Effectiveness of Limberg and Karydakis flap in recurrent pilonidal sinus disease

İlhan Bali Mehmet Aziret Selim Sözen Seyfi Emir Hasan Erdem Süleyman Çetinkünar Oktay İrkörücü About the authors

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus is common in young men and may recur over time after surgery. We investigated whether a factor exists that can aid in the determination of the preferred technique between the early Limberg flap and Karydakis flap techniques for treating recurrent pilonidal sinus.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This prospective and randomized study enrolled 71 patients with recurrent pilonidal sinus in whom the Limberg flap or Karydakis flap techniques were applied for reconstruction after excision. Patients were divided into two groups as follows: 37 patients were treated with the Limberg flap technique and 34 patients were treated with the Karydakis flap technique. Fluid collection, wound infection, flap edema, hematoma, partial wound separation, return to daily activities, pain score, complete healing time, painless seating and patient satisfaction were compared between the groups. ClinicalTrial.gov: NCT02287935.

RESULTS:

The development rates of total fluid collection, wound infection, flap edema, hematoma, and partial wound separation were 9.8%, 16%, 7%, 15% and 4.2%, respectively; total flap necrosis was not observed in any patient (p<0.001). During the average follow-up of 28 months, no patients (0%) developed recurrent disease. The two groups differed with respect to early surgical complications (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION:

In this study, use of the Limberg flap was associated with lower complication rates, shorter length of hospital stay, early return to work, low pain score, high patient satisfaction and better complete healing duration. Therefore, we recommend the Limberg flap for treatment of recurrent pilonidal sinus.

Karydakis flap; Limberg technique; Recurrent pilonidal sinus


INTRODUCTION

Pilonidal sinus (PS) is a common disease of the natal cleft in the sacrococcygeal region with weak hair accumulation occurring in the hair follicles, which can be chronic and undergo acute exacerbation 1. Petersen S, Aumann, Kramer A, Doll D, Sailer M, Hellmich G. Short-term results of Karydakis flap for pilonidal sinus disease. Tech Coloproctol. 2007;11(3):235-40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10151-007-0357-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10151-007-035...
1,22. Sondenaa K, Andersen E, Nesvik I, Søreide JA. Patient characteristics and symptoms in chronic pilonidal sinus disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(1):39-42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585...
. The incidence of PS is approximately 26/100,000; it is a benign disease that occurs in young men 3. McCallum IJ, King PM, Bruce J. Healing by primary closure versus open healing after surgery for pilonidal sinus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):868-71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.808160.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.8081...
3,44. Akinci O F, Kurt M, Terzi A, Atak I, Subasi IE, Akbilgic O. Natal Cleft Deeper in Patients with Pilonidal Sinus: Implications for Choice of Surgical Procedure. Dis Colon Rectum. 2009;52(5):1000-2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e31819f6189.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181...
.

The etiology and pathogenesis of PS are not clear, although the disease is thought to be related to the accumulation of weak and lifeless hair in the intergluteal region. Over time, foreign body reaction occurs, causing abscess and sinus formation. Obesity, trauma, local irritation and a sedentary lifestyle are usually associated with PS 2. Sondenaa K, Andersen E, Nesvik I, Søreide JA. Patient characteristics and symptoms in chronic pilonidal sinus disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(1):39-42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585...
2,55. Kosaka M, Kida M, Mori M, Kamiishi H. Pilonidal cyst of the scalp due to single minor trauma. Dermatol Surg. 2007;33(4):505-7..

