Surgery Log

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Pilo14 - In answer to your painkiller question, I was prescribed Tylenol 3 with codeine, and although others have said it's not strong enough, I found it worked well for me. I took two about every 6 hours for the first day, 1 every 6 hours the second day and since then, I've only been taking one about an hour before my packing changes. It makes me a little drowsy, but not nauseous at all. They say it can cause constipation, which is why I tried to cut down as soon as possible (`cause with this particular surgery that is just not a problem I want to have:D). I've found the pain throughout this has been more in the category of discomfort and I don't think my tolerance for pain is all that high. Hopefully you'll find the same.

The other thing I was told that might help you, is that unlike muscle related pain, the pain with this will just come back gradually as your painkiller wears off (instead of say going from 1 on the pain scale to 10 if you have bad period cramps and don't take the pain meds right away). So you don't necessarily have to obsess over taking the painkiller as soon as it says to on the package. One of the nurses told me this, but I know others on this site feel differently and do take their painkillers more regularly.

I've never done my own packing so I have no advice there - sorry! Hopefully your fiance can stomach it :).

Rest and relax knowing that at least the surgery's done!
my mom is out getting the saline solution right now, but once she gets home we're going to pack it for the first time

my doctor said it's about 1 inch long and 2 inches deep, all the way to the bone [x:(]

it's weird, because yesterday and today I've felt absolutely no pain! sure it's a little sore, but no shooting pains or anything. I can move around fine. I took my first pain medicine a few moments ago, it's called "oxycodo apap" on the bottle. I took it because my doctor says that the first few changes will HUUURRRTTTT and I want to be well drugged up for that [:xx]

I don't ever want to see the wound, it'll freak the hell out of me. I can feel the sponge in there, so I'm trying not to think about it

Pilo14, how long have you known about your pilonidal? we should compare wound sizes and see if time doing nothing = bigger wound. cause I've only known about it for 2 months
I just went through my first packing change. The nurse came, used Iodoform Gauze, weird looking gauze - it looks like this long cord. I thought it was one of those alginate dressings (well, I was hoping it was, lol) but I don't think so.

Enchanted - the oxycodo is oxycodone, also known as percocet, I believe that's stronger than the vicodin (which I was prescribed 5mg/500mg acetaminophen/tylenol). I did call my doc and they changed me to percocet, but I'm scared to take it cause they said it's strong - will knock me out. Maybe tonight, I'll take it.

So, the changing wasn't so bad. The nurse soaked it in saline solution first, which was pretty warm (it was in the car and it was cold so she asked my fiance to microwave it a bit). Then she started taking the dressing out. It felt like when your hair gets stuck in gum or sticker, it just feels weird, not too painful. My fiance saw it and he was very surprised at how much packing was in there. The wound is about 2 inches long, 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches deep. Also, I've had it since I was 14 yrs, but never knew what it was - I never drained, until in November, it was just too painful and had to get it lanced.

Northern, thanks for the tip on the meds - I'm just sick of being sick to my tummy. It really isn't painful, more like a dull pain.

We all just need to stay strong and positive cause we're all in this long ride to recovery - lol. Anyone got any chips? Are we there yet? Hahahah :)
oh boy... just got back from the doctor for my first post-op checkup. it was very interesting to say the least. the doctor came in and sat down, asked how i was, and then said he needed to discuss with us the pathology report regarding the surgery (my mom was in the room with me and freaked at this point thinking the worst). he said that they examined all the tissues that were removed, and there was a sinus that was completely scarred over, and there was a cyst, but that it wasnt a pilonidal. They dont know the exact cause of the cyst, but that it was some type of infection. The pain was because there was a lot of scar tissue from the infection and the lancing that was pushing on the bone. We werent sure if this was good news or bad news, but he said theres pretty much no chance of it reoccuring, although I may get cysts in other places since the cause isnt really known. Overall I guess this is good news, just knowing that I dont have to worry about it coming back.

The exam also went really well. He said everything looks absolutely perfect. He did go into the wound and cut some tissues which he says is just to make sure it heals properly, and also added some silver nitrate. I was dreading this, but it actually didnt hurt. I honestly didnt really feel anything the entire time.

Its nice to know that I'm not really at risk for this to come back, although I still have to make sure it heals properly so as not to become infected. As fast as im healing, he expects it should be closed within 6 weeks. Just need to be careful after that with the amount of strain so as not to rip it back open.
Pilo14... I didnt see your posting before. My doc was going to give me vicodin, but i dont always respond to it, so he up'ed me to darvocet, which i think is stronger than percocet. You do have to take it with foods otherwise it will make you nauteous!!! It did make me sleepy, and just made it easier to sleep, but I wouldnt necessarily be afraid to take it. I mean its not like you cant stay awake when you're on them or anything. I admit I've been sleeping a whole lot more than usual, but this week I really havent taken the meds much, but my body is still kinda weak and sleepy from the whole healing process.

