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Crystallized phenol for treatment of pilonidal sinus disease in children: a comparative clinical study

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The aim of this study was to present our experience in the use of crystallized phenol (CP) to treat pediatric patients with 'simple' and complex' Pilonidal sinus disease (PSD).

Materials and methods

Patients who underwent CP treatment in between January 2015 and January 2020 were evaluated retrospectively, using prospectively collected data. The patients were divided into simple and complicated groups. The groups were assigned depending on the number of sinuses and clinical presentation. The groups were compared in terms of age, sex, number of sessions, cost analysis, body mass index (BMI), recurrence, time resolution, cosmetic results, results /improvement, and complications.


This study included 54 patients: 28 (52%) girls and 26 (48%) boys. The mean number of sinuses was 2.4. Symptoms included discharge in 50 (92%) patients, and pain in 42 (78%) patients. Fifty (93%) patients experienced mild pain during the procedure, whereas four (7%) patients had moderate pain. The mean number of CP sessions was 2.9; mean numbers of CP sessions were 2.2 and 4.2 in the Simple and Complicated groups. In total, 5 of 54 patients (9%) had recurrence.At the end of treatment, therapeutic success was achieved in 49 of 54 (91%) patients: 31 of 33 (94%) patients in the Simple group and 18 of 21 patients (86%) in the complicated group. The mean treatment cost for the whole cohort was $17.40. One patient (2%) presented with moderate skin burns. Cosmesis was deemed acceptable by patients, although there was evidence of minor skin burns following the procedure.


The findings showed that the CP procedure was advantageous for treatment of PSD, because it was minimally invasive, cost-effective, provided good cosmesis, and had a high success rate and low complication rate. Furthermore, it did not require prior examination, and could be performed under local anesthesia. Therefore, the CP procedure may be useful as a first-line treatment option in children with PSD.

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The English in this document has been checked by at least two professional editors, both native speakers of English. (Textcheck reference number: 20040116, 20061120))

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Dicle University (Approval No. 5/3/2020-83).

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The CP procedure and article writing was performed by a SA. Other surgeons of the study contributed to patient follow-up and data collection, statistics, analysis and writing processes of the study.

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Correspondence to Serkan Arslan.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Arslan, S., Okur, M.H., Basuguy, E. et al. Crystallized phenol for treatment of pilonidal sinus disease in children: a comparative clinical study. Pediatr Surg Int 37, 807–813 (2021).

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