Cleft lift 5/15/18 recovery log

hatepilo89

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Heres a weird question, but when you guys with tears are sitting down to use the restroom, are you leaning to one side, or sitting square on in the middle of the seat?
 

JonH21

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Heres a weird question, but when you guys with tears are sitting down to use the restroom, are you leaning to one side, or sitting square on in the middle of the seat?

The first couple weeks I was a little awkward using the bathroom. I wouldn’t want to put too much pressure so I would kind of grab onto the bathroom vanity with my arm to where I was just barely sitting on the seat. I was also on stool softeners so it was as if it just glided out with no pressure.
 

hithere

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Hey Guys,
I am so happy that you guys are healing well/completely healing from your surgeries. I am going for my 3rd surgery, which will be a Cleft Lift (1st one) in a few weeks here in South Florida. I have a few questions I hope you all wouldn't mind answering:

1) How did you guys clean your clefts in the shower? Did you work soap between your butt cheeks and then use a shower handle sprayer to clean up? Also, which soaps did you guys use?
2) How did you guys gauze the area? Did you guys have someone help you gauze initially, and then do it yourselves?
3) What gauze brands did you guys use?

Even though I had 2 previous midline-excisions with primary closure surgeries, I found that opening my butt cheeks apart to clean and gauze was difficult/painful, and I was always stressed about opening the wound up (which opened anyways both times) or using too much gauze (used about 2/3 sheets worth bundled up). My previous surgeons were not very informative about wound care, so I was hoping to learn from your experiences, since you most of you seemed to heal up nicely!

Thank you so much for any and all replies!
 

hatepilo89

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Personally I just use a hand held shower sprayer thing, but I was warned against using too much soap around the incision the first few days. If you must have soap, I would get some that has no fragrances. Is it Dove Ivory brand or something like that?

My incision has not been too leaky, so I haven't had to apply any gauze that's needed tape. I've just put gauze all the way down there that is held in place by my body to use as a 'dam' against anything unsanitary, since the cleft lift incision goes so close to the anus. I change it out at least twice a day, and every time I use the restroom. The 100% cotton gauze the doctor gave me seems to let in the most air, so I would go with that if possible, but I can't find that in the stores. I've also used the store brand 3x3 gauze pads that Walgreens and CVS sells. They are basically the same as the Band-Aid brand but less expensive.

https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/b...medium-3-inch-x-3-inch/ID=prod6246829-product
https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-gauze-pads/ID=prod6169375-product

They are individually wrapped and supposedly sterile. If you need to, you can cut them in half to make them last longer, or if you think it's just too much material. Putting the gauze up there isn't bad, and I don't think you will need any tape or someone to help you with it.


Good luck with this surgery. I found my cleft lift to not have near as much pain as my first midline excision surgery, so I hope you have a similar experience in that regard.
 

JonH21

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Hey Guys,
I am so happy that you guys are healing well/completely healing from your surgeries. I am going for my 3rd surgery, which will be a Cleft Lift (1st one) in a few weeks here in South Florida. I have a few questions I hope you all wouldn't mind answering:

1) How did you guys clean your clefts in the shower? Did you work soap between your butt cheeks and then use a shower handle sprayer to clean up? Also, which soaps did you guys use?
2) How did you guys gauze the area? Did you guys have someone help you gauze initially, and then do it yourselves?
3) What gauze brands did you guys use?

Even though I had 2 previous midline-excisions with primary closure surgeries, I found that opening my butt cheeks apart to clean and gauze was difficult/painful, and I was always stressed about opening the wound up (which opened anyways both times) or using too much gauze (used about 2/3 sheets worth bundled up). My previous surgeons were not very informative about wound care, so I was hoping to learn from your experiences, since you most of you seemed to heal up nicely!

Thank you so much for any and all replies!

I used Hibiclens soap to clean in the shower. I’d recommend that. I wouldn’t scrub or rub between my cleft. I would just let the water rinse down carefully from my sponge. Then gently use the shower sprayer over the area. But make sure you don’t have it hit it directly at full force. As for gauze I just used the regular cheap small gauze. Nothing on it, just gauze. For my wound I used a vitamin c lotion. That also helped a lot. Best of luck and happy Thanksgiving!
 

hithere

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Thank you so much for the reply!
If you don't mind, I just have one more question: in the shower during cleaning, did you spread your cheeks apart to help the water get through?
 

JonH21

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Thank you so much for the reply!
If you don't mind, I just have one more question: in the shower during cleaning, did you spread your cheeks apart to help the water get through?