Best advice though...take stool softeners!!! I started a day or two after surgery, and since I never really took them before I started out only taking 1 or 2 per day (instructions said 3-4), but I wish I'd taken them as directed though. Sorry if this is too much info, but my first bm wasn't until the 5th or 6th day. It was pretty uncomfortable, but didnt hurt my wound at all and just a couple drops of blood, so nothing to be scared of.

Glad your first packing change went well also! Do you know how much gause they got in there? I had 2 feet in mine... felt like it was never-ending.
My wound keeps leaking this brown stuff. And the percocet isn't making it any less painful. And my mom put a stupid bandaid over it and the gauze is coming out but she refuses to touch it until tomorrow. Gaah. GAAAAH.

How deep should she put the gauze in? She said it was too dark in there to see. And why is it still leaking this stuff? :confused:
That was some strange finding about your cyst. So it wasn't pilonidal, so weird. Glad you're ok though, and the silver nitrate didn't hurt. Thanks for the tip on the stool softeners (and don't you worry - that wasn't TMI at all - it was very valuable information). I'm very afraid to go #2 and I did buy some laxatives before the surgery but I'm afraid I need the stool softeners more than I need the laxative. Apparently the laxative just makes you go, but the stool softeners extract water from our intestine which makes your stool softer, therefore easier to pass. I did buy some prunes and just gobble up about 8 pieces. Trying to drink lots of water but it seems I keep on drying up. It must be the wood stove fireplace we have, makes the air very dry. I woke up this morning with pain, probably because the dressing caked from lack of moisture. I took a percocet, and it wasn't so bad. I'm sleepy now, but not as nauseated. I also had it before I ate my breakfast.

Enchanted - the gauze must go as deep as the wound itself, remember you don't want hollow area forming when you start healing. The gauze is packed in there so it doesn't "bridge" healing from inside out. I'm not too sure about the brown stuff - I've had some bleeding, but that's all I've seen so far.
uwpsocr13: That's so bizarre! Did the doctor tell you what it was they found out about the cyst that made it not a pilonidal? I would think a sinus and cyst in that area would be enough to call it a pilonidal.

enchantedcheese - I had brown leakage too (actually, up to a little while ago). I think it's just dried blood (not to gross you out or anything:)) and fluid from the wound - my home care nurses have never been concerned about it. If you start to get a fever or start feeling really sick, then I'd start worrying about it. Though actually you're saying you're in a lot of pain even with percocet and a lot of pain may be a sign of infection. Hm, if the pain doesn't go away, I'd call the surgeon's office.

pilo14 - Glad you found medication that worked for you!
Seriously guys, thanks for maintaining this surgery log. I keep on re-reading it and it makes sense as I go through the same phase as you guys did. My 2nd change today was better, the nurse was great. I told her about my bowel movement worries and she suggested to get "colace" for it. I sent my fiance to get it, hopefully that will help me when go time comes. What was also interesting was she mentioned that there are a lot of people with pc that she's seeing, a lot of teenagers are getting it she said.

How you doing Enchanted? I am having pain too - and I have a high threshold for pain, but the nurse said my wound is nice and pink. Gotta remember you have this hole in your back, it's not gonna be a piece of cake, but you must stay positive. Sure is a pain in the bum, eh? :)
Its amazing how common this thing really is, and not just n hairy men. Everyone we've talked to seems to have had it themselves, or know someone that has, and quite a few have been young active teenage girls.

The doctor said that the sinus was from the lancing and was fully scarred over. He showed me the pathology report and said that there were no active sinuses, besides the scarred one from the langing, and nothing to show pilonidal. There was however a lot of scar tissue, which I guess isnt really common to a PC. The only real difference now is that I don't have to worry about it coming back.

Pilo14- I'd be afraid to take laxative, for the reason you said. It just makes you go, and I was in no hurry for that. Even the commercial for stool softeners say "They dont make you go, they just make it easier to go." Mine didnt hurt my wound at all, just wouldve liked if it was a bit easier (sorry again for the overshare).
Enchanted- about the gause coming out, r u talking about the gause inside your wound? If so, we folded one or two pieces of gause (3x3 or 4x4) and put it between the cheeks (folded edge inside ofcourse), and then put 2-3 pieces of tape across to hold it in place. This will also catch any extra leakage. You'll continue to leak probably as long as the wound is open. Im 2 1/2 weeks out and I still get some bright pink blood, and the gunky exudate. Unlike most people on this board, my doc had us packing lightly (just putting the gause over, and pushing it in some with a qtip). Most people are told to pack it all the way in. I think the general consensus is that more is better. The deeper you get, the less chance therre is for premature closure and bridging.
Just 1 quick thing to say regarding the laxative/stool softener situation. Back in September, my bowels were not moving for a good 4-5 days regardless of taking 4 stool softeners/day. Not too surprising as general anesthetic does affect that area and I'm pretty sure all/most people wont have a BM until day 4 or 5. I did take 1-2 laxatives if I remember correctly starting at day 3 or 4 for a couple days and that did help when with the stool softener. I would say to others to not be afraid of the laxative ;) But the main difference for me was having stitches for 3 weeks so I kept taking stool softeners (not necessarily 4/day) but for over a week after since I had to worry about the stitches!

