A pilonidal (Pie-low-NIE-dul) cyst is an
abnormal pocket or pit that may contain hair
and skin debris. The cyst is almost always
located along the crack of the buttock
(gluteal crease). If this debris causes
infection a painful swelling occurs and can
open and drain. This can occur time and
If this cyst reoccurs with swelling, pain and
drainage then surgery will be performed to
remove the hair and debris and the infected
tissues. This can leave a wound that can be
small to a large area over the gluteal crease
(crack of the buttock). Wound care will
need to be done twice or more times a day
while the wound heals.
ξ Wound care is extremely important
after surgery. You may also need to
shave around the surgical wound to
prevent hairs from lying in the
wound. The hair can prevent
ξ With an open wound you may be
seen in clinic to remove the bandage
and packing. You may need daily
dressing changes. It can take weeks
to months for this area to heal.
Arrange for someone to help you
with wound care. If this is not
possible, let us know. We can make
plans to teach you wound care in
clinic. There may be a time when
you are asked to scrub the area to
“make it angry” to help it heal. Do
not do this until we say it is okay.
ξ Check daily for signs and symptoms
Excess swelling or bleeding.
Fever above 100.4 θ F (by
mouth) for 2 readings taken 4
ξ Once the wound is healed, you may
need to use a cotton gauze/pad to
wick sweat away from the area for 6
weeks. By then the scar will be
ξ Wear loose fitting clothes.
ξ No strenuous activity until okayed by
ξ Increase fluids and fiber in your diet
to keep your stools soft.
ξ Do not drive while taking narcotic
When to Call the Doctor
Unsure about the wound care (can be
seen in clinic to teach).
Temperature over 100.4 θ F by
mouth, for 2 readings, taken 4 hours
Pain not controlled with pain pills.
Excess swelling or tenderness.
Increased redness at the site or warm
Rapid or excess bruising or bleeding.
Any other symptoms that concern
Digestive Health Center: (608) 890-5000
After hours, holidays and weekends ask for the doctor on call. Leave your name and phone
number with the area code. We will call you back.
Toll Free: 1- 855-342-9900
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4480.