Kai Wietelmann

Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Berlin, Berlín, Berlin, Germany

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Publications (5)10.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pilonidal sinus disease (PSD) most commonly presents in young men when hair follicles enter through damaged epithelium and cause an inflammatory reaction. This results in the formation of fistular tracts. We reviewed studies based on a shared cohort of patients who presented at German military hospitals with PSD. The effect of the morphology of the sinus, perioperative protocol, and aftercare of the surgical treatment on the recurrence of PSD were evaluated. The drainage of acute abscesses before surgery, the application of methylene blue during surgery and open wound treatment were generally found to reduce the recurrence rate. A positive family history, postoperative epilation and primary suture as the healing method were found to elevate the recurrence rate. Long-term follow up of over 15 years was found to be a vital component of patient care as only 60% of the overall recurrences recorded had taken place by year 5 postoperatively.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: It has long been suspected that a family history of pilonidal sinus disease may predispose to higher disease incidence. The influence of family history on recurrence rate has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the recurrence rate in patients with both a personal and a family history of pilonidal sinus disease. A standardized telephone interview was used to retrospectively study 578 patients who underwent primary surgery between 1980 and 1996. Differences concerning the long-term recurrence rate between patients with a positive or negative family history were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier statistics. Sixty-eight of 578 patients (12%) had a positive family history with first-degree relatives, in which 28 brothers and 25 fathers were similarly involved. The long-term recurrence rate was significantly elevated when family history was positive (35% vs. 22% after 15 years and 52% vs. 28% after 25 years; P = 0.02). The long-term recurrence rate was elevated if surgery was needed at a younger age (P = 0.03). The body mass index measured at time of admission for surgery did not seem to have any negative influence on recurrence rates (P = 0.31). Although a positive family history predisposes a person to earlier onset of disease, recurrences occur within 5.1 +/- 6.2 years (mean +/- standard deviation) in patients with a positive family history and within 5.3 +/- 5.2 years in patients with a negative family history (P = 0.95). Patients with a positive family history need closer surgical monitoring because primary disease will manifest earlier. A remarkable long-term recurrence rate exceeding 50% after 25 years places a much higher disease burden on patients with a positive family history. All available interventions known to reduce recurrence rate should be applied to this group of patients.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2009 · Diseases of the Colon & Rectum
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Pilonidal sinus disease (PSD) may be present as chronic PSD, which may eventually exacerbate. Factors associated with the progression of chronic PSD to acute abscess-forming PSD were investigated. Methods: Records of 1962 patients admitted to the surgical departments of three hospitals of the German Armed Forces between 1980 and 1996 with PSD were analyzed. Results: Patients with chronic PSD showed higher sinus numbers (p < 0.001) and longer disease history (p < 0.001), while acute abscess-forming PSD was associated with smoking (p < 0.001). Surgeons were more likely to opt for primary wound closure when fewer sinus were present. Primary wound closure was similarly successful in chronic (67.2%) and acute (66.9%) PSD. Primary wound healing rate was negatively influenced by a high BMI in chronic PSD (p = 0.012). Conclusions: Early elective surgery in chronic PSD seems justified in patients presenting with a short duration of disease, low sinus number and smoking history.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2009 · European Surgery
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    ABSTRACT: To study potential benefits of postoperative epilation after pilonidal sinus surgery, the long-term effect of hair removal on pilonidal recurrence was investigated. A total of 1,960 patients with pilonidal sinus treated surgically from 1980 to 1996 in three hospitals of the Deutsche Bundeswehr were eligible for the study. Regular hair removal with a razor was recommended for all patients after surgery. A randomly selected sample of 504 patients was contacted for a follow-up telephone interview. The mean follow-up time was 11.3 (standard deviation, 6.4) years. Overall, pilonidal sinus disease recurred in 111 (22 percent) of the 504 patients. A total of 113 patients followed the recommendation to perform epilation (mean duration, 7.5 months), and 391 patients did not. Recurrence was observed in 30.1 percent (34/113) of patients who performed postoperative epilation and in 19.7 percent (77/391) of patients who did not perform postoperative epilation (P = 0.01). Razor hair removal increases the rate of long-term recurrence after surgery for pilonidal sinus disease and therefore should not be recommended. However, the rationale for hair removal in pilonidal sinus disease is compelling. Other epilation techniques such as laser hair removal should be investigated in appropriate studies.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Diseases of the Colon & Rectum
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    ABSTRACT: To study the potential benefits of intraoperative methylene blue (MB) use in pilonidal sinus surgery, the correlation between long-term recurrence rate and intraoperative MB use in pilonidal sinus surgery was investigated. Explicit investigations of MB effects in sinus surgery are scarce and inconclusive; an effect on long-term recurrence rate has never been systematically investigated. A random selection of 247 patients out of 1,960 patients with primary sinus surgery was drawn, and the patients were subjected to a telephone interview according to a specific questionnaire. The interview covered a recurrence follow-up time of 14.9 years after surgery (mean, standard deviation=3.8 years, range 8.6-25.4 years). Recurrence was less likely to occur when MB was used intraoperatively (32 of 197, [16% actuarial 20-year recurrence rate, Kaplan-Meier estimate] recurrences with MB vs 15 of 50, 30% [actuarial 20-year recurrence rate, Kaplan-Meier estimate] recurrences without MB; p=0.018; log-rank test). This effect was especially pronounced in acute abscess-forming disease (8 of 46, 17% [actuarial 20-year recurrence rate, Kaplan-Meier estimate] recurrences with MB; 11 of 33, 33% [actuarial 20-year recurrence rate, Kaplan-Meier estimate] recurrences without MB; p=0.078; log-rank test) compared to chronic disease (24 of 151, 16% [actuarial 20-year recurrence rate, Kaplan-Meier estimate]) recurrences with MB; 4 of 17, 24% [actuarial 20-year recurrence rate, Kaplan-Meier estimate] recurrences without MB; p=0.35; log-rank test). MB application halves the long-term risk of recurrence for pilonidal sinus patients. This significant reduction in recurrence rate can be achieved by a single careful injection of non toxic inexpensive dye into the sinus at the start of the operation. MB application should therefore be considered as an integral part of pilonidal sinus surgery.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2008 · International Journal of Colorectal Disease

Publication Stats

93 Citations
10.22 Total Impact Points


  • 2009
    • Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • Surgery
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2008
    • Bundeswehrzentralkrankenhaus Koblenz
      Coblenz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany