysts forming.

It’s vital that you properly care for your wound after pilonidal cyst removal surgery to prevent infection and speed up healing. Dr. Merchant-McCambry will provide complete guidance on looking after the wound, changing your dressings, and returning for a checkup.

Call Lone Star Colon & Rectal Surgery and Clinical Services of San Antonio or book an appointment online today for prompt pilonidal cyst treatment.