Main Article on Pilonidal Cyst Question: What symptoms did you experience with your pilonidal cyst? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Akayy5, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 15 I got my first pilonidal cyst back in 2017 and it was the worst pain I've ever felt. I felt pain for a couple weeks on my tailbone and it just continued to get worse. Eventually it got to the point where I couldn't walk. I went to the emergency room and they let me know I had a cyst and drained it. I immediately felt better. Eight months later I got it again and it was drained. Now today it is back. Reading everyone's stories made me feel a little better that I'm not alone. Comment from: Jody, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 04 It's 2019, I had my surgery for pilonidal cyst in 1999. I found this page to see if others have ghosting pain later and I see yes thankfully I am not alone. Mine has never refilled but when I exercise and lose weight it feels so achy I almost want to call a doctor. Ibuprofen and soaking it is for now. Thanks all for sharing your stories. Comment from: Mikey765, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 28 I wish you all the best of luck. I've had a pilonidal cyst since I was 27. The first time wasn't bad and last year was great, but in 2018 it has been the worst and keeps getting infected. I've been to a general surgeon and they won't lance it because it is too close to an important nerve back there. Comment from: Female33, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 08 I burst my pilonidal cyst in the shower when I was 16 because my parents thought it was a boil. I did and it drained for months and months. I went to the doctor and they verified what it was and I had surgery in the following weeks. I am now 26 and over the years I've had tenderness from the scar tissue and draining after sitting for long periods of time. I always monitor my pain levels worrying that it may come back. I've had pain for the last week which is hopefully only a result from excessive exercise. Comment from: LongTimeSufferer, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 16 I'm older than 65 and had severe symptoms and an excision surgery for pilonidal cyst at the age of 17. My cyst was quite large. My surgeon made a 'J' shaped incision of almost 12 inches. There was an irrigation drain for the first month and it was removed, leaving a fairly large hole that (over 50 years later) still drains a clear plasma fluid and then bright red blood daily. There has always been pain and serious discharge. I've worn over 25,000 bandages to prevent bleed-through. Comment from: Heather, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 07 I am a 27 year old female and I have now had 5 surgeries since August 2018 and it is now February 2019, because my pilonidal cyst keeps coming back and getting infected. I am getting wound care still and have been since this started in August. I do not sit for work and I have a 1 1/2 year old baby so there is no time for sitting down, I just can't figure out why, or how this keeps coming back. When this occurred the first time I had fallen in July and then this happened in August. Comment from: AR, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 29 To the comment below mine about having the pilonidal cyst since 27 and it being worse in 2018, all your information matches mine! I've just had mine removed 5 days ago and I still don't have any pain from surgery; yet! I would seek a second opinion. Just to be sure. I've seen opposite opinions by specialists in several fields, I would not just trust advice from only one specialist. I had the Karydakis procedure, not open. And do your research. I would never, ever have the open procedure! Comment from: Daniellep, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 22 I was one of the rare women affected by this kind of cyst. When I was 16 I had my pilonidal cyst removed. I'm now 33 years old and when I exercise I feel like the scar is ripping open. It's quite painful. Comment from: Lee, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 15 I am currently 19 years old and have had repeated issues with pilonidal cysts. Currently, it looks somewhat like a scar at the top of the buttock cleft, barely raised, but very red, almost purple, and is approximately the size of the top of my index finger. It definitely comes back when sitting for prolonged periods, presumably due to poor form, but also from pressure in the area. It flares up for about 3 to 5 days then usually pops and drains itself, little pain however. I will go to the doctors if I have another few flare ups. Comment from: Jackie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 19 I am 30 years old and my first pilonidal cyst showed up about 6 months ago. I thought it was some kind of heat or sweat blister. I started researching, then went to my doctor and he diagnosed my cyst before even looking at it! He then examined it and told me to take baths to drain it and keep an eye on it and if it became unbearable to go back and he would refer me to a surgeon. My cyst drains pus 3 to 4 times a week and at times is pretty painful, but not unbearable. It's more annoying to wake up with dried pus on my buttock cleft