Abscess surgery on the NHS (my experience)

Riley12

New Member
Hi everyone,

I thought I’d share my experience, especially since it was my first ever operation. Some background info (or skip to paragraph 3 for the op talk): my first abscess developed roughly 2 years ago when I was 17 and I only experience pain sitting down. After a course of antibiotics (I think it was Flucloxacillin), the abscess went away on its own, but in December it came back with vengeance. At first, I only felt pain when I sat down and got up, but after two days of discomfort I was in constant pain, regardless of what position I was in.

At this point I was in complete denial and refused to consider the possibility that it was any different to the first abscess I experienced. In hindsight, I should’ve realised the fact that the pain was constant (and not just limited to me sitting down) meant that the abscess was much deeper and wouldn’t go away with just antibiotics. Initially I went to the GP and they gave me antibiotics (Erythromycin this time) and told me to come back if things got worse (spoiler alert: things did). The antibiotics seemed to be working as the swelling started to reduce. Fast forward to 3am on December 2nd , I was finally convinced by my mum to go A&E after roughly two weeks of indescribable pain and no sleep.

After being seen by a nurse I was told that I had to be operated on under general anaesthesia, so I wouldn’t feel a thing. They told me they’d make a small incision and make sure all the bad stuff was taken out. But this couldn’t be straight away because I had to fast for at least 5 hours (to prevent me choking on my breakfast whilst I was under). In the meantime, they asked me routine questions (if I was on any meds, other health conditions etc.), fit me with a cannula thing (for the IV drip later on) and took a urine sample (to make sure I wasn’t pregnant as the anaesthetic can harm foetuses). I ended up having to wait around 11 hours to be operated on, which were without a doubt the worst 11 hours of my life to date. I had to wait so long because there were people in front of me with more serious conditions (burst appendixes etc. which was completely understandable), but I later found out it was also because the hospital I was in (the same one I was born in!!) apparently only had two operating rooms?! The lack of food, water and sleep did nothing at all to dull the pain but about 7 hours into the wait, an angel of a nurse found me a quiet room to stay where I could lie down on a stretcher (the type you see in your GP) and I got into a hospital gown. If you think you might be in for a long wait, I’d recommend bringing in a hot compress or anything non-medicinal to relieve the pain (I wasn’t allowed any painkillers because of the fasting).

When I was finally wheeled into the pre-op theatre; the only bad part was having to lie down on my back on the bed so a nurse could fit in the IV and do the necessary checks. Everyone was exceptionally kind and did my best to calm me down and explain everything, me being the nervous and teary wreck I was. The last thing I remembered was breathing in anaesthetic using a mask, before I woke up in the recovery ward (again on my back). Another angel of a nurse was by my bedside when I awoke and explained the procedure was successful, and that they’d keep me here for observation for a while because my heartbeat was very high (it had been since I’d arrived, but again, it’s because I’m always a nervous wreck). They had pumped me full of painkillers, so the feeling of not having any throbbing near my tailbone was absolutely EUPHORIC.

Eventually they discharged me and I left the hospital around 6pm. The op itself hadn’t taken that long (my mum told me that she waited roughly 40 mins for me until they called her in to take me home). We left with 3 days worth on antibiotics (co-amoxiclav), a supply of 500mg paracetamol and an appointment to come back the next day for a nurse to change my dressing (the first of many). I held onto the painkillers for dear life thinking the pain would strike at any moment. It never really did – the morning after when I was sure the painkillers would have worn off, I was able to walk normally, with no pain sitting down! I only ever really used the paracetamol before nurse appts because getting the dressings changed can be quite painful (but this lessens as your wound heals).

Since then I’ve had my dressings changed by a nurse at my GP 21 times (yup, I counted!). The wound has to heal right from the bottom upwards, so the dressings are packed in to make sure the sides don’t touch (so it doesn’t just close at the top I think). I was prescribed the materials to get the dressings changed at home by mum over the holidays. The dressings they wanted were quite specific (Aquacel I think) so I had to wait around 3 days for my local pharmacy to get the order in.