Although pilonidal sinus can be treated using several defined conservative and surgical methods, recurrence rates remain high 66. Urhan MK, Kücükel F, Topgul K, Ozer I, Sari S. Rhomboid excision and Limberg flap for managing pilonidal sinus: results of 102 cases. Dis Colon Rectum 2002;45(5):656-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6263-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-626...
. Complete removal of the pilonidal sinus or sinuses and appropriate reconstruction can lead to successful recovery 77. Yildiz M K, Ozkan E, Odaba M, Kaya B, Eriş C, Abuoğlu HH, et al. Karydakis Flap Procedure in Patients with Sacrococcygeal Pilonidal Sinus Disease: Experience of a Single Centre in Istanbul. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013;807027.. However, collection of the lifeless hair depends on the anatomy of the intergluteal area, and accompanying risk factors can lead to inadequate surgery and subsequent recurrence 6. Urhan MK, Kücükel F, Topgul K, Ozer I, Sari S. Rhomboid excision and Limberg flap for managing pilonidal sinus: results of 102 cases. Dis Colon Rectum 2002;45(5):656-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6263-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-626...
6,88. Karydakis GE. Easy and successful treatment of pilonidal sinus after explanation of its causative process. Aust N Z J Surg. 1992;62(5):385-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.issue-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.is...
.

Our aim in this study was to prospectively compare early results in patients with recurrent pilonidal sinus treated with either the Karydakis flap (KF) procedure or Limberg flap rotation (LF).

MATERIALS AND METODS

This study was conducted at the surgery departments at Elazığ, Kayseri and Adana Numune Training and Research Hospitals from January 2009 to December 2013. Seventy-one patients who were treated only for recurrent pilonidal disease were eligible for the study. Patients with previous surgical procedures, including primary closure (71 cases) were considered to have recurrent disease. The 71 patients who had been treated with midline closure were divided into the following two treatment groups: the LF group (Limberg flap) and KF group (Karydakis flap). All patients were prospectively evaluated in terms of gender and age, location of sinus pits, postoperative length of hospital stay, postoperative complications (wound dehiscence, infection, hematoma, seroma and cosmetics) and recurrence. The Ethical Committee of our center approved the study protocol.

Surgical procedure

Limberg flap method

All patients were operated on under spinal anesthesia in the operating room. After anesthesia, the patients were placed in the prone, jack-knife position, with the buttocks strapped apart using wide adhesive tape. Methylene blue was injected in the sinus tract using a 6-Fr feeding tube. The excision was carried down to the fascia overlying the sacrum and laterally to the fascia of the gluteus maximus muscle. Dissection was performed with electrocautery. A Limberg flap was prepared from the right or left gluteal region. A suction drain (B-VAK Wound Drainage System™, 10 Ch, Ref. 17110211, BiCakCilar, Istanbul, Turkey) was placed through a separate incision that was located 2 cm lateral from the initial incision and maintained in place until the drainage decreased to less than 10 ml/day (Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1
Asymmetric elliptical excision (1A). Closure of the cavity with Karydakis flap (1B). Rhomboid excision (2A). Limberg flap and construction after rhomboid excision (2B).
Figure 2
Limberg flap technique.

Karydakis flap procedure

Operations were performed under spinal anesthesia with the patient in the prone position with the buttocks strapped apart. No patient was given prophylactic antibiotics. The surgical site was shaved immediately before the operation, and the skin was prepared with povidone-iodine solution. Methylene blue was infused through the sinus to delineate the fistula tract in patients with open orifices. A Karydakis flap was created as described previously 2. Sondenaa K, Andersen E, Nesvik I, Søreide JA. Patient characteristics and symptoms in chronic pilonidal sinus disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(1):39-42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585...
2,44. Akinci O F, Kurt M, Terzi A, Atak I, Subasi IE, Akbilgic O. Natal Cleft Deeper in Patients with Pilonidal Sinus: Implications for Choice of Surgical Procedure. Dis Colon Rectum. 2009;52(5):1000-2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e31819f6189.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181...
(Figures 1 and 3). A suction drain (B-VAK Wound Drainage System™, 10 Ch, Ref. 17110211, Bıçakçılar, Istanbul, Turkey) was placed through a separate incision that was located 2 cm lateral from the initial incision in 17 (50 percent) patients (Group 1) and was maintained in place until the drainage decreased to less than 10 ml/day. The remaining 17 patients underwent surgery without any drain placement (Group 2). All incisions were dressed under pressure using several gauze packs and tight bandages (Figures 1 and 3).

