Cleft lift in Texas?


It's been a year since my second excision and I'm still dealing with an open wound that I found out today is tunneling. I'm moving to northern Texas (Dallas area) in a month and I would really, really like to get the cleft lift procedure, but I can't seem to find any surgeons in the Texas thread who perform cleft lifts. I'm so incredibly sick of packing, not being able to ride my bike, not being able to sit (ever), not being able to run with my dog, that I just want to scream. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I recently (12 days ago) had a cleft lift performed by Dr. David Lambert in McKinney. ( North of Dallas ).

I highly recommend him, I'm about to post in the "Hall of Fame" section. I can't imagine things going better.

Recovery going pretty well. Swelling around the wound is vastly reduced, but still slightly present.

I had one setback... a wound infection 2 weeks after I got off antibiotics. A similar thing happened pre-surgery also 2 weeks after getting off antibiotics. Of course I was out of town on vacation this time. :) I went to a local urgent-care place and asked them to do a culture. I got on the right antibiotic and that seemed to do it. It's been 2+ weeks since I've been off that antibiotic and so far so good.

I few days ago I started draining a little bit again, but I saw Dr Lambert yesterday and he wasn't concerned. I just put a panty liner in my underwear... that seems to work better than taping gauze over the wound.

I can't imagine folks living with an open wound for 6-12 months! This has been painless, very little maintenance (taping in a panty liner as needed) or inconvenience.

I just read a few of the recovery threads and I think on reason I've had so little problems is this cleft lift was my first surgery. The wound is only 2-3" long, right at the top.

I was able to sit immediately after surgery, but I avoided it for a day or so I was driving in 2 days if not sooner. Surgery was on Thu and I had no problems sitting at my desk Monday for most of the day. For a few days I took a few our off-butt breaks. (I work from home)



Very Helpful
Robert that is a very important point to make and one I have planned to address on my son's recovery thread. Each and every surgery no matter how conservative forms scar tissue. The fact that this is your first surgery makes a difference and possibly the number and location of cysts/sinuses you had. Glad to hear you are doing well.
Thank you for the updates! I'm scheduled for the cleft lift with Dr Lambert this week. I'm nervous, since the last surgery (which was my second) was such a disaster to heal. But at this point I just want this wound to be closed.
Good luck! Tell Dr Lambert I said hi. (and of course let us know how it went)

Things are excellent over here. The infection went away a few weeks ago and I'm healing nicely. I have one more follow-up with him and I suspect I'll be released.

Thank you so much for this post! I am from the DFW area and just found out 2 weeks ago that I have a pilonidal cyst and have been heavily reseaching the different types of procedures to go with. In my search, it seems like the most logical option is a cleft lift and I had been worried I would have to travel a great distance to have this procedure done. But now I will be contacting Dr. Lambert to try and set something up. Please let me know how it goes with your procedure, I will check back here periodically. And thanks again Robert!
You're welcome... it went so smooth, I can't imagine what all the fuss is about. The cleft life was easier to recover from than my lancing (of course that had an open wound)!

Good Luck Lmpremus should be the next data point... but since this would be the third surgery I don't expect it to be as easy a recovery as my first. Good luck Jen!
Robert, you're right, it hasn't been super easy. I had the cleft lift on Friday. Everything went very smoothly at the surgery center. It was much faster and better organized than all prior surgeries I've had in hospitals. However, the pain after the morphine wore off was more than I have experienced in the past. In my previous two surgeries, I only took one or two pain pills afterwards. This time I had to take them every four hours until Sunday morning. They made me constipated, but the relief was worth it.

As of today my pain is much reduced and I've returned to work (working remotely). I haven't tried sitting directly, but when I crouch there is less pain than when I bend over (which I'm not supposed to do for another week and a half). I was worried about the drain, since I'm a wuss when it comes to blood, but it hasn't really bothered me much. The thing I wasn't expecting was that the wound site is closed together with a kind of glue, so I actually haven't been able to see the scar yet. Robert, was this your experience as well?

I'm seeing the doctor for a follow-up tomorrow and will report.
Travis, you might not need the cleft lift if it's your first surgery. I needed it, since I'd had two previously unsuccessful surgeries. Dr. Lambert explained both options to me, so I assume he'll do the same for you.
Sorry it didn't go as easy as mine, but hopefully this will be the last surgery. Yea, I had some disolvable stitches inside and some glue on the outside. Didn't have any problem with it.

