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Choosing a surgeon

Patients have many choices regarding the type of physician they see for treatment of their pilonidal disease. Often, the diagnosis is made by an emergency room, urgent care, or primary care physician. I have even seen patients referred to orthopedics, spine surgeons, or “tailbone specialists” because of misdiagnosis of the cause of the pain.

The treatment might be done by a general surgeon, colorectal surgeon, dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The best surgeon is one with a long experience and high success rate in treating pilonidal disease. It is my strong preference that the surgeon be skilled in the cleft-lift operation or Karydakis procedure.

Whichever kind of surgeon you see, it is important to ask about their experience and success rate, as well as their stragegy regarding what to do if the surgery is not successful. There should be a “Plan B”, since none of these methods is 100% all the time. If they say they’ve never had a failure – be skeptical.