Cleft Lift Surgery in question

Discussion in 'Pilonidal Discussions' started by BooksRfun, Jun 18, 2017.

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  1. BooksRfun

    BooksRfun New Member

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    I've been dealing with Pilonidal cysts for more than 20 years. I had 3 extractions in my 20s and one mid 30s. I was good for 10 years but my pilonidal got re- infected in Nov of 2016. I had my 4th extraction surgery in January and it keeps reopening in a different location along my tailbone. I've been going to Wound Care weekly since end of March and I'm so discouraged.

    I've read about the Cleft Lift Surgery and am looking for feedback from people that have had the procedure. Since I am prone to infection, I really want to be sure before I go this route. For those who have had a cleft lift what Dr. do you recommend? I really need a colon rectal surgeon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  2. VicTX

    VicTX New Member

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    Hey there,

    I just did the cleft lift procedure with Dr Lambert in McKinney yesterday (recommended through this websites surgeon hall of fame) and so far my experience has been tremendous. Caring for the drain is much better than having to repack a wound and I'm already walking with relatively low pain and even laying down. The only thing I can't Do is sit very long or go up stairs until my follow up visit in a week.

    The surgeon hall of fame lists a Michael J Snyder in the 77030 area of Houston that does the cleft lift procedure, so you may want to look around and find some reviews on this website for his procedure. If you are willing to drive a distance for it I cannot recommend dr David lambert in McKinney enough.
     
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  3. BooksRfun

    BooksRfun New Member

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    Hi VicTx,

    Thanks so much for your response and hope you make a full recovery soon. I have some other health issues that make my situation very tricky and hope to find the right Dr in the next few months.

    It gives me such hope to hear that the Cleft Lift does wonders for so many.... I just want my life back. Been under house arrest for 6 months practically. I can't sit down for long so 30 minutes away from home is about my limit.

    Heal well and then enjoy life!
     
  4. BooksRfun

    BooksRfun New Member

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    VicTX,

    Keep me posted on your progress and let me know more about caring for a drain... What are you expected to do each day?

    Praying all is well.
     
  5. AlexN

    AlexN New Member

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    I had a pilonidal cyst removed about a year and a half ago. I had the sucker for about 10 years but the last 3 years or so really started to flare up to where I would be in urgent care every three months getting it sliced and drained. Finally got the Cleft Lift done by Dr Caplan in Exton PA. Couldn't have been happier with the results. Recovery wasn't too painful or long and I haven't even had the thought of it since!
     
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  6. VicTX

    VicTX New Member

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    Hey BooksRFun,

    I am now 3 days into the recovery process and everything is going surprisingly well. I have the bandaid surgical pads and gauze around the drain changed a couple times every day which is totally painless and hassle free with some assistance, as you are just making sure the area is clean and well protected, not shoving anything anywhere. So far I am still not allowed to take showers or go up / down stairs until I get the drain removed Thursday but i am laying on my back, sitting, and walking with relative ease. The toughest part of the recovery process so far has been the rough side effects from the painkillers, which have left me with a headache and constipation.

    So far I have been very fortunate to find that most of my fears were unnecessary, the wound itself barely hurts (except sometimes when I shift positions), the drain care has been super simple, and outside of minor side effects (head ache from painkillers, itch from anesthesia, and a sore throat from the breathing tube), everything is moving along great.

    Let me know if you have any more questions, I hope you are able to find comfort with the cleft lift surgery, because nobody should have to keep dealing with a pilonidal out of fear of such a smooth healing process!
     
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  7. Breathe

    Breathe New Member

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    How's the recovery going VicTX? I hear almost nothing but good things about the Cleft Lift and am debating on getting it. However, after 2 surgeries and living with this non-healing wound for 4 years, I feel like I have lost hope. I'd love to hear an update.

    Thanks!
     
  8. VicTX

    VicTX New Member

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    So far so good. I'm 9 days into the recovery process and just had my first check up on Thursday. I was super worried about the process of getting the drain removed but was pleasantly surprised when I found out it was literally painless. I finally started sitting, which is still uncomfortable but manageable, and even managed to make it through an entire movie on one of those large recliner chairs Cinemark offers.

    I would say that the only negative feeling I still have is a feeling of discomfort that comes from the skin and the area around the surgery still feeling weird. It Doesn't hurt at all but looking at it or feeling the area with my hands freaks me out because it doesn't feel like my own. I'm sure that will get easier once I no longer have gauze pads covering the holes where the drains where and once the bruising around the surgery area completely heals. I have another checkup this Thursday and I can post another update.

    If you or anybody have any questions about the process or my surgery so far, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm an open book as I know what it feels like to be looking for answers and to this awful problem. I spent hours on here looking for every bit of information possible before my surgery.
     
  9. Ben123467

    Ben123467 New Member

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    Hey , I just underwent cleft lift surgery about 4 weeks ago and I started experiencing my drainage site leaking. It hadn't been leaking for a long time now (since my doctor removed the drainange tube). It almost looked like a pimple before it started leaking. Now my caretaker has been soaking it a couple times a day. The soaking helps a lot to minimize the amount of liquid that comes out. Is this normal for people to expereince drainage a month after surgery on the drain site. Or could it be infected??
     
