Pilonidal sinus, or cyst, surgery is frequently an outpatient procedure and happens in a doctor's office, surgical center or hospital, explains MedlinePlus. This type of cyst cannot be treated with antibiotics and must be drained or removed.
The first step in the treatment of a pilonidal cyst is draining it in a doctor's office, according to MedlinePlus. The doctor numbs the skin with local anesthetic and makes a cut in the cyst. Pus and fluid drain out, and the doctor then removes the problematic hair follicle and fills the remaining hole with gauze to heal. After one or two days, the patient returns to the doctor to have the wound checked and to replace the gauze.
If the pilonidal cyst is more serious, the doctor recommends marsupialization in a hospital or surgical center instead, states MedlinePlus. The procedure is largely the same except that the doctor sutures the edges of the slit that he cuts to the interior of the cyst in order to make it one continuous surface, and he does not pack the hole. Usually it takes about six weeks for the wound to heal.
A trained surgeon sometimes drains and closes these cysts in a hospital, claims MedlinePlus. However, since the entire cyst is difficult to remove, it sometimes recurs.