My Cleft Lift Story

#1
Hi all! Been a lurker on this forum for sometime now, but thought I'd offer up my story as a form of repayment for all the information I've gotten of off here. Sorry in advance for the long post!

My pilonidal cyst first appeared about 21 months ago, in the spring of 2015. At the time I was a freshman in college, and didn't pay too much attention to it. At the time, it was just a small, non-painful bump right where you would expect a cyst to be. The real anxiety came when I Googled "tailbone pimple" and saw all of the infamous stories of pilonidal cysts gone bad. At this point as well, I still remained relatively calm, and just thought it might go away on it's own, and tried to ignore it as much as I could.

Over that summer and the following year, the cyst never really hurt or caused me too much discomfort. I was never unable to sit or do anything I wanted because of my cyst, and that rang true for the entirety of my pilonidal's life. However, whether I be on vacation, or in class, or out-and-about, I was ALWAYS thinking of my cyst back there, and this really took a toll on my mental state.

Come April of 2016, about a year into my pilo, it became larger in size, not swelling, but the actual cyst, and started to get painful and drain on a more regular basis. I had a self draining cyst, so this is what led to minimal pain, although I was almost constantly draining clear fluid (almost like sweat). I saw a doctor at my university's clinic, and he said to live with it, as surgeries were more often than not worse than the actual disease, and this is what I did until October of this year.

Since living with it caused me a hell of a lot of anxiety, and undue mental stress, I decided to go ahead and get a cleft lift. I figured that even though my cyst was pretty painless now, it would someday, and at some unexpected time, go south. I met with Dr. Margarita Murphy in Charleston, SC during my Thanksgiving break, and she reaffirmed me that although it's painless now, it would most likely someday need surgery, and that surgery in the future would most likely be more extensive than the surgery I would need now. She also said that pit-picking was an option, although she had had limited success. I decided that I'm big on getting things over and done with, so if a bigger surgery meant no more pilonidal, I might as well go for it, so my surgery was scheduled for December 27th. (I probably would have gotten the surgery some time ago if I did not have a fear of anesthesia, which I just had to get over)

Surgery Day!!!!: The day of my surgery arrived and I drove the two hours from my house to Charleston that morning, as my surgery was scheduled for 11am. I arrived, put on a gown, and was flooded with antibiotics through my IV, as I'm allergic to penicillin and couldn't take the standard pills. Other than that, pre-op was pretty uneventful. The anesthesiologist arrived about 20 minutes before my procedure (at which point I was very nervous), and told me that I'd be in great care. Dr. Murphy came back and asked if I had any questions, which I didn't, and 10 minutes later I was in the operating room. I rolled over onto the operating table and next thing I know the propofol is going in and I'm out. Honestly, the anesthesia, looking back, was the easiest part of the whole thing. It's awesome. I came out 2 hours later. The doctor had said the cyst was much bigger than expected and she was glad that we chose to operate on it. I was pretty loopy at the time, but got back in the car and drove the two hours back home. I was equipped with a JP drain, and told to empty it twice a day for the week until my next appointment. The drain was undoubtedly the worse part of the whole ordeal. It was like having a 6-foot tail for a week. I sat on the way home with almost no pain, which I suspect was due to the local anesthesia I had been given during my operation. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, until night came. I walked up to my room to go lay down, and my wound starting gushing blood. Not a little, like a lot of blood. I'm relatively calm, and had my mom call the doctor who told my mother to put pressure on the wound for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the bleeding stopped, until I stood up again, at which point it started bleeding again. Trying to avoid an ER visit, my mom got weights off our barbells (lol) and placed them over a towel on my butt. This, after another 20 minutes, made the bleeding stop. I suspect that the drain had gotten backed up and the blood had nowhere to go but out the hole where my drain went in. After this, we learned to milk the drain, to avoid clots, on a regular basis. This day with the blood in and out of the drain, I probably emptied close to 40cc.

Day 1, 2, 3 post-op: These days I was pretty sore. Definitely no sitting. Walking really slowly and just taking it easy. I had a little bleeding out of the top of the wound again the first nigth, but nothing compared to the night before. I emptied about 8-12cc of blood on these days. On day two I had my first BM, and that was definitely interesting. Thought my whole butt was gonna split in half, but nonetheless it went fine despite my worrying. I only took my pain killers at night on these days just to get a better sleep.

Day 4: This was the day that I saw the most improvement. I could walk a little faster, get up stairs with more ease, and overall just felt a lot better. Could sit for only a couple minutes at a time, but I was definitely seeing progress from where I was just 24-48 hours before. This day I emptied about 5cc.

