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Treatment of Pilonidal Disease with Laser Epilation

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Pilonidal disease is a debilitating, chronic disease of the natal cleft. It mainly involves the sacrococcygeal region and the presentation varies from asymptomatic pits to painful draining abscesses. Treatment options vary from observation to wide excision. Unfortunately, surgical treatment often results in recurrence. The etiologic agent remains in question, as does the optimal treatment. Our objective was to assess the efficacy of laser epilation as an adjunctive therapy to surgical excision of the pilonidal sinus. Eighteen men and five women were treated with laser epilation in our office from 2001 to 2004. All patients had experienced recurrent folliculitis and had undergone some form of drainage procedure or prior excision. After surgical excision of the affected area, a Vasculite Plus laser was used for the epilation treatments. Each session involved 9 to 12 treatments and the patients underwent an average of two sessions. All 19 of the patients that remain in follow-up report no recurrence of their folliculitis or need for further surgical procedures. During treatment, six of the men and one of the women experienced a superficial wound dehiscence. All healed with local wound care and continued laser treatments. Laser epilation is an effective adjunctive therapy for the treatment of pilonidal disease. Although not curative in and of itself, the removal of hair allows better healing and decreases the chance of recurrence by removal of a significant etiology of pilonidal disease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education, General Surgical Program at St Francis Medical Center, Trenton, New Jersey

Publication date: 01 June 2006

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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