Need help deciding whether to do cleft lift or not!

needurhelp2020

New Member
I’m 21 Female and have been dealing with an open pilonidal wound now for about 20 months. I had an open-wound pilonidal cyst surgery in December 2018 and my wound didn’t close until April 2019. It then reopened in September 2019 and has been on-and-off open since then. Most recently, the wound opened up more than normal. I’m an athlete and need to get back to my life before all of this. I never exercise and always lay on my stomach or stand (really never sit) so this is really just getting tiring.

I’m looking into cleft lift with Dr. Immerman as I’ve heard he’s the best to fix this kind of thing. It’s really been a struggle and I’d like any recent advice about Immerman’s cleft lift procedure that anyone has! Thanks.
 
Hi there! To keep it short and sweet: get the surgery with Immerman. He is amazing. After 4 failed surgeries I went to him in March and now I’m 5 months post op and living my life completely normal. While I was athletic in high school, I wasn’t when my pilonidal disease started but I started working out again about 3 months post op and things have been great. Seriously. Very little complications and the recovery was so much better than with the other 4. Like like I was laying down or standing for about a year. But with the cleft lift I was sitting like normal. It was a much smoother recovery and I felt like I was always making progress. If I ever had a question I could email him and get a response in a few hours. Best doctor ever!!! At least do a consult with him. It’s worth it and doesn’t cost anything.
 

blue.sunshine

New Member
Hi there! To keep it short and sweet: get the surgery with Immerman. He is amazing. After 4 failed surgeries I went to him in March and now I’m 5 months post op and living my life completely normal. While I was athletic in high school, I wasn’t when my pilonidal disease started but I started working out again about 3 months post op and things have been great. Seriously. Very little complications and the recovery was so much better than with the other 4. Like like I was laying down or standing for about a year. But with the cleft lift I was sitting like normal. It was a much smoother recovery and I felt like I was always making progress. If I ever had a question I could email him and get a response in a few hours. Best doctor ever!!! At least do a consult with him. It’s worth it and doesn’t cost anything.
Hi Crackn- Are you healed altogether in the sense you no longer need to take antibiotics or anything? Do you have a lot of scarring from the cleft lift & how bad was the pain from it? I'm glad you have had great results ! I am peeking different Pilo surgeries/options, but never had one yet & want to see from this community what people who are going through this journey advise. I just reached out to Pilonidal Treatment Center of NJ. They said they are 1 of 3 centers in the country that specifically treat this. I will likely be getting multiple consultations to see what each recommend & go from there. It's really hard to find qualified Dr's who treat this specific issue, I've only heard of 2 in PA so far and they are opposite ends of the state. I'm not sure if the above poster gets notifications for these threads but figured I would just throw that NJ Treatment Center out there. I've heard good things about the cleft lift, but scared of (any) surgery downtime & healing process. I also am very active in between pilo flare ups. I'm in southeast PA, so not sure what my options in NJ are. Anyway, thanks for your testimony. I hope you are continuing to have great results..
 

blue.sunshine

New Member
***EDIT**** I apologize, I thought the Dr you guys were referring to was in NJ:paperbag: I can't edit my previous post. Either way, updates on any surgery is always appreciated. I'm new to the pilo anomaly. If not, sending you well wishes !
 
I am 6 months out and 100% back to normal. The scar looks really good. It’s almost white. I do have major scarring but that is from my previous failed surgeries. I’m not sure what a pilonidal center can do for you...surgery is the best option to make sure it doesn’t come back (if it’s reoccurring/ active pilonidal disease). As for down time, dr Immerman encourages you to be active for the most part. There is very little downtime unless you choose to take it slow. But frankly, what is 6 weeks of taking it slow any ways in the long term if it mean you never have to have problems ever again? Practically nothing. I’d do it again In a heartbeat. Seriously call Immerman’s office and at least see what he says. It doesn’t cost you anything and you could get advice from the leading doctor in the field. But just as Immerman would surely tell you, if you do wound care and not actually treat the problem (the physical shape of your cleft) you will always continue to have the problem. Good luck!
 