and to constantly have to clean it since it drains so much. I fear it getting infected as I have seen in some forums, of them getting infected and having to have emergency surgery. Therefore, I am going to see a specialist next week to discuss my options to get it surgically removed. Wish me luck! QUESTION Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer Comment from: NayeNaye, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12 I am a 48 year old female and have had recurring pilonidal cysts since my late 20s. I finally opted for surgery and am 1 week post operation with a drain. My pain is relatively low so I am only taking over the counter pain medicines. The drain is gross but my doctor says all looks good. I'm supposed to be out of work another 2 weeks. Sleeping is horrible as there is no comfortable position for me. The doctor thinks this is a genetic condition for me. Multiple women on my mom's side of family complain of similar issue but did not have surgery. Comment from: GrayIvy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 05 I am a 20 year old female. My first pilonidal cyst flare up happened when I was 14. I have had five sets of drains put in, five separate rounds of antibiotics, and I am 4 days post operation from an intensive tissue removal. My first flare up happened within three days. I fell on Halloween that year and November 2nd I was hospitalized. They drained the location and sent me home the next morning. A few months later, same thing. For six years now. It was horrible. When I heard about the more invasive surgery, I was ready to do it. Four days post operation, I can tell you it is torture but it is worth it. I have already seen incredible healing times. The drainage is somewhat excessive though, go out and buy a ton of cheap undergarments. Comment from: CRISSTA, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 16 I had my first pilonidal cyst when I was 16 years old. The first time I got it, I went into the emergency room (ER) and had it drained by a doctor and a nurse. It was packed with gauze and after that the unbearable pain went away immediately. About two months later I got another one, once again I had to go into the ER and get it drained. My doctor suggested to get it surgically removed because he suspected it would come back soon. I got the surgery about 4 months later and it was the most horrible experience of my life. The pain after the surgery was so bad. I could not sit down at all, I had to lie flat on my stomach for more than 2 months. My wound was about 4.5 cm deep and 3.5 cm wide. It was a very large wound. I had it packed with a big black sponge and some gauze that was connected to a machine that would constantly be sucking pus/blood/drainage out of the wound. It was ongoing pain all day. I was prescribed drugs for the pain. I couldn't go to school or anywhere for that matter. I could only eat foods with protein in it so my mom gave me chicken and protein shakes often. That was for the healing process. The first 3 weeks I had to go to my surgeon every 2 or 3 days so he can check up on me and re-pack my wound and make sure the machine was working properly. Then I started getting a nurse that would come to my house every day to change my gauze. After about 2 and a half months I was healed to the point where my mom or I could change the gauze ourselves. After that, I still have not gotten another cyst and hope I don't! I am now about to turn 21 years old. The downside is that it left a pretty noticeable scar that I am now pretty insecure about. It was one of the most depressing and awful moments of my life, but it was all worth it because now I haven't had to deal with that excruciating pain of getting a cyst. Comment from: Jamie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 25 I have been getting pilonidal cysts since about age 17 and I'm 26 now. I had a wide excision surgery once and it came back almost straight away. I have suffered several times a year since. The pain is unbearable and would rather give birth 50 times over, than have this pain. I still have the track but it isn't infected at the moment but am booked into surgery on 9th of November to remove that bit of skin. Good luck to whoever has one of these! Comment from: MK, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 26 I am in my late 30s. I had a small operation 2 years ago for pilonidal cyst, it came back, and I noticed the symptoms of discharge. The 2nd operation was large, 3 cm x 3 cm deep, laid open. I was off work 6 weeks and had daily dressings, but it has actually taken around 9 months to heal. It slowed right down, due to the area I think. So I would like to share things that have helped the healing. My wife now cleans the area minimum once per week and removes any hair in particular. I take lots of vitamins, mine sped up when I took ZMA (zinc, magnesium and B12) When it was healed, it kept splitting open as skin was fragile, Bio oil has helped get the elasticity back. I have found the supplement Protandim has helped in the healing. I cannot stress enough, keep it clean of debris and hair; that is the key to healing successfully. My opinions only, but I am out the end of the tunnel now and very relieved it appears to be fixed and the wound is solid. As it