Cleft Lift Recovery Log

Discussion in 'Pilonidal Discussions' started by BrianS, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

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    Absolutely, I'm glad I could help someone else.

    I am going to try some wet wipes and see how that helps. I'm just going to try getting myself to go to the bathroom immediately before I shower and have a dressing change. I also think it's going to be a more regular thing now that I got the first one out of the way. Almost an entire week is a long time to not have a BM, especially with all those drugs in your system.

    I have the ability to take off work for at least another couple weeks if I need it because I went almost a year and a half without really taking any days off or using any sick days, and my vacation was already planned for after the surgery. I'm going to try sitting more today, but I think it could be possible to return to work at least part-time if you're not as lucky getting time off work.

    As far as the dressing changes, I wouldn't say it's impossible to do them on your own, but it would be fairly difficult. If it's an option, I would see about the possibility of hiring a home health nurse who can do the last round of dressing changes after your original help leaves. You should only have to do the dressing changes at home for about 2 weeks until your next follow-up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  2. Brandonw

    Brandonw Very Helpful

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    Very great to hear Brian! Keep up the good work. Hope yo u continue to feel well and heal!
     
  3. Girlbooty

    Girlbooty Very Helpful

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    From personal experience, baby wipes are your new best friend ;)

    Glad everything is going well!! :) Wishing you best of luck and quick healing.
     
  4. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

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    I haven't read enough of the beginning of this thread, I'll admit. I'm really swamped with school right now.. but I'm so glad everything is going well. I just want to put out there for anyone reading (stokliner, etc.) that I returned to work (full-time) two days after my cleft lift. I'm a fighter and I had two full-time jobs at the time, both working with children, which I didn't want to take time off of. I agree with Robert (hi, again, I'm glad you're still around!) that it's all about doing as much as you can and only stopping if it hurts or you realize you're really stressing your wound too much (though he was talking about the bathroom, it can be applied to a lot).
    I started sitting the day after surgery. I increased my time doing so every day. I started with baby steps but I pushed myself and didn't listen to any paranoia. I didn't need pain medication except to sleep. I didn't allow myself to take it otherwise since I was driving 45 minutes to work every other day and 20 minutes to work the rest of the days, and working intensively with children where I'd be responsible for anything that happened to them.

    I didn't have any dressing, really, so I can't say much about that. All I had were the butterfly bandages. I was able to shower a couple days after surgery and I showered every day but avoided the wound for the most part for a little while. The human body is an amazing thing and knows how to clean itself and purge bacteria (though you shouldn't solely rely on that).

    Surgery is different for everyone, but don't be scared to push yourself.. and don't always listen to the voice in your head. A lot of our natural response is defeatist to ourselves. I was just so tired of being strapped down by my excision surgery that the cleft lift was a breath of fresh air and I was ready to move on with my life as fast as possible. I'm both surprised by and glad about how fast it gave me my life back. Everyone deserves that.
     
  5. stokliner

    stokliner Helpful

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    Thanks for the inspiring words! I have my cleft lift tomorrow. While I'm nervous about it, I'm excited to get it out of my life.

    As for work, my employer requires written doctor approval to return, so it's not as simple as pushing myself. However, I do plan on pushing myself to get back to work after a full 10 days. Luckily, my schedule works out with Thanksgiving holiday and a few weekends, so I only take a minimal amount of time off work, unless something goes awry.

    Thanks again. I think your words have some validity in regards to defeating ourselves; I know Brandon said he was afraid to sit for quite some time, which could have possible hindered his recovery a little bit by not stretching the new tissue gradually (correct me if I'm wrong here).

    I'm also quite glad it is not surgery anywhere around my face or head. All my previous surgeries were wisdom teeth, tonsils, deviated septum, sinus glands. Surgery to the head area is just miserable. While the bowel movements sound like a pain in the ass, I'd prefer that over anymore head surgeries.
     
  6. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

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    Thank you both UnluckyOne and stokliner! I'm glad that I was able to do my recovery log and that it has helped others in deciding on surgery. Like UnluckyOne, I feel I've had a pretty quick recovery, minus worrying about little things here and there (stokliner, keep us updated!). And girlbooty, you're absolutely right about wet wipes!

    Just want to give one last little update for now...

    Day 14 (I think...including the day of surgery)

    Sitting: Still not doing much of it, just taking it easy. When I do sit, absolutely no problems so far. I can sit without the coccyx cushion comfortably for several minutes, I just try not to sit too much on hard surfaces. Even then, I still don't have many problems. I will be making a 10 hour round trip to Chicago next week for my second follow-up with Dr. Brand, will probably use the coccyx cushion and be fine sitting for a while. Also had no problems on a 10-15 minute car ride to a restaurant at about 8 or 9 days-post op.

    Driving: Went driving two days ago, 12 days post-op. Had no problems driving. Used the coccyx cushion and was also in an SUV, which helped. I just took it slow and didn't try to make it too bumpy by going quick over curbs. Definitely manageable, though.

    Bathroom: I had forgotten to take the stool softeners the other day when I had about 4 pills left (one in the morning and one at night), so I just didn't bother taking the last 4. I still haven't really had many problems, just a little messy. I also caught a bug or a cold for about a day when I left the house the other day, so that messed with my stomach, but I feel fine now. Whenever you use the restroom, always wipe forward, or you can try side to side. You may go through half a roll just for one BM, but I just made sure to keep everything really clean. Then I followed it up with wet wipes, then a little more toilet paper. I also tried to hold off on bowel movements until just before I showered and had a dressing change so I could clean the area. BM > Shower > Dressing Change.

