48 hours post-op (cleft lift)

Discussion in 'Pictures Forum' started by UnluckyOne, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Pilopappa and Clickclick found this helpful.
  2. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  3. Matt Platts

    Matt Platts New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Helpfuls Received:
    3
    Your links don't work... it says you must be signed in.

    Nevermind... apparently you do need to have a flicker account to view them though.
     
  4. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    I've tried to see if there's any way I could change the privacy..
    It actually says "anyone can view" under each picture, but I think it's just flickr policy that only members can view images.

    There is no other website I can host them on though, because photobucket and imageshack and tinypic will always block them since there is "nudity".
    I'd say it's worth making a flickr account for but otherwise there's nothing I can do.
     
  5. KikiRuns

    KikiRuns New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Helpfuls Received:
    0
    Location (Country):
    MA, USA
    Thank you for sharing these! I have my own Cleft Lift scheduled for the end of the month and I've been a bit anxious about what the state of my butt will be afterwards -- i've been reading some of your posts about your Cleft Lift and it seems like your recovery has been relatively smooth, hope it continues!
     
  6. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    You're very welcome! It's only natural to fear the state of your butt/the cosmetic issue, especially once you've been living with this same butt your whole life. I was seriously so fearful that I would have no crack left etc. The misconceptions about it are endless. Also I saw a few flap procedures mislabeled as cleft lifts a while ago that had very serious scars.. I was scared that was what mine would be like, but it's not even close. The cleft lift obviously leaves a simple scar that closes the top of/continues at a slant from the original crack.
    And thank you so much for the well wishes. I hope it continues smoothly as well, and good luck with your surgery! Post about it on the forum!

    Here is an update since my sutures were removed this morning: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80003886@N06/7188188777/in/photostream/
    I can't wait for the glue to come off because I feel like it makes the pictures a tad deceiving.. The flakiness and thickness is mostly the glue, not thick scabbing or anything.
     
  7. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Update: I will be adding two photos of my open wound before I got the cleft lift done. In these pictures, I had already had this open wound for 4 months. It was still trying to heal and it was still being packed daily with about a foot of iodoform gauze packing. It was also still draining (although not as much as it had at the beginning).​
    They're really not great photos as they were taken with my camera phone AND I like to say my open wound/hole was a deep abyss. When I took pictures of my wound without the packing in, you could only see darkness rather than being able to see inside and seeing how deep it was or how much it was healing. In most peoples' photos of their open wounds, you can see the flesh and granulation of the wound.. in mine, you cannot. You can see the packing (white/pale-yellow-ish). It was a clean job but definitely scarier on the inside than it appeared on the outside. At this point in time, the wound was about 1 inch long and 1 inch deep, but I could never really tell how wide it went on the inside.​
    In the pictures, I am bent over and the cheeks are completely spread. The wound/hole that you are seeing was deeply folded within my crack (yes, my crack went up that far) and that is one reason it was never able to heal. In order for me to let it get air, I would have had to keep my cheeks spread completely. Now, after the cleft lift, the area that is shown with the open wound is flat/shallow instead of being folded and buried inside a crack.​
    I also believe that the purplish-reddish dot/circle next to the wound was where the tract led to. It was not there as the cyst was developing; didn't appear until after I had my open excision. I never had a sinus (which is why I had to get emergency surgery to take pressure off my tailbone) and that was never a hole, but I never really found out what that dot was. ​
    My general surgeon never told me if/where I had any tracts from the cyst. I only found out after I got my cleft lift that I had one small tract, which Dr. Pelta removed.​
    I am only posting these so you can understand how much my new surgeon shallowed the cleft and what he had to do to get rid of the wound/move the scar off the midline.​

     
    LILLY found this helpful.
  8. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  9. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Hey y'all. All of the glue has come off now and all I'm left with is the light pink scar and a small bit that's still healing slower at the bottom. I began putting antibiotic ointment on it yesterday (hence the shinyness) and I'm going to do that for a little while to see if it speeds up the healing/protects it from infection.
    I'm posting 3 new pictures to show where my healing is at right now... Being completely healed is just at my fingertips ah!!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/80003886@N06/7417475980/in/photostream/
     
    nursemom, paula*~*~* and LILLY found this helpful.
  10. jtech

    jtech New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Helpfuls Received:
    0
    So this surgery is the one done to have the actually cyst underneath removed right? Did you ever have it lanced prior?
     
