Pilonidal disease in a military population: How far have we really come?

Emilie B. Fitzpatrick, Patrick M. Chesley, Morohunranti O. Oguntoye, Justin A. Maykel, Eric K. Johnson, Scott R. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pilonidal disease (PD) has a long connection with military personnel, even nicknamed "jeep disease" during World War II. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with recurrence and complications after surgery in a military population. METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis of operative therapy for PD at a single institution from 2005 to 2011 was conducted. Patient demographics, disease characteristics, and surgical methods were assessed for the primary outcomes of recurrence and morbidity. RESULTS: A total of 151 patients with PD were identified, who underwent excision (45.7%), excision with primary closure (29.8%), and incision and drainage (9.9%). Overall recurrence and morbidity rates were 27.2% and 34.4%, respectively. Black race, chronic disease, wound infection, and infection and drainage were associated with recurrence (P <.05), and excision with primary closure was associated with increased complications (P <.001). CONCLUSIONS: PD remains a significant source of morbidity and recurrence among military personnel. Certain patient-related and disease-related factors portend a worse prognosis, with black race and operative method the strongest predictors of outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-914
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Military
  • Pilonidal abscess
  • Pilonidal cyst
  • Pilonidal disease
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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