Figure 3
Karydakis flap rotation.

Inclusion criteria

1. Patients willing to give written informed consent.

2. Presence of recurrent pilonidal sinus.

3. Adult (over 16 years of age) undergoing surgery for recurrent pilonidal sinus.

4. International normalizing ratio (INR) of less than 1.5.

5. Prothrombin time (PT) of less than 15 s.

6. Partial thromboplastin (PTT) time near normal.

7. Platelet count greater than 50,000 per mm3 to limit the risk of bleeding.

8. No infection at time of surgery.

Exclusion criteria

1. Patients not willing to give informed consent.

2. Age less than 16 years.

3. Patient presenting with different conditions mimicking pilonidal sinus.

4. Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, renal failure, or immunosuppression.

Randomization criteria

In this study, patients with recurrent pilonidal sinus were accepted who were between 16-40 years of age and were without pilonidal sinus abscess or infection.

Statistical analysis

Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences ver. 10.0, SPSS Inc, Chicago, Illinois, USA) computer software. Student’s t test was used to compare age between the groups. Complications were analyzed using the χ2 test. Parametric variables that did not exhibit normal distribution between groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare categorical variables. For all statistical analyses, p<0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

In this study, 71 patients with recurrent pilonidal disease were enrolled, of whom 37 were treated using the standard Limberg flap procedure and 34 were treated using the Karydakis flap procedure (Table 1). The two groups did not differ in age or body mass index. Similarly, the two groups did not differ significantly in terms of sinus pit location or the presence of single or multiple pits (p>0.05). The operative time was longer in the LF group. Hospitalization time was also significantly higher in the LF group than in the KF group. Most patients in the LF group were mobilized on the first postoperative day, and the median time to first mobilization was earlier in the LF group than in KF group [1 (1-1) vs. 2 (1-3) days, respectively; p<0.001]. The median duration of incapacity for work was 17 (14-20) days in KF group and 8 (6-12) days in the LF group (p<0.001) (Table 2). In KF group, eight patients had infection and four had seroma. Total wound dehiscence and flap necrosis did not occur in any patient. Seven patients had seroma with negative culture in all studied patients. Flap edema occurred in four patients in the LF group. Wound infection occurred in four patients in the LF group (Table 1). The mean time for complete healing of the wound after rhomboid excision and Limberg flap was 22.12±8.69 days. The median VAS pain score was significantly lower in the LF group (p<0.001). No recurrence occurred in any of the patients during the follow-up period. When patient satisfaction was compared, the LF group received 2.88±0.16 points and KF group received 1.43±0.44; the patients in the LF group were more satisfied in terms of aesthetics (p<0.001).

Table 1
Clinical comparison, operative characteristics and complications between groups.

Table 2
Operative and postoperative outcomes.

DISCUSSION

Pilonidal sinus was first described by Anderson in 1847 and is often seen in the intergluteal region. This chronic disease is characterized by acute exacerbations 1. Petersen S, Aumann, Kramer A, Doll D, Sailer M, Hellmich G. Short-term results of Karydakis flap for pilonidal sinus disease. Tech Coloproctol. 2007;11(3):235-40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10151-007-0357-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10151-007-035...
2. Sondenaa K, Andersen E, Nesvik I, Søreide JA. Patient characteristics and symptoms in chronic pilonidal sinus disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(1):39-42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585...
3. McCallum IJ, King PM, Bruce J. Healing by primary closure versus open healing after surgery for pilonidal sinus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):868-71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.808160.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.8081...
1-3,99. Anderson AW. Hair extracted from an ulcer. Boston Med Surg J. 1847;36:76.. PS usually occurs in healthy young men (Male/Female = 4-5/1), has a negative cosmetic appearance, and can cause loss of worktime 2. Sondenaa K, Andersen E, Nesvik I, Søreide JA. Patient characteristics and symptoms in chronic pilonidal sinus disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(1):39-42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585...
3. McCallum IJ, King PM, Bruce J. Healing by primary closure versus open healing after surgery for pilonidal sinus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):868-71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.808160.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.8081...
2-44. Akinci O F, Kurt M, Terzi A, Atak I, Subasi IE, Akbilgic O. Natal Cleft Deeper in Patients with Pilonidal Sinus: Implications for Choice of Surgical Procedure. Dis Colon Rectum. 2009;52(5):1000-2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e31819f6189.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181...
. Gurer et al. 1414. Gurer A, Gomceli I, Ozdogan M, Ozlem N, Sozen S, Aydin R. “Is routine cavity drainage necessary in Karydakis flap operation? A prospective, randomized trial. Dis Colon Rectum. 2005;48(9):1797-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-005-0108-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-005-010...
reported a mean patient age of 25.5 and a gender balance of 95% males in a series detailing the Karydakis flap procedure. In our series, the mean age was 24, and more than 95% of the patients were male.