I didn’t for the first 2 weeks or so In fear of separation but I did after that. I think the most important thing I can recommend to you is to make sure to use baby wipes, not toilet paper, and also to make sure you get the area entirely clean after every bowel movement. You must not get an infection.
 

hithere

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Hi again!
I am now actually about 2.5 weeks post op from Cleft Lift surgery (was scheduled early due to another patient cancelling a different surgery).
I have been having some issues with healing (I think) that I hope you guys can answer if you wouldn't mind.

Did you guys experience any bleeding during bowel movements? I seem to bleed a couple of CC's after having them when I wipe directly afterwards. I even started taking Metamucil and my BM's only take about 30 seconds now, and they're comfortable, yet I always seem to bleed a bit.

Also, have you guys experienced any draining/oozing at all? It seems the bottom part of my incision is draining/oozing. It often feels 'bubbly' down there when I move due to the fluid... it's a weird feeling. I am also on antibiotics and I am positive I do not have an infection.

Other than that, I feel like I am slowly improving every day, but I am not sure if I should be having any type of bleeding/discharge at this point.

Thank you for any replies!
 
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JonH21

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Hi again!
I am now actually about 2.5 weeks post op from Cleft Lift surgery (was scheduled early due to another patient cancelling a different surgery).
I have been having some issues with healing (I think) that I hope you guys can answer if you wouldn't mind.

Did you guys experience any bleeding during bowel movements? I seem to bleed a couple of CC's after having them when I wipe directly afterwards. I even started taking Metamucil and my BM's only take about 30 seconds now, and they're comfortable, yet I always seem to bleed a bit.

Also, have you guys experienced any draining/oozing at all? It seems the bottom part of my incision is draining/oozing. It often feels 'bubbly' down there when I move due to the fluid... it's a weird feeling. I am also on antibiotics and I am positive I do not have an infection.

Other than that, I feel like I am slowly improving every day, but I am not sure if I should be having any type of bleeding/discharge at this point.

Thank you for any replies!

I never experienced blood with BM’s or any draining after the cleft lift with Dr. Immerman. I did have a small split at the bottom of my wound around 4 weeks after surgery but it healed in its own rather quickly. What you are seeing may be exudate which is common after surgery. I would speak with your doctor though to make sure all is well.
 

hatepilo89

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I still have some minor spotting at the incision near the anus (5 weeks post surgery right now) and going up about 3 inches. About 4 small spots total. They start to heal and scab over, but then I pull it just enough to open it back up. It's wanting to heal it seems like, but it's just a tough place to heal.

I never had blood with a BM, but I'm taking probiotics and fiber to help everything be smooth. I don't know if I would call my spotting a 'drainage' since it's so minimal. I would talk to your doctor and discuss what is going on so everyone is on the same page.
 

hithere

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Thank you for your replies!
I heard back from my doc (well, his medical assistant at least) and was told that the area close to the anus opens up every now and then during healing which I figured, and is common. I actually went about 3 days without blood during BM's, then a few more days with blood, and now 2 more days without blood with the last episode being more of a watery blood consistency. I think the 'drainage' is lessening at least now since posting here as well.

I actually do not stick gauze in the area as my doc said it wasn't needed interestingly (I am not 100% percent sure if I should or not now... I will be contacting wound care soon to find out), and I am noticing improvements every day at least. One thing I do about 3-4 times daily is spray the incision the best I can with Saline Wound Wash Spray that you can find at Walgreens near the gauze section in a blue can, or the Arm and Hammer brand you can find on Amazon (they're a bit expensive and each can is maybe 2-3 uses each, but I find it to be worth the cost). I lay down on my stomach, then just spray my backside down the incision. Takes a try or 2 of practice to get the area or you can have someone do it since the incision post-cleft lift is essentially exposed to see aside from the very bottom, but the saline spray is powerful enough (but safe enough too!) to reach all the way in. I then just pat dry the area very carefully with gauze and let it air dry. I also have a portable fan on my bed and a tower fan on the other side as well I keep on to keep everything cool and hopefully dry as possible.

As opposed to other peoples' experiences with cleft lift vs midline excision post op pain, I actually found the cleft lift to be more painful. This was the only time I had actually taken the narcotic pain relievers for about a week, as opposed to my last 2 midline excision surgeries where I had 1 dose only immediately after the first surgery. However, I am healing quicker so far compared to the other surgeries.

The constant wait n' see n' hope sucks!
 

hithere

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I'm actually going to follow Dr. Immerman's advice with the gauze, citing the 'Wound care' paragraph from his website.
 

JonH21

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Well, it’s been a year since I had my cleft lift (on 5/15) and still no issues whatsoever. It has been totally life changing. The utmost respect for Dr. Immerman and his staff.

I still stick around here to offer help to others. Anyone that wants advice/wants to vent feel free to message me.
 
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