Pilonidal for 5 years, Dr Caplan Surgery in January 2016, End of Disease.

OneWholeButt

New Member
Hello Everyone!

This thread is for everyone who's suffered with this awful shit show of a disease, I hope you can "sit" where I'm sitting today, healed and worry free.

I first learned about Pilonidal Disease, as I'm sure many do, when I had the pleasure of getting it the first time. This was honestly the worst part of the entire experience, many dermatologists, doctors, phone calls, and perscriptions, and I finally found out that the golf ball sized mass on my lower spine was pilonidal disease on my own by researching the disease. Not a true self diagnosis, I wound up explaining it to the dermatologist, and he did a better exam and then officially changed the diagnosis from sebaceous cyst to pilo.

The first infection was unreal. I still don't know how it happened but I was working out very hard at the time, and most likely it was a combo of sweaty dirty skin, with the open pore and one thing leads to another. The first infection was tremendous, it manifested as a cyst slightly larger than a golf ball, and literally half my lower back was bruised, the pain was so tremendous that I wasn't capable of walking or even moving really.

At this point I was completely distraught, and the pain was like seeing stars, I wound up using hot and cold compresses over the course of a few days, with prid and hot salt baths, and one night, ka-boom, dark purple and red blood with green fluid ran down my leg, it was a real horror show, it was as if I'd been stabbed, but the relief was instant, both the physical pain, and the fear of having an incision or removal in an ER, which for the record, as a former paramedic, I would not recommend to anyone, the risk of secondary infection is massive.

After a month or two, the swelling and pain had completely decreased, this was aided by a long course of serious antibiotics. It was at this point I was able to truly research the disease.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the cleft lift is the best course of action. Pretty much every other surgical option carries long healing times, difficult wound care and other processes, and risk of secondary infection. So the idea was to find someone in the north east who could do the operation, and though there were a few options, Dr Caplan in Philly was the best.

If this seems like I'm a cheerleader for the doc, well I am, he's great. Dr. Caplan did this procedure on his own son, and has done more of them than almost anyone else in the nation. He's a professional, but also funny as hell, and he solves issues like they never happened.

My first visit was during what wound up being my third flare up, Dr. C told me that I'd have to wait a bit for it to subside, and luckily this was a quick minor flare up that subsided and we scheduled the surgery for January.

I had to pay out of pocket for the whole operation, and I won't disclose the exact number but it was less than 5k total, thats travel costs, staying in paoli for the night where the surgery center is, etc etc. Medicare doesnt cover this, or rather the surgical center doesn't take my insurance, Horizon NJ .

So the experience was great, Paoli is new and clean, and since Dr C does so many of these they are rote for the people there. My wife and I drove in in the morning, and I left by 3pm on the way home.

The process was a typical outpatient experience, Went in, signed papers, paid, was brought in and prepped in gown and initial anesthetics, wheeled into the surgical room and passed out, I opted for the partial anesthesia and honestly, I can't tell the difference I was completely out. When I came to, I had to wait a while to recover from the epidural, and as soon as I could feel my feet I hobbled out to the car and passed out for the ride home.

The anesthetics wore off by the start of day one of recovery, but honestly there wasn't much pain, just pressure, and I prepped on my own for the aftercare by switching to a liquid diet, which I highly recommend though Dr C doesn't think its necessarily, it will make your life so much easier, as you wont want to be bearing down to use the toilet, the liquid diet and the stool softeners mean that even with pain killers the poop process is super easy, it pretty much just falls out, not diarrhea, just really loose.

Healing was only interrupted by a few small speed bumps, first, I had some bleeding, which later on turned out to be a small seroma, totally normal for a closed wound op with no wound vac. the good dr simply poked it and gave me a quick little squeeze and that was over. Also the stitches had trouble dissolving for me, and a few were sticking out, dr. C just pulled the loose bits, and told me to rub the area, which resulted in the strange popping of the internal stitches, no pain at all, just strange, pop pop pop, and the pressure goes away.

Anyway back to healing, for me, it took a total of about 6 weeks from Surgery to sitting pretty normal, and now 8 months out its like it never happened, the only thing here is that every once in a while if I sit too long in the same position, I might get a little twinge of something, it's as if the nerves havent completely settled, but this is a normal after effect of any surgery and usually goes away after about a year.

OK so I wrote this as fast as possible at work, I know it's not perfect, but I wanted to get it all out
if anyone has any questions or anything please let me know, I've also posted about Dr. Caplan in the surgery section.

TLDR GET A CLEFT LIFT WITH DR CAPLAN, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
 

adragione

New Member
Thanks for sharing your story! After 3 failed excision surgeries (first 2 closed, last one open), I'm still having issues with this disease with a recent flare up. I live in southeastern PA and have been trying to find someone to have the cleft lift surgery performed with, I was happy to see you give such a glowing review for Dr. Caplan. I plan on calling his office this week to schedule some time to talk, I'd love to chat more in direct messaging if you'd be up for that!
 

Danimkd

New Member
Hello Everyone!

This thread is for everyone who's suffered with this awful shit show of a disease, I hope you can "sit" where I'm sitting today, healed and worry free.

