Closed excision nightmare

KatieMarie

Very Helpful
Hi there!

My name is Katie. I am 25 years old and work as a surgical ICU nurse in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

My nightmare began in March of this year. I developed my pilonidal abscess and had it drained in the ER. It was a traumatically painful experience. About 6 days after I had it drained, two pits showed up next to the original wound. I immediately panicked and was so afraid of a recurrence that I set up an appointment to consult a colorectal surgeon. Because it was small, I decided to just go ahead and have the surgery in hopes of getting it fixed for good and never having to go through and incision and drainage again. Well, here I am almost 8 months later and the entire process has been complete and utter hell.

My surgery was April 30th. I had a closed excision right on the midline. My incision was relatively small (about 3 inches with 6 sutures). About 5 days after the surgery, fluid began POURING through my stitches. I was having severe spasms in my incision and was constantly having to change my dressing. I ended up getting the top two stitches removed and my wound was left open to drain. In the past 7 months, my incision has split open 6 times. From the beginning, I asked if it needed to be packed, and asked if I could go to the wound care center. I was always told no. I never had antibiotics or proper wound care and never received education about what to expect or nutrition support. My surgeon did try silver nitrate which closed the top of my wound too quickly. I knew the hole underneath was still there and it ended up opening again and again. Finally in September I asked for time off of work (I work long 12 hour shifts, sometimes 3 or 4 in a row, and am constantly walking at a fast pace), and also INSISTED my wound be packed. After packing the area, it closed for 7 weeks and I finally thought it was over. Then out of nowhere I developed superficial red bumps near my incision that eventually turned into very large blisters and it opened again. I took 3 weeks of antibiotics and it closed very quickly and looked great for another 4 weeks. Well...this past Saturday it opened again while I was at work. It’s now painful and draining again. The hole is near the top and is very small, but I also have a hole at the bottom of my incision. My surgeon says it’s not an opening and just and indent from the scar...but it has bled (a good amount) multiple times when having a bowel movement and gets very, very sore. I’m concerned the two holes are connected in some way underneath. I asked for an MRI, but my request was denied.

I have an appointment with the wound care clinic (finally) to be evaluated for hyperbaric oxygen treatments. HOWEVER, I also have reached out to Dr. Immerman about the cleft lift. I have two options. Do a wound debridement and have an open wound that has to be packed and hyperbaric treatments (hopefully the debridement is small) OR just jump straight to the cleft lift and be done with this for good. My gut is telling me to do the cleft lift, but I’m terrified of being cut open again for fear of more complications and disappointments. I don’t want to be too aggressive if I don’t have to, but this has taken over my life for far too long. It’s so miserable and I’m tired of crying over it. I haven’t felt like myself in a long time and I can’t take much more. My plan is to see what the wound center thinks, as well as Dr. Immerman and go from there. There is a surgeon in the same office I’ve been going to that supposedly does the cleft lift, but I am having serious trust issues and only want the best of the best. So part of me feels even if they do it where I live, traveling to Dr. Immerman is still the best option.

I welcome any thoughts or input.

Thanks so much,
Katie
 

hatepilo89

New Member
Sorry you are having a recurrence, but this sounds similar to my story and a lot of others. You aren't the first this has happened to. The small hole you have that opened up sounds like a sinus opening back up. I'm not a doctor, so you need to definitely consult one, and Dr. Immerman is a good one to start with.

I had a closed incision surgery in April of this year too, but my incision was like 7 inches long, maybe more. I had a sinus open back up, but my wound never fully opened back up like yours did. That sounds very painful and awful to deal with. The sinus I had was very small, no more than 2cm long, but it was not healing, and after 6 months of it, I was tired of it and starting to realize it was never going to heal, no matter how much I babied it.

I ended up calling Dr. Immerman, and I flew up to see him from Georgia. I wanted the next surgery I had to be the last, and he does a lot of these. I would definitely reach out to Dr. Immerman and see if you can get your insurance company talking to him and send over your medical records. Dr. Immerman's office will also probably ask you for some pictures that he can view to make sure you are a candidate. They may even call you to go over your story. I have some other posts you can search for detailing my process with setting up the surgery, but I'd be happy to try to help with other questions if I can.

As far as getting another surgery, it is scary, but the healing from this one has been much less painful than the excision I had earlier this year, and I bounced back a lot faster. It's been 5 weeks since surgery, and other than some minor spotting down at the bottom of his incision, I'm healing just fine. That area down there is the tightest area skin-wise, and all the pressure from sitting is there. However, I have not had a sinus reopen on my backside yet, and I hope I never do.
 