The etiology and pathogenesis of PS is frequently associated with both congenital and acquired factors. It has been suggested that PS starts as a chronic process involving the accumulation of lifeless hairs and subcutaneous hair deposition in the intergluteal region that leads to inflammation and infection 3. McCallum IJ, King PM, Bruce J. Healing by primary closure versus open healing after surgery for pilonidal sinus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):868-71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.808160.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.8081...
4. Akinci O F, Kurt M, Terzi A, Atak I, Subasi IE, Akbilgic O. Natal Cleft Deeper in Patients with Pilonidal Sinus: Implications for Choice of Surgical Procedure. Dis Colon Rectum. 2009;52(5):1000-2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e31819f6189.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181...
3-55. Kosaka M, Kida M, Mori M, Kamiishi H. Pilonidal cyst of the scalp due to single minor trauma. Dermatol Surg. 2007;33(4):505-7..

Several treatment procedures have been described in the literature, ranging from simple incision and drainage to the use of complex plastic flaps for cleft obliteration. The ideal technique for the treatment of sacrococcygeal PS disease is controversial 2. Sondenaa K, Andersen E, Nesvik I, Søreide JA. Patient characteristics and symptoms in chronic pilonidal sinus disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(1):39-42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585...
2,55. Kosaka M, Kida M, Mori M, Kamiishi H. Pilonidal cyst of the scalp due to single minor trauma. Dermatol Surg. 2007;33(4):505-7.. Medical treatment methods include alcohol, phenol and silver nitrate injection into the cavity. Surgical treatment methods include curettage after fistulotomy, leaving an open or marsupialized wound after cystectomy, Bascom surgery, primary excision and closure, the Karydakis flap procedure (KF), or sinus excision and skin graft and flap methods, such as Limberg flap rotation (LF). Surgical treatment is often preferred 8. Karydakis GE. Easy and successful treatment of pilonidal sinus after explanation of its causative process. Aust N Z J Surg. 1992;62(5):385-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.issue-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.is...
8,1111. Bascom J. Surgical treatment of pilonidal disease. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):842-3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39535.397292.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39535.3972...
.

Ideally, the goals of treatment for this disease should be reliable wound healing with a low risk of recurrence, a short period of hospitalization, minimal inconvenience to the patient, and low morbidity with few wound-management problems 6. Urhan MK, Kücükel F, Topgul K, Ozer I, Sari S. Rhomboid excision and Limberg flap for managing pilonidal sinus: results of 102 cases. Dis Colon Rectum 2002;45(5):656-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6263-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-626...
8. Karydakis GE. Easy and successful treatment of pilonidal sinus after explanation of its causative process. Aust N Z J Surg. 1992;62(5):385-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.issue-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.is...
6,8,2121. Ersoy E, Devay AO, Aktimur R, Doganay B, Ozdoğan M, Gündoğdu RH. Comparison of the short-term results after Limberg and Karydakis procedures for pilonidal disease: randomized prospective analysis of 100 patients. Colorectal Dis. 2009;11(7):705-10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.issue-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.is...
.

