How Does One Come To Specialize As A Pilonidal Surgeon?
The question is a good one. The majority of pilonidal surgeons in the US have completed a 5 year general surgery residency. Some have gone on to perform colorectal surgery, pediatric surgery, and plastic surgery fellowships. These fellowships are generally 2 years in duration. No pilonidal fellowship currently exists in the Western world.
Regardless of the fellowship training or lack thereof, the dozen or so pilonidal surgeons in the United States all have one thing in common: a high volume experience with the Bascom cleft-lift procedure. As a pilonidal surgeon, I can say this with confidence. These surgeons wouldn’t “keep coming back” if they weren’t experiencing surgical successes, and the only real success is seen with the cleft lift.
Those surgeons who are not true pilonidal specialists do not perform true cleft lifts despite claims. As a result, their results are suboptimal. They tend further away from pilonidal patients, discouraging excisional cures, or referring patients out to a true pilonidal surgeon.