Prospective analysis of cosmesis, morbidity, and patient satisfaction following Limberg flap for the treatment of sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus.
ABSTRACT Recent studies have reported excellent healing and low recurrence rates for rhomboid flaps for pilonidal sinus disease. The cosmetic outcome has been less investigated and is the focus of this study following Limberg flap reconstruction of recurrent and complex pilonidal disease.
From August 2006 to December 2007 patients with a recurrent or complex pilonidal sinus were enrolled consecutively. All underwent excision and closure with a Limberg flap. At 3 weeks, morbidity was assessed in the outpatient clinic. Recurrence rate, self-esteem, cosmetic outcome, body image, and patient satisfaction were analyzed prospectively at 1 year.
Seventy patients (57 males) with a median age of 24.8 years (range, 14.7-46.5) were operated on. Median follow-up was 1.4 years (range, 1.0-2.8). The mean cosmetic score was reduced to 16.4 (± 4.3) of 24, the mean body image score was good with 17.9 (± 2.6) of 20, and the mean overall satisfaction was high at 7.6 (± 2.3) of 10. Self-esteem remained unchanged after surgery; it was 7.8 (± 2.3) preoperatively and 7.8 (± 2.1) postoperatively (P = .818). After 3 weeks 84.3% of the wounds were completely healed. Complications occurred in 18 patients (25.7%), including superficial infection and partial suture dehiscence. Six (8.6%) needed reoperation, and all belonged to the group with acute infection before flap closure (P < .001). There was no incidence of flap necrosis. The recurrence rate was 1.6% at 1-year follow-up.
Initial wound closure and low recurrence rates after treatment with Limberg flap in pilonidal sinus disease lead to high patient satisfaction. The cosmetic outcome is acceptable, but an issue for some patients. These results support the use of the Limberg flap in complex pilonidal sinus disease after carefully informing patients about the cosmetic consequences.