Hair epilation versus surgical excision as primary management of pilonidal disease in the pediatric population

Hair epilation versus surgical excision as primary management of pilonidal disease in the pediatric population

Can J Surg 2015;58(3):209-11 | PDF

Andreana Bütter, MSc, MD; Melissa Hanson, MD; Lisa VanHouwelingen, MD;
Neil Merritt, MD; Jamie Seabrook, PhD

Summary

Pilonidal disease is a chronic, acquired inflammatory process of the skin due to entrapped hair at the natal cleft. Reported recurrence rates are as high as 30%, and recurrence has been attributed to persistent hair near the surgical site. Although conservative measures, such as meticulous hair control and improved perineal hygiene, have been shown to be effective, these techniques typically require much effort on behalf of the patient. Laser hair epilation (LE) might solve this issue of poor patient compliance while helping patients to avoid surgical excision. In this article, we discuss recurrence rates of pilonidal disease in children treated with LE versus surgical excision in relation to findings from our institution between 2005 and 2013 as well as patient satisfaction with the treatment method.


Accepted for publication: Dec. 7, 2014

Affiliations: From the Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital, Western University, London, Ont. (Bütter, Merritt); Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ont. (Hanson); Division of General Surgery, London Health Sciences Centre, Western University, London, Ont. (VanHouwelingen); Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College at Western University, London, Ont. (Seabrook); Department of Pediatrics, Western University, London, Ont. (Seabrook); and Children’s Health Research Institute, London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ont. (Seabrook).

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: All authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this commentary and approved the final version for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.011214

Correspondence to: JA. Bütter, Western University, Children’s Hospital, 800 Commissioners Rd East, London, ON, N6A 4G5; andreana.butter@lhsc.on.ca