Who Am I?
My name is Kyle (jordankf), and I became a member of Pilonidal.org in 2004. My mom found pilonidal.org after several weeks of tireless research trying to find more options for my second Pilonidal cyst/abscess, which at that time; I had been suffering from for over a year. Fortunate for me she found pilonidal.org which has connected me with others who have had or still have struggles with Pilonidal cysts/abscesses.
My first Pilonidal cyst/abscess was discovered when I was fourteen years old. We believe that the cyst/abscess developed from trauma suffered during a fall. Since that traumatic fall, I have never been the same.
In 1992, neither my mother nor I knew what a Pilonidal cyst was. After three weeks of odd discharge, my mother knew something wasn’t right and took me promptly to the doctor. They provided me antibiotics and encouraged me to spend 30 minutes to and hour in the bathtub soaking to make sure I was keeping the area clean. After approximately a month and no significant improvement, the doctor recommended a surgical alternative to solve the problem. We all agreed that this seemed like the most viable opportunity to solve my pilonidal problem.
The surgery offered back in 1992 was “closed excision” surgery. Four days after the surgery, the wound became infected, the stitches tore open and I was forced endure the remainder of my recovery with a large, open, draining sore which caused considerable pain. After approximately three weeks of home healing, the wound did eventually heal, and everything returned to normal, until 2002. In 2002, I accepted a position that required me to sit for long periods of time with little movement or activity. This move from “field work” to “office work” is what I believe prompted my second pilonidal cyst/abscess.
When I noticed the new drains/tracks, I knew I was in for a long ride…
I began a new routine of constant visits to my general practitioner. I took all of the advice: “Keep the area clean”, “Take these antibiotics”, “Soak in the tub”, etc. After my third round of antibiotics, I finally told my general practitioner that I had had enough. I gave up on it going away and decided to just live life with “it”. After approximately six months of moderate discomfort, my cyst/abscess ruptured. The rupture caused a new open wound to the left of my natal cleft. I again choose to just live with “it”. I continuous bled every day through the new wound, I was always exhausted and I lost confidence in my personal appearance. I continued to live this way for almost a year and a half, when my mother chose to intervene. She told me that I could not continue to live this way. Seeing me in pain, hearing weekly of my discomfort, she did some research.
Dr. John Bascom’s Cleft Lift/Closure Technique
When my mom found Dr. John Bascom (Eugene, Oregon), I had no idea what a role this man would play in my life. Dr. Bascom had developed a unique procedure called the Bascom Cleft Lift/Closure procedure. The decision that my mom made next, changed my whole life; she e-mailed Dr. Bascom my story. The next day, Dr. Bascom contacted my mother and told her to get me to see him as soon as possible. Over the course of two months, Dr. Bascom consulted with me alleviating many of my concerns about electing to have another surgery.
Once convinced, I began making arrangements to travel to Eugene, Oregon from my then home in Washington State. The driving trip would have been approximately 15 hours, so I choose to fly. (Special Note: Prior to surgery, I consulted with my airline about my situation (difficulty sitting/standing) and they made arrangements to ensure that I was treated extremely well for my journey home). I booked a hotel near the surgery center and checked in the day before my procedure.
Dr. John Bascom’s son, Tom, consulted with me the day prior to my surgery. He inspected the site, assured me that I was an excellent candidate for this type of procedure and promised that I would begin a better life. The next day, I chose to walk to the hospital, assuming that I wouldn’t be able to walk for weeks after my surgery. I checked in and met with both Dr. Bascom’s in the surgical “holding area”. With my mother by my side, the doctors explained to me how they would be removing the cyst/abscess and taking a flap of skin from my right butt cheek to cover, and essentially, remove my deep natal cleft. They also explained that I would have a drain in the wound that would allow for excess material to safely leave the wound site. They promised me the drain would be removed 48 hours after my surgery. After the consultation, they wheeled me in to the operating room, and I began to count backwards… 10, 9, 8………
I woke up approximately 2 hours later in the recovery center. I won’t lie, I had some initial discomfort. I quickly discovered that I was essentially wearing a very large diaper. As someone who doesn’t do very well with anesthesia, it took me a few hours in the recovery center. The nurses provided me with some pain medicine, and I began my recovery. My mother drove me back to the hotel and I slept the rest of the night very comfortably.
When I woke up the next morning, I had my appetite back and was ready to eat. My mom challenged me to get up and get something for myself. I told her there was no way that I would be able to walk less than 24 hours after surgery. I slowly got out of bed, and I was able to shuffle around the room. I couldn’t believe it.
I spent most of the next two days lying in my hotel bed recovering. I began taking Aleve the day after surgery and never took any of the prescription pain medication. I had my drain removed, as promised, 48 hours later and was on my way back to Washington. The airline travel offered some discomfort, but I added additional doses of Aleve which seemed to do the job.
When I got home, I began my regiment of light showers cleaning the area and moving around on a daily basis. My boyfriend continually checked my wound and couldn’t believe how “good” it looked. The surgery let a ten inch pencil width scar down my left cheek and the drain wound, but no other signs that I had just had significant surgery. The swelling and bruising was minimal and was virtually non-existent after 10 days. After 4 days I was able to sleep on my back and two weeks post-surgery I was back in the gym doing some mild cardio workouts.
Two Year Update
It has been almost two years since I wrote my story for pilonidal.org. The wounds have all healed and I am back to my regular routine. I have had no signs or symptoms of any recurrence of a pilonidial cyst/abscess.
I did discover post-surgery that my insurance would not cover my procedure (I encourage everyone to verify insurance coverage PRIOR to surgery). I endured a year-long battle with the insurance company, which I lost in June 2005, and ended up paying for the procedure out-of-pocket. Regardless of the struggle with my insurance company, the quality of life that I have been able to enjoy post-surgery has made it all worth it.
Ten Year Update
Still good. No sign of recurrence.
The Bascom Cleft Lift/Closure procedure is not for everyone. For me, my prolonged case and long history with pilonidal cysts/abscess made me an ideal candidate for the procedure. I encourage everyone to do the following steps to select the right care for their cyst/abscess:
- Research your options (pilonidal.org is a great resource for this)
- Get a second opinion (Never accept only one doctor’s course of action)
- Don’t let your cyst/abscess get out of control (Long term impacts of pilonidal cysts/abscesses are more than physical. They can impact you emotionally as well).
You can contact Kyle about his personal experience at email@example.com or on Pilonial.org at jordankf.
I hope others can benefit from this process as well as I did.
**Since we first put his story on the website in 2004, Kyle has been contacted by over 1,600 fellow sufferers for advice.
This page last updated: January 29, 2016