I’m roughly a month post-op and my wound is close to healing, as there’s less and less blood coming from the wound now. I do get the occasional throbbing pain, especially when I’m sitting down for too long, but it’s nothing compared to what I felt pre-op. In terms of wound healing and general post-op care, here are some of my tips I’ve collected from different nurses and things that have helped me:

  1. Eat well, especially protein! This helps with tissue building (my sister is vegan so she’s made me lots of chickpea salads, but anything like fish, nuts, eggs, spinach etc. should be great)
  2. Avoid high levels of sugar: apparently this can slow down the healing process. I did give into temptation a few times (it’s pretty hard to do over Christmas where boxes of Celebrations are everywhere) but it’ll be better in the long run
  3. Heat: applying a warm compress to the wound stimulates blood flow and helps with tissue growth
  4. Light exercise: anything like walking also helps blood flow going
  5. Vitamin C: similar to proteins and their role in tissue building (lots of oranges, bell peppers and tomatoes!!)
  6. Relax: I always hate this being said to me because it’s easier said than done, but the less strain you put your body through, the faster you’ll heal
  7. A coccyx cushion: I’m a student so sometimes I can’t avoid sitting. A cushion will really keep pressure off your tailbone (I got mine from amazon but I’ve seen one for £9.99 at Lloyds pharmacy)

If any of you have got this far, then thank you for reading my mess of a rant/story. I hope my experience will have helped anyone who’s debating whether or not to go in for surgery. Even though they’re overworked and underpaid, the staff at the hospital were amazing. I’m not saying the op will work for everyone, but I wish I had gone in sooner.

Feel free to ask me any questions! Any tips on preventing further abscesses in the future would be greatly appreciated. Good luck to everyone dealing with this literal pain in the bum
 
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aggie1991

New Member
Hi Riley12,

I am suffering from this disease too and have a surgical appoitment soon but with Scottish NHS. May I ask what type of operation did they do on you? Was it open or closed? Did your doctor speak about advantages and disadvantages? Were you given options of the operation like cleft lift and other different types? Thanks for your help.
 

Riley12

New Member
Hi Riley12,

I am suffering from this disease too and have a surgical appoitment soon but with Scottish NHS. May I ask what type of operation did they do on you? Was it open or closed? Did your doctor speak about advantages and disadvantages? Were you given options of the operation like cleft lift and other different types? Thanks for your help.
Hey Aggie,

They made an incision on the abscess and it was then drained. My wound is open so they packed it with Kaltostat dressing.

They never really gave me an option, after examining me the second time they said that leaving a open wound would be the best option in my case. Open wounds take longer to heal and they need to be packed daily, but I was told there's a lower risk of infection compared to having a closed wound/stitches.

They never mentioned the cleft lift or any other operation but this might have been because I went to A&E and I was desperate to be operated on by any surgeon at that point! I was examined about three seperate people and the final surgeon talked me through the process, so hopefully you'll have the chance to bring it up with whoever's examining you. Good luck for the appointment, I hope I've been some sort of help!
 

aggie1991

New Member
Hey Aggie,

They made an incision on the abscess and it was then drained. My wound is open so they packed it with Kaltostat dressing.

They never really gave me an option, after examining me the second time they said that leaving a open wound would be the best option in my case. Open wounds take longer to heal and they need to be packed daily, but I was told there's a lower risk of infection compared to having a closed wound/stitches.

They never mentioned the cleft lift or any other operation but this might have been because I went to A&E and I was desperate to be operated on by any surgeon at that point! I was examined about three seperate people and the final surgeon talked me through the process, so hopefully you'll have the chance to bring it up with whoever's examining you. Good luck for the appointment, I hope I've been some sort of help!
Hi Riley12,

Thank you very much your reply. I had them before but whenever I go to A&E they would say it’s under the skin and due to it being inflamed they cannot operate on it. They would just give me antibiotics and hope for the best. Now it has been repeating itself every week or 2 and has become really uncomfortable, I don’t really want to do a wide excision since the recovery is so long but not sure what options it leaves me with. Any GP I speak seem unfaced about it and think it’s an easy operation which I don’t think it’s true. I kinda managed to get under control ( hot water bottle, caster oil) but would love for it to go away. I remember couple of years ago I got it drained in my home country but unfortunately it came back after 3-4 years and with a full force
 

Riley12

New Member
I'm sorry that you're having such trouble getting through to your GP - I know the feeling. I remember the first time I went to a GP during my first ever flare up I was given anti-histamine cream (no antibiotics) and was just sent away. Some are just clueless about it or just generally not very understanding.

