My Surgery Experience – Excision With Open Healing
Day of Surgery
My surgery was done at the Outpatient Clinic for my local hospital. I had to arrive 1.5 hours before the surgery to be prepped. After changing into a lovely surgical gown, all my vital signs were recorded and I was set up in a bed. The anesthesiologist came over and spoke with me about which types of anesthesia he would be using and why – he answered any questions that I had and hooked me up to an IV. When it was time for the surgery I was wheeled into the Operating Room and moved onto another table, face down. I found this to be the most unnerving part as the OR staff was all gowned, covered and moving briskly to get ready for the procedure. Once they started positioning the lights I told the anesthesiologist that I was really nervous and would like to be unconscious from here on in. He was happy to help me out and the next thing I knew the surgery was done and I was in the recovery room feeling a bit groggy.
From the records I looked over while in recovery, the surgery took about 40 minutes and I was “lights out” for just over an hour. I was able to leave the clinic about 4 hours after I had initially arrived. My lower body felt a little numb but certainly in no pain. There was a huge bandage across the area where the cyst had been removed. Just from looking at the size of the bandage I was afraid of what I would find when it came off…
My instructions were to go home & rest. The first time I should change the bandaging would be the next day. My friend brought me home, fed me, and tucked me into bed with a nice Vicodin. I did begin to feel a little bit of pain at that point but the Vicodin kept me pretty oblivious for most of the next 24 hours. Instructions were “No driving for 3 days” (not that I was remotely interested in sitting anyway..)
Day After Surgery
Doctor’s instructions were to take 3 hot baths daily and flush the wound out with the hand sprayer. The bandaging was changed each time. I added a cup of Epsom Salts into the bath water each time.
The wound turned out to not be as huge as I thought, about 2.5 inches long and just about as deep, but it was really gruesome to look at none-the-less. Not very much blood, which was a relief. Instructions were to let it close from the bottom up and it needed to be packed each time the dressing was changed. Packing involved a smaller piece of cotton gauze, slightly moistened, inserted as deep into the wound as possible. This is done to abrade the damaged tissue from sides of the wound as it heals.
After a couple of days I began to notice a grayish-green goo inside the wound. I was concerned that this was infection but found out that it was something called exudate (which is a by product of tissue healing) and one of the reasons for the packing the wound is to remove the build up of the exudate. If the top portion of the wound closes too soon without the bottom “filling in” an abscess can result.
When cleaning out the wound I would use Q-Tips to scrape any of the goo out that the gauze didn’t get. Sitting was not an option for the first couple of days. The only way to do so was to “lean” onto one side or the other.
One Week Post Surgery
By the end of the first week after surgery I could sit ok, but not in positions that place pressure on the tailbone (talk about being forced to have good posture and sit correctly like Mom always bothered you about!) Driving was possible but not particularly comfortable – 15 or 20 minutes was about all I wanted to drive, after that point I really started to feel pain from the pressure being placed on my tailbone. Going up stairs was no fun at all because it stretched the wound. Sometimes I would go all day without needing pain medication and sometimes (usually by bedtime) I was really starting to want it. I could definitely see the wound getting smaller inside and it was a bright red.
Two Weeks Post Surgery
I return to the doctor for the first post-surgical check. I’m healing well but need to be packing the wound deeper. Driving is less painful and I’m using the pain medication only once in a while. Sitting is fine (just watch that posture!). My muscles are feeling achy from lack of use and from moving differently than they are used to (walking a little slower, bending very carefully, etc…)
Three Weeks Post Surgery
The wound is about 3/4 of the way closed inside. The outer area of the wound is really starting to itch – a good sign of healing. I’ve started putting a little bit of vitamin E around the edge of the wound. Sitting & driving are not a problem and I’ve started doing yoga again. I’ve also started taking short bike rides for 20 – 30 minutes a day, it feels very good to exercise and just get out and MOVE after these weeks of inactivity.
Four Weeks Post Surgery
Only the top 1/4 inch of the wound remains unhealed. The edges are healing in and the overall size is much smaller. I’m really hoping that by the next week it will be in the final stages – the routine of caring for this wound has gotten old really fast… I’m back to full workouts of everything but fitness walking.
Five Weeks Post Surgery
Just the topmost layer remains to heal, the inner cavity is completely closed. The remaining wound is about 1 inch long. Important Note: I stopped being so careful about my diet for about a week and noticed that the healing process slowed considerably. After bumping my protein consumption back up to 50 or 60 grams a day I notice a big difference in the rate of healing – pay heed to this if you want optimum wound healing….
Six Weeks Post Surgery
Another follow up visit with the doctor. He says that I’m healing beautifully. I’m a little concerned that I’m feeling small twinges of pain deep in my tailbone when I climb steps or when rising from sitting in a chair. Doctor says it’s probably just the new tissue pulling as I become more active. I’m still nervous but there’s nothing to do but wait and see. The remaining wound is now about the size of my thumbnail and in the final stages of healing over.
Eight Weeks Post Surgery
My wound is fully healed!!!
Total supplies I’ve gone through:
3 rolls of 3M Durapore first aid tape
10 boxes of Kerlix Bandaging Roll
about 1/2 small box of Q-Tips
2 cartons of Epsom Salts
4 Months Post Surgery
Still doing fine, no sign of recurrence. The wound does get a little sore if I spend too many hours driving.
One Year Post Surgery
All continues to go well, no sign of recurrence. I still feel twinges deep in the muscle tissue of the healed wound like they are pulling. The scar does get sore still if I spend too many hours slouching in a chair with all my weight on my tailbone. Gotta learn to stop that!
Two Years Post Surgery
Everything is still great! I still get occasional twinges in the scar and still get sore if I put pressure on my tailbone area for too long (still that same sitting problem…when will I learn?) Otherwise, all is well!
Four Years Post Surgery
Still going strong. Still getting some tenderness in my scar, sitting wrong AGAIN! No Bump RX to the rescue, takes care of it every time.
Fifteen Years Post Surgery
In all these years, no serious problems. I’ve had more than a few scares with pimples that formed in the midline and I always was able to take care of them without further incidence. I haven’t had an issue with my scar getting sore or inflamed in at least 5 years. In some ways I wish that I’d had the surgery much sooner than I did, but I also realize that I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right doctor. That surgeon telling me “this is a partnership, I’ll do my part but you have to do yours in the wound care” made such an impact on me. The fact that the web was just getting up to speed and I could find information (some anyway) made a difference. The fact that early adopters like me could make our own “homestead” websites for free made a difference in my being able to start a website on this disease.
This page last updated: January 29, 2016