  11. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    I had an emergency lancing followed by immediate emergency open wound surgery in January. My wound was still open after 4 months so I had the cleft lift.
     
  12. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    *BTW jtech- when I say emergency it is because I had no other choice and there was no delaying. I had no sinus and it had been growing for at least a week and a half to two weeks until I finally went and got the diagnosis (only because I could no longer move without crying from the pain). Because it could not drain on its own and had become so large, it was putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on my tailbone to the point that not only was the pain unbearable but it was also harmful to my coccyx.
     
  13. Chill374

    Chill374 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Helpfuls Received:
    2
    Location (Country):
    USA
    UnluckyOne, I saw your post on another page and then found this one and thought I might ask you a couple questions. I have been dealing with this for 5 years (first at 21 and now I am 26) and honestly my flare ups haven't really been that bad over the years. My initial one gave me cellulitis and had to be drained and the most recent flare-up started draining itself. Do to the fact that a lot of tissue was hanging out (tmi sorry) I went to see a surgeon. He does preform the cleft lift and pit picking, which I saw you suggest in the other post. Did you have the pit-picking procedure done before your cleft lift? He is suggesting we do the pit picking before we go for the cleft lift, minor surgery before major. In regards to pain and getting around after the cleft lift, how bad was it? Also, was the drain horribly painful? The idea of it kind of freaks me out but I know it's necessary. Thanks for the information! I really haven't ever posted on forums or anything but I can't believe how helpful this site is for people with this disease.
     
  14. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Chill374, I know you said you saw some of my posts but I'm not sure how many you read and I'll just say now that it will do you a lot more good to read my posts because I go in-depth over the span of many months and many posts, which I can't do in one message. However, I will still answer your questions to the best of my ability.
    I did not have the pit picking done originally because like I stated right above this, I had to have an emergency open wound procedure done promptly after being diagnosed. I never had flare ups or draining or a sinus, it just all hit at once and got worse and worse over the course of 2 weeks until I went to a doctor who sent me to a general surgeon immediately. The general surgeon was very GENERAL. He did not know what a pit picking or cleft lift was and I did not argue, I just had the open excision done like he told me I had to. There was no going back from there. I never got the opportunity to have a pit picking because I never healed from the excision.
    If your doctor says that you are a candidate for the pit picking, I would go for it. This powerpoint put together explains the cleft lift, the pit picking, and the proper cases for each one. (http://www.pilonidal.org/resources/medpros.php "Bascom's Cleft Lift Presentation") If the pit picking does not work for you, I'd definitely WITHOUT A DOUBT suggest going for the cleft lift.
    As for the pain and getting around after the cleft lift, I believe my healing was very fast. I forced it to be fast, but I don't think that I pushed myself too much. If you read my posts on my original cleft lif thread, http://www.pilonidal.org/xfforums/index.php?threads/cleft-lift-surgery-scheduled-for-6-1-12.8752/, I updated pretty much daily for the first bit and took you guys step by step through what my healing was like/how fast it was going. The thing is that I returned to work (nannying) 3 days post-op which also required me to drive and do all sorts of things that most people this soon post-op wouldn't try. The drain was my biggest obstacle and I got that removed 6 days post-op. After that was essentially smooth sailing. The pain for the drain? I'd say it was more discomfort than pain. I was paranoid about ripping it out and it made showering quite difficult. The biggest thing is just to be careful and smart about it.. don't rush too much, don't sit on the drain site, make sure you clean the drain site, etc. It's not a big deal in the long run.

