An abscess is a collection of pus under the skin causing pain, swelling, and occasionally, fever. Incising and draining the abscess cavity usually relieves most of the discomfort.
A pilonidal cyst is an irregular pocket in the skin, usually containing hair and dead skin. They almost always occur near the tailbone at the top of the cleft of the buttocks.
There may be pain when the local anesthetic wares off in 2-3 hours. Use Tylenol every 2-3 hours as needed, or the prescription pain medicine as directed by your doctor.
Gauze has been packed into the wound to control bleeding. This can be removed 8-12 hours later while soaking in a warm tub bath. Keep a clean, dry gauze over the wound until drainage stops, usually withing 1-2 weeks. For pilonidal cysts, the wound must be packed with gauze daily as directed by Dr. Saenz.
Use tub baths two or three times daily for 10-15 minutes to keep the area clean. Do not apply any creams, ointments or salves to the wound.
Bleeding, discharge and itching are normal during the healing of the wound. Antibiotics are not necessary once the abscess has been drained.
Approximately 50% of abscesses will result in a fistula (a tract from the rectal to the skin on the buttocks). When swelling is reduced, your doctor will be able to examine the area for presence of a fistula. Return to the office as directed for follow-up care.