Recurrence is the main problem in the treatment of pilonidal sinus. In 1970, Foss 2626. Foss MV. Pilonidal sinus excision and closure. Proc R Soc Med. 1970;63(8):752-8. reported a collective series of 1,129 pilonidal sinus patients treated with excision and primary closure by different investigators. The failure rate of primary healing was 16%, the length of hospitalization averaged 21.7 days, and the recurrence rate was 16%. Several flap techniques have been described with recurrence rates ranging between zero and 6-8% 6. Urhan MK, Kücükel F, Topgul K, Ozer I, Sari S. Rhomboid excision and Limberg flap for managing pilonidal sinus: results of 102 cases. Dis Colon Rectum 2002;45(5):656-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6263-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-626...
7. Yildiz M K, Ozkan E, Odaba M, Kaya B, Eriş C, Abuoğlu HH, et al. Karydakis Flap Procedure in Patients with Sacrococcygeal Pilonidal Sinus Disease: Experience of a Single Centre in Istanbul. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013;807027.8. Karydakis GE. Easy and successful treatment of pilonidal sinus after explanation of its causative process. Aust N Z J Surg. 1992;62(5):385-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.issue-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.is...
10. Spychała A, Murawa D. The limberg flap procedure in the treatment of pilonidal cyst disease of the sacrum - initial report. Pol Przegl Chir. 2014;86(6):257-62.11. Bascom J. Surgical treatment of pilonidal disease. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):842-3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39535.397292.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39535.3972...
12. Sozen S, Emir S, Guzel K, and Ozdemir CS. “Are postoperative drains necessary with the Karydakis flap for treatment of pilonidal sinus? (Can fibrin glue be replaced to drains?) A prospective randomized trial. Ir J Med Sci. 2011;180(2):479-82, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11845-010-0549-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11845-010-054...
6-8,10-1313. Sit M, Aktas G, Yilmaz EE. Comparison of the three surgical flap techniques in pilonidal sinus surgery. Am Surg. 2013;79(12):1263-8..

The Karydakis flap procedure was first described by George Karydakis 88. Karydakis GE. Easy and successful treatment of pilonidal sinus after explanation of its causative process. Aust N Z J Surg. 1992;62(5):385-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.issue-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.is...
in 1973 and has frequently been used to treat sacrococcygeal PS. The KF achieves symmetric closure of the pilonidal wounds by avoiding placement of the wound in the midline at the depth of the natal cleft and also flattens the cleft, thereby reducing hair accumulation and mechanical irritation and decreasing recurrence 8. Karydakis GE. Easy and successful treatment of pilonidal sinus after explanation of its causative process. Aust N Z J Surg. 1992;62(5):385-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.issue-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.is...
9. Anderson AW. Hair extracted from an ulcer. Boston Med Surg J. 1847;36:76.8,9,3030. Varnalidis I, Ioannidis O, Paraskevas G Papapostolou D, Malakozis SG, Gatzos S, et al. Pilonidal sinus: a comparative study of treatment methods. J Med Life. 2014;7(1):27-30..

Karydakis 88. Karydakis GE. Easy and successful treatment of pilonidal sinus after explanation of its causative process. Aust N Z J Surg. 1992;62(5):385-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.issue-5.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.1992.62.is...
reported a recurrence rate of 1%, a complication rate of 8%, and a length of hospital stay of 3 days. Can et al. 1515. Can MF, Sevinc MM, Yilmaz M. Comparison of Karydakis flap reconstruction versus primary midline closure in sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease: results of 200 military service members. Surg Today. 2009;39(7):580-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-3926-0.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-392...
reported a recurrence rate of 4.6% and a complication rate of 8.9%, and Sakr et al. 1616. Sakr M, El-Hammadi H, Moussa M, Arafa S, Rasheed M. The effect of obesity on the results of Karydakis technique for the management of chronic pilondal sinus. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2003;18(1):36-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-002-0407-6.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-002-040...
determined recurrence rates of 2.4% and a complication rate of 10% in their KF series. In a similar study, Sözen et al. 1717. Sozen S, Topuz O, Donder Y, Emir S, Özdemir CŞ, Keçeli M, et al. Comparison between Karydakis flap repair and Limberg flap for surgical treatment of sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus (short term results). Turk J Surg. 2010;26(3):153-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.5097/1300-0705.UCD.609-10.01.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5097/1300-0705.UCD....
reported a recurrence rate of 1.5% and a complication rate of 6%. In our series, no recurrence was observed in either group. In the KF group, the complication rate was 10%, and the mean duration of hospital stay was 3 days.