    I hope that's enough but don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions.
     
  15. Chill374

    Chill374 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Helpfuls Received:
    2
    Location (Country):
    USA
    Thanks so much for getting back to me. I'm new here so I haven't gotten a chance to go over all of your posts but I will definitely go look at them. That's crazy you didn't have any symptoms at all before this happened, that sounds awful. And getting back to work only three days, that's amazing! I'm such a baby when it comes to recovery from things like surgery :). I have really looked at a lot of the info on pit picking and the cleft lift procedure and think those seem like the best route. He said the same thing, try the pit picking first and worst case scenario, if it doesn't work I can get the cleft lift. Hearing what you said about the drain makes sense, I think it's just the idea of something hanging out that gives me anxiety. Thanks for giving me a realistic prospective. I'm going to look at your other posts for more info. Thank you again for answering my questions and giving me advice, I don't know anyone else with this problem and it's nice to talk to someone else who has gone through this. It gives me hope I may finally find some relief from this sucky disease. I will let you know if I have any other questions. Thank you!!!
     
  16. jtech

    jtech New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Helpfuls Received:
    0
    Thats how it was the first time for me, when i had it drained it was such a relief, since then it seems to drain itself when it gets infected. Regardless i'm considering the cleft lift now because i have to have it removed in order to enlist. draining it wont do the trick for good. Sooo I turn 21 on the 6th. I'm going in that following week. How is your area doing now. How long has it been? I plan to go and do some more reading of your posts. Any recent pics of the area? is it still tender? red? warm? let me know

    thanks and just remember i feel your pain!

    tech.
     
  17. jtech

    jtech New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Helpfuls Received:
    0
    Also did u have health insurance when you had yours done? If yes, which provider? if it wasnt covered how much did it cost?
     
  18. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Well I do believe you're making the right decision. If it still drains and gets infected, you don't want to live like that the rest of your life. Might as well get it out of the way now, and the cleft lift is your best shot. I am at 2 months exactly now and I've been healed for quite some time. I had a small complication (which seemed like a MAJOR complication because I was so ready to have this all over with) with healing the very bottom of the wound. You can see that in the pictures I posted on the flickr/photostream. That only happens to 20% of cleft lift patients and the reason it happened to me is because he tried to spare me some crack and because he did, the part where my butt cheeks meet up and my crack starts was suffocating the bottom part trying to heal. Also, I had a stitch in there that the surgeon missed and that definitely delayed the healing for that. I will still have occasional twinges of pain or discomfort because when they perform the surgery, they cut nerves.. and when the nerves meet back up, it sends those signals through your body. They're rare and it's completely easy to deal with. I think the scar has its days where it becomes irritated or weirdly hard or weirdly soft or sensitive or whatever.. but I try to really just leave it alone. It is not very tender at all.. not warm.. it's not red, just pure scar tissue now and it looks almost the same as it did in the most recent pictures (which are pretty old now) except the bottom isn't gross and unhealed like it was. I may try to take some pictures and update; I've been meaning to, just been busy.

    As for health insurance
    Yes. I am insured under Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (PPA). I had already racked up A LOT of medical bills since January (between the lancing, the excision surgery, and daily dressing changes) so I had almost maxed out my $5000 deductible. I just had to pay $329 to finish that off and then I was billed $500 on top of that but I'm still working with the bills and the hospital to try to figure out what that $500 is from. Health insurance is VERY confusing and the hospital is VERY non-helpful so I do suggest you get the billing code of the cleft lift procedure and call your insurance company and see how much of it they cover. Perhaps your hospital will be easier to work with as well.. I tried to ask my hospital about the billing pre-procedure and I never got straight answers.