Day 5-6: These days were even better than day four. Almost complete mobility, although I was still taking it easy. Unlike other doctors I've seen, my doc said not to shower my back with the drain in, so I was definitely starting to feel a bit gross at this point. Other than smelling and feeling dirty, I felt really good. This was the worse, because I had the drain and everything in, but wanted to start getting back into my normal routine. The night before the drain removal I actually hooked my drain on a kitchen counter knob, and oh boy did that hurt. That reminded me to keep taking it easy. These days I emptied only 2-3cc.

Day 7 (Drain removal!): Drove with my mom the two hours to the doctor with the help of a pillow. Honestly, my leg hurt more than anything else because I was constantly trying to keep pressure off my tailbone area, since it was still a bit sore. The doctor looked at the wound and said everything is healing great and she removed the drain. The removal definitely felt weird, and hurt just a bit. But once the drain and Steri-Strips were off, I felt 100 times better. Honestly, I felt like a normal person again and regained a lot of mobility, and the pain was almost completely gone. The drive back to my house was 10x better than the one there, and it felt amazing to shower.

Day 12: Today is day twelve, and I feel really good. Sitting is still a bit interesting, but I wouldn't call it painful, just weird, maybe I'm just being cautious. I'm starting to get some of the nerve twinges that people talk about, but they only happen a few times a day. The weirdest part thus far has been getting accustomed to the shape of my new butt. It definitely feels different. Other than that, everything is going great. I've gone out to dinner and out of the house multiple times, and I feel pretty fantastic. I can drive in the car with almost no discomfort. After sitting at dinner for about an hour or so I have to get up and walk a bit, or if I'm walking around for a while, I just have to rest and lay down for a bit. Just normal post-op things. I have my second check-up on Tuesday, at which point I fly back to school. Thankfully the flight is only a bit over an hour. I wasn't sure if I could recuperate by the time school rolled around, and played all of these scenarios in my head in which I'd miss the semester, but I feel great and ready to go back. If you're a healthy university student, I think 2 weeks off should let you recuperate just in time for school, granted you take it easy those first several days and let your wound heal.

I definitely recommend the cleft-lift procedure, as I didn't even think it'd be this simple and painless. The small amount of pain and complications that I had were more than worth the fact that this will most likely be a thing of the past. I'll update as time goes on! Thanks everybody!!
 
#2
It's a long shot, but I'm really really really hoping you come across this post over the next few days as I am heading in for an appt at the same location this Friday 1/5/18. I would like to pick your brain some more before I go in and would love to hear how your recovery is going...
 
#3
Hi all! Been a lurker on this forum for sometime now, but thought I'd offer up my story as a form of repayment for all the information I've gotten of off here. Sorry in advance for the long post!

My pilonidal cyst first appeared about 21 months ago, in the spring of 2015. At the time I was a freshman in college, and didn't pay too much attention to it. At the time, it was just a small, non-painful bump right where you would expect a cyst to be. The real anxiety came when I Googled "tailbone pimple" and saw all of the infamous stories of pilonidal cysts gone bad. At this point as well, I still remained relatively calm, and just thought it might go away on it's own, and tried to ignore it as much as I could.

Over that summer and the following year, the cyst never really hurt or caused me too much discomfort. I was never unable to sit or do anything I wanted because of my cyst, and that rang true for the entirety of my pilonidal's life. However, whether I be on vacation, or in class, or out-and-about, I was ALWAYS thinking of my cyst back there, and this really took a toll on my mental state.

Come April of 2016, about a year into my pilo, it became larger in size, not swelling, but the actual cyst, and started to get painful and drain on a more regular basis. I had a self draining cyst, so this is what led to minimal pain, although I was almost constantly draining clear fluid (almost like sweat). I saw a doctor at my university's clinic, and he said to live with it, as surgeries were more often than not worse than the actual disease, and this is what I did until October of this year.

Since living with it caused me a hell of a lot of anxiety, and undue mental stress, I decided to go ahead and get a cleft lift. I figured that even though my cyst was pretty painless now, it would someday, and at some unexpected time, go south. I met with Dr. Margarita Murphy in Charleston, SC during my Thanksgiving break, and she reaffirmed me that although it's painless now, it would most likely someday need surgery, and that surgery in the future would most likely be more extensive than the surgery I would need now. She also said that pit-picking was an option, although she had had limited success. I decided that I'm big on getting things over and done with, so if a bigger surgery meant no more pilonidal, I might as well go for it, so my surgery was scheduled for December 27th. (I probably would have gotten the surgery some time ago if I did not have a fear of anesthesia, which I just had to get over)

