Outpatient LASER treatment of pilonidal disease: the PiLaT technique
Given that pilonidal cyst (with or without any accompanying sinuses) is a benign disease which affects mostly young men, ideal treatment of this condition should be definite, pain-free and allowing for quick recovery. However, many of the procedures offered to patients are still far from this ideal. The aim of this study is to present my 5-year experience of treating pilonidal sinus disease with the use of a minimally invasive laser procedure in an outpatient setting.
Patients with both primary and recurrent pilonidal disease were treated with the PiLaT (Pilonidal Laser Treatment) technique. After cleaning the existing sinuses of hair and debris, these were obliterated by a 1.470 nm diode laser using a radial fiber. All procedures were performed under local anaesthesia and the patients were discharged soon after completion of the procedure. Follow-up lasted up to 3 years.
A total of 162 patients underwent the PiLaT procedure (mean age 23 years; range 14-48), of which 128 (79%) were male. Successful healing was achieved in 91.5% of primary cases (119/130) and 84.3% (27/32) of recurrent cases. Failures were treated again with PiLaT. Mean healing time was 27 days (range 18-45). Post-operative complications occurred in 9.8% (12 seromas, 4 abscesses). Patient satisfaction reached as high as 96%.
The PiLaT technique seems to be very close to the ideal treatment of pilonidal disease, since it is safe, effective, painless and has short healing times.