Do you have the option of getting it drained in your local hospital? Or assuming that you're looking for a more permanent solution, from the UK surgeons forum I found a Dr Farhat Din of Edinburgh Western General Hospital who does cleft lifts (hopefully that's somewhere close to you and they still work there?).

As for the excision it looks like a semi-permanent solution (I've heard about others who've had an abscess return after a few years). For me, the worst of it was over by the third week. That being said, I'm a student who doesn't work so I can afford to take time off to recover. I hope you find a solution soon.
 

aggie1991

New Member
Oh my god tell me about it, to the all GPs I have seen it’s like nothing, not even a bother to discuss it further, it’s almost like they don’t care or think it’s too little of a problem to be interested, of course it’s not like an open heart surgery but still I am really scared.

I have been referred to some surgeon where I live but internet research indicates he does not do cleft lift operations and that’s what I would like to go for to permanently remove my disease rather than semi permanent and that’s what happened to me, they drained it and now it came back after couple of years. However I am not sure what they did back then because I was able to walk after a day and now you said it’s been three weeks, makes me think they maybe they did a wide exicsion on you? Anyways I am really scared of any type of operation but knowing the recovery might be long is not helping. Wish I had done when I was still a student rather than an adult with a morgage. Btw thanks for looking up for doctors, need to do the research if they still work there. Btw do you know if I am not happy with the surgeon I had been referred do, let’s say he does not even know what the cleft lift is which would indicate he is not that knowledgeable in the field, can I ask my GP to get referred to the doctor of my choice? The one who would actually know stuff? Thanks in advance
 

Riley12

New Member
Oh my god tell me about it, to the all GPs I have seen it’s like nothing, not even a bother to discuss it further, it’s almost like they don’t care or think it’s too little of a problem to be interested, of course it’s not like an open heart surgery but still I am really scared.

I have been referred to some surgeon where I live but internet research indicates he does not do cleft lift operations and that’s what I would like to go for to permanently remove my disease rather than semi permanent and that’s what happened to me, they drained it and now it came back after couple of years. However I am not sure what they did back then because I was able to walk after a day and now you said it’s been three weeks, makes me think they maybe they did a wide exicsion on you? Anyways I am really scared of any type of operation but knowing the recovery might be long is not helping. Wish I had done when I was still a student rather than an adult with a morgage. Btw thanks for looking up for doctors, need to do the research if they still work there. Btw do you know if I am not happy with the surgeon I had been referred do, let’s say he does not even know what the cleft lift is which would indicate he is not that knowledgeable in the field, can I ask my GP to get referred to the doctor of my choice? The one who would actually know stuff? Thanks in advance
Sorry for the late reply! I did get a wide incision, but if it's any consolation, I was able to walk perfectly fine after the op (much better than before). The only pain/discomfort was when they dressings were getting changed by the nurse, but this eases with time.

Based on this charter here I don't see why you won't be able to get referred to a surgeon of your choice. If they really seem resistant then you could always insist that having incision surgery wouldn't be great in the long term, and with what you've described, it sounds like you've got a high recurrence rate? Personally, I've not had much experience with GP referrals, but if you insist and have good reasons for getting a cleft lift over an incision (which I think you do) then they should be able to offer you the operation. Knowing the NHS, it could mean being added to a long waiting list but at least you'll know that you''ll get the lift eventually
 

aggie1991

New Member
Hi Riley12,

Thank you for your reply. Yeah, I keep getting it every week or two and it has started affecting me. However, I can still go to the gym and go to work but I can always feel it and as I mentioned it gets inflamed every week basically. There is like a little wound opened at the top but I can feel like a small lump underneath my skin. I use home remedies to calm it down but I am just afraid that soon it won't be enough.. I have an appointment soon and will see what they say. How are you just now Riley12? Must have been a month since your operation? Are you fully recovered?