Wound infection, fluid collection, edema, hematoma and wound separation can occur after use of the Karydakis flap procedure and other surgical techniques. The use of drains after surgery can be used to prevent fluid accumulation, edema and hematoma formation in such cases 14. Gurer A, Gomceli I, Ozdogan M, Ozlem N, Sozen S, Aydin R. “Is routine cavity drainage necessary in Karydakis flap operation? A prospective, randomized trial. Dis Colon Rectum. 2005;48(9):1797-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-005-0108-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-005-010...
14,1717. Sozen S, Topuz O, Donder Y, Emir S, Özdemir CŞ, Keçeli M, et al. Comparison between Karydakis flap repair and Limberg flap for surgical treatment of sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus (short term results). Turk J Surg. 2010;26(3):153-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.5097/1300-0705.UCD.609-10.01.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5097/1300-0705.UCD....
. Gurer et al. 1414. Gurer A, Gomceli I, Ozdogan M, Ozlem N, Sozen S, Aydin R. “Is routine cavity drainage necessary in Karydakis flap operation? A prospective, randomized trial. Dis Colon Rectum. 2005;48(9):1797-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-005-0108-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-005-010...
reported that fluid accumulation is reduced after the routine use of post-operative drains. Bessa 1818. Bessa SS. Results of the lateral advancing flap operation (modified Karydakis procedure) for the management of pilonidal sinus disease. Dis Colon Rectum. 2007;50(11):1935-40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-007-9049-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-007-904...
determined that the percentage of cases with fluid retention after drain placement was 2.4%. In our KF group, 5.6% of patients experienced fluid collection, 11% experienced wound infection, and 1.4% experienced hematoma. In contrast, in the LF group, 4.2% of patients experienced fluid collection, 5.6% experienced wound infection, and 11% experienced hematoma.

The LF and KF procedures not only cover the wound but also, in theory, flatten the natal cleft and decrease hair accumulation, mechanical irritation and the risk of recurrence 2. Sondenaa K, Andersen E, Nesvik I, Søreide JA. Patient characteristics and symptoms in chronic pilonidal sinus disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(1):39-42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00337585...
2,1111. Bascom J. Surgical treatment of pilonidal disease. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):842-3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39535.397292.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39535.3972...
.

Limberg flap rotation is clearly preferred for safety reasons given its low recurrence and complication rates 1919. Kapan M, Kapan S, Pekmezci S, Durgun V. Sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus disease with Limberg flap repair. Tech Coloproctol. 2002;6(1):27-32, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s101510200005.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s101510200005...
. In patients with recurrence and multiple sinuses, lateral flap rotations are implemented by removing the midline 6. Urhan MK, Kücükel F, Topgul K, Ozer I, Sari S. Rhomboid excision and Limberg flap for managing pilonidal sinus: results of 102 cases. Dis Colon Rectum 2002;45(5):656-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6263-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-626...
6,1919. Kapan M, Kapan S, Pekmezci S, Durgun V. Sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus disease with Limberg flap repair. Tech Coloproctol. 2002;6(1):27-32, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s101510200005.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s101510200005...
.