Surgery Day!!!!: The day of my surgery arrived and I drove the two hours from my house to Charleston that morning, as my surgery was scheduled for 11am. I arrived, put on a gown, and was flooded with antibiotics through my IV, as I'm allergic to penicillin and couldn't take the standard pills. Other than that, pre-op was pretty uneventful. The anesthesiologist arrived about 20 minutes before my procedure (at which point I was very nervous), and told me that I'd be in great care. Dr. Murphy came back and asked if I had any questions, which I didn't, and 10 minutes later I was in the operating room. I rolled over onto the operating table and next thing I know the propofol is going in and I'm out. Honestly, the anesthesia, looking back, was the easiest part of the whole thing. It's awesome. I came out 2 hours later. The doctor had said the cyst was much bigger than expected and she was glad that we chose to operate on it. I was pretty loopy at the time, but got back in the car and drove the two hours back home. I was equipped with a JP drain, and told to empty it twice a day for the week until my next appointment. The drain was undoubtedly the worse part of the whole ordeal. It was like having a 6-foot tail for a week. I sat on the way home with almost no pain, which I suspect was due to the local anesthesia I had been given during my operation. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, until night came. I walked up to my room to go lay down, and my wound starting gushing blood. Not a little, like a lot of blood. I'm relatively calm, and had my mom call the doctor who told my mother to put pressure on the wound for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the bleeding stopped, until I stood up again, at which point it started bleeding again. Trying to avoid an ER visit, my mom got weights off our barbells (lol) and placed them over a towel on my butt. This, after another 20 minutes, made the bleeding stop. I suspect that the drain had gotten backed up and the blood had nowhere to go but out the hole where my drain went in. After this, we learned to milk the drain, to avoid clots, on a regular basis. This day with the blood in and out of the drain, I probably emptied close to 40cc.

Day 1, 2, 3 post-op: These days I was pretty sore. Definitely no sitting. Walking really slowly and just taking it easy. I had a little bleeding out of the top of the wound again the first nigth, but nothing compared to the night before. I emptied about 8-12cc of blood on these days. On day two I had my first BM, and that was definitely interesting. Thought my whole butt was gonna split in half, but nonetheless it went fine despite my worrying. I only took my pain killers at night on these days just to get a better sleep.

Day 4: This was the day that I saw the most improvement. I could walk a little faster, get up stairs with more ease, and overall just felt a lot better. Could sit for only a couple minutes at a time, but I was definitely seeing progress from where I was just 24-48 hours before. This day I emptied about 5cc.

Day 5-6: These days were even better than day four. Almost complete mobility, although I was still taking it easy. Unlike other doctors I've seen, my doc said not to shower my back with the drain in, so I was definitely starting to feel a bit gross at this point. Other than smelling and feeling dirty, I felt really good. This was the worse, because I had the drain and everything in, but wanted to start getting back into my normal routine. The night before the drain removal I actually hooked my drain on a kitchen counter knob, and oh boy did that hurt. That reminded me to keep taking it easy. These days I emptied only 2-3cc.

Day 7 (Drain removal!): Drove with my mom the two hours to the doctor with the help of a pillow. Honestly, my leg hurt more than anything else because I was constantly trying to keep pressure off my tailbone area, since it was still a bit sore. The doctor looked at the wound and said everything is healing great and she removed the drain. The removal definitely felt weird, and hurt just a bit. But once the drain and Steri-Strips were off, I felt 100 times better. Honestly, I felt like a normal person again and regained a lot of mobility, and the pain was almost completely gone. The drive back to my house was 10x better than the one there, and it felt amazing to shower.

Day 12: Today is day twelve, and I feel really good. Sitting is still a bit interesting, but I wouldn't call it painful, just weird, maybe I'm just being cautious. I'm starting to get some of the nerve twinges that people talk about, but they only happen a few times a day. The weirdest part thus far has been getting accustomed to the shape of my new butt. It definitely feels different. Other than that, everything is going great. I've gone out to dinner and out of the house multiple times, and I feel pretty fantastic. I can drive in the car with almost no discomfort. After sitting at dinner for about an hour or so I have to get up and walk a bit, or if I'm walking around for a while, I just have to rest and lay down for a bit. Just normal post-op things. I have my second check-up on Tuesday, at which point I fly back to school. Thankfully the flight is only a bit over an hour. I wasn't sure if I could recuperate by the time school rolled around, and played all of these scenarios in my head in which I'd miss the semester, but I feel great and ready to go back. If you're a healthy university student, I think 2 weeks off should let you recuperate just in time for school, granted you take it easy those first several days and let your wound heal.

I definitely recommend the cleft-lift procedure, as I didn't even think it'd be this simple and painless. The small amount of pain and complications that I had were more than worth the fact that this will most likely be a thing of the past. I'll update as time goes on! Thanks everybody!!
I had a cleft lift about the same time you did, I was wondering if your actual incision is sore? I have two spots that almost have a pea size lump underneath and it’s tender when I run my hand over it. I’m hoping I’m just being paranoid! Thanks in advance!
 
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