Endoscopic pilonidal abscess treatment: a novel approach for the treatment of pilonidal abscess

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Pilonidal abscess is a common surgical emergency. Conventional treatment with incision and drainage is associated with significant postoperative morbidity. We report our initial experience of using minimally invasive endoscopic technique for the treatment of pilonidal abscesses, referred to as endoscopic pilonidal abscess treatment (EPAT).


A prospective database of all patients undergoing EPAT between January 2015 and March 2016 at Whiston Hospital was maintained. Data regarding patient demographics, peroperative variables and postoperative follow-up were recorded.


Nineteen patients were included, male to female ratio was 53 : 47 and median age of the cohort was 24 years (interquartile range 22-25 years). EPAT was the primary procedure for 10 patients and 9 had EPAT for recurrent pilonidal abscesses. There were no readmissions and none needed further surgery within 6 weeks of having the procedure. In all patients, complete wound healing was achieved within 6 weeks; all reported minimal postoperative pain (median postoperative visual analogue scale score 1) and immediate return to the activities of daily life. Four of the nineteen patients (21%) required definitive intervention for pilonidal disease in the follow-up period.


EPAT is a novel, minimally invasive technique for the treatment of acute pilonidal abscesses. It is safe, associated with reduced postoperative morbidity, recurrence rate and quick wound healing. Initial encouraging results require further investigations on a larger group of patients in a multicentre setting.

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