Recovering from having cyst drained

Hello everyone... I've lurked here from time to time as I dealt with flare ups (4-6 in the last 2 years) but have joined finally since this last flare up did not respond to the antibiotics like before and so I had to have it drained. I am still taking the Keflex & Bactrim that I was prescribed for it.

In a perfect world, I would not have had it drained in a walk in clinic, but being a self pay patient, that is what happened. Unfortunately that means each time I go in, I see a different doctor, which makes me a little nervous as far as treatment goes.

I had the cyst drained on Sunday under local anesthetic, and she packed it with what she described as "shoestring-like" material, & told me to come back & have it repacked (today, I'm dreading it.) I am guessing that I'll need to have it repacked a few times? I'm reading 4-6 weeks, but surely I'm not going to have to find a babysitter & driver & go back to the clinic every two days for that long & pay $85 a pop?! I'm reading of people having it done at home by spouses, is this a different kind of packing? Whatever she did was painful even with the local anesthetic.

Any "been there done that" stories or encouraging words appreciated. Feeling a bit lost and unsure of what recovery is supposed to look like and how long the discomfort of packing will last...
First - I'm sorry you're going through this. I know how frustrating and miserable it is, and can't imagine going through it as a mom!

I had an open excision ten years ago which took ages to heal, and then only stayed healed about a year before I started having recurrent minor flare ups. In 2008, I had the cleft lift surgery. While it hasn't been perfect, still healed now and have had very few bumps in the road.

You're already (and have already spent) spending money that's really going down a drain without any permanent solution. I'd suggest looking into options at public hospitals which allow payment plans, or with financial institutions to get a small personal loan and look for a way to have the cleft
lift. Recovery is fast and it will be your best chance at leaving this behind you.

That being said - re: the packing... I wouldn't say try this yourself, but if you've got a spouse or even a friend (and trust me, I've been there!) to help, it's very easy to do. They could come
to your next repacking appointment with you and take it from there. As far as pain - showering to moisten and soften the packing before changing it helps IMMENSELY, as does taking some sort of pain reliever an hour beforehand.

Keep us posted on how you're doing!


Very Helpful
I don't understand the need for packing lancings. When I had my pit picking it wasn't packed at all. Just a bandage over it for the first day.
Thanks, @thegreyandwhite. I found out that my MIL has extensive experience packing wounds due to caring for elderly relatives, so she is helping my husband with it and that is saving us huge expense and bother.

Obviously, I'm hoping that once this is healed it will be done. I read that for 60 percent of people with an infected pilonidal cyst, draining is effective and no further treatment is needed... I'm not counting on it but of course it would be wonderful, especially since with a 3yo, 2yo, & infant having surgery would be awful in terms of logistics and expense caused by me being out of commission. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, but at this point if my flare ups aren't more than twice a year I would rather deal with them for a while until my kids are older then go for surgery now and juggle everything with that, you know?

@Pita, I'm not sure exactly what is involved with pit picking but right now I have an inch deep cavity so packing it is making it heal from the inside out, hopefully preventing any "pockets" or cavities being left that could become irritated. It may mean a longer healing time but I read with packing there is usually a lower risk of a recurring infection. It does have a bandage over the incision as well.

Today is 1 week post draining, & I'm in much less pain. I am still not sitting when I can avoid it, but I can recline on my side comfortably unlike last week, where I had to be flat on my stomach to be out of pain.