Does My Child Need A Pilonidal Specialist?
Some pediatric patients develop pilonidal disease. With few exceptions, it remains mild throughout the adolescent years. It is manageable with lifestyle modification and medication alone. If surgical procedures are required, they are smaller procedures such as abscess drainage and pit-picking. At Pilonidal Treatment Center of New Jersey, patients 16 and under who present with pilonidal disease are managed with a “light surgical hand”.
Unfortunately, due to lack of public education on pilonidal disease, this is not always the case. Worried parents are too often directed to bring their child to a surgeon who is not a pilonidal specialist. A flawed midline surgical removal results, performed too early and too aggressively. When this results in wound failure, months or years of school is affected. Sports are placed on hold. The social impact becomes progressively real.
Herein lies the critical importance of early evaluation of the pediatric patient by a pilonidal specialist. At our Center, small surgical procedures, when necessary, are performed in such a way as to never “burn a bridge”, i.e. raise the difficulty of a subsequent definitive cleft-lift later in life. Of course, for the pediatric patient with a large nonhealing pilonidal cystectomy wound from an outside provider, a revisional cleft-lift by a pilonidal specialist is sometimes the only way to restore life quality to a pediatric patient.