Miss Patricia Boorman

Consultant Colorectal Surgeon


Pilonidal Sinus

A pilonidal sinus is a small hole or tunnel in the skin at the top of the buttocks, where they divide (the cleft).

Pilonidal Sinus doesn't always cause symptoms and only needs to be treated if it becomes infected.

What is a pilonidal sinus?

A pilonidal sinus is a small hole in the skin believed to be caused by ingrowing hairs. This is commonly found in the region just above the buttocks. If the sinus becomes infected you make notice pain, swelling and a discharge. This is usually treated with antibiotics, however, if it keeps getting infected you may require surgery.

What causes a pilonidal sinus?

Pilonidal sinuses occur when the body reacts to an ingrowing hair, people who have a higher chance of developing them are those with a lot of body hair, overweight or who have a job that requires a lot of sitting such as lorry drivers or office workers.

Did you know?

Pilonidal disease was first ‘discovered’ and documented in 1833? It took many decades before the condition was named. The term pilonidal is a derivative of two Latin terms; the first – pilus – meaning ‘hair’, and the second term – nidus – meaning ‘nest’. Today, doctors and researchers better understand this condition, which is most common between 15 to 30 years of age.

Reasons for having pilonidal surgery.

If you get recurrent infections despite antibiotic therapy, your doctor may suggest surgery. The aim of surgery is to either drain the infection or to remove the sinus, to prevent further infections.

Alternative treatments

You may choose not to have surgery. Without surgery it is likely that you will develop further infections that require antibiotics.


Usually diagnosis is made by your doctor after conducting a thorough examination and taking a detailed history of your symptoms. If you have multiple sinuses your doctor may arrange for you to have a scan of the area.

Book a consultation with Miss Boorman today.