Pilonidal disease, also known as pilonidal sinus or pilonidal cyst, is a chronic skin condition characterized by the formation of an abnormal small sack on the skin containing hair and fragments of skin, most commonly located between the coccygeal bone and buttocks. It is accepted that the disease has an acquired character and is not a congenital disease, as originally assumed.
Pilonidal cysts most commonly occur in young men, aged between 18 and 40, and the problem tends to recur. The condition can be acute or chronic. People who sit in a chair for a long time, such as truck drivers, have a higher risk of developing a pilonidal cyst.
If a pilonidal cyst becomes infected, the resulting abscess is often extremely painful.
How much does it cost the pilonidal cyst surgery?
The price of the pilonidal cyst surgery will be influenced by some factors such as your health insurance coverage, the place you are living, the billing inclusions, the surgeon you choose, the type of the procedure, and the facility.
If you don’t have health insurance coverage, expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500 for a straightforward incision and drainage of a smaller-than-average cyst, that doesn’t involve any complications. However, if the cyst is larger than average and requires surgery at a local hospital, then you should be prepared to spend more than $11,000.
You can find very useful information regarding the treatment options, costs, or other questions about this surgery on the Pilonidal Support Alliance website. According to this website, you will have to pay more than $11,000 for flap surgery and just $150 to $450 for a lancing procedure.
MDSave.com is a website that brings together the patients and the doctors who post their prices. According to this portal, the national average cost of pilonidal cyst surgery is $3,000.
A member of the Reddit forum said that he had to pay around $750 for this surgery, with insurance.
A mother posted on Yahoo! Answers that she had to pay $12,500 for her child’s pilonidal surgery. She had to take her child to an outpatient center because the cyst grew too large. Also, she recommends removing the cyst as soon as it appears because if left growing, it will result in high costs for treatment and pain as well.
Cyst surgery details
The treatment of pilonidal cyst depends on the severity of the disease. The main treatment for an acute abscess is drainage, which is done through an incision that allows the pus to drain, reducing inflammation and pain. This procedure can be performed under local anesthesia.
The treatment of a complicated pilonidal cyst (pilonidal abscess) is surgical and consists of incision and evacuation of the abscess, removal of debris, hygiene, and daily dressing of the wound until healing. The recurrence rate after drainage of the pilonidal abscess is around 40-50%, the full excision at this stage being difficult and often incomplete due to the local inflammatory process, which leads to recurrence of the disease.
The treatment of uncomplicated pilonidal cyst (without signs and symptoms of abscess) and the chronic pilonidal cyst is surgical, is performed under spinal anesthesia or analgesia, and consists of wide excision of the entire sinus to healthy tissue, with or without primary suture of the wound, or coverage of the area with skin flaps through different procedures (Limberg, cleft lift Bascom) with variable results depending on the particularities of the case, and the applied technique.
An important role in the prevention of recurrence after surgery is the careful and correct postoperative care, following the evolution through scheduled regular check-ups.
What are the extra costs?
Facility – You may have to budget for the hospital, doctor’s office, or the surgery center as well. Make sure you talk with the hospital or the surgical center about what is going to be included in the final bill. You should know that, in general, it will cost you less if you choose to go to a doctor’s office and not to a hospital.
Tests – Before the surgery, you will have to go through some routine tests such as urine/blood analysis, sigmoidoscopy, and chest x-ray in order to see if you can go through this surgical procedure.
Anesthesiologist fee – Depending on the billing policy this fee may or may not be included in the initial quote. This fee will be influenced by a few factors like the anesthesiologist you use, the type of anesthesia, and the duration of the treatment. You will probably not have to worry about this fee if the surgery is performed at a local doctor’s office. Though, if you have this surgery done at a hospital you will have to pay more than $850 for the anesthesiologist.
Surgeon’s fee – Again, depending on the billing policy, the surgeon’s fee may or may not be included in the initial quote. Make sure you talk about this fee beforehand. This cost will greatly depend on the duration of surgery.
What are the symptoms of a patient with a pilonidal cyst?
The vast majority of patients with pilonidal cyst show no symptoms, the only sign being a prominent, small swelling of the skin in the sacrococcygeal region. At other times, pilonidal cysts are accompanied by painful embarrassment and regular secretions.
Symptoms of a pilonidal abscess (infected pilonidal cyst) include:
- Local pain, intense, throbbing, and issues while walking. The patient has difficulty sitting on the chair, and will look for a position that avoids contact of the region with other planes;
- Swelling in the sacrococcygeal region (interfacial), with reddening of the skin covering the abscess;
- Fever and chills;
- Loss of blood or pus (in the case of fistulous abscesses), along with the unpleasant odor noticed by the patient.
Can a pilonidal cyst be prevented?
There are several steps that can be taken to prevent the appearance or recurrence of pilonidal cysts.
Measures to prevent the appearance of a pilonidal cyst:
- Proper buttocks hygiene (to keep the area clean);
- Avoid sedentary lifestyle and prolonged sitting;
- Weight loss.