This is my first post in this forum. This website has proved to be a wonderful resource for understanding this condition, so I thought I would chronicle my days following cleft lift surgery as the recovery logs were most helpful as I considered how I wanted to treat this disease. I'm due to go under the knife on Monday, Feb 29. I was lucky—one of the surgeons listed in the table of cleft lift specialists on this website practices in my city in Virginia, and he is an in-network provider on my health insurance plan. I met him last week, and after he looked at my pilonidal troubles, he decided I would be a good candidate for the cleft lift surgery. Some background: I'm a tall, 27-year-old man with a hairy buttocks. At present, I'm aware of one pit and one drainage point. The pit is located midway between my anus and the top of my natal cleft. It is rather large compared to many of the pits I've seen in pictures on this website and others. The drainage point is located below the pit, about one inch above my anus. I was concerned about the proximity of the drainage point to my anus, but the surgeon doesn't think it will be a problem. I've had the pit for several years. I can remember seeing it in my early 20s, but I was unaware of what it meant, so I paid little attention as the drainage point had not yet appeared. The area began to itch as I passed into my mid 20s, and then came tiny spots of bright blood on toilet paper after I would wipe. I ignored the situation as it did not seem to pose any immediate risks. In retrospect I realize how silly it sounds to ignore those symptoms, but I had never suffered from any health problems so my sense of youthful invulnerability prevailed. I began a new job last summer requiring me to spend long hours outside in hot weather. I believe this is what exacerbated the problem—it went from little bits of blood and itching to heavy discharge, with foul-smelling fluid tinged green and yellow. There was also more blood. I saw a doctor at an urgent care clinic in November, and he recognized the pit as pilonidal disease, but he called the drainage point a granuloma. He prescribed antibiotics and referred me to a general surgeon, who agreed the pit was pilonidal disease. She felt unable to diagnose the drainage point, so I was referred to a colorectal suregon. That surgeon—whom I saw in mid December—ran a probe through the pit, and since it came out at the drainage point, he felt confident declaring both anomalies to be related to pilonidal disease. He suggested a closed excision with a midline suture. By this point the antibiotics from the first doctor had dramatically cut down on the discharge. I decided to wait and see how long it would take for another flare up. I lasted until the beginning of February. This next flare up went from no symptoms to full-blown discharge within 48 hours, and unlike my painless past experience with the disease, I felt some discomfort. Excisions and their lengthy recovery time are of no interest to me. The consensus among medical professionals fluent in this condition seems to be that the cleft lift procedure is the best solution. Many of the stories on this website with positive outcomes seem to be from those who have had the cleft lift. With all of this in mind I scheduled an appointment with the local surgeon who performs the cleft lift. What I'm Aiming For: My purpose with this log is to share my cleft lift recovery in detail. I suspect anyone considering their options for treating this disease is obsessing over it as I did, so I would like to contribute my story to the forum. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have as I work through my recovery. I plan to write my first entry sometime on Feb. 30.