took so long to heal, I was depressed at times, but it will get there! And it will be worth it. Comment from: It happens, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 22 I am a 35 year old female and had 6 of these pilonidal cysts at one time. Very painful and surgery was the only option. I was off work a week but it took forever to heal. The scar looks like a big Y. I haven't had them reoccur in 25 years. Comment from: tb33, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 03 I am a 58 year old male. I had my first surgery for pilonidal cyst about a year ago. It was no big deal, I was out of work about 2 days. Past 3 months or so I have had increasing amounts of bleeding from the area. The cyst was back, so second, more extensive procedure was done about 4 weeks ago. One area is not closed up from stitches and draining copious amounts of bad looking stuff daily. It appears on bed sheets nightly. I am making weekly visits to surgeon for cleaning as well as daily cleaning and disinfecting at home. Not sure how and when this will end. SLIDESHOW Rosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow Comment from: rarebuthappens, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 18 Pilonidal cyst is said to be predominant in young males and rare over 40 but I am a female who had developed my first cyst at age 41, two years ago. It ruptured on its own and I have had approximately 4 small flares in the last 2 years. Nothing painful, but rather annoying, foul, purulent discharge for about a day but today, 2 years and 2 months since the first developed cyst, I woke with another growing, painful cyst. So if they tell you it is rare in women and very rare over 40, they are wrong. It happened to me. Comment from: Pain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 10 I have been suffering with pilonidal cysts since I was in my early teens and now I am 45. I have had about 65 surgeries, under local general anesthesia, and I have them still today. Presently I have 5 cysts, infections, fevers, and night tremors. I have taken every antibiotic, but nothing works; it's in the genes. The only thing that is awesome is a beach, salt water and sun. Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18 I was 28 when I had the cyst. It was removed surgically with just a local. While that was painful, the follow up cleaning and packing was when I experienced the excruciating pain. Unfortunately, now at 55, I am developing another one. The medical information states that this happens to young men; and usually not to anyone over 40. I'm a 55 year old female. Why can't I get those odds when I'm playing the lottery? Comment from: MaryJo , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 03 I'm a 33 year old woman. I had my first flare of pilonidal cyst when I was 7 1/2 month along. I went to the emergency room and they drained it. I waited another 2 years to have it operated on because I just couldn't take the pain any longer. I had the first surgery. That doctor didn't get all of it and I suffered with infection and an open wound for 7 to 8 months. Meanwhile he tried all ways to close it but none of it worked. Finally got referred to a hospital where I got the 2nd surgery and have been great ever since. They were amazing. Comment from: Hopie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 11 I had my first surgery for pilonidal cyst when I was 13. I am now 45. I noticed it had returned in 2011, and I've dealt with it for 5 years now. I go next week to talk to a surgeon about getting it removed because it's getting painful now. I'm hoping I'm not off work much after the procedure. I don't want to miss much work but I cannot handle the pain anymore. Comment from: VW, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 24 I have a pilonidal abscess. It finally burst after taking Cipro and Epsom salt baths. Since then the pain is not bad but it bleeds off and on. The surgeon is going to cut me tomorrow and it is unclear if I will get a wound VAC or stitches. It is also unclear how long the recovery will be and how I will get around daily during the recovery process. It seems close enough to my rectum to concern me and I am worried that the pain will be tremendous especially at first. Please wish me luck. I will check back here to let you know if the surgery is a success. I will wait till I'm in the all clear to report back. Best wishes to all with this condition. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Comment from: june5, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 27 Sounds like I got lucky. I had a pilonidal cyst that kept bleeding, no pus. I saw the dermatologist and was told I'd need to see a general surgeon. Surgery was quick and easy, they stitched it up. It has now been a week. I returned to work after 4 days and besides some dull pain from sitting down I feel okay. I am not 100 percent but I was able to golf yesterday. I am still hoping it doesn't get infected and that it continues to heal okay. Comment from: Patrick, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 07 I was born with the tiny hole in the tailbone area, and at age 20, I suffered a fall slipping on wet concrete and landing on my tailbone. The following day a lump near the opening appeared, and while