Mentes et al. 2020. Mentes BB, Leventoglu S, Cihan A, Tatlicioglu E, Akin M, Oguz M. Modified Limberg transposition flap for sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus. Surg Today. 2004;34(5):419-23, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-003-2725-x.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-003-272...
, Ersoy et al. 2121. Ersoy E, Devay AO, Aktimur R, Doganay B, Ozdoğan M, Gündoğdu RH. Comparison of the short-term results after Limberg and Karydakis procedures for pilonidal disease: randomized prospective analysis of 100 patients. Colorectal Dis. 2009;11(7):705-10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.issue-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.is...
, and Campbell et al. 2222. Can MF, Sevinc MM, Hancerliogullari O, Yilmaz M, Yagci G. Multicenter prospective randomized trial comparing modified Limberg flap transposition and Karydakis flap reconstruction in patients with sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease. Am J Surg. 2010;200(3):318-27, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.08.042.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009...
reported that modified Limberg flaps presented lower recurrence and complication rates than KF in their respective series. The reported recurrence rate for Limberg flap varies from 0.8 to 2.7% 2121. Ersoy E, Devay AO, Aktimur R, Doganay B, Ozdoğan M, Gündoğdu RH. Comparison of the short-term results after Limberg and Karydakis procedures for pilonidal disease: randomized prospective analysis of 100 patients. Colorectal Dis. 2009;11(7):705-10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.issue-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.is...
. Topgul et al. 2727. Topgul K, Ozdemir E, Kilic K, Gokbayir H, Ferahkose Z. Long-term results of limberg flap procedure for treatment of pilonidal sinus: A report of 200 cases. Dis Colon Rectum. 2003;46(11):1545-8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6811-y.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-681...
operated on 200 patients, and the recurrence rate was found to be 2.5%. Daphan et al. 2828. Daphan C, Tekelioglu MH, Sayilgan C. Limberg flap repair for pilonidal sinus disease. Dis Colon Rectum. 2004;47(2):233-7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-003-0037-2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-003-003...
operated on 147 patients with a median follow-up time of 13.1 months, and recurrence was noted in 4.8% of patients.

Ertan et al. 2323. Ertan T, Koc M, Gocmen E, Aslar AK, Keskek M, Kilic M. Does technique alter quality of life after pilonidal sinus surgery? Am J Surg. 2005;190(3):388-92, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2004.08.068.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2004...
reported that a Limberg flap recurrence rate of 2% compared to 12% in a primary closure group. Conversely, Ateş et al. 2424. Ates M, Dirican A, Sarac M, Aslan A, Colak C. Short and long-term results of the Karydakis flap versus the Limberg flap for treating pilonidal sinus disease: a prospective randomized study. Am J Surg. 2011;202(5):568-73, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.10.021.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010...
reported lower recurrence and complication rates for the KF technique than for the LF technique. The mean duration of hospital discharge after Limberg flap procedure reported by Urhan et al. 66. Urhan MK, Kücükel F, Topgul K, Ozer I, Sari S. Rhomboid excision and Limberg flap for managing pilonidal sinus: results of 102 cases. Dis Colon Rectum 2002;45(5):656-9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6263-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-626...
was 3.7 days, and Kapan et al. 1919. Kapan M, Kapan S, Pekmezci S, Durgun V. Sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus disease with Limberg flap repair. Tech Coloproctol. 2002;6(1):27-32, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s101510200005.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s101510200005...
reported a duration of 5.3 days.

In our study, recurrence was not observed in either group; in addition, time to discharge from hospital and complication rates were similar to values reported in the literature. The Limberg flap group had lower mean time to hospital discharge (LF/KF=3/1, 4 days) (p=0.001) and lower wound infection rates (p=0.001) than the KF group. In addition, comparison of the two groups showed a difference in terms of flap edema and hematoma (p=0.017 and p=0.004, respectively).

A Cochrane overview has been performed to provide evidence-based guidance for surgical treatment 33. McCallum IJ, King PM, Bruce J. Healing by primary closure versus open healing after surgery for pilonidal sinus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008;336(7649):868-71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.808160.BE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.8081...
. The review concluded that off-midline closure (including rhomboid, Karydakis and Bascom flaps) is the best choice if the sinus is to be excised and sutured, and this closure is associated with shorter hospital stay and the lowest recurrence rates 2929. Petersen S, Koch R, Stelzner S, Wendlandt TP, Ludwig K. Primary closure techniques in chronic pilonidal sinus: a survey of the - results of different surgical approaches. Dis Colon Rectum 2002;45(11):1458-67, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-6451-2.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10350-004-645...
.

