Cleft Lift story - DFW area


New Member
My story:

23/F, no serious “risk factors”, mild disease, two sacral dimples

I was first diagnosed with a pilonidal abscess in June 2014, when I was a junior in high school. I had an eval performed by my PCP (primary care physician), and then an incision & drainage (I&D) performed at the recommended general surgeon. I had the wound packed (VERY painful) for about 10 days, but was able to resume activity as I was able. After that single instance, I didn’t have any pain or flare ups for years. I played sports year-round and still it didn’t bother me.

Fast forward to March 2020. I moved to the DFW area and was one year out of college. I had some minor, very occasional flare ups in the months preceding before I finally had the cyst become abscessed again. Sought out a surgeon, had another I&D performed (no packing this time), and all was well. However, after taking a road trip home (20+ hours), the cyst became abscessed again. Went through the drill again with the I&D (packing this time) and was healed. I had to drive back to Texas still, so I bought two wedge cushions off Amazon and took smaller trip increments. I made an appointment with Dr. Lambert in McKinney for the following Monday.

Dr. Lambert and his staff are AWESOME. Seriously. They made the process easy to follow/understand and were efficient (without sacrificing compassion or patient comfort). I knew I wanted a cleft lift procedure, and Dr. Lambert has training and great success with it. I was able to get the surgery the same week on Friday. I had to take a COVID test as well on that Tuesday. I’m thinking if it turned positive, that I would’ve had to wait... Friday morning, I arrived at the surgery center (just below his office) and was walked through all the pre-op steps. The nurses and anesthesiologists were amazing with explaining everything and taking concerns into account. From start to finish, I always knew what was happening and usually also why it was happening.

After the surgery finished and I woke up, I was driven home and really just rested for the following week. I took daily walks, as strenuous activity (jogging, swimming, lifting weights) is prohibited for 8-12 weeks post-op. Rarely any pain there. There was a penrose drain put in, which was annoying for the full ten days it was in. I had to change the coverings twice a day, which wasn’t very difficult despite the reach towards the area. I couldn’t shower, but made do with some baby wipes and “bird bathing” (LOL). Gradually, sitting for longer and longer periods became easier. I had a follow-up at 10 days post-op, where he removed the drains and sutures that held them in. I only felt a slight tug when they came out, no pain at all.

Now, I’m almost 3 weeks post-op, and the surgical glue is almost completely peeled off and I’m able to do most activities as normal (except, of course, strenuous activities). I can barely see the incision, and probably wouldn’t have even known where it was if Dr. Lambert didn’t point it out. I cover the holes with gauze, but they’re barely draining anything. I was told there will likely be scars from those holes, but they aren’t bad all things considered. I have another follow-up in a few weeks, and then will have one more a month after that. Assuming things look good at the last appointment, I’ll be good to resume all activities as normal (as I can tolerate).

Overall, I so recommend going with the cleft lift option because it truly seems like it’s not anywhere near as painful, costly, or involved as the other options. I wish I would’ve done the surgery back in 2014 after that initial wound healed because dealing with the flare ups and multiple I&Ds just made for a big headache.

I’ll keep updating as I go along!


New Member
One month officially post-op! No complaints here at all. I was worried for a little bit because I thought a pit was forming on the incision, but Dr. Lambert assuaged my fears and said that it was likely an opening from the sutures, which he ended up trimming at my follow-up. I have to put some gauze over it for a few days, but otherwise I can’t really tell anything’s changed. My pain levels have severely decreased and I’ve gradually felt more and more like myself, so to speak. I’ll post again once I have an update!