hard and moderately painful, I have had much worse. The doctor I saw where I was living had dedicated his life to cleaning pilonidal cysts out after seeing young men suffer through these and the ensuing surgery, while in the military. Mine was cleaned, healed, and has never bothered me since and that was 43 years ago. Fortunately for me, I had a doctor who specialized in these, knew what he was doing, and my opening closed promptly. I resumed a normal schedule the following day after surgery. Comment from: MissDeany, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 08 I had a pilonidal cyst at the age of about 17-18. It took 4 sets of antibiotics (over 4 weeks), seeing 3 different GPs, me fainting from fever at work and being rushed to the doctors by my very worried boss before I was rushed to hospital with the guidance for immediate surgery to have it removed. 48hrs later I was still sat in my NHS bed with no sign of surgery. Luckily my mom had me covered on her private medical and I was in surgery the same day she alerted them. I had to be operated on twice. It was packed and a draining tube connected. I was in hospital for 4 weeks and then recovering at home for a further 6 weeks before I was able to go back to work. The area still remains sensitive now but the cyst has never returned thankfully. My fiancé is now going through similar at the age of 30. I will be using my private medical to get him surgery ASAP. I don't want him going through the same delay I did. Comment from: 55-64 Female Published: September 01 I had my polinidal cyst when I was 16. It was huge with 2 heads. My doctor drained and cleaned it as best he could, but it was weeping for six months. I then had surgery were it was cut out. I had 29 stitches internally and could not put pressure on that area for many years. I am now 59 years old and I have never had a recurrence. Comment from: lilbambino628, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 25 My son had surgery for a pilondal cyst. took him to a dermatologist, told me he needs to see a surgeon. It was a small opened wound w/o foul secretions. He had the surgery, me being a nurse took care of him, I was told, this could come back for it is common in men, the hair follicle gets infected, could be a closed or open wound. 5 yrs later, (NOW) he came to me and he has a small hole, w/o infection. I check alll!!!! These things grow via blood supply! That's a fact. It should be removed, and all arteries, or blood supplying the site should be cauterized, to end the blood supply. My son is not happy, as I'm not as well, however, if this is to grow you will need surgery in the end. If you have "pus" coming from the site you need to be on antibiotics for this can lead to your blood and become systemic. I hope this helped you. Believe me, I'm not looking forward to having my son in surgery. Comment from: helpme, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 20 I thought that my cyst was just an abscess, having it opened and drained twice, until I finally went in for my yearly physical and was told it was a pilonidal cyst and that it would need to be surgically removed. I have not done this yet, however my about 2 inches from my rectum and every day I can squeeze about the size of a dime of pus out and then it is bearable. Almost like a giant pimple! I am really not looking forward to the surgery if it's as bad as it sounds and just keeps coming back! I need some encouraging comments!! Comment from: Assoumi, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 24 I just got surgery done in order to remove my pilonidal cyst on October 22, 2018 and my experience with the surgery was good. I am 27 years old unfortunately hairy and prior to my current job I was very active, however I have become inactive. I used to exercise lots and play daily sports, but with my current job I sit in an office and plan. After the surgery my incision was left open and the surgeon told me that I will recover in about 4 weeks. I have my dressing changed daily by the nurses. Comment from: Worriedmom, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 10 My heart goes out to all of you. My daughter is going through this at the moment. I checked her and started doing research, found out it was a pilonidal cyst, and it was infected. I took her to her doctor last Friday and she is on antibiotic, and we waited for the abscess to drain on its own. Today I helped the pus come out faster by pressing gently on the abscess. I had gauzes, alcohol, and gloves ready. Once most of the pus came out I cleaned her up and covered the hole with clean gauze. I will call her doctor tomorrow! Comment from: Proudmommy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 02 I am 21 and my first pilonidal cyst was when I was eight months pregnant. My son is now over two years old. It's back now, and I've had this one going on over a week. I've been to the E.R. twice. They have lanced it and tried to drain it, but the only thing that would drain was blood, not pus. I've been in excruciating pain. I'm doing everything they said: hot baths, antibiotics, and I try to walk around as much as I can. Comment from: ncgirl, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 30 I had a pilonidal cyst lanced and drained 6 days