A lot of people have this question in mind – Can pilonidal sinus cause fistula? Pilonidal sinus is a painful condition that can happen in both genders. But, young men are more prone to pilonidal sinus. Pilonidal sinus starts with a cyst-like structure that develops along the tailbone, just near the cleft of the buttocks. In the initial stage, the pilonidal cyst appears as a dimple like depression only and later grows into a full-size cyst. This infectious cyst contains debris, hair, bacteria and causes much discomfort to the person.
Usually, when a cyst develops, it causes more cysts to grow around and the condition gets serious. When these multiple cysts keep growing, they tend to connect through the passages or sinuses under the skin. So, such a cyst with a tunnel or sinus under the skin is called a pilonidal sinus.
How pilonidal sinus causes fistula?
Pilonidal sinus can cause fistula in a very rare and severe case. Such a condition where pilonidal sinus leads to fistula is known as pilonidal fistula-in-ano. According to recent studies, Pilonidal Fistula-in-ano is a rare condition and only six cases have been reported till now. Although the chances of such a complication are rare, immediate medical attention is a must for pilonidal sinus and fistula.
We know that in both the conditions, an abnormal sinus or tract develops under the skin near the anal region. The infectious liquid keeps draining out of the passages. Since there is a similarity in these symptoms, it can make you think if these two are related conditions. It can become a matter of all the more worries for a person who is already suffering from pilonidal sinus. x
Now, let’s take a quick look at the risk factors of fistula as well
- Chronic constipation
- Frequent or chronic diarrhea
- Prolonged fissure
- Too much of straining during bowel movements
- Heavy weight lifting
These are the major risks of fistula that you should look out for. Just get in touch with a specialist doctor for the treatment of fistula.
Let’s know about the factors that make a person more prone to develop a pilonidal sinus
Risk factors for pilonidal sinus are as follows:
- Long working hours that require you to sit for about 8-10 hours every day.
- Excess body weight or obesity is a major contributing risk factor to the pilonidal sinus. (Also read: Tips for successful weight loss)
- Sweating and not maintaining proper body hygiene increases the chances of developing pilonidal sinus.
- A sedentary mode of lifestyle can ultimately result in the pilonidal sinus.
- Sweat that collects in the cleft of the buttocks adds up to to the unhygienic condition.
One has to be really careful and maintain a healthy lifestyle to stay away from these risk factors.
Symptoms to confirm Pilonidal Sinus:
- Purulent discharge that has a foul smell
- Bleeding from the opening of the pilonidal sinus
- Scarring of the skin just above the buttocks
- Pain while sitting or wearing tight clothes
These are the common signs of pilonidal sinus that are alarming enough to seek medical help.
Similarly, there is another painful condition where a sinus or tract develops inside the body. That condition is Fistula. In fistula, an abnormal passage or tract forms between the external and the internal opening of the anus. An infectious purulent discharge keeps draining out from the tract. Mostly, bleeding also occurs along with the discharge. Therefore, it is not at all wise to leave it unattended.
Fistula also needs immediate medical treatment like pilonidal sinus. Both conditions need proper timely treatment to be free and healthy once and for all. (Also Read: What Factors are Responsible for the Growth of Pilonidal Cyst or Sinus? )
Treatments are necessary for both these conditions, Pilonidal Sinus and Fistula. You should not delay the treatment for Pilonidal Sinus or Fistula. Delaying the treatment for any of these conditions can lead to severe complications.
Complications when Pilonidal Sinus is left untreated:
- Rare chances of skin cancer
- Systemic infection throughout the body
Complications when Fistula is untreated:
- Anal Cancer
- Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (Also read: Foos that can control symptoms of IBS)
- Ulcerative inflammation of the colon
It is, of course, better to get proper treatment on time to keep these complications away. The modern treatments for pilonidal sinus and fistula are very quite simpler and effective. In comparison to the old traditional surgeries, the success rate for the modern treatments for these conditions is very high.
The traditional or open surgeries for such diseases are complex and have a long downtime after the procedure. These things add up to the hesitation of a patient to undergo the surgery. Also, the patient has to endure pain and discomfort during the recovery time. Not to ignore, there are high chances of infections or recurrence after traditional surgical treatment. Hence, modern laser-assisted treatment is any day a better option.
Modern laser-based treatment for Pilonidal Sinus
The laser treatment for Pilonidal Sinus is minimally invasive. The laser procedure does not involve any cuts or incisions on the body. The high precision laser directly acts on the sinus without causing damage to the neighboring tissues. And the patient feels no pain under the effect of anesthesia. It is a daycare procedure that allows the patient to go back home on the same day. The advanced laser treatment also offers a smooth and speedy recovery. The patient completely recovers in 3-5 days and can easily resume his work as well. (Also Read: Different Types of Pilonidal Cyst Surgery )
Added advantages of laser treatment for pilonidal sinus:
- The pilonidal cyst does not reappear
- No abscess formation
- There is no bleeding and scarring
- No chances of skin cancer
Modern laser-based treatment for Fistula
The above-mentioned laser-assisted technology is used to cure fistula also. The laser treatment makes sure that the fistula does not reappear. One of the USPs of the laser treatment is that the chances of complications are nil. And, the entire procedure only takes 30 minutes to complete.
So, there is nothing to worry about the treatment of pilonidal sinus and fistula. The advanced laser treatment is the best permanent solution.