Sorry to hear you're not sitting yet, I was the next day. How does post-op compare to the other surgeries?

When's your appt Wednesday? I'll be there at 2:30 presumably for the final visit. If we're close, we can say hi. :)

Travis. I'm probably not the best to say since I only had one lancing and the cleft lift, but I if you're a candidate for the lift, I recommend it for a first surgery. It just makes sense... the open incision seems to be a problem waiting to happen and the lift actually solves the underlying problem.

Good to know that the outside glue is normal. I think I'll be sitting much sooner than my previous two surgeries, so I'm optimistic. It took months for me to sit after them, and at the rate I'm recovering, I don't think it'll take that long this time.

My other two surgeries were both closed excisions. The first healed on the outside quickly, but it took a couple months for me to be able to sit comfortably. The second surgery took four months to close, then the wound opened up after a month. It took another few months to close. It was closed for a month, and then it opened up this May. It was open until my surgery last Friday.

My appointment is in the morning, and I have to be back working for the afternoon, so I think we'll miss each other. But good luck!
FYI, Dr. Lambert released me today (cleft-lift about 10 weeks ago)! We both said we hope we don't see each other again. :) While I'm confident I won't have a piliodal issue again, I will certainly consider driving the hour to see him should I need surgery for something else!

Imprimis, hope you're healing well.
Congratulations, Robert!

Dr Lambert confirmed that everything looks good. I have the drain in for another week, but it's just to be safe. I'm optimistic about this recovery. My pain is greatly reduced from only a few days ago, and ibuprofen helps a lot. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has had a similar experience.
FYI, Dr. Lambert released me today (cleft-lift about 10 weeks ago)! We both said we hope we don't see each other again. :) While I'm confident I won't have a piliodal issue again, I will certainly consider driving the hour to see him should I need surgery for something else!

Imprimis, hope you're healing well.
Hi I live in the Dallas area and was about to get an excision surgery, but now I am considering having the cleft lift at Dr. Lamberts. If I get this surgery it will be my first surgery. A few days ago mine drained completely and the only thing that is left is a little blood and the small sinus hole and the rest of the blood is almost drained out too. I have not made an appointment yet and I have a few questions
  • How was the process overall? How long till you can resume normal activities such as weightlifting and sit normally?
  • Do you have much scarring or any other issues?
  • Did you have any trouble with insurance accepting this type of procedure?
  • Should I get the surgery if my problem seems gone?
I am asking you because I am about to take some college summer classes in a week and I currently am in no pain due to the cyst going away and my question is should I wait it out till I have a longer break from classes after the summer semester is over or should I get it done now?
The cleft-lift process for me was excellent.. so much better than my lancing. Dr. Lambert's office was great, appointments and surgery scheduled in a reasonable period of time, no significant office waits. If his office was an hour closer to me, I'd say perfect. :)

The surgical clinic in his building also was top notch.. no complaints at all.

I was able to go back to work (sitting) in a few days. I haven't lifted weights since the procedure, but the last time was well before the surgery :)

Insurance was no problem. (I have UMR) I didn't even need to speak to my insurance company.

The scar is there, but I don't think it's terrible.

As far as doing the surgery now, there is no set answer. I waited until my second flair-up in the off chance I was one of the rare folks who only get this once. The docs were right of course, it came back... but I already had a plan (cleft lift, and don't go to my colo-rectal guy who only did open excisions). Unless there is a reason to do it now (moving, losing job, insurance changes, etc) there's really no harm waiting for the next round.

The healing experience is different for everyone, so I'd recommend giving yourself a couple of weeks if possible before having to sit in a class. However since this is your first surgery, and recovery with the cleft lift is much faster, odds are good that you'll be able to sit in a few days, too, like Robert. It took a lot longer for me because the cleft lift was my third surgery and my scar tissue is much more extensive. Even though I do have a big scar, it really doesn't look bad. You can really only tell if you're pretty close up, sans clothes, and at that point whoever is looking should be able to handle it.

I never had a problem with my insurance, which was a local HMO to start and then a nationwide PPO.

Your problem might be gone for now, but odds are good that it will come back. It might be up to a year before a recurrence, so you could wait until you're in a better position (if your position now is not ideal) to have surgery. Whatever you do, though, please make sure it's a cleft lift. Dr. Lambert was really great, the best surgeon I've had so far. The entire process was fast and everyone made me feel secure.