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Pilonidal Disease

Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists

Lisa A. Perryman, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Colon and Rectal Surgeon & A Private Medical Practice located in Denver Metropolitan Area, Parker, CO

Pilonidal disease is a long-term condition that affects the skin in the crease of the buttocks under the tailbone. Lisa A. Perryman, MD, FACS, FASCRS, at Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists in the Denver metropolitan area, Colorado, provides effective surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for pilonidal disease. Dr. Perryman is a compassionate and experienced colon and rectal surgeon who customizes plans for pilonidal disease based on the frequency and severity of symptoms. Call the Denver metropolitan area office today or book an appointment online.

What is pilonidal disease?

Pilonidal disease is a condition affecting the skin and underlying soft tissue in the crease of your buttocks. It causes tunnels or tracts under the skin (pilonidal sinus) or fluid-filled pockets (pilonidal abscess). 

Anyone can develop pilonidal disease, but it’s more common between ages 16 to 40. 

How did I get pilonidal disease?

Pilonidal disease occurs when hair in the crease of the buttocks gets pulled under the skin through dilated, ruptured hair follicles. Wearing tight clothes or sitting for long periods may force the hair inward.

The hair irritates and digs under the skin, leading to the formation of a pilonidal sinus. An infection may occur in the sinus cavity leading to an abscess. Most people are diagnosed with pilonidal disease when they have an abscess.

A family history of pilonidal disease may increase your risk of developing the condition. The chronic skin problem is also more common in people with coarse hair, and a deep butt crease. 

When should I see a specialist for pilonidal disease?

You should schedule an appointment with Dr. Perryman at Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists if you have pilonidal disease that causes symptoms or is a recurring problem. Not everyone with pilonidal disease has symptoms. 

However, if you have ongoing pain or infections, Dr. Perryman can help. She reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam, closely evaluating the affected skin in the buttocks area to determine the best course of treatment.

What are my treatment options for pilonidal disease?

Treatment for pilonidal disease depends on symptoms. If you have an abscess, Dr. Perryman drains the fluid and may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. 

Dr. Perryman may recommend excisional surgery with a flap closure to remove or open the sinus cavity to prevent future infections. This is called pilonidal cleft lift, or Bascom Cleft Lift, and is Dr. Perryman’s preferred surgical technique for this condition. It has a 96.6% success rate, and although healing from pilonidal disease surgery can take a few weeks, most patients have minimal discomfort. 


Please read our blogs Pilonidal Cyst Surgery and Can Pilonidal Disease Return After Surgery? to learn more about pilonidal disease and treatments.  


Call Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists today or book an appointment online for compassionate pilonidal disease care.