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Pilonidal sinus surgery

Your doctor may recommend pilonidal sinus surgery if you have pilonidal disease that is causing pain or infection.

Pilonidal Disease

What is a pilonidal sinus?

A pilonidal sinus is a problem in your natal cleft (the area between your buttocks) that can cause infection. Hairs can grow in your natal cleft, or loose hairs can fall and collect in your natal cleft. Hairs carry bacteria, which can cause inflammation and infection. An abscess (a collection of pus) can form or the pus can drain through a tunnel (sinus) out to your skin.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Surgery is the most dependable way to remove the pilonidal sinus and pockets of infection.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Washing your natal cleft every day to prevent hairs building up and removing hair from the area by shaving, waxing or using a hair removal cream may help to prevent an infection. An occasional discharge can be treated with antibiotics. Although, it is sometimes possible to have a procedure under a local anaesthetic to drain an abscess, or to brush the sinuses and fill them with glue or phenol, and to remove the pits.

What does the procedure involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 30 minutes. Your surgeon will simply remove the sinus and infected tissue, sometimes over a large area.

What complications can happen?

Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications that can be serious and can even cause death. Please bear in mind the general and specific complications regarding this type of operation.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of this operation

  • Partial breakdown of your wound
  • Slow healing
  • Numbness around your wound

How soon will I recover?

If there are no complications during the operation, you should be able to go home the same day. You should be able to return to work after 2 to 3 weeks. Moreover, regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice. The pilonidal sinus can come back. It is important to keep the area free from hairs and as clean as possible to reduce this risk.


Pilonidal sinus is a common problem in young adults and is best treated by surgery. It can cause an abscess or continued discharge. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337.


Author: Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)

Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright ©

The surgery cost for pilonidal sinus removal

Please be aware that the following prices are a guide price. Your final price will be confirmed in writing following your consultation and any necessary diagnostic tests.

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Guide price
Hospital fees N/A Not included £3,300 Included £3,300
Consultants fees from £200 N/A Included Included £200
Guide price £3,500

Specialists offering Pilonidal sinus surgery

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Mr Shashank Gurjar

Consultant Laparoscopic General and Colorectal Surgeon

MBBS, FRCS (Gen Surg), MSc MBA, MA (Cantab)

Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Mr David Andrew Evans

Consultant General Surgeon


The Beardwood Hospital

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Mrs Jenny Geh

Consultant Plastic Surgeon


The Sloane Hospital 1 more The Blackheath Hospital

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Mr Khurram Siddique

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon


The Highfield Hospital

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Mr Abdulzahra Hussain

Upper GI/Bariatric


The Blackheath Hospital 1 more Chelsfield Park Hospital

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Mr John Simpson

Consultant General Surgeon

MBchB PHD FRCS_x000D_  

The Duchy Hospital

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