A chronic skin infection near your tailbone, just above the crease in your buttocks, can be more than annoying. The lower back is a common spot for coarse body hair to get caught under the skin, which can cause pilonidal disease. This problem affects more than 70,000 people in the US every year. While it can heal on its own, it sometimes develops into a cavity (or sinus), or abscess. The sinus forms beneath the skin and can become abscessed, get infected and require professional care.
Dr. Lisa Perryman and the team at Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists offer pilonidal cleft lift surgery to help patients with pilonidal disease. The pilonidal cleft lift procedure removes the sinus and greatly reduces the risk of the disease recurring. Unlike previous surgeries to correct pilonidal disease, a cleft lift is unlikely to cause further infection and require more surgery.
Characteristics of pilonidal disease
Most often occurring between adolescence and the age of 40, pilonidal disease affects more men than women. People with thick, coarse hair at the top of the buttock crease and those who are overweight are more prone to the disease.
A variety of symptoms occur with the disease. They include:
- A large, painful mass just above the crease of the buttocks that is inflamed or abscessed
- Fluid draining from the area
- Nausea or fever if the area is infected
Drawbacks of conventional treatment
Prior to the development of pilonidal cleft lift surgery, surgical approaches would aggressively remove tissue surrounding the pilonidal sinus. This not only introduced another wound into an already infection-prone area, but it also sometimes led to continued infections that required more surgery.
Pilonidal cleft lift surgery
The cleft lift procedure creates a shallower buttock crease, which prevents the buildup of hair and debris that contributes to pilonidal disease and chronic infection. The surgical wound is sutured closed so there is no open wound requiring dressing changes. It requires specialized surgical training and the skill set of Dr. Perryman’s.
If you have or think you may have pilonidal disease, call or message Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists in Parker, Colorado, to explore your options. Dr. Perryman will diagnose your condition and recommend a plan for treatment.