blue.sunshine

New Member
I am 6 months out and 100% back to normal. The scar looks really good. It’s almost white. I do have major scarring but that is from my previous failed surgeries. I’m not sure what a pilonidal center can do for you...surgery is the best option to make sure it doesn’t come back (if it’s reoccurring/ active pilonidal disease). As for down time, dr Immerman encourages you to be active for the most part. There is very little downtime unless you choose to take it slow. But frankly, what is 6 weeks of taking it slow any ways in the long term if it mean you never have to have problems ever again? Practically nothing. I’d do it again In a heartbeat. Seriously call Immerman’s office and at least see what he says. It doesn’t cost you anything and you could get advice from the leading doctor in the field. But just as Immerman would surely tell you, if you do wound care and not actually treat the problem (the physical shape of your cleft) you will always continue to have the problem. Good luck!

Thanks for your reply-Did you get the Cleft lift??? Does your scar hurt or give you issues? I was mistaken in regards to the Dr's name & the area you guys are at. I googled "Dr. Immerman" & a lady from NJ came up, until I looked closer & saw that the Immerman you were taking about is in WI. I'm in PA so I'm too far from your area. Either way, I was more interested in your surgery/journey b/c just this year had my 1st major flare up where it's been noticeable in my cleft area in terms of a sinus forming & all. I think I had this thing for a while actually & just never knew (it was under the skin, just dull sore/ no sinus)- I never knew! I only now just found a name for it & then came here to get people's feedback who have it, as this whole thing is just something I never heard of or knew even existed. I'm glad your surgery w/ Dr. Immerman has gone so well and that you are happy w/ the results! I'm sorry your other surgeries were so problematic, but at least that is in the past for you...
Although I agree that a consultation w/ a Pilo specialist is my best option ( I found 1 in NJ & 1 in PA I will be booking), I am also scared to just take the first person's suggestion as I personally have seen from here & elsewhere that there are so many variables involved: a person's individual case, the Dr's skill, the type of surgery to pick from, how sensitive that area is in general to heal. My job is active, & I am not even 100% sure I will get any surgery....depends on the feedback/re-occurrence rate, etc. But if I do go in that direction, I just want to be aware what it may look like in terms of healing time, re-occurrence, any other issues such as wound re-openings, etc. I did hear the cleft lift was one of the best options available now. I also heard there's a new type of laser surgery. I do enjoy the active life, so the quickest recovery would be my preferred method, as I'm sure most people would agree with.

This is so new to me, sorry to rant. I think anyone who's gone through this & comes here to share their experience is doing God's work. I hope I can do the same for someone one day once I figure out my path. I hope the worst is behind you, & thank you so much for sharing.
 
Hi, sorry it’s taken some time to respond. Yes my 5th surgery was a cleft lift with dr. Steve Immerman in eau Claire Wisconsin. My scar is pretty light and I have absolutely zero pain except for nerve damage from previous surgeries NOT from Immerman. I’m 6 months out. I did travel from Arizona for this surgery as after 4 failed surgeries, about 6 local surgeons, a wound vac, and general wound care/wound care clinic I was absolutely done and wanted to make sure my 5th surgery was my last. I had a 95% success chances with Immerman as this wasn’t a first time surgery for me. But if this is your first surgery you have a 98% success rate.
again, as I said before I know you don’t want down time after surgery but it’s not realistic and what is 6 weeks of taking it easy in the long term? Nothing. Most people return to work within the next week after surgery with Immerman. I personally didn’t because I had already lost my job from the previous surgeries. Plus,I had a very certain circumstance where the past surgeon really botched me and messed around with my glute muscles so my surgery was much more severe.
The way I feel about is really this, don’t waste time/money/resources trying to do a work around. Fix the problem and fix it now (if it is reoccurring). Fix it the right way the first time. You don’t want to lose a year and a half of your life like me. Best of luck.
 

