Background: Sacrococcygeal pilonidal is a common disease in active young adults. Many surgical methods have been proposed, although no clear consensus as to the optimal treatment has been reported. This review looks at the different surgical techniques available and examines the reported results of primary healing, recurrent disease and complications (including delayed healing). Method: A literature search using the Medline database was performed to locate English language articles on surgery for pilonidal disease. Further articles were obtained from the references cited in the literature initially reviewed. Results: Management should be tailored according to the individual and whether the disease is acute or chronic. Treatment should take into consideration hospital stay and return to work. Simple excision, curettage, partial lateral wall excision, or marsupialisation, are simple techniques with good results. They can be used for the initial surgery but their use is not recommended for recurrent disease. The modified rhomboid flap for recurrent disease has consistently shown positive results in terms of complication rates and recurrence. Conclusion: We would recommend tailored treatment with simple excision for initial presentation and the modified rhomboid flap for recurrent disease.
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