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How to avoid recurrence of pilonidal sinus and fistula?

Q: My 20 years old son was operated for perianal abscess and complex fistula five days back. The surgeon suggested immediate surgery to avoid further complications. An MRI of the lower abdomen was done before operation, which confirmed the fistula. Exactly a year back, he was operated for Pilonidal sinus. What precautions should be taken to avoid recurrence? The doctor told me to get him examined after three months to see any fistula in the right side.

A:Pilonidal sinus and anal fistula are two disorders that resemble each other in many ways. One problem with both conditions is that the recurrence rates after surgery are high. Sadly, we just don't have many ways for avoiding recurrences.

I can't think of precautions that the patient can take for preventing recurrences. The surgeon will try to operate in a way that minimizes the chance of recurrence, but despite that the chance of recurrence is about 15 per cent for both conditions.

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