ago. I noticed the pain on my tailbone. I developed an abscess that had grown and was probably an inch wide. Having the cyst lanced was incredibly painful, because the numbing medication does not work when you have an infection causing a lot of inflammation. Now, 6 days later, I am practically pain-free. I had the wound packed with gauze and I am supposed to pull out an inch a day until there is no packing left, then am supposed to just leave it covered until it's healed on the outside too. It seems like 6 days is early for my packing to run out. I am a bit nervous about this, even though my doctor said she got all of the infection out and I am now pain-free, which makes me think I am healing fast. Comment from: Smalltown girl, 25-34 Female Published: March 26 The first time I had this pilonidal cyst I was 25 yrs old. I was totally embarrassed, scared and upset. I felt like an outcast because I have never known of anyone to have this before. It ruptured because I never sought treatment. I finally went to my family physician and got it drained. I had no problems, then three years later it came back. I went to the ER the morning it ruptured then was referred to a surgeon. Now I have to have someone pack my incision twice a day they say for at least month or so until the incision is healed. I returned back to work and I'm gonna do what I gotta do to make this better and hopefully it doesn't return!! Comment from: jason, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 24 This pilonidal cyst is, hands down, the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. I've had this three times in a single year. Talk about pain and embarrassment! I got hit by a van while I was on a bike and I feel this hurts more than when I got wrecked. I'm taking a flight to Boston and this is a pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy! If you ever get one of these, take action immediately. This is not a game. You will regret it if you don't listen to me. Comment from: RayRay, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 20 My son just had surgery yesterday due to a pilonidal cyst. He had the cyst and was draining for almost a month before I even knew he had it. I took him to his regular doctor and she immediately told me he had an open fistula and that he needed surgery right away. She did schedule him with a surgeon the following day, but said if he got worse before to take him straight to the emergency room. Later that night as my son was unable to sit anymore. I took him to the hospital where they told me after examining him that he did not in fact have a fistula. They were unable to see anything wrong with him, but were going to do a CT scan. After totally traumatizing my son and having to sedate him after , they told me there was nothing to be found. I took my son to the surgeon the next morning as scheduled and after a two-minute examination, he told me that my son in fact had a pilonidal cyst. The cyst was large as we knew from examination but once they got in there they found it to be as large as a softball. Comment from: KB, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 16 I am a 51 year old male. I had a pilonidal cyst flare-up when I was 30 years old. It very painful. The doctor had me apply moist heat (in the form of boiled washcloths) for 24 hours to see if I could get the cyst to erupt on the skin's surface through the fistula. It worked like a charm. The pain dissipated very rapidly and the tenderness disappeared in a day or two. I have not had a problem since. Comment from: sonya s, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 29 I must say I never thought I would be going through this. The first time, I was in my twenties and now, I'm in my forties. It came back and I had to get it opened and drained. I had it packed and closed and two weeks later, it's back. Now my doctors want do surgery. Comment from: unitygal, (Patient) Published: July 25 I'm 67. I have had the cyst since I was in my early teens. I never talked to a doctor about the cyst until about two years ago. I would just deal with the pain and swelling. A bath in very hot water would often cause it to drain and relieve the pressure. I don't get flare-ups too often, but two years ago I had a mastectomy and before surgery my cyst was unbearable. During surgery my surgeon lanced it and I have had no pain until now. Today my surgeon gave me many local anesthesia shots which felt like bee stings. Then he opened up the cyst, cleaned it out and put silver nitrate in the wound and packed it. Now that I'm reading all of these comments, I'm so very shocked at how many people have this problem! Comment from: 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: June 26 I'm currently having another encounter with the cyst. I can't walk properly, sit, drive, or even sleep. This is much worse than the last one, but it seems as though it is beginning to drain itself. Comment from: WAyhne, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 11 I had a pilonidal cysts removed when I was 20. The surgeon left the wound open and I was shocked as to the size of it, and the amount of tissue that was removed. It took approximately 6 weeks to heal. However I am pleased to say that 35 years later, I have never had a recurrence. The