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J Pak Med Assoc. 2007 Aug;57(8):388-91.

Excision with or without primary closure for pilonidal sinus disease.

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Department of General Surgery, King Saud University Unit, Riyadh Medical Complex, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To evaluate the outcome of excision with or without primary closure in the management of chronic pilonidal sinus (PNS) disease.


Between July 2002 and November 2006, a randomized trial was conducted in the Department of General Surgery, Riyadh Medical Complex, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All the patients who presented with chronic natal cleft PNS disease were included in the study. They underwent either excision with midline closure (EMC group), or excision without closure (EWC group). Patients, who came with an acute pilonidal abscess (complicated) were excluded from the study. The principle outcome measures recorded were wound infection, healing time, time off work and the recurrence rate.


A total of 380 patients of chronic PNS were divided into EMC group, (188 patients) and EWC group (192 patients). Majority of the patients were male in both the groups (93%). The hospital stay ranged from 2 to 5 days (mean = 3.6 +/- 1.4 days) for EMC group, while it was 3-5 days (mean = 4 +/- 1.1 days) for EWC group (p < 0.002). wound infection was 4.2% in EMC group, compared to 3.12% of EWC group (MS). The mean healing time and time off work in EMC group was significantly shorter than the patients in EWC group. Median follow up of EMC group was 36.3 months (range 10-52 months) while it was 35.2 months (range 13-51 months) for EWC group. Statistically there was no significant difference in the recurrence rate of both the groups (3.7% vs. 3%).


Excision and primary closure is recommended, as a preferred procedure in the management of chronic PNS disease. It has the advantages of early wound healing, rapid return to work and comparable recurrence rate with excision and open wound.

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