blue.sunshine

New Member
It's all good, I'm new to this site & some people don't even respond, lol. I hear you though, thanks for sharing your personal journey & insight. I would be fine taking down-time to heal if I chose that route, as it's natural for any surgery. I'm just trying to gauge the whole thing being that's it's new to me. I'm sorry you had 4 previous surgeries & other various treatments that were problematic, that's a lot to go through in many ways....it's great that Dr. Immerman did such a fantastic job & you are happy with his work. That's seriously great & I hope you are doing much better! Again, sorry for the error in Drs. I would travel for a good surgeon too though, so I don't blame you at all ! I heard such great things about the cleft lift. I agree that time is too precious to waste. Pain sucks altogether & these are no exception whether we choose surgery or not. This is so new to me (my 1st), I am still processing it (it's just phasing out now-- of course it could come back, I know). So now I am doing a bit of homework to get medical expert opinions, but just as importantly, get others opinions who've actually lived it. I know I will have to make a call but am doing my all to go toward it as educated as I can be, which I know not all of us get that chance. I really value everyone's experience who is willing to share, there's so much surrounding it outside of physical pain. So thank you again, and for your recommendations & response. I wish you continued recovery with each day :hug:
 

blue.sunshine

New Member
I’m 21 Female and have been dealing with an open pilonidal wound now for about 20 months. I had an open-wound pilonidal cyst surgery in December 2018 and my wound didn’t close until April 2019. It then reopened in September 2019 and has been on-and-off open since then. Most recently, the wound opened up more than normal. I’m an athlete and need to get back to my life before all of this. I never exercise and always lay on my stomach or stand (really never sit) so this is really just getting tiring.

I’m looking into cleft lift with Dr. Immerman as I’ve heard he’s the best to fix this kind of thing. It’s really been a struggle and I’d like any recent advice about Immerman’s cleft lift procedure that anyone has! Thanks.

needurhelp2020-
I'm sorry to hear what you've gone through. If I were you, I'd consider getting the cleft lift. I heard Dr. Immerman is one of the best in the nation, & I heard this from a Pilo surgeon on the East Coast. He trained under DR. Bascom who invented the cleft lift surgery. I never had any type of surgery (not even I&D), but I love my active life too & not being able to do that freely would be too much. That's even why I'm putting surgery on the sidelines now....but I know that if it became too much or I did opt for surgery, I'd do the cleft lift. I hope you're doing better. Keep us posted ~
 

oneyear

New Member
Is had several cysts, first one was removed with cleftlift and I do not regret it, it’s the only one who never came bk more is less
 

blue.sunshine

New Member
Is had several cysts, first one was removed with cleftlift and I do not regret it, it’s the only one who never came bk more is less

oneyear
How long since you had the cleft lift? And you're saying you've had no recurrence since? Sorry I just started a thread on this subject elsewhere wondering about feedback from people who had the cleft lift, or any complications etc. w/ that surgery. From the old posts I read, everyone said CL was the best surgical option. But it's nice to get feedback from someone actively on here today.
 

oneyear

New Member
oneyear
How long since you had the cleft lift? And you're saying you've had no recurrence since? Sorry I just started a thread on this subject elsewhere wondering about feedback from people who had the cleft lift, or any complications etc. w/ that surgery. From the old posts I read, everyone said CL was the best surgical option. But it's nice to get feedback from someone actively on here today.
I was troubled with a cyst at the tailbone and had a cleftlift in 2008, I wanted to have bascom but only 1 in Sweden was able to execute bascom and he had 1,5years wait time so I went with the cleftlift that my doctor had a lot of experience with even tho I knew it was big chance for it to come back after reading a lot on this forum and educated myself.
the doctor did a really good job and I never had the cyst back at that place again.
The only issue I had with cleftlift was a big scar left behind, still can’t sit on the scar on hard surfaces or it will swell and I’ll feel numb, other than that I’w had no problems in that area.

I have 2 new cysts atm and I’m sure cleftlift is not the best option since these 2 are places close to the anal, im 99% I will have to remove these 2 with surgery, I don’t care what method is used today as much as I did care back in 2008, now I only care about having a experienced doctor, one of these 2 is already cut open and cleaned out when I went to the ER cus of the huge amouth of pain, it didn’t help for shit but I’m sure the 1 holding the knife had less experience with pilonidal cysts
 

Cory1

New Member
Amazing experience with Dr. Immerman after dealing with the disease for a few years. Traveled from Florida to Wisconsin just to have the surgery with him. The entire hospital staff is efficient and knowledgeable. I can't recommend Dr. Immerman enough.
 
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