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J Wound Care. 2008 Nov;17(11):468-70, 472, 474.

Pilonidal sinus: healing rates, pain and embarrassment levels.

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Community Nursing Southcare, Sutherland Hospital, Sydney, Australia.



To identify the healing rates, wound hygiene practices, types of primary wound dressings used, antibiotics prescribed, pain intensity and embarrassment levels in patients with pilonidal sinus.


A prospective descriptive design was used. We followed 55 patients for three months following excision of pilonidal sinus. Digital photographs were taken and the wound area was calculated using the Alfred and Medseed Wound Imaging System on the first postoperative day, at 2-3 weeks and again at 12 weeks. Data were collected from the nurses and patients using piloted questionnaires.


Sixty per cent of the participants had closed wounds within 12 weeks of surgery. Various dressing types were used. There was no significant correlation between dressing type and healing, or wound size and healing. There was no significant association between antibiotic usage and faster healing rates. A mean pain intensity score of 4.8 on a 0-10 scale was reported at the first dressing change for saline gauze dressings, which was the most painful experience with this wound. Average levels of embarrassment were low and decreased over time.


Forty per cent of participants who had unhealed wounds at 12 weeks had other factors involved, which were not measured in this study.

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