surgery and open wound recovery are brutal, but definitely worth it long term. Comment from: starr, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 17 I get them every six to eight months on my lower back. They are big and very, very painful. I have had one removed and it is very painful. I have one now. Comment from: Stephanie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 04 I had my first flare up at 18 years old while at my college orientation. I went to the ER where it was lanced and packed. About 15 years later the cyst became inflamed again and it had to lanced. Once a year for the next five years I had this recurring problem and it wasn't until two years ago that I was told that I needed to have surgery to have the cyst removed. So this past June I had the surgery. There was no real pain for the first four days. I felt fine until the pain medication that was left in the surgery site wore off. Even after that the pain was not bad. I went to tech doctor once a week for seven weeks and he used silver nitrate to keep the incision open, which resulted in a very painful burning sensation. Things seem to be going well until about a month ago when the area became inflamed with pus and blood causing great pain. Finally it burst on its own. One week later I was back for more surgery. I don't know if this is ever going to end. Comment from: ConcernedParent, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 31 My son came to me and told me that his low back hurt. I asked him if he fell or lifted anything to hurt his back. He said no and that it almost felt like his butt bone is broke. I gave him some Motrin and he went to bed. The next morning, he sent me a text because he could not even get up out of bed. I took him to the ER and the doctor looked at him and knew what it was immediately. The ER Doctor put him on antibiotics and some strong pain medicine until we could see the surgeon the next day. I get him home and he goes straight to bed. At 6:00 O'clock that evening, he yells for me and is screaming and crying telling me that he needs to go back to the ER! The pain was now at a 10 with narcotic pain medicine! The ER admitted him for pain control and he had surgery the next day. He had two open incisions that were packed and needed to be changed and repacked daily. The first packing change was excruciating for him! It took four of us to hold him down. Comment from: ugghhh, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 21 I am now on my second recurrence with a pilonidal cyst. The first time I went on Cipro and it went away. It never seems to drain. It just goes away, and I have it again now and am on Cipro once again. Comment from: CaraBella, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: September 10 I'm 18 and I had my pilonidal cyst removed. When I was 12 I had a horse buck me, and unfortunately, I landed on my tailbone. I recovered and thought nothing of it. Occasionally a bump would appear there then go away. But this time, it hurt and absessed for the first time as well. I got it lanced and drained and surprisingly recovered quick and didn't really need pain pills. Then I got the actual cyst itself excised. I admit I was scared because I googled the surgery and these huge gaping wounds were there and of course I watched the surgery performed on medical video sites. I thought I was in some serious trouble. But guess what? A week after surgery I didn't feel anymore pain. I haven't needed it repacked at all since my surgery and I shocked my doctor by being 100% mobile a week after the surgery. I was able to sit on the floor, tile floor! I was amazed I could go be active like I use to be and nothing hurt. They gave me vicodin. They and I both were anticipating some serious pain in the buttocks, but it didn't last for long and I don't need the vicodin. I'm expecting a year recovery but that's okay. I'm glad this was fixed for good. Good luck to everyone recovering. And to those thinking about it, do the surgery. It will hurt but better to hurt now then later for years. Comment from: Shortnsweetme, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 12 I was 14 when I got mine, couldn't sit, lie down, or walk. Although I do feel the most relief right after pressure is applied. It's when I first sit or first get up that is the most painful. I had it lanced the first time it came up, and the packing process is horrible! I feel mine is hormonal, I got my period for the first time just days after it was lanced, and I'm pregnant now and I have gotten it about 5 times in my 24 weeks of pregnancy. Luckily it doesn't have the nasty smell when it drains anymore. Comment from: ohgodwhyme, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 11 My pilonidal cyst showed up when I had just turned 17. I had a large cyst at the bottom of my spine with three drainage holes a couple centimeters apart in the cleft of my bottom. The drainage consisted of pus and blood and once bled so much that it leaked through my shorts. I was embarrassed so I put off seeing the doctor, which meant that by the time I saw him my condition was so bad that it needed surgery. I had outpatient surgery in which my cyst was removed and stitched up. I found that sitting and lying on the sides of my hips, rather than