How daily massages got my wound to heal post-op


New Member
Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here, and thought I needed to share my experience with my pilonidal nightmare that lasted over a year, but ended up healing from the inside out after seeing a physical therapist and performing daily massages to the scarred area. So, I developed a Pilonidal Cyst when I was 16, and took until I was 19 to be rid of it. I didn't get help until I was 18, and my cyst had tunneled upwards onto the top left of my butt cheek and developed an abscess that would drain puss/blood while walking or sitting. The drainage and pain eventually became unbearable for me so I ended up going to the ER to have it examined, and the ER doctor extracted the abscess but told me that I would definitely need to have surgery, because it had tunneled very deep.
A few days later and I go in for my first surgery, just hoping for this nightmare to be over, and my surgeon tells me it was much worse than he imagined, but he cleaned it out entirely and I would be fine in a few weeks. What my surgeon had done the first time was clean out the wound, and sewn it shut. Huge, HUGE mistake. A month later I developed a small dark "bean" on my left butt cheek where the abscess had been, and it gradually got worse over a couple of days until it burst, and everything that had built up inside came out. I was put into surgery again that same day, except that time my surgeon left the wound open with a drain (I don't remember specifically what mine was called, but it was a long tube with a small bulb that could be emptied and reattached). My surgeon ended up removing the bulb after a few days, and sutured the bottom of the wound shut and told me it'd heal on its on. My sutures never healed, and they ended up tearing after having a bad bowel movement which then lead to infection. Also, I feel I should mention that I could tell when my wound was getting infected whenever a bad smell started to arise. I would alert my surgeon to it during my weekly follow up visits, but he wouldn't be able to smell it so he said I was fine (I wasn't).
Anyhow, my original surgeon went on vacation during the time my last infection happened and I had his backup surgeon perform my third and final surgery. THANK GOD. The backup surgeon seemed more educated on the matter than my original surgeon, and he left my wound open but used a medicated gauze to fill it. This time around I had nurses come to my home daily and clean and treat my wound for me, cleaning it with saline and packing it with a medicated gauze. However, I ended up having a complication with my health insurance after a week of at home wound care and lost access to it. I then had to go daily to the ER to have the nurses there treat my wound. This lasted about 2 weeks until my insurance was situated, and I got access to a new wound care doctor. This new wound care doctor SAVED my life. They began treating my wound weekly while I had a family member treating it daily at home by rinsing the wound out with saline, and packing it with Silvercel dressing. After a few weeks my wound finally began to heal, although it was still deep (i believe it was an inch deep) and my wound care doctor was getting impatient. They suggested I start seeing a physical therapist to massage my wound and scar tissue to help relax/loosen/soften the scar tissue so it wouldn't continue tearing when sitting/walking/etc. The physical therapy massages are what FINALLY got my wound to heal and close for good!
I had an open wound for over a year of my life, and I couldn't do anything besides walk a little and lay in my bed all day, but FINALLY after having daily massage therapy it got my wound to close. Something about massaging the area gently helps relax the tissue and encourage it to heal on its own, and it really worked. After about a month of massages my wound closed, but my physical therapist recommended continuing the massages until the scar tissue had really softened. A family member of mine kept up the massages for maybe 2 or so more months until it had really softened up, and my major scar was VERY tough/hard after having been cut open 3 times, so there was a huge difference after massaging it daily for a few months.
Overall I think it took me around 4 months after my third surgery for my wound to finally heal and close. It was a horrific journey, and I never imagined spending the last year of high school in my room recovering from surgeries until I graduated.
My experience was pretty bad and it took years for me to get help, because of seeing bad doctors who knew nothing about it. First time I saw a doctor about it, he asked ME what I thought it was! I told him I thought it was a pilonidal cyst after doing a little research online, and he looked it up on his computer and told me "Oh yeah! It is a pilonidal cyst, although it's nothing to worry about. Save yourself the pain of surgery, and just keep it clean and you'll be fine." That doctor was the start of my demise.
I'm 21 now, and just wanted to share my story and experience in the case that I could be of any help to others struggling to get their wound closed. From my experience, my wound care doctor was very adamant that the wound be left open and treated daily for it to heal, and with the assistance of the massaging it would close without needing sutures. ALSO! I'm pretty hairy back there, and he was adamant I keep the area hair free to prevent it from recurring, which to his advice I followed and have not had a recurrence.
Some might wonder why I'm just now deciding to make a post after so many years, and it's mainly because I hadn't kept up with shaving for a few months, and today I noticed a new dimple that I can't remember if I had before or not. It was slightly red and had a few hairs growing from one spot, and my heart sank thinking my pilonidal nightmare could be back. I pray it was just a few ingrown hairs, and nothing worse, but it made me come back to this page to finally share my story.
I know this is pretty long, and I've never done a post like this before, but I hope I could share some new technique in treating a pilonidal cyst post-op by doing daily massages!


New Member
Hey I’ve got some pretty tough scaring and due surgery again soon hopefully for a cleft lift. I’ve started getting really bad back and hip pains and one of the surgeons I saw in my local a&e said it could be the scarring aswell as infections. Was the massaging really close to the scar or on the scar? And did it help with draining the wound aswell?