JonH21

Very Helpful
If you want it gone forever call Dr. Immerman. I was in your exact spot and he changed my life. It’s worth it trust me!
 

KatieMarie

Very Helpful
Update: I’ve been in contact with Dr. Immerman and am in the process of getting my insurance approval to travel there for my cleft lift!

I am cancelling all of my appointments here as I only want the best of the best to do my surgery.

I am BEYOND impressed with his clinic and how quickly they responded to me. I sent them a request for a consultation and heard back from his medical assistant in ONE hour. I also heard from Dr. Immerman himself the next day. He gave me his cell number and I talked to him on the phone over the weekend. AMAZING! I can’t even talk to my surgeon here on the phone. After sending him photos of my wound, he confirmed that I am a candidate for the cleft lift and reassured me that this surgery is the best next step. I am nervous for another surgery but also anxious and excited for this part of my life to be over with!

I will keep posting updates. I am thankful for this forum and for all of the people that recommend Dr. Immerman.
 

JonH21

Very Helpful
Update: I’ve been in contact with Dr. Immerman and am in the process of getting my insurance approval to travel there for my cleft lift!

I am cancelling all of my appointments here as I only want the best of the best to do my surgery.

I am BEYOND impressed with his clinic and how quickly they responded to me. I sent them a request for a consultation and heard back from his medical assistant in ONE hour. I also heard from Dr. Immerman himself the next day. He gave me his cell number and I talked to him on the phone over the weekend. AMAZING! I can’t even talk to my surgeon here on the phone. After sending him photos of my wound, he confirmed that I am a candidate for the cleft lift and reassured me that this surgery is the best next step. I am nervous for another surgery but also anxious and excited for this part of my life to be over with!

I will keep posting updates. I am thankful for this forum and for all of the people that recommend Dr. Immerman.
So great to hear
 

marefitzy

New Member
My son just had surgery with dr immerman today. Literally just got back to the Staybridge Suites. He is awesome! And so is his staff and the hospital where he had his surgery. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and supportive. You made the right choice. Good luck
 

KatieMarie

Very Helpful
My son just had surgery with dr immerman today. Literally just got back to the Staybridge Suites. He is awesome! And so is his staff and the hospital where he had his surgery. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and supportive. You made the right choice. Good luck
How is your son doing?
 

KatieMarie

Very Helpful
I heard yesterday that my insurance has approved me to have the surgery. They said I can call the 26th to discuss scheduling. Is it weird to say I’m excited? Obviously just excited to get my life back...but a little nervous to think I’ll be having another surgery after how terrible the last 8 months have been.
 

hatepilo89

New Member
We stayed at the Lismore Hotel. It was about the same price as similar hotels in the area. We stayed there so my wife would have good food and coffee options in the building. There are also a couple other restaurants a few hundred feet away. We aren't used to all the ice and snow, and were gonna be there a couple days, so it was very nice not to have to go far to get decent food.
 

LILLY

Very Helpful
I heard yesterday that my insurance has approved me to have the surgery. They said I can call the 26th to discuss scheduling. Is it weird to say I’m excited? Obviously just excited to get my life back...but a little nervous to think I’ll be having another surgery after how terrible the last 8 months have been.
It's not weird at all. It's that feeling of hope. I know I felt the same way when we got the ball rolling for my son's cleft lift. It's the answer we all have been looking for. It's absolutely worth getting excited about!
 

KatieMarie

Very Helpful
Surgery scheduled for January 24th at 1:00PM! I will post another thread with my recovery log once I get it done. I am very nervous but hopeful. Now if only the next few weeks could go by a little faster!
 

JohnR

New Member
I too had the cleft lift done with Doctor immerman after 4 failed procedures including a flap procedure done by a plastic surgeon. Essentially no recovery time under doctor immerman aside from the drain which was super surprising to me after going through several 6 weeks recovery times with no sitting in vain from the other procedures. Been a year since the cleft lift with immerman and thankfully no problems. You’re definitely in great hands!
 

Vienna

Helpful
Surgery scheduled for January 24th at 1:00PM! I will post another thread with my recovery log once I get it done. I am very nervous but hopeful. Now if only the next few weeks could go by a little faster!
Good luck!! Keep us posted. I have mine schedule with Dr. Immerman on January 29th!
 
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