Other important points in the treatment of pilonidal sinus surgery are return to daily activities and work, postoperative pain score (VAS), duration of operation, time sitting on the toilet, and patient aesthetic satisfaction. In patients with recurrence and large defects, undergoing flap procedures can reduce aesthetic satisfaction. Akinci et al. 44. Akinci O F, Kurt M, Terzi A, Atak I, Subasi IE, Akbilgic O. Natal Cleft Deeper in Patients with Pilonidal Sinus: Implications for Choice of Surgical Procedure. Dis Colon Rectum. 2009;52(5):1000-2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e31819f6189.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181...
reported that return to daily activities after the Karydakis flap procedure was 12.4 to 20 days and that postoperative patient satisfaction was high.

Can et al. 1515. Can MF, Sevinc MM, Yilmaz M. Comparison of Karydakis flap reconstruction versus primary midline closure in sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease: results of 200 military service members. Surg Today. 2009;39(7):580-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-3926-0.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-392...
reported 70% patient satisfaction after the Karydakis flap procedure, and a recent study reported satisfaction as high as 91%. Can et al. 1515. Can MF, Sevinc MM, Yilmaz M. Comparison of Karydakis flap reconstruction versus primary midline closure in sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease: results of 200 military service members. Surg Today. 2009;39(7):580-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-3926-0.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-392...
and Ersoy et al. 2121. Ersoy E, Devay AO, Aktimur R, Doganay B, Ozdoğan M, Gündoğdu RH. Comparison of the short-term results after Limberg and Karydakis procedures for pilonidal disease: randomized prospective analysis of 100 patients. Colorectal Dis. 2009;11(7):705-10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.issue-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.is...
determined that patients undergoing the Karydakis flap procedure and LF experience similar durations of hospital stay and return to work times. Karaca et al.2525. Karaca T, Yoldaş O, Bilgin BÇ, Ozer S, Yoldaş S, Karaca NG. Comparison of short-term results of modified Karydakis flap and modified Limberg flap for pilonidal sinus surgery. Int S Surg. 2012;10(10):601-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2012.10.001.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2012.10...
reported that the Limberg Flap group provided better postoperative pain score (visual analogue scale: VAS), complication rate, time to discontinuation of analgesics, and painless sitting than the KF group, and Ersoy et al. 2121. Ersoy E, Devay AO, Aktimur R, Doganay B, Ozdoğan M, Gündoğdu RH. Comparison of the short-term results after Limberg and Karydakis procedures for pilonidal disease: randomized prospective analysis of 100 patients. Colorectal Dis. 2009;11(7):705-10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.issue-7.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdi.2009.11.is...
found similar results. Can et al. 1515. Can MF, Sevinc MM, Yilmaz M. Comparison of Karydakis flap reconstruction versus primary midline closure in sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease: results of 200 military service members. Surg Today. 2009;39(7):580-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-3926-0.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-008-392...
showed that mean operation time for the Karydakis flap procedure was 49±7 minutes, compared with 52±5 minutes for the Limberg flap procedure. In our study, the LF group exhibited a lower VAS score (2/4), higher patient satisfaction (2.8/1.43), earlier first mobilization (1/2 days) and more painless toilet sitting. (1/2 day). These patients also had shorter complete healing time (22/24 day) than the KF group (p≤0.001). On the other hand, the KF group had a shorter operation time than the LF group (48 and 54 minutes, respectively) (p=0.001).

The Limberg flap procedure is a safe choice for the surgical treatment of sacrococcygeal recurrent pilonidal sinus disease due to its low complication rate, short length of hospital stay, early return work, low VAS score, high patient satisfaction and shorter complete healing duration. Therefore, we recommend the Limberg flap procedure for the treatment of recurrent pilonidal sinus disease.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    May 2015

History

  • Received
    10 Nov 2014
  • Reviewed
    27 Jan 2015
  • Accepted
    13 Feb 2015
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