Pre-op advice

Hi all,

I've been reading these forums for quite a while now and it seems that not many recoveries have gone well!

I've suffered with a pilonidal cyst for 4 years plus but have it was only diagnosed in November last year. I recently attended my pre admission appointment and was told that I could be waiting up to 26 weeks for the op. I'm not quite sure what the medical term is for the op but the doctor said they would leave the wound open to heal and pack it.

I'm getting married in September and really want to lose weight for the wedding (new years resolution ha) but more importantly I want to be able to be well enough to enjoy our day and have fun! Would people recommend waiting until after our wedding to go ahead with the surgery? Is it even possible to postpone surgery with the NHS? Or shall I just wait for my date and go ahead with it? The cyst can be really painful and sore, it does sometimes affect my sleep and more often it affects my job (I have a desk job so it gets very uncomfortable and painful!). But part of me thinks what's another 9 months with it!

I've spoken about it with my family and friends but none of them seem to grasp quite how long the recovery period seems to be. Can anyone tell me when they got back into exercise after their ops? Or how active they could be during recovery?

Thanks! :)
Hi there!

Its a tricky one because if it heals how its supposed to, then it should only take a few months. If I were you I'd want at least a 6 month gap between surgery and the wedding. You've done the right thing by checking these forums first, as you are prepared for whats to come and how best to speed up healing etc. You can postpone the surgery; maybe ask for anytime after October? However if its painful etc then go for the surgery but be prepared to do everything right, i.e;

1) Eat well, plenty of fruit and veg etc + vitamins (A,B,C,D and Zinc)
2) Lots and lots of rest, laying on your side or front, try to avoid sitting at all costs.
3) Not walking for more than 30 minutes at a time
4) You'll need some time off work if you have a desk job - unless you are willing to put your computer on a load of books like I did and stand up!

I had my sugary back in July and am still surfing with an open wound, however I was not at all prepared for it and did everything wrong, I went on a night out 2 days after the op and sat down a lot... If I could go back I'd treat it much more seriously!

Another thing to consider is making sure you're having the right surgery. I have seen a few private consultants who were almost annoyed that my NHS surgeon cut down the "midline," as opposed to cutting into the side, because the midline has a lot of tension and therefore can inhibit healing. Well worth researching specialist NHS surgeons, you don't have to go with the one you were allocated.

All the best!
I agree with Dan, hopefully it will all go well for you but prepare for the worst just in case!
I was told mine would only take 2-4 weeks to heal as I was only supposed to have closed excision, but due to infection post op, I had to have the wound opened and packed daily. I'm 9 weeks post op now and still bleeding.
But on the flip side, my auntie had the same op but opened rather than closed, no infections and only took 8 weeks to heal!
So it could go any which way!
I'd say put it off until after the surgery, however you don't know what it will be like at that point... I was told I needed surgery back in April, didn't have the surgery until December but I found I didn't really have any problems with it until about two weeks before I had the surgery (good timing).

Enjoy being able to exercise now while you can... it may be a while before you can do it again post op! If you're hoping to lose weight anyway, I'd say definitely go ahead and do that... losing weight before surgery is a good idea, it can help prevent complications during and post surgery.

Some advice i'd strongly recommend is that if you have a closed excision, keep the dressing on for as long as you can, minimum of three days! Removing the dressing too soon after surgery can introduce infection. Even if the dressing has blood or exudate strike through, keep it on!
I'm telling you this as I work as a nurse and it's the same advice I'd give any patient, helps that I've been through it myself!

I hope it all goes well for you!