Need some consolation if anything...

Chris674

New Member
Hello All!

I am new to the site but not the condition unfortunately! Wondering if anyone has had experience with the wound vac that has had a similar situation to mine, I will try to be as descriptive as possible....

I am a 21 yr old male, healthy, tall and skinny, no previous health issues. Also no health conditions that prohibit myself from healing. Trying to intake a decent amount of protein to aid in healing (shakes, meats, etc).

I had my 1st surgery in early May 2016 it was an open surgery. The surgeon had to go all the way to the tailbone due to the infection in the region. Wound was packed for months after until it 'healed' in December of 2016 (it did not actually heal, the top healed over and there still was a tunnel present underneath). A few weeks later, went to my surgeon with unwanted discharge from the area, wound completely reopened, like all the way to the tailbone as if nothing healed). Very discouraged, I scheduled another surgery this time a closed one for early February 2017. The doctor did not want to do closed surgery originally as since there was so much infection, the rate of recurrence would be very high.

Had closed surgery in early February, all stitches out 2 weeks later. Within a week wound reopens again. This time it did not reopen all the way to the tailbone. He advised me he would speak with a plastic surgeon about possible flap treatment to treat the wound. Plastic surgeon recommended against it as I had 2 surgeries already and the tissue has broken down too much for a flap to be successful. Saw Dr. again and he recommended I see the hospital's wound care center for consultation regarding a wound vac.

W. care recommended against the vac and started packing procedures again. Week after 1st visit, one of the two wounds I have got worse (started tunneling south to the larger wound that runs just above my anus). Was then recommended the vac. I started the wound vac treatment last Friday and today is the 5th day working with it. I have had 2 nurse visits since. 1st visit, the top smaller wound (1cm deep x 1cm wide) shrunk to the same depth and 9mm in width. Bottom larger wound about 3-4cm long x 1cm deep has not changed at all since Friday. Also, the nurses could not get the wound vac dressing on the wound that was close to the anus as I would not be able to poop :(. It is only on the smaller wound which seems to be healing very slowly. The nurses are hoping the larger wound that is further down will start closing up either at the top or bottom so they may be able to get a dressing on it and allow me to use the restroom still.

Sorry about the long winded response... this situation has been very disabling especially for someone my age that was fairly active.

My question is, with the information I have provided, has anyone had their wounds heal this long with the wound vac? Each nurse I have seen (2 in total now) keep saying it should not take longer than 2 or 3 weeks to completely heal. How long did you have to wear your vac for? My wounds are both 1cm deep, very small compared to what I had before.

Any advice or consolation would be appreciated!

Chris
 

LILLY

Very Helpful
You aren't alone in your situation. There are many, many people who have come before you with frighteningly similar stories. Just based on people's accounts of their healing after three months the success rate starts to drop. Yes, there are people who do heal after 5,6,8,12 months but the longer it goes the lower the success rate. You are new to the vac so that may just be the jumpstart you need. I would give it a reasonable shot, BUT if you don't see progress be ready for your next step. Under no circumstance is your next step more excision surgery. I can't stress that enough. Your next step would be to consult an experienced cleft lift surgeon. You will need an experienced surgeon because your disease has progressed so close to the anus. I hope you don't need to, and that you heal quickly.
 

Chris674

New Member
Lilly thanks for the response. I also read about wound healing and the vitamins needed to speed that along. I purchased Vitamin A today 25,000 IU and am more vigilantly taking my multivitamin daily. Hopefully that will help!
 

LILLY

Very Helpful
The response of people is often to go to extremes. This is not the answer. Look up vitamin toxicity. You can think you are doing something "healthy" and cause yourself a whole separate problem. Vitamins seem benign but an overuse of anything is dangerous.
 

Chris674

New Member
Lilly;

Thanks for the tip, I went off the guide here on the site which suggests 25,000IU of Vitamin A. I do not know what frequency that is referring to (daily, weekly, etc). I did look up information on Vitamin A, if anything the most I might do is take one once a week since it is stored in the liver.
 

Chris674

New Member
Thank you Dr. Immerman for the advise. I will definitely keep that in mind if my wound degrades yet again... So far so good with the vac, had a nurse change it today. I have '2' wounds, one small one at the top which is 1cm long x .5cm wide and 1cm deep as of today. A small skin bridge that seems to be healed then a 2nd wound. The bottom is just less than 1cm deep(which as shrunk) 1.5cm long, and not sure on the width. It definitely is not getting worse but only better, but a slow go for sure!
 

Chris674

New Member
...or, you can see someone now and have a cleft lift. It may end up being a shorter recovery than trying to get the current wound to heal.

Good luck!

Dr I

Dr I,

What would the typical recovery time be after a cleft lift surgery? Just looking for a general number, weeks, days? I am short of time now as I started a new job a few months ago. What is the typical success rate for this procedure? I have not really heard of it before.
 

Dr Immerman

Very Helpful
Patients are usually back to fairly normal activity in a week, but have to avoid sports for 6 weeks.

The success rate is well over 90%, including patients with multiple previous failed operations.

And in those that have problems healing or with recurrence can usually be fixed with a revision of the first cleft lift.

Dr I
 
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