Crystallized phenol application and modified Limberg flap procedure in treatment of pilonidal sinus disease: A comparative retrospective study

Asian J Surg. 2016 Jul;39(3):172-7. doi: 10.1016/j.asjsur.2015.12.007. Epub 2016 Feb 13.


Background/objective: Pilonidal sinus treatment includes various surgical and minimally invasive procedures, but there is still no standard treatment. Flap reconstructions and minimally invasive treatment options such as crystallized phenol application have recently been in the center of interest. The aim of this study is to compare crystallized phenol application as a minimally invasive treatment with modified Limberg flap reconstruction from many aspects.

Methods: Thirty-seven patients diagnosed with pilonidal sinus and treated with modified Limberg flap reconstruction, and 44 patients treated with crystallized phenol application were evaluated retrospectively in terms of age, sex, length of stay in hospital postoperatively, wound complications, and the cause and rate of recurrence.

Results: Length of hospital stay was decreased and no postoperative incision problems were found in the group treated with crystallized phenol application (p < 0.001 and p = 0.011, respectively). The difference between the groups in terms of recurrence rate was not statistically significant (p = 0.173). Although the recurrence rate was found to be higher in the patient group treated once with crystallized phenol application, the success rate following multiple applications of crystallized phenol was found to be 94.5%. Higher body mass index (> 24.9 kg/m(2)) and surgical site infection were strongly correlated with recurrence rate (p < 0.001).

Discussion: Crystallized phenol application is a good alternative to the modified Limberg flap procedure and other surgical procedures, because it has several advantages such as being a minimally invasive procedure performed under local anesthesia with higher success rate after multiple applications, decreased length of stay in hospital, and minimal scar tissue formation.

Keywords: Crystallized phenol; flap surgery; pilonidal disease; treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Crystallization
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenol / therapeutic use*
  • Pilonidal Sinus / therapy*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Phenol