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March 1967

Pilonidal Disease: A Critique on Surgical Management

Author Affiliations

Buffalo, NY
From the Division of Proctology, Department of Surgery, State University of New York Medical School at Buffalo.

Arch Surg. 1967;94(3):418-420. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330090112026

"PILUS" (hair) and "Nidus" (nest)1 designates the basic condition although many pilonidal cysts may not contain hair and any hair present may originate from an extrinsic source.

This apparently trivial lesion has been a challenge to the ingenuity of many able surgeons. Medical literature contains many articles on etiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment.

Pilonidal disease, although first described by Anderson2 in 1847, drew little attention for nearly 100 years. During World War II it became a significant problem, the solution of which proved most disappointing despite a host of surgical techniques devised by many able surgeons. To emphasize the above point, it is of interest to note that in the US Navy during the year 1940, the number of sick days caused by pilonidal disease and its postsurgical complications exceeded those of syphilis or hernia.3 During 1944 and 1945, the total "man days" lost from duty in

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