DD going for surgery in a few weeks then starting freshman year!

It's looking ok. I was, perhaps, a little overly optimistic yesterday. Wound is still an open, gaping hole. Drainage is practically non-existent -- a tiny bit of watery discharge when I powder his butt. I'm crossing fingers and toes that it is healed in two weeks. I have decided if the doc cancels surgery, I will start looking for another surgeon. I wish I had complete confidence in him, but I just don't. There were a few little errors which made me have niggling doubts. Nothing glaring, just a few little things that make me wonder.

I'm actually hoping your daughter will be scheduled for the same day as my son! That way, we can compare notes!

Will your daughter's surgery be at a hospital or an outpatient surgical center?

When did you say your daughter's college semester starts? Where is she going? Is it far from where you live? Where do you live, and where is your doctor? Close by, or a bit of a drive?

Well, at least we're both on our way to getting this horrible problem resolved, once and for all! Woo-hoo!
The surgery will be at the hospital as an outpatient. Move-in is on the 29th and classes don't start until September 9th, everything is freshman orientation and shopping period until then. She'll be 850 (ish) miles from our home in NC. Our doctor is amazingly close by, it took only 20 minutes to get there!
Sounds like a great doc Anonymouse! Be sure and mention his name in the Hall of Fame forum so other folks can find him!
Robert, you said earlier (I think) that you had numbness as a result of the surgery, which resolved over time? Is this a common issue after cleft lift surgery? How long did it take for sensation to return? Did you find this numbness to be a problem in any way, or just a minor annoyance (or did it not bother you at all?)

Just wondering what the days after surgery will hold for us. Thanks for your help!
Hi Connie...if you want a day by day report of life after surgery...I would recommend taking a look at my "cleft lift" thread. I put, in detail, everything that happened to me after surgery for the first 30 days. If you're interested.

As for the numbness...they have to cut the nerves to the skin to make the flap for the cleft lift. So numbness is normal and to be expected. I still have a bit of a weird sensation at times back there and I am almost 6 months out. I barely notice it though. And, it never hurt or limited me...just felt sort of funny. The numbness was actually quite nice after surgery, as you didn't feel as much (or at least I didn't) with the drain and everything since I had a natural anesthetic back there!
Robert, you said earlier (I think) that you had numbness as a result of the surgery, which resolved over time?
I didn't have a numb (tingling) feeling, I just had no feeling (which also means no pain!). I just checked and I could feel things when I touched the area, so I guess it's gone. No idea how long the lack of feeling lasted, it was a total non-issue.

Hello everyone,
so I just got off the phone with the surgeon's office and they gave us a date of August 16th which is 2 weeks before DD flies to school. I'm a little nervous that we were not able to get anything earlier. I think that Connie will be in the same situation with her son - surgery about 2 weeks before he starts college? Connie, did your doctor express any reservations about the surgery so close to the start of school? I have the doctor's nurse and the scheduler working really hard on moving the date up. The nurse was going to talk to the head surgeon to find out if he thought a cleft lift close to leaving for school would be an issue. For those of you who have had the cleft lift, how were you feeling at 2 weeks? The flight is about 2 hours and the car ride after that about 45 minutes. Move in day is the following day with a lot of orientation activities for a week following that and then classes start. I am sounding like such a worry wort!
My doctor didn't seem too concerned. I was a little worried until I read from several here that numbness in the area for several months after surgery helped with pain. My doctor says that things should be pretty well healed up by 2 weeks post-op, so I'm hoping he is right. If we are 10 days ahead of you Anonymouse1, then I will keep you advised on our progress, and that should give you a general idea about what to expect.

Good luck getting your surgery moved up! It would be nice, but I wouldn't worry too much if they can't move the date forward. I'm sure the doctor wouldn't put you in a position that would be dangerous for your daughter! If for no other reason than that he doesn't want to risk the lawsuit! (Cynical of me. Sorry!)


