Pilonidal Cyst Removal

Peri-Rectal Abscess and Anal Fistula TreatmentPilonidal cysts develop in the crease of the buttocks along the tailbone. These cysts contain hair and skin debris. The cyst resembles a large pimple and may become painful, inflamed and even infected. Pilonidal cysts usually occur in people younger than 40 and are more common in men than women.


Surgical removal or drainage of a pilonidal cyst is indicated if it is large, painful, or becomes infected.

Pre-Op Evaluation and Prep: 

Patients will have a physical exam by the surgeon to discuss symptoms and determine if surgery is needed. Routine blood work is usually not needed but may be ordered prior to surgery based on the patient's age and the presence of any existing medical problems.

You may be instructed to stop taking some medications before surgery. Make sure your surgeon knows all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including natural or nutritional supplements. For more information related to preparation for surgery click here.


Pilonidal cyst removal will be performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision on the skin near the cyst. The sac enclosing the cyst is removed and the pocket is cleaned. The skin may be packed with gauze, sutured closed or left open to drain.


This varies from patient to patient. Many patients return to desk type work the next day. You will probably not have any lifting restrictions. It is rare for patients to need extended time off of work.
While recovery instructions may be tailored to individualize a plan of care based upon your specific needs, these instructions are common following cyst removal surgery:

  • You will need to arrange for a ride home the day of your surgery and we recommend someone stay with you for the first 24 hours at home.
  • When you leave the facility after surgery, we will want you to go home and rest. Avoid making any other plans on the day of your surgery. Starting the following day, you can increase your activity as you feel up to it.
  • Avoid fried foods, milk products and citrus juices for around one day after your surgery. Suggestions for foods to eat include soup, sandwich, pasta, potatoes, toast, and applesauce.  
  • Care instructions at the surgical site including dressings and bathing will depend upon the exact location of the cyst and closure of the incision. You will receive more detailed instructions specific to your procedure.
  • Although you will likely feel completely numb for several hours after the procedure, you will likely be given a prescription for pain medication following your surgery. The recovery nurse will discuss a pain control plan following surgery specific to you and your needs including activities like ice applied over incisions and a medication regimen. Often times we will recommend taking Tylenol and Advil (same as Motrin, Ibuprofen) or Aleve in addition to the narcotic pain medication.
  • It is often suggested to start taking a stool softener and Miralax the day following your procedure. You will want to continue this regimen as long as you are taking narcotic pain medications.

For additional information for after surgery preparation click here.

To Schedule an Appointment

To find out more about Pilonidal Cyst Removal services offered at CSA Surgical Center in Columbia, Missouri please call Columbia Surgical Associates at 573-443-8773 and schedule an appointment.


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