Good luck to you all with recovery! It is wonderful to not have to worry about pilonidal leakage anymore!! :)
I was wrong about the gauze coming out, it just felt like it. The wound is VERY sore today, and the percocet knocked me out after my mom changed the bandage.

I woke up today and my face and hands were VERY swollen. Could this be because I slept on my stomach the entire night?

It's sooooo sore today [x:(] [x:(] [x:(] [x:(]

It's not infected because the gauze didn't smell funky or anything and is being kept very clean.
enchantedcheese - Do you think you might be allergic to the Percocet? I'm just thinking that may be why your hands and face are swollen and why it's not always helping you with pain. Hope you feel better soon!
Mine is very sore too - the surgeon definitely didn't give me a long lasting anesthetic. Just stay positive Enchanted, you realize that what we have is this big hole in our backend near the spine where it really hurts. But like Northern and Uwps - we will get to a point when all of this will be over. I do dislike having very little options laying, on my side my legs start hurting, on my tummy, my back, neck and arms start hurting from trying to prop myself up. Hahah - what did we get into huh? But we have to finish this - think positive, we'll be done and over soon enough. Hang in there! :)
Still hurts today [x:(]

So my mom is getting very nervous about the wound, she really is doing her best though. I have 2 questions:

1. She looked at it with a flashlight when we changed it today, and she said there's a tiny bit of light green pus in there. Is that normal?

2. We are using "0.9% Sodium Chloride Irrigation, USP," the brand is Baxter, to soak the gauze. Is this right? The lady at the surgical supply story said this was the right stuff.
The light green stuff must be the exudate - if it doesn't smell and it's not swollen and red, with a fever, then I think you should be okay. When's your next doc visit? Probably be good to call him/her tomorrow to see if you guys can arrange a visiting nurse?

My packing change today hurt more than usual - I think the wound is very sore, taking the gauze didn't hurt, but when she was swabbing it and when she packed it there was a bit of a stinging sensation, but it worked out fine. I was out of bed today, my parents came to visit, and it feels good to have visitors.

I don't know what else I can help you with Enchanted, I just know mine is still sore, still bleeding - I will check on the saline solution - it's in the fridge, the nurse says it should be refrigerated. We usually take it out when she comes for the packing. Also, she said it is nice and pink, and she showed me the gauze she cleaned it with and it was pink, which she said was good.

I'm sure all is well with your wound Enchanted, it's understandable that you and your mom might be a bit scared about it, but you guys have to be confident and stay positive. If you call in and tell your surgeon your worries, maybe he/she can help? Hang in there hun! [o+o]

I checked the saline solution and it's .9% Sodium Chloride - so I think what you have is correct.

So, finally did a bowel movement! Day 4 - Colace worked, and probably did the high fiber diet, the water, and the prunes I've been eating. :)
Hey guys! Sorry I wasn't on before today. (internet was acting weird) but yes! I had my closed excision on thursday, ended up staying the night (which worked for me, cuz I got sick) and now I am at home healing! Since i am in the military, they gave me 4-6 weeks off of work, so I will be nice and healed when I go back. My incision is 7-8 inches long, and I have 13 stitches! Yikes! But yes, everyone who is healing/about to go in for surgery, I wish you good luck! :D
Boo :( Gals/Guys - my wound is sooooo sore today. I went to the surgeon today (Day 5) and he mentioned that the bottom part is healing too quickly, and he just basically moved it with his finger - well, he was looking at it, said that that area was binding too quickly and I just felt some major pain. I didn't know what was going on until my fiance told me that he basically "undid" the healing with his finger. OUCH! I'm in bed now, terrified to move, hahah - my fiance did something really, really funny and I couldn't laugh without having pain - but I couldn't stop laughing either, lol. What a pain in the bum... ;)
I'm sorry pilo14. My husband is playing the funnyman too. the good thing is I can sit for short periods of time (as long as I have pillows underneath my bum) and I am walking a bit more now (still a waddle though :( ) but, I had my first BM today (so don't lose hope!) and my husband thought I was crazy for being happy about it. >.> hope everyone's bums are feeling better!
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