  10. BooksRfun

    BooksRfun New Member

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    VicTx,

    Thanks so much for sharing such great news! It gives me Hope!

    I'm scheduled to have my Cleft Lift Surgery with Dr. Sternberg in San Francisco. My husband and I are staying there for 13 nights since I will have a drain in place for 9 days.

    My question is how did you keep it really clean especially after bowel movements? What antibiotics did you take? Did you use an antibacterial wash since you did not bathe?

    Did the Dr. tell you to sit on it right away? What foods did you eat? Did you have lots of pain the first few days after?

    Grateful for your insight.
     
  11. BooksRfun

    BooksRfun New Member

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    Ben,

    I wouldn't wait another day. Take a picture and send it your surgeon and ask for guidance on what to do. In my experience, things do not just stop leaking not their own and it does sound to me like it's infected. I'm sure that a round of antibiotics will stop it and allow it to heal!

    Take care and keep us posted...
     
  12. VicTX

    VicTX New Member

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    Hey booksrfun, hope all is going well.

    As far as antibiotics, the first surgeon I had visited prescribed me Bactrim to treat a flare up for two weeks before operating. Since I operated with another surgeon less than a week after that, he just had me finish the Bactrim treatment I was already on.

    I am a bit OCD and so is my partner, so keeping it clean was something we took very seriously. We used warm, soaked towels with antibacterial soap to clean the blood around the drain area carefully, and closer to the wound and the drain we used sodium chloride (saline) to remove the blood and glue from all the pads.

    As for pain, I think it's important to let everyone who considers the procedure know that I felt very little pain throughout. The first few hours when I got back from the surgery center between the anesthesia and my first painkiller were the worst, but no worse than having the cyst pop or even the pain of the pilonidal after sitting on it for a long time. Out of the 30 painkillers prescribed I took 24 over the course of 7 days, first every 4 hours due to the pain, and later spacing them to 6, 8, and eventually 12 hours as the pain subdued. The only downside to taking the painkillers was constipation. I recommend getting on a stool softener as soon as you take your first painkiller. Even with the help of the stool softener I only had my first bowel movement one week after surgery (the day I removed my drain) and it wasn't a pleasant experience. That bowel movement, in fact, was probably the most painful part of the whole ordeal, but after one or two BMs everything went back to normal. To keep the area clean I switched to using wet wipes instead of regular toilet paper and now I have made a habit out of it.

    My doctor said that I was able to sit if I wanted to but probably would not want to sit, and he was right. During the first week (while I had the drain) I was surprisingly able to lay on my back right away, specially with my legs raised a bit to take pressure off the area. I was able to sit in high bar stools due to the support of my feet, but not in chairs or the couch. After about five days I managed to sit as a passenger in a car for a short distance, but most of my time in a car I spent laying down in the back seat. Walking was probably the least painful part. My doctor encouraged me to sit as much as possible but without putting myself through pain or discomfort, so every day I sat for a few seconds or minutes or whatever I could handle. Now I'm three weeks post op and I can sit through movies, road trips, and days of working almost normally (and definitely more comfortably than when I had the cyst).

    As far as food, I maintained a high protein diet that included a lot of meat but also a lot of fiber due to the constipation. On the other hand, I was confined to being home for a few weeks so I definitely gained a few pounds by making comfort foods (lots of dessert) to cheer me up.

    One thing that I'm not quite sure had something to do with my surprisingly quick and painless recovery but I'm sure couldn't have hurt it is that I was very active the week before my surgery. Thinking I was still two weeks away from operating (until a cancellation moved my surgery up to the next morning) I had been doing 4 miles of cardio every day for the last five days before my surgery, and would have continued for the entirety of the two week period prior. I'm not usually a workout fanatic, but I was told that it helped your body heal faster so I tried to get in as much as I could without feeling pain before the surgery and it seems to have payed off, as I never experienced a lot of bruising or swelling in the surgery area and my wounds healed rather quickly.

    When is your surgery? I hope everything goes well. Please feel free to continue asking questions and updating us on your healing!
     
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  13. BooksRfun

    BooksRfun New Member

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    VicTx,

    My surgery is scheduled in mid August... I'm so grateful for all your valuable insight and for you sharing your experience! I love the idea of exercising before the procedure - I've never heard that before but sounds great!

    I have purchased a diffuser with Essential oils for sleeping and healing. I already breathe easier and I purchased Balneol for cleansing after BMs.

    I pray that I heal quickly and that I get my Life back!!! I want to travel for Christmas in December. My Doctor is going to want me sit down asap but it makes me nervous just thinking about it. I can't imagine being able to sit on a flight without pain or watching a movie.

    Thanks again for the good news and words of encouragement.

    Btw: How long did it take to stop draining and fully heal those 2 holes where the drain was inserted?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017

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