Thank you very much for all of your advice! Much appreciated
 

Riley12

New Member
Hi Riley12,

Thank you for your reply. Yeah, I keep getting it every week or two and it has started affecting me. However, I can still go to the gym and go to work but I can always feel it and as I mentioned it gets inflamed every week basically. There is like a little wound opened at the top but I can feel like a small lump underneath my skin. I use home remedies to calm it down but I am just afraid that soon it won't be enough.. I have an appointment soon and will see what they say. How are you just now Riley12? Must have been a month since your operation? Are you fully recovered?

Thank you very much for all of your advice! Much appreciated
No worries at all! What home remedies have worked best for you btw? It's good to know you're doing all you can to keep the worst at bay. Hopefully your appointment will clear things up and put your mind at ease.

I'm roughly 7 weeks post op and I think my wound has fully closed! It's too small to be packed with gauze now and the general area looks a lot better. I'm hesistant to say I'm fully recovered (in case I jinx anything :)) but I would say I'm fairly close! As difficult as everything was, I'm still quite satisfied that I went through with the op in the end.
 

aggie1991

New Member
No worries at all! What home remedies have worked best for you btw? It's good to know you're doing all you can to keep the worst at bay. Hopefully your appointment will clear things up and put your mind at ease.

I'm roughly 7 weeks post op and I think my wound has fully closed! It's too small to be packed with gauze now and the general area looks a lot better. I'm hesistant to say I'm fully recovered (in case I jinx anything :)) but I would say I'm fairly close! As difficult as everything was, I'm still quite satisfied that I went through with the op in the end.
I am using castor oil (put it on the wool pad and press against skin where abscess is) and hot water bottle to calm the infection and if it's really painful I take Naproxen tablets (they fight the infection). I also read in this forum about drinking apple cider vinegar but haven't tried apparently. Apparently it helps to calm the infection as well?

I had not had as bad infection as before where I could not walk and I was in a excruciating pain but I think it's because it was underneath the skin rather than on the top. Now I have like a wound at the top but can still feel the lump. 3 or 4 years ago the wound closed itself after a while and it calmed down itself but now it's back and it's been since like September when I keep getting those flare ups so it's safe to save I must get rid of them with the operation.

That's good that you are satisfied. Can I ask when where you able to get back to uni like go to lectures and exercise? Were you signed off for a month? I am working full time now and can't afford to be off for like 2 months, 2-3 weeks hopefully would be ok
 

Riley12

New Member
I am using castor oil (put it on the wool pad and press against skin where abscess is) and hot water bottle to calm the infection and if it's really painful I take Naproxen tablets (they fight the infection). I also read in this forum about drinking apple cider vinegar but haven't tried apparently. Apparently it helps to calm the infection as well?

I had not had as bad infection as before where I could not walk and I was in a excruciating pain but I think it's because it was underneath the skin rather than on the top. Now I have like a wound at the top but can still feel the lump. 3 or 4 years ago the wound closed itself after a while and it calmed down itself but now it's back and it's been since like September when I keep getting those flare ups so it's safe to save I must get rid of them with the operation.

That's good that you are satisfied. Can I ask when where you able to get back to uni like go to lectures and exercise? Were you signed off for a month? I am working full time now and can't afford to be off for like 2 months, 2-3 weeks hopefully would be ok
I've heard that castor oil is an anti-bacterial, so it sounds like a good fix! Have you ever been offered antibiotics btw? Combined with the naproxen (if you can use the two at the same time) it could be quite benefical for you? I was offered antibiotics during my first abscess to avoid having an op and it worked a treat.