    Good luck and keep us updated
     
    LILLY found this helpful.
  19. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Hello all,
    I am here to do an update on my situation. It may get lengthy since I am putting two major things in here, but bear with me. I want to make it clear that I am not only sticking around on the website because I want to help people who will miss my advice if I just abandon pilonidal.org, but also because things happen and things change, and y'all deserve to know about these changes. Technically, I am done healing (and have been for quite some time.. even that stubborn lower area that took so long!), but the body will continue to do things that we cannot see (especially since this is on our BUTT).

    I was going to make an update about my last bump in the road but figured it was very small and didn't need to be posted.. now that I am posting something, I might as well tell y'all what happened!
    While I was at the beach on July 20th (I was still healing that very small section at the bottom of the scar which was fairly deep within what is left of the cleft- wasn't draining or using gauze, just waiting) I was showering and thought I felt a scab at that bottom part. I started to kind of grab it (I know picking a scab might not be a good idea but oh well) and when I pulled it, I found that it was a stitch. Yes.. this would be 1 month & 20 days post-op.. So, I panicked. I started crying and feeling like my surgeon was a failure. Having already essentially healed with no more scheduled appts to my doc, I had to go BACK to my surgeon to have him do something about this stitch. It was only coming out from one direction, and the other part was going into my skin. Right when I got back from the beach, I went to him, and all he did was cut it off and tug a tiny bit. He explained that if any more came out, these were the dissolvable stitches that were in the layer under my cleft lift. He said that my body may push them out now that I am healed and these are foreign objects until they dissolve, but they aren't a problem. It still confuses me a bit to this day because the stitch was hard/plastic almost like fish wire so I didn't believe it was dissolvable, but I haven't had any problems since that one incident and that's all I can say. Shortly after getting that removed, the stubborn non-healing part finally healed. That whole thing was a fairly big scare that blew over. I am telling you this to tell you that SCARES HAPPEN. And they blow over. It's hard to say "don't panic," but it's the best advice I can give.

    As for my true update..
    about a week ago (I am now at 3 months post-op) I was getting out of the shower when I went to check my scar (yes, you will do this compulsively. paranoia, obsession, whatever you want to call it.. this thing is a part of you and you will want to check it quite a bit to make sure nothing has changed) I saw a little fuzz or something at the very top of my scar, so I picked at it. In my pictures, you can tell that I am not hairy really AT ALL; however, like any normal person-hairy or not- I have peach fuzz. Whatever this was, it was stuck to the peach fuzz so I grasped it with my nails and pulled.
    Even now I do not know what the hell happened and I'm not sure I can really explain it but I grabbed a piece of skin somehow (there is flaking skin occasionally on the scar but this wasn't flaky so Idk) and I literally just ripped a small string (literally thin and lengthy like a string) of skin. There was a tinytinytiny hole where I ripped this skin (I'm talking the end of a sewing needle size hole) and a clear liquid came out. This liquid did not have any color, it only came out for a minute and I kept squeezing but nothing else came out, there was no odor, etc. IT STILL FREAKED ME OUT and I know that when you read this you're going to thing this is terrible, but I didn't come here to deliver bad news.. Once I was done freaking out, I put some 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream (which I use for my facial acne) on the tiny hole and went to bed, praying it was some type of zit or something. When I awoke the next day, the hole was gone, there was no bump, there was no color change or hole or anything. It was back to normal.. and nothing else has happened since.
    I know this sounds scary.. but I wanted to tell y'all about this because I'm sure if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone in my position.

    Obviously I am not 100% sure that it was a harmless event, and I am not 100% sure that the cleft lift is the cure-all, but I will NEVER regret my decision to get this surgery.
    I have been living normally again and I wouldn't trade that for the world (even if I do still have paranoia about PD).


    Also, I WILL be posting updated pictures either tonight or tomorrow and then possibly this weekend. I have been slacking on that but I promise they will come.

    Good luck to all of you with healing and beating this disease.
     
    Frustrated! and Caliluv702 found this helpful.
  20. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Helpfuls Received:
    43
    Location (Country):
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Share This Page