I first learned about Pilonidal Disease, as I'm sure many do, when I had the pleasure of getting it the first time. This was honestly the worst part of the entire experience, many dermatologists, doctors, phone calls, and perscriptions, and I finally found out that the golf ball sized mass on my lower spine was pilonidal disease on my own by researching the disease. Not a true self diagnosis, I wound up explaining it to the dermatologist, and he did a better exam and then officially changed the diagnosis from sebaceous cyst to pilo.

The first infection was unreal. I still don't know how it happened but I was working out very hard at the time, and most likely it was a combo of sweaty dirty skin, with the open pore and one thing leads to another. The first infection was tremendous, it manifested as a cyst slightly larger than a golf ball, and literally half my lower back was bruised, the pain was so tremendous that I wasn't capable of walking or even moving really.

At this point I was completely distraught, and the pain was like seeing stars, I wound up using hot and cold compresses over the course of a few days, with prid and hot salt baths, and one night, ka-boom, dark purple and red blood with green fluid ran down my leg, it was a real horror show, it was as if I'd been stabbed, but the relief was instant, both the physical pain, and the fear of having an incision or removal in an ER, which for the record, as a former paramedic, I would not recommend to anyone, the risk of secondary infection is massive.

After a month or two, the swelling and pain had completely decreased, this was aided by a long course of serious antibiotics. It was at this point I was able to truly research the disease.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the cleft lift is the best course of action. Pretty much every other surgical option carries long healing times, difficult wound care and other processes, and risk of secondary infection. So the idea was to find someone in the north east who could do the operation, and though there were a few options, Dr Caplan in Philly was the best.

If this seems like I'm a cheerleader for the doc, well I am, he's great. Dr. Caplan did this procedure on his own son, and has done more of them than almost anyone else in the nation. He's a professional, but also funny as hell, and he solves issues like they never happened.

My first visit was during what wound up being my third flare up, Dr. C told me that I'd have to wait a bit for it to subside, and luckily this was a quick minor flare up that subsided and we scheduled the surgery for January.

I had to pay out of pocket for the whole operation, and I won't disclose the exact number but it was less than 5k total, thats travel costs, staying in paoli for the night where the surgery center is, etc etc. Medicare doesnt cover this, or rather the surgical center doesn't take my insurance, Horizon NJ .

So the experience was great, Paoli is new and clean, and since Dr C does so many of these they are rote for the people there. My wife and I drove in in the morning, and I left by 3pm on the way home.

The process was a typical outpatient experience, Went in, signed papers, paid, was brought in and prepped in gown and initial anesthetics, wheeled into the surgical room and passed out, I opted for the partial anesthesia and honestly, I can't tell the difference I was completely out. When I came to, I had to wait a while to recover from the epidural, and as soon as I could feel my feet I hobbled out to the car and passed out for the ride home.

The anesthetics wore off by the start of day one of recovery, but honestly there wasn't much pain, just pressure, and I prepped on my own for the aftercare by switching to a liquid diet, which I highly recommend though Dr C doesn't think its necessarily, it will make your life so much easier, as you wont want to be bearing down to use the toilet, the liquid diet and the stool softeners mean that even with pain killers the poop process is super easy, it pretty much just falls out, not diarrhea, just really loose.

Healing was only interrupted by a few small speed bumps, first, I had some bleeding, which later on turned out to be a small seroma, totally normal for a closed wound op with no wound vac. the good dr simply poked it and gave me a quick little squeeze and that was over. Also the stitches had trouble dissolving for me, and a few were sticking out, dr. C just pulled the loose bits, and told me to rub the area, which resulted in the strange popping of the internal stitches, no pain at all, just strange, pop pop pop, and the pressure goes away.

Anyway back to healing, for me, it took a total of about 6 weeks from Surgery to sitting pretty normal, and now 8 months out its like it never happened, the only thing here is that every once in a while if I sit too long in the same position, I might get a little twinge of something, it's as if the nerves havent completely settled, but this is a normal after effect of any surgery and usually goes away after about a year.

OK so I wrote this as fast as possible at work, I know it's not perfect, but I wanted to get it all out
if anyone has any questions or anything please let me know, I've also posted about Dr. Caplan in the surgery section.

TLDR GET A CLEFT LIFT WITH DR CAPLAN, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
Hey man, Im glad you had the opportunity to get rid of this annoying problem.. Im from Macedonia and we dont really have doctors that know how to do a cleft lift surgery here.. I had the surgery 3 times, After my 2nd surgery didnt work my surgeon made a bit of a research by himself and went to a seminar in Bulgaria where he heard of Limberg Flap.. So he operated it on me about 25 days ago..
Anyway, because my surgeon doesnt have much knowledge about complicated recurrent pilonidal cyst I wanted to ask you what did Dr.Caplan tell you about sitting? You say it took you 6 weeks to start sitting normally, but before that you were still sitting right? Even with the discomfort? Cuz it's been 25 days and I CAN sit, but it's uncomfortable and I cant manage more that ~45 mins.. Should I keep sitting anyway, besides the discomfort? Or should I wait more?
 

blue.sunshine

New Member
Hello Everyone!