    Work: Going to see Dr. Brand next week for my second follow-up since surgery. As long as everything looks good, he'll allow me to stop the daily dressing changes and should clear me to go back to work. Since I work a physical job that requires sitting in a car most of the day, I will be able to work a desk job for a couple weeks until Dr. Brand gives me the final "all-clear" to go back to physical activity.

    Overall, I felt pretty close to 80%/90% at about Day 8 or 9. I'm still taking it slow and taking it easy, but I feel I had a really quick turnaround and things went pretty well. I'm walking up and down the stairs, getting in and out of bed, up and down from the couch, eating a pretty normal diet, showering, no problems. I'm excited to get back to work and I am so ready to get on with my life. This forum has been such a resource and I'm very appreciative to you all, and Sasha for running the site! Thank you!
     
  7. Brandonw

    Brandonw Very Helpful

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    Sounds excellent Brian! Thats great news. Sounds like you are progressing more and more every day.
    And yes stokliner i was definitely nervous to sit. I had that bad experience with my excision so it just got in my head i guess i could say. It took me some time to get past that. It could have affected my healing time possibly.
     
  8. LILLY

    LILLY Very Helpful

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    Things are certainly coming along Brian!

    Good luck tomorrow stockliner!
     
  9. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

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    Thank you Brandon and Lilly!

    Also another update for those that are interested in the price;

    Insurance/Cost: Finally got the claim through insurance, came out to right around $22,000. I should be covered and only owe the deductible.
     
  10. stokliner

    stokliner Helpful

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    Hello everyone, I had my cleft lift yesterday with Dr. Brand, just like Brian. I am going to start my recovery log today. Since Brian's is quite thorough, I am just going to mention things I found noticeable or didn't fully comprehend when reading Brian's log. Be sure to check it out!
     
  11. Brandonw

    Brandonw Very Helpful

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    Excellent stokliner! I will be sure to check it out! Hoping things go well.
     
  12. Dave C

    Dave C New Member

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    Hey, I just replied to your message, but see that you had your surgery! That's is great Brian! Looks like you have had a pretty good experience as well! Take care man... pretty soon you'll get to the point where you don't even notice it!
     
  13. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

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    Thank you Dave! I'm feeling really good!
     
  14. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

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    Day 26 (Update)

    Haven't been on here in a little while, things are going great. I feel as close as I can to 100%. I'm still restricted from running, squatting, bending over too much, but those are minor things. The incision has not drained anything since I stopped dressing changes after the second week, and the incision has already starting to scab up and form a scar The incision line looks great. A little different looking, like a seam up the middle of my "crack," but I think Dr. Brand did a tremendous job. I have been sitting with little discomfort at all, sometimes a little sore but that's it. I don't need to use the coccyx cushion anymore, but I use it occasionally on long car rides, i.e. several hours. I have been sleeping on my back with no problems also. Going to the bathroom is normal, not taking any stool softeners (Still wiping forward, don't want to get bacteria in the area of the incision!). Being able to take normal showers is awesome too. I can shower without anything at all covering the incision, I was just told not to let the shower head beat down directly on the incision, so I still lean forward to wash my hair. I will hopefully be going back to work before the end of the week to a desk job until I can return to work fully. I have had such little pain during this experience and I am so glad I got it done. Very thankful to Dr. Brand. I know my case wasn't as bad as others, but I'm glad I went with cleft lift as my FIRST option, and anyone else considering a first surgery should look into the cleft lift. I have my life back!
     
  15. Brandonw

    Brandonw Very Helpful

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    Excellent news Brian!
     
  16. Johan H

    Johan H New Member

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    Great news! I am currently on Day 20 (had cleft lift on your Day 6) and it was very nice to read your posts before the big event. I am also doing great, although it is still leaking during night, but I sleep/sit/work again by now without any particular problems. In addition very little pain, which cannot be said about my past surgeries... Just feels fantastic to finally have done it after thinking about the cleft lift for so long :)
     
    BrianS found this helpful.
  17. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

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    Sounds like you're doing good! Hopefully the leaking stops soon. I would recommend wearing some pads in your underwear at night to absorb some of the leaking and drainage if you're worried about it. I sometimes get the feeling like something's "wet" down there, and I always wonder if I'm actually leaking a little bit, or if it's just the nerves down there sending the wrong signals as it heals. I haven't noticed anything in my underwear though, or when I use the restroom, so I'm staying positive. I'm glad that I could help give you something to read to prepare you for your cleft lift, that was my goal in writing this log. Congrats on everything, hope it continues to heal up and you never have to deal with this disease again!
     
  18. Johnathan Irons

    Johnathan Irons Very Helpful

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    When you say pads.... Do you mean womens panti-liner pads? I see a lot of people are using gauze? What's the best type to soak up the drainage?
     
  19. Brandonw

    Brandonw Very Helpful

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    They both work. I used to use gauze and then when i got the cleft lift i used panti-liners. It made a difference so you didnt have to keep tearing tape off your rear. If you have alot of drainage just go with a thicker pad. Either way they work well!
     
  20. stokliner

    stokliner Helpful

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    This has been a great recovery log. Mine has not been anywhere near this detailed or helpful, but it is pretty much the same experience as Brian. We had the same surgeon. My cleft lift was 1.5-2 weeks after his, and I am already back at work. I will update my log some more if people are looking for my experience as well!
     
    kidlumi1 found this helpful.

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