flat eased the pain and pressure on the wound a little. The stitches were taken out and I made appointments each week to see the doctor. He sometimes put drops of silver nitrate in the wound, which I'm still not too sure about, but it did help heal it a bit. My wound took about 18 months to heal, but then started draining again. The longest time it has been healed for has been about two months. The place where the cyst was will decrease and increase in size, filling up with liquid and then "deflating" as it heals. I catch the drainage with pads, which I wear every day, placed at the waistline of my underwear. This may be a bit embarrassing for boys, but it really works! Almost three years later, my wound is still draining; I'm still sitting on the sides of my hips; my life is still being inconvenienced; and I'm still wondering if I will ever be rid of this disease. I hope this detailed description of my experience helps someone else, even though it has been unsuccessful for me. Comment from: Unknown, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: July 06 When I was 13, I notice it was causing me too much pain to sit down, lay down, and walk. In school, I had to walk around like a penguin and everyone was laughing at me. That's when my mom and grandma thought it was hemorrhoids and when the cream they gave me didn't work, my mom took me to the hospital and had it surgically removed. They put me on a little bit of morphine but the pain was still excruciating. The following year, I was finding it hard to sit down in school and had to stand up during classes. I went to get it checked out to find it came back. This time I had surgery, they gave me stitches. A couple of months later, it came back again I had it surgically removed. Now I still feel pain whenever I try to sit down for a long time. Would you believe me if I said I was a 15 year old girl? Comment from: Ms Jina, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 01 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was 17 or 18. My doctor lanced the outside and I was fine until I was 26 or 27 and it came back. I had it lanced again and then I was scheduled for surgery. The surgeon said I had a lemon sized cyst in there. They left the wound open to heal and had to be packed daily with a bleach/water solution. That was the painful part, but eventually it healed up very well. Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 10 I had a pilonidal cyst when I was 15. I am now 44 and female. I have yet had a recurrence. Crossing fingers. I had to have mine surgically removed. It healed up to a little hole. Then the hole would not heal. Every week I had to go in and have a doctor cauterize the wound. That was painful. I finally went to a doctor who said that it would not heal that way. I had to go in and have another surgery which they cut around the hole and left the whole are open to heal naturally. It had to be packed and cleaned every day. On top of this I had to go to school every day like that. Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 27 I had recurring episodes, then at around age 35 outpatient surgery under general anesthetic to remove it. It was inconvenient, but not horrible. I have never had another episode and don't even think about it anymore. It sounds like others have had much more difficult experiences, but it is probably important for people to know it isn't always that bad. I am very glad I had the surgery and took care of it seemingly forever. Comment from: Jeff, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 21 In 1995, my first symptom was lower back pain. This pain was the infection, and a few days later it erupted. A month later the same symptoms and the results occurred. Almost 20 years later, I haven't had surgery and continue living with drainage but not as heavy as the first flare-ups. Comment from: Marc, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 06 It started as something that looked like a small spot that leaked occasionally. I thought nothing of it for the first six months. I then decided to see a GP. The first GP took a swab and said there is nothing to worry about, as did the 2nd, 3rd and 4th GPs. After seeing a 5th GP he said I would need an operation and told me the name of the problem. I went for my first surgery in March 2008 and, following four weeks off work for recovery, I had no more symptoms until 2010. I was taken in for surgery number two in 2010. This was packed and dressed daily by my local RNs. This wound broke down before it fully healed. I was taken in for surgery number three in April 2010. This was, again packed and dressed every day, and, broke down again. In July 2010 I had surgery number four to try and solve this problem, and yet again, my wound broke down. The practice nurses were packing and dressing the wound every day when I was booked in for another operation to, yup, you guessed it, finally try and solve it. So surgery number five took place with an excision with Z-plasty primary closure. This seemed to be going great until Z-plasty started breaking down. I was taken into hospital had my sixth surgery and I was fitted with a Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System. This brings us to the present. I still have the NPWT System fitted and