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Hi - I am going to come back in here and say that if it is very straight forward 2 weeks should be fine. However, it is important to know that while the cleft lift is great - it is not a magic bullet. My son was in a lot of pain after the op and certainly needed more than 2 weeks off work. He did also have some complications and while he was unlucky, it really is important to realise that it might not be all plain sailing - though undoubtedly the best in the long term. Quite a few cleft lifts have a small opening which may need checking. They usually close themselves - in my son's case it caused complications. Two weeks is not a long time to recover from any surgery, and I really would say 2 full weeks was a minimum with 3 weeks being a definite possibility for a lot of people. It is a standard 2 weeks off work, but I know some people have returned in less, but also many (most?) take an extra week.
I think one point which is not often mentioned is the mental stress. My son certainly needed a lot of reassurance in the early stages as it has quite a significant impact on the shape of the butt.
I am not saying delay, but do read up on all the possible post op things (even drainage may upset the kids) and make sure they know what to expect.
Very best of luck.
Thanks Linda2, good advice. I've read all the cleft lift recovery stories on here and so have an idea of potential problems. DD is aware too. Unfortunately, the doctor's office called today and despite two people pouring over the schedule, it wasn't possible to move the surgery up. The nurse talked to the head surgeon and he said it is cutting it fine (bad pun!) and he would prefer 3 weeks, but that it was DD's decision. He just advised good support from the health center at school and finding a local colo-rectal surgeon nearby in case one is needed for a consultation. DD wants to go ahead anyway, she is already starting to feel the beginning of a flare up after only a couple of weeks off the antibiotics! She said she just can't deal with frequent flare ups at school and would rather be sore and maybe paying a visit to the health clinic there for a week or two if necessary than going through one semester of flare-ups and pain and dealing with taping on gauze. I understand where she's coming from and support her decision. I'm not sure I'd feel that brave! It will be hard as a parent being 800+ miles away :( It's the waiting and fretting that are getting to me!
I'm sorry you couldn't get surgery moved up, Anonymouse1. I understand how you are feeling! I think we are both doing the best we can, and while I know there are no guarantees, I choose to proceed and hope for the best! Sounds like you may have made the same decision. I think our choices are extremely limited, and the alternative is very unpleasant -- as you said, the alternative may be worse than dealing with the last week or two of post-op care at college. I called the health care center where my son will be attending college and they said they are fully capable of dealing with post-surgical wound care. My son and I decided that we (son and I) just have to make our most informed decision and go forward with courage and confidence! Everyone has to make the best, most informed decision possible for themselves. It won't be easy but I still think (hope!) that for us, proceeding will be the best choice, "the lesser of two evils."
Connie, I just wanted to wish you and your son good luck for your surgery on Monday. Hope all goes smoothly and I can't wait to hear your progress reports :hug: :)


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Thanks! I just called the surgical coordinator to tell her that while the wound is mostly healed, only skin-deep at this point, it IS technically still "open" but doesn't look infected. Didn't want to make the trip on Monday if, knowing this, they would absolutely say no. But she said she thought it was worth the trip to be sure -- maybe it would be sufficiently healed to proceed. We're crossing our fingers!

Again, thanks for thinking of us! I'll update on Monday with outcome.


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Well, the doctor says my son's wound is still not healed enough to do the surgery, so it's off for tomorrow! He did show me that there are 8-10 pits there, in addition to the wound we're trying to heal, so I guess the PD is fairly extensive. We've rescheduled for December 17th. Seems so far off! I'm worried he'll have another flare-up before then!

Ah well. The doctor says he has a sign in his office that says, "You can do it right, or you can do it over!" Says he wants to do it right!
I'm so sorry Connie, I know you and your son really wanted to get this out of the way before college. Still, I guess it's good that the surgeon wants to "do it right". Fingers crossed that there are no more flare ups before December 17th. Maybe the lancing he had will help keep things at bay until then. 8-10 pits, wow!


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Thanks Anonymouse1! Yeah, I'm trying not to be too disappointed. We're hoping for no flare-ups before 12/17.

Now we can look forward to hearing how your daughter's surgery goes! I'm eager to hear how it goes for her, and her progress afterwards! I'm sure she will do great!

We were advised (by home health care nurse) to have my son drink 2 large protein shakes (Walmart has whey powder mix, which I whip in the blender with milk and ice cream) a day, to increase protein intake which supposedly helps with healing. Both doctor and home health nurse said he was healing well and quickly, and nurse credits to protein. Perhaps your daughter could benefit too? Must say, my son may NEVER have another milkshake after this is over! He's pretty sick of them! Hahaha!
Hello Connie!
We were disappointed as well that my is not getting surgery in September. It's just not enough time to heal before school so ours is tentative for December 20th.
We can go through it together!
When you say 8-10 pits, what exactly does that mean? My son has 2 large 1 inch each wounds. Does that mean he did have "pits" and they just opened up to make large wounds? He also has a hole above his crack, is that what a "pit" is?
This disease gets weirder and weirder by the minute!