I wasn't signed off at all. In all honestly I could've gone back to uni on the monday (my op was on a Saturday). Since it was before Christmas, I only took roughly 3 weeks off before the holidays began as the lectures weren't essential for me to attend.

It differs for everyone, but I think if you were to have the op, 2-3 weeks recovery would be enough. Mostly because the first few weeks, the wound is at its most vulnerable so you want to begin healing the right way. I think the biggest thing you'll have to factor in is the dressing of the wound. It will probably have to be at least once a day (I've readtwice a day in some cases) by a nurse, or if you can, a relative to do the dressing if you get all the materials prescribed,

If you were to go back to work, would you have the option of going to your local GP to get the wound dressed etc? I think that's the main thing you'll have to consider really
 

aggie1991

New Member
I've heard that castor oil is an anti-bacterial, so it sounds like a good fix! Have you ever been offered antibiotics btw? Combined with the naproxen (if you can use the two at the same time) it could be quite benefical for you? I was offered antibiotics during my first abscess to avoid having an op and it worked a treat.

I wasn't signed off at all. In all honestly I could've gone back to uni on the monday (my op was on a Saturday). Since it was before Christmas, I only took roughly 3 weeks off before the holidays began as the lectures weren't essential for me to attend.

It differs for everyone, but I think if you were to have the op, 2-3 weeks recovery would be enough. Mostly because the first few weeks, the wound is at its most vulnerable so you want to begin healing the right way. I think the biggest thing you'll have to factor in is the dressing of the wound. It will probably have to be at least once a day (I've readtwice a day in some cases) by a nurse, or if you can, a relative to do the dressing if you get all the materials prescribed,

If you were to go back to work, would you have the option of going to your local GP to get the wound dressed etc? I think that's the main thing you'll have to consider really
Hi,

3 or 4 years I was on antibiotics every month because of the sinus. Then the pain was so bad so when I was back home, I went to A&E and asked to remove the abscess, but they did not touch any sinus channels. After that it was considerably ok, some flare ups but not too bad. Then it seems that it did go away but now is back. I was given two week course of antibiotics but to be honest if not for castor oil and tumeric that helped the abscess to pop, I would need to take antibiotics everytime I would have a flare up. Now it seems that it’s calmed down and can’t really feel it so not sure about the operation. Like when is bad I just want to get operated but when it’s relatively ok I keep thinking any intervention into the body is not that great. Btw for that year when it was really bad none of the GP suggested surgery at all, even when I went to A&E here because of the pain they just prescribed antibiotics because according to them the abscess was inflamed and they could not do it because of that.
 

Riley12

New Member
Hm, so it seems that it's not severe enough for them to operate on it, but it's not mild enough for antibiotics to clear it up? I'm sorry you've had so much trouble bouncing between so many different treatments :( . Have you noticed anything specific that seems to cause flare ups? I hope your consultation is sometime soon.
 

aggie1991

New Member
Hm, so it seems that it's not severe enough for them to operate on it, but it's not mild enough for antibiotics to clear it up? I'm sorry you've had so much trouble bouncing between so many different treatments :( . Have you noticed anything specific that seems to cause flare ups? I hope your consultation is sometime soon.
Hi Riley,

I think I got it this time because I changed my jobs and working in an office now where I sit all day. I got coccyx cushion which seems to help a little. To be honest I think it's sugar intake (also alcohol for sure- most of the drinks have lots of sugar as well) that seems to cause flare ups and not sure how and why it's related but I get a flare up just before my period starts? I also gained more weight since last year so I think it's connected to that so trying to exercise and do not eat crap but it's hard. Sometimes when I go to exercise classes I can feel it more, sometimes it seems that it helps to calm it down so not really sure.

