What is Pilonidal Sinus and What are the causes

What is a Pilonidal Sinus?
A Pilonidal sinus is a tract that extends from a cleft at the top of the buttocks fold deep into the region of the tail bone. It usually contains a tuft of hair, dirt and debris. More often than not, it becomes infected and the abscess that forms needs to be drained. When the drainage heals incompletely a sinus forms.

Causes for Pilonidal Sinus
Younger individuals are more prone to the formation of the sinus as there is a change in the hormone pattern after puberty. Hairy individuals and people who sit for long and who are mostly inactive develop these sinuses.

Symptoms of Pilonidal Sinus
The symptoms are usually, pain, swelling, redness in the area. Sometimes there may accompanying fever with surrounding bogginess in the affected area signifying an abscess cavity. When the abscess cavity breaks there may be discharge with temporary relief from pain.

Laser Treatment for Pilonidal Sinus
Early cases of Pilonidal sinus can be treated with medicines conservatively. However, when the sinus is mature and discharging, Holmium Yag laser treatment of Pilonidal Sinus tract is done. At the Laser Gastroeneterology Clinic T-Nagar and Laser Gastroenterology Clinic OMR, Chennai, an MR fistulogram is usually ordered and the tract and its extensions are outlined.

During Surgery, which is usually done as a daycare, the Holmium Laser cuts through the track and removes it with minimal damage to neighboring tissues. Primary closure of the wound is possible most of the time.


  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Pilonidal-sinus/

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran