Primary Closure Techniques in Chronic Pilonidal Sinus: A Survey of the Results of Different Surgical Approaches

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Pilonidal sinus is a common disease and surgical removal and subsequent wound closure is crucial for lasting cure. To evaluate the outcome of different primary closure techniques we performed a pooled analysis of data published in the past 35 years.


We identified reports on wound infection, early failure, and late recurrence status in relation to treatment modality. Surgical techniques were classified into five groups: simple closure technique in the midline, asymmetric or oblique closure techniques, and full-thickness flap techniques like rhomboid flaps, vy-plasty, and z-plasty. Estimations of the incidences resulted from the quotient of number of responses and the number of patients for each study, and these quotients were summarized over all studies.


The MEDLINE search identified 74 publications including 10,090 patients. Pooled data analysis revealed an inhomogeneous effect of the surgical techniques on the infection rate. In contrast, there was a significantly lower early failure rate and late recurrence rate of both the asymmetric-oblique closure techniques and the full-thickness flap techniques when compared with the midline repair technique. No difference was found between the asymmetric repairs and the full-thickness flap techniques.


Beside the various statistical considerations when using a pooled data analysis combining results from the literature, this overview suggests a significant benefit of asymmetric-oblique closure techniques or flap techniques in comparison with simple closure in the midline. Thus, we recommend an asymmetric closure technique for primary closure of a chronic pilonidal sinus. These asymmetric procedures provide better results than the simple closure in the natal midline. Furthermore, they are not as sophisticated as the full-thickness plasty techniques.

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