The antibiotics do remove the initial pain and after the 2 week course I had many occasions when the abscess (or more likely a fistula on the top of it) would discharge itself so managed to calm it with castor oil, hot water bottle and naproxen tablets, however there is always a little wound open. I think I could live with condition like this but my concern is what does happen when it closes up? Will I have to go through the hell again and be on antibiotics and try home remedies to try and pop it to the top of the skin... ;//

And yeah, the nurse and my GP said it does not look as bad as I was describing but the pain I felt seemed enormous for such a small thing. Another thing that worries me that it can get bigger under the skin and go down and get more nasty so yeah, really concerned. 3 or 4 years ago the surgeon said if you could live with it and can manage it, better not to do an operation but his answers were very vague. I have a feeling that it's the same surgeon I am seeing in couple of weeks. Really want to go bascom lift way though
 

Riley12

New Member
Hi Riley,

I think I got it this time because I changed my jobs and working in an office now where I sit all day. I got coccyx cushion which seems to help a little. To be honest I think it's sugar intake (also alcohol for sure- most of the drinks have lots of sugar as well) that seems to cause flare ups and not sure how and why it's related but I get a flare up just before my period starts? I also gained more weight since last year so I think it's connected to that so trying to exercise and do not eat crap but it's hard. Sometimes when I go to exercise classes I can feel it more, sometimes it seems that it helps to calm it down so not really sure.

The antibiotics do remove the initial pain and after the 2 week course I had many occasions when the abscess (or more likely a fistula on the top of it) would discharge itself so managed to calm it with castor oil, hot water bottle and naproxen tablets, however there is always a little wound open. I think I could live with condition like this but my concern is what does happen when it closes up? Will I have to go through the hell again and be on antibiotics and try home remedies to try and pop it to the top of the skin... ;//

And yeah, the nurse and my GP said it does not look as bad as I was describing but the pain I felt seemed enormous for such a small thing. Another thing that worries me that it can get bigger under the skin and go down and get more nasty so yeah, really concerned. 3 or 4 years ago the surgeon said if you could live with it and can manage it, better not to do an operation but his answers were very vague. I have a feeling that it's the same surgeon I am seeing in couple of weeks. Really want to go bascom lift way though
I pretty much had the same issue with mine. The two that I've had so far have both happened during the winter months where I'm excercising less, eating more, more stressed etc. I was told to avoid triggers that could cause another flare up, but by the looks of things most of them are pretty unavoidable (except for eating better and exercising more I suppose).

Honestly, I have no idea. Do they usually occur in the same place? It could be that there's a hole in your skin that makes it easier for bacteria to get trapped inside that causes these flare ups? I was told a similar thing and there's a procedure that involves burning the skin to seal the hole (but it was described very vaguely to me by a surgeon who rushed off) so maybe it's something you could bring up in your consultation?

I think with abscesses, you only really understand the pain when you actually have one! So I totally believe you when you describe the pain - even in the early stage of my recent one, the pain was just indescribable.

It looks like your home remedies have been working okay so far, so hopefully it won't get to the stage where it becomes bigger under the skin. Since this seems like a chronic condition for you, I would definitely push for the lift if it's what you really want. Would you also have the option of getting the lift done in your home country if it's not an option in Scotland?
 

aggie1991

New Member
I pretty much had the same issue with mine. The two that I've had so far have both happened during the winter months where I'm excercising less, eating more, more stressed etc. I was told to avoid triggers that could cause another flare up, but by the looks of things most of them are pretty unavoidable (except for eating better and exercising more I suppose).

Honestly, I have no idea. Do they usually occur in the same place? It could be that there's a hole in your skin that makes it easier for bacteria to get trapped inside that causes these flare ups? I was told a similar thing and there's a procedure that involves burning the skin to seal the hole (but it was described very vaguely to me by a surgeon who rushed off) so maybe it's something you could bring up in your consultation?

I think with abscesses, you only really understand the pain when you actually have one! So I totally believe you when you describe the pain - even in the early stage of my recent one, the pain was just indescribable.