all seems to be going well, so, fingers crossed, I will be well, soon enough. Comment from: 19-24 Male Published: December 13 It's painful to walk stand or even lay down. I am in horrible pain. Anytime I moved my legs there was shooting pain on my tailbone. Comment from: jen16, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 29 My son has just had surgery for this. It all started with no visible signs but he was in severe pain, which was constant and resulted in quite a few sleepless nights. He was originally diagonised with an anal fissure but symptons continued and he eventually developed a fever, and the appearance of two very small lumps at the top of his bum. Comment from: worstpainEVER, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: November 22 I had a pilonidal cyst for the first time about a year ago at the age of 19. My tailbone felt like I had cracked it. I couldn't walk or sit comfortably at all. I used hot compression and applied a Draw Out Salve medication (black gooey cream) until this disgusting pus started dripping out. I used gauze to cover it and fully drained it all. The next day, I felt like a NEW person. Comment from: Lake Annis, Female Published: October 24 Two of my children, both females were born with pilonidal cysts! Comment from: cystsucks, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 12 I got my first pilonidal cyst at 16. I am now almost 40, and it has recurred many times. Sometimes there are five years between flare-ups, but lately I get one about every eight months. I shave, clean, stay away from fast foods and fried foods, and do everything I can think of. It doesn't matter, it still comes back. It is very painful. I would rather be kicked in the testicles with a golf cleat. My doctor doesn't want me to get surgery. And other doctors don't even want to touch it. I can't sit, stand, lie down, turn over, my whole body aches it spreads down to my hips and knees. I shiver, get vertigo, and nausea. It truly sucks. My friends tell me that I should keep looking for a doctor to help me until I find relief. Comment from: Esti, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 04 My cyst was diagnosed at age 18, and I had surgery. A year later it happened again and in 2009 I had two surgeries. Believe it or not it has resurfaced again. Comment from: 45-54 Female Published: September 26 I (female, 56 years old now) had a pilonidal cyst removed 32 years ago. It was left open, and I don't remember pain associated with the healing process. The only pain I remember was the headaches/nausea that I had as a side-effect of the spinal anesthesia. I have not had a recurrence since. Comment from: ayagirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 13 I had my first pilonidal cyst at age 16. I didn't know what it was just that there was extreme pain on my upper tail bone all the time. I went to see a surgeon who had me in surgery 30min. later. Over the years it would sometimes drain and get a little painful, but 30 years later it's back in full force. Surgery was performed four days ago and instead of being left opened a packed like the first time, this time I have stitches and a drain tube. This is much less painful, but I fear that when I return today for post-op check up that the stitches will have to be removed and packing placed. I believe it is infected, been running low fever and pain is a little worse each day. Comment from: purplegirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 23 Mine surfaced at the age of 15 or 16 - I was lucky in that mine drained when it flared up - it was still very painful, but the pressure associated with swelling wasn't as great. My doctor suggested surgery to remove it, and chose to leave it open vs. closing it with stitches as he said the chance of recurrence was minimal that way. It is now 30 years later, and no recurrence. Comment from: Betty Boop, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 08 I am a 'rarity' then; I am a Caucasian female, 51 years old and was just diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst! I'd been having lower back pain for about three weeks and suddenly found a lump 'deep' in my left buttock near the tailbone region (L)side. The pain when sitting at work (desk job)has been very uncomfortable. There is 'no' sign of an opening yet, although my physician said it wasn't ready to erupt and the site of eruption could be as far as two inches from the cyst itself? Ugh...So, I am going to a surgeon to have her take a look at it to determine what to do next. Comment from: Laurie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 18 With my pilonidal cyst, I had blood and a sticky substance that smelled oozing from the cyst. It oozed for the than a month before I went to the doctor. I have surgery and now I have a huge open wound. I have a nurse come by once a day to pack and dress the wound. Comment from: donald, Male (Patient) Published: July 25 I had a pilonidal cyst in the middle of my crack which required surgery and a five day stay in the hospital. The wound was packed with several feet of gauze which had to be painfully removed as the wound healed from within. Lots of discomfort for about a month thereafter, particularly when sitting. It's been 22 years without a recurrence.