mitchk

New Member
Hey everyone,

I've read the forum for awhile but finally thought I should join the community and make a post. Maybe someone can read my story and relate - or at least just hear another take on experiencing this condition. Here's my story:

Part 1: My first cyst experience
In mid-2016, I began to develop redness and pain in my tailbone region, thinking it would heal & fade away on its own with time, like most bumps or blemishes do. It didn't take long to realize this wasn't a normal bump or blemish - this thing was getting bigger and more painful by the day. Sitting in the car or in class became something I dreaded, and eventually it started to drain. I still had no idea what was going on, or how drastically this was going to change my lifestyle (all the way up to today, and presumably long into the future). Purchasing mini gauze pads and skin tape became a routine thing. After dealing with pain & drainage for awhile, I was finally compelled to Google my symptoms as I realized this issue wasn't like any acne or other blemish I'd ever had (I had moderate acne throughout my teenage years). At some point in the fall I decided to see a doctor about it, and I had it lanced in the doctor's office.

Even after the lancing, I was dealing with all the same problems through early 2017. At this point, I knew surgery was likely the only real way of getting rid of this thing. I had a consultation with a general surgeon in early 2017, and had a surgery scheduled for March. I ultimately dealt with the cyst for a total of about 8 months. The surgery ended up resulting in a closed healing (the area was stitched up). During the week following my surgery, I was comfortably doing homework, and 10 days after my operation, I was back in class. The bottom part of the wound took longer to heal than the top, and a thread on this forum actually recommended trying out Multidex on the wound. While I don't know if the Multidex was the reason, I did eventually completely heal up not too long after. While I don't completely remember date-certain events throughout my recovery, I would say that I likely made a full recovery 4-6 weeks after the operation, and was able to go back to normal activity and fitness. My scar was maybe 3.5-4 cm long.

For the following (almost exactly) 2 years, I had no issues. I was much more conscious of how I sat, my hygiene - everything that I could do to prevent it from coming back, I was doing. I started a desk job in 2018 and tried to stand as much as possible to eliminate pressure from the region.

Part 2: Cyst recurrence
In March 2019, I started to experience some discomfort in exactly the same area as where my first cyst was - right on the scarred area. It didn't take long for it to redden. I panicked and saw a doctor, told them my story, and I was told that it was nothing - just a little swelling. I had a suspicion that the cyst was coming back, so I kept my eye on it. As it became more red and painful, I began to prepare (mentally and physically) for what it would mean to deal with another cyst. In the summer, the area finally began to drain. Although I already knew how the situation was going to go, the one thing that made this cyst different from the original was that it was far less painful than I remember the first one being. I saw a new surgeon this time - a colorectal surgeon - who diagnosed me and agreed to perform surgery with the condition that it had to be left open to heal. I wasn't ready for a surgery yet (life was getting in the way and I knew that recovery was going to take a considerable amount of time), so I kept pushing the surgery date out. Eventually, I settled on a surgery date for late May 2020 (I dealt with the recurrent cyst for about 14 total months). Today is 2 weeks since my operation. I have spent the past week in relatively minor discomfort and pain, and I am packing the wound myself with Aquacel. The wound is about 3.5x2 cm in size and about 1.5-2 cm deep. Due to the pandemic, I have been able to work comfortably from home, which has made this easier. I appear to be healing as nicely as I can be (so far).

I will likely post an update on this thread in the future - hopefully with good news about the rest of my recovery from this open healing. Thanks for reading! Please post any comments or questions.
 

Riley

New Member
Hi there, I hope your wound is continuing to heal well! I know sometimes posts can go unreplied here but I just wanted to drop a reply to let you know I’d be interested in knowing how your recovery process goes. I’ve never had a surgery myself, but I’m going to have to get one soon and it’s between the open wound or the cleft lift.

The open wound surgery is what my colorectal surgeon does, I’d have to travel/pay more for the cleft lift, plus from what little I can glean online the open wound scar will be less noticeable if it heals properly. So I’d love to know how it goes! Sorry you have to deal with this a second time around, Thank you for your post—it also makes me feel better about potentially doing it in the fall mid-pandemic.
 

mitchk

New Member
Hey Riley,
Thanks for your response! Here's a recovery update:
I just had my 5-week post op office visit. Still continuing to heal very well - wound is now 3x2cm in size, and only .5 cm in depth.
Over the past 2 weeks I've had next to no pain and have started getting back to more routine activities: I have driven several times (always using a donut pillow), I have begun returning to weightlifting (not 100%, and mostly upper body stuff), and I played golf comfortably a few times.
I continue to eat very clean - high protein, fruits and vegetables - and supplement with a multivitamin, vitamin C, and have begun adding a collagen peptide powder to water once daily (not sure if this actually doing anything but supposedly is good for skin). The amount of Aquacel packing that is needed daily has begun to very noticeably decrease.
Although I have been comfortable with most activities, I have been trying my best to avoid anything too strenuous/sitting directly on the area, etc.
Assuming that I continue to heal well, I hope to make a complete recovery at some point in August. One thing I will say about the open healing process is that *so far* for me it has not been nearly as bad as I thought it would be or had heard about.
Hope you are managing your situation well! I will likely post to this thread again in the future with another update.
 

mitchk

New Member
One more update - hopefully my last! About 7 weeks after the operation, the open wound had completely grown over with skin, and all drainage stopped - the area looks like a scarred patch of skin rather than an open healing wound. I recently had my 8-week post op office visit and was told that although the skin was probably still in a weak early state, I had healed to the point of no longer needing to return for post-ops and that I should continue to be careful with the area.

My open healing progressed much more quickly than I had initially thought it would and it was not nearly as burdensome or terrible as I had been led to believe it would be. I realize that not everyone heals the same, and I think that complications with open healing would be very frustrating. I may have been lucky with my experience, but I believe I was helped by the fact that I was able to work from home, had a very clean and healthy diet (fruits/vegetables/protein/vitamins), tried to be as active as comfortably possible, and used Aquacel dressing to keep the wound clean and healthy.

I will continue to be as careful and healthy as I possibly can into the future as I continue to heal to completion. I've been in this position before and I know the issue can come back, but hopefully the open healing helps to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. I hope this thread has been informative to someone!
 
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