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01.09.2009 | Review | Ausgabe 3/2009

Techniques in Coloproctology 3/2009

Review of phenol treatment in sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease

Techniques in Coloproctology > Ausgabe 3/2009
Cuneyt Kayaalp, Cemalettin Aydin



Investigating minimally invasive methods for treatment of pilonidal disease, we reviewed the techniques and the results of phenol treatment of pilonidal disease in the medical literature.


A Pubmed search for all English language written papers and abstracts published between January 1964 and September 2007.


Mean time to return to work is 2.3 ± 3.8 days and mean healing time is 20 ± 14 days. Overall success rate is 87 ± 10% with a mean follow-up of 2.0 ± 1.1 years. The most common postoperative complications after phenolization are development of abscesses and cellulites. The incidence of morbidities was mean 8.9 ± 4.7%.


Success rate looks better particularly in the cases that have 1–3 sinus orifices and comparable with the surgical methods. Though healing time of the wound is long, the procedure apparently lessens the time off work. Although results of this review indicate that phenol treatment may be beneficial for pilonidal disease, the lack of randomized studies results in only weak evidence. There is also the need for longer-term follow-up data.

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