A pilot study of wound healing following surgical excision of pilonidal sinus

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Journal Article
Collegian, 2004, 11 (3), pp. 24 - 28
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© 2004 Royal College of Nursing, Australia Pilonidal sinus (PS) is a painful, chronic condition with a high reoccurrence rate. This prospective, descriptive pilot study followed 15 consenting patients who had surgery for PS excision over 12 weeks postoperatively. Changes in their wounds were monitored with the AMWIS digital imaging system. Participants completed surveys recording their demographic details, wound characteristics and treatment, and impacts of PS on their lives including pain, level of embarrassment and effects on activities. Results: Eight patients (53%) reported their wounds had healed at 12 weeks. Wound healing rates varied widely but did not appear to correspond to wound area or dressings used. Impacts of PS on participants' usual activities at 2-3 weeks were rated as minor for 40% (n=6) of respondents and moderate to severe for one third (n=5). Most respondents indicated decreased participation in sports, particularly swimming. At 12 weeks, 62% (n=8) reported no impacts and two reported moderate to severe impacts, including inability to sit the HSC examination. Both of these latter respondents had unhealed wounds. Embarrassment levels were low for all respondents at both time periods (mean=1.5 and 1.3, respectively, median=1). The topography of the sacrococcygeal area presented a challenge for reproducible digital imaging. The sample size is too small for generalisation, however this pilot demonstrates the feasibility of using the data collection instruments and procedure in a larger study.
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