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Pilonidal Cyst Surgery - Should You Have This Treatment?

Updated on July 25, 2013

Pilonidal cysts are an awful affliction. However, the treatment can be just as bad – if not worse. Take it from me: I was sent to hospital to have pilonidal cyst surgery, but after waiting 12 hours to even be seen, I made the decision to walk out and go back home, with my fingers crossed that I would not ever suffer from any pilonidal cysts again.

After seeing the doctor, it was recommended that I go straight to hospital to have surgery on my pilonidal cyst. The symptoms and actual cyst itself was very bad at that point, so much so that I struggled to walk, sit down, and even lay down. Every single movement was a world of pain.

If you think I’m exaggerating here, you’ve probably never had a pilonidal cyst. Not only are they one of the most painful problems, they are also arguably one of the most annoying.

Thus, it’s no wonder that many people are willing to have pilonidal cyst surgery without much thought. The vision of a cyst-free life would make many jump straight onto the operating table. However, the surgery itself does carry quite a few risks, and it doesn’t even guarantee that the cyst will be gone forever, as it could come back at any point in a sufferer’s life.

Below you will find a quick pros and cons list of pilonidal cyst surgery, and this should help you decide whether to undergo the knife or not. Further still you will find a couple of alternative treatments, including the exact method I used to get rid of my pilonidal cyst – no hospitals, no doctors, and no scalpels.

First though, let’s go over what the surgery usually involves. I was told this would be the exact procedure from the doctor himself.

In the past the cysts were lanced – however, this became an unused method when doctors discovered that if the pus from the cyst entered the bloodstream, it could be fatal!

Pilonidal cyst surgery usually involves you being put asleep with anaesthetic – this is to numb the pain, and without it I’m pretty sure any patient would actually pass out from the pain.

The surgeon will then proceed to, quite simply, cut off the cyst, which includes going right underneath it and taking some skin and muscle out too. You are then given gauze to place on the top of your buttocks.

Sounds simply, right? However, after the surgery is when things get a little complicated.

For starters, the gauze has to be redressed every week or so. As many hospitals are full to the brim, and the fact that this goes on for many months, a nurse will come to your home to redress it. There are no stitches, and you have to be careful not to get the gauze wet, dirty, or anything else.

Infection can also be a problem. The area of surgery will need to be closely monitored, and any infections or seepage will have to be reported straight away.

Lastly, and the doctors say this themselves, is the point that this does not guarantee that you won’t have a pilonidal cyst again. They can come back at any point in your future life, regardless of whether you go for the surgery or not.

Here’s a quick breakdown:


  • Temporarily and for an unspecified amount of time gets rid of the cyst, and with it, the pain.
  • A fairly routine procedure, although information on pilonidal cysts isn’t in-depth


  • Involves being put to sleep to avoid the pain
  • No guarantee it won’t come back
  • Involves going to hospital
  • Redressing the gauze and constant worry for many months

As you can see, the cons may look like they outweigh the pros, but sometimes there is only one choice. Always remember, the doctors do often know what is best for you, and if they insist on surgery, it is best to have it.

However, I took things into my own hands. With constant hot baths, plenty of lying down, and using a soft cushion, my cyst simply popped on its own one night while in the bath. I just let it drain from there, and that was it – I could walk normally again!

It’s up to you to decide whether pilonidal cyst surgery is the way forward, but be sure to think carefully about it. Hopefully this article has been able to help you make a more informed decision, but be sure to always prioritize the advice of a doctor over advice on the internet. And remember, however much you want to, don’t pop the cyst yourself!


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