This thread is for everyone who's suffered with this awful shit show of a disease, I hope you can "sit" where I'm sitting today, healed and worry free.

I first learned about Pilonidal Disease, as I'm sure many do, when I had the pleasure of getting it the first time. This was honestly the worst part of the entire experience, many dermatologists, doctors, phone calls, and perscriptions, and I finally found out that the golf ball sized mass on my lower spine was pilonidal disease on my own by researching the disease. Not a true self diagnosis, I wound up explaining it to the dermatologist, and he did a better exam and then officially changed the diagnosis from sebaceous cyst to pilo.

The first infection was unreal. I still don't know how it happened but I was working out very hard at the time, and most likely it was a combo of sweaty dirty skin, with the open pore and one thing leads to another. The first infection was tremendous, it manifested as a cyst slightly larger than a golf ball, and literally half my lower back was bruised, the pain was so tremendous that I wasn't capable of walking or even moving really.

At this point I was completely distraught, and the pain was like seeing stars, I wound up using hot and cold compresses over the course of a few days, with prid and hot salt baths, and one night, ka-boom, dark purple and red blood with green fluid ran down my leg, it was a real horror show, it was as if I'd been stabbed, but the relief was instant, both the physical pain, and the fear of having an incision or removal in an ER, which for the record, as a former paramedic, I would not recommend to anyone, the risk of secondary infection is massive.

After a month or two, the swelling and pain had completely decreased, this was aided by a long course of serious antibiotics. It was at this point I was able to truly research the disease.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the cleft lift is the best course of action. Pretty much every other surgical option carries long healing times, difficult wound care and other processes, and risk of secondary infection. So the idea was to find someone in the north east who could do the operation, and though there were a few options, Dr Caplan in Philly was the best.

If this seems like I'm a cheerleader for the doc, well I am, he's great. Dr. Caplan did this procedure on his own son, and has done more of them than almost anyone else in the nation. He's a professional, but also funny as hell, and he solves issues like they never happened.

My first visit was during what wound up being my third flare up, Dr. C told me that I'd have to wait a bit for it to subside, and luckily this was a quick minor flare up that subsided and we scheduled the surgery for January.

I had to pay out of pocket for the whole operation, and I won't disclose the exact number but it was less than 5k total, thats travel costs, staying in paoli for the night where the surgery center is, etc etc. Medicare doesnt cover this, or rather the surgical center doesn't take my insurance, Horizon NJ .

So the experience was great, Paoli is new and clean, and since Dr C does so many of these they are rote for the people there. My wife and I drove in in the morning, and I left by 3pm on the way home.

The process was a typical outpatient experience, Went in, signed papers, paid, was brought in and prepped in gown and initial anesthetics, wheeled into the surgical room and passed out, I opted for the partial anesthesia and honestly, I can't tell the difference I was completely out. When I came to, I had to wait a while to recover from the epidural, and as soon as I could feel my feet I hobbled out to the car and passed out for the ride home.

The anesthetics wore off by the start of day one of recovery, but honestly there wasn't much pain, just pressure, and I prepped on my own for the aftercare by switching to a liquid diet, which I highly recommend though Dr C doesn't think its necessarily, it will make your life so much easier, as you wont want to be bearing down to use the toilet, the liquid diet and the stool softeners mean that even with pain killers the poop process is super easy, it pretty much just falls out, not diarrhea, just really loose.

Healing was only interrupted by a few small speed bumps, first, I had some bleeding, which later on turned out to be a small seroma, totally normal for a closed wound op with no wound vac. the good dr simply poked it and gave me a quick little squeeze and that was over. Also the stitches had trouble dissolving for me, and a few were sticking out, dr. C just pulled the loose bits, and told me to rub the area, which resulted in the strange popping of the internal stitches, no pain at all, just strange, pop pop pop, and the pressure goes away.

Anyway back to healing, for me, it took a total of about 6 weeks from Surgery to sitting pretty normal, and now 8 months out its like it never happened, the only thing here is that every once in a while if I sit too long in the same position, I might get a little twinge of something, it's as if the nerves havent completely settled, but this is a normal after effect of any surgery and usually goes away after about a year.

OK so I wrote this as fast as possible at work, I know it's not perfect, but I wanted to get it all out
if anyone has any questions or anything please let me know, I've also posted about Dr. Caplan in the surgery section.

TLDR GET A CLEFT LIFT WITH DR CAPLAN, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Not sure if you still come here or get notifications....I was wondering how you're getting along since? Your journey sounds pretty optimistic. I hope you're in the same place & even better ;) I'm seeking consults for potential Pilo surgery in SE PA & the cleft lift seems like the one most people say is the fastest recovery time with great results. I'm really curious about your status as it's been a few years now since your post. I'm not 100% decided yet which direction to take (if any) but stories like yours give me hope. At the very least, a consult w/ Dr. Caplan couldn't hurt. Thanks for sharing your story in detail - it would be cool to hear an update but if not, sending you well wishes !
 
Top