It looks like your home remedies have been working okay so far, so hopefully it won't get to the stage where it becomes bigger under the skin. Since this seems like a chronic condition for you, I would definitely push for the lift if it's what you really want. Would you also have the option of getting the lift done in your home country if it's not an option in Scotland?
Ah ok, never heard about burning it off before, worth a try. I think the problem is that it's like a lump under the skin. Now when it's not flared up you can barely see it or feel it at all! It's not red, it's just like a little dimple there, really bazaar how it works to be honest, my surgeon will probably could feel it when touching it but if you had a general look I don't think you would really notice it. I think the medicine is more advanced here and I don't think the doctors in my home country even do bascom lift but I had not really looked into that. It would be hard to arrange operation there, plus recovery time, I would need to pay probably because I declared myself living in UK now, flight costs at stuff, also if there is any complication, what if I had to stay longer there, just a lot of fuss I think. I'd rather get it under NHS since it's for free but just the waiting time and probably the type of operation they can offer..
 

Riley12

New Member
Ah ok, never heard about burning it off before, worth a try. I think the problem is that it's like a lump under the skin. Now when it's not flared up you can barely see it or feel it at all! It's not red, it's just like a little dimple there, really bazaar how it works to be honest, my surgeon will probably could feel it when touching it but if you had a general look I don't think you would really notice it. I think the medicine is more advanced here and I don't think the doctors in my home country even do bascom lift but I had not really looked into that. It would be hard to arrange operation there, plus recovery time, I would need to pay probably because I declared myself living in UK now, flight costs at stuff, also if there is any complication, what if I had to stay longer there, just a lot of fuss I think. I'd rather get it under NHS since it's for free but just the waiting time and probably the type of operation they can offer..
Hm I see, hopefully they'll get you sorted on the Scottish NHS, it's a shame they haven't offered it to you before since you're had so many recurrences
 

aggie1991

New Member
Hm I see, hopefully they'll get you sorted on the Scottish NHS, it's a shame they haven't offered it to you before since you're had so many recurrences
Hey,

So I am after the appointment with the surgeon and I am confused big time. I kept telling him about cleft lift operation and he kept saying this is American term and he can do the lift operation but he would not call it like it and would say it would be an open wound exision and cleft lift is the method of closure? He also said he can’t say what type of operation he will do on the day because he won’t know if the sinus is infected. He said if it is infected he will only be able cut out the abscess but not the tracts of the wound? So of course I did not get all that because I thought there were two simple options and I left confused then ever. All seemed rushed and I did not get a good vibe from him, I think he got frustrated and I got frustrated as well. My boyfriend said I was not listening to him because had preassumptions of what it was! It all ended with him saying I don’t need to decide now and can take time and when I asked if it’s him who is going to perfom the operation he said it might be another doctor because he does more complicated operations. I think he was just pissed off with me because according to my boyfriend I tried to show that I know better. So my appointment did not go as I thought it would go, left dissapointed and confused. What should I do now?
 

Riley12

New Member
Heya, sorry about the late reply!

Sounds like a nightmare consultation :( are you able to get a second opinion or at least meet with the other doctor who could be performing the op? It sounds like you could better info from them. From what I've read though, aren't the cleft life and open excision two different things?
 

aggie1991

New Member
Heya, sorry about the late reply!

Sounds like a nightmare consultation :( are you able to get a second opinion or at least meet with the other doctor who could be performing the op? It sounds like you could better info from them. From what I've read though, aren't the cleft life and open excision two different things?
Sorry for the late reply as well. Yeah exactly, I did not get how it can be cleft lift if he was referring to an open exicision. My boyfriend tried to explain me that it’s what they call it because they have to open it. Then doctor said that cleft lift is only an american terminology and they do a similar operation under nhs but they do not call it like that. But how come when I emailed a doctor in Edinburgh asking if he does cleft lift, he said he does, so it’s not a terminology only, they do that here in Scotland by general surgeon kept saying that it’s a method of closing the wound rather than operation, he said he would close the wound away from the cleft and the way he drew on a piece of paper looked like a cleft lift but I thought cleft lift has a drainage attached after operation? He never mentioned that. He also mentioned when he would open to see how progressed it is, he would put some glue in to see where exactly the tracts are and then remove them and close it away from the cleft. So it does sound a bit like cleft lift but I am not sure at all because he never called it like that so I am mega confused
 
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