Cleft Lift -- return to work questions

k0d14k

New Member
Country flag
Hey there.

Minimal background: I became aware of some tailbone pain close to 10 years ago. I think there was a bump at the time but it went away and I had no problems for a long time. A year or two ago, I started to notice blood when wiping, and then hole(s) in my buttcrack. I have what Dr. Bastawrous described as "moderate" disease -- two "chimneys" but pretty asymptomatic otherwise aside from a flare-up or two.

Anyways, I plan on getting the cleft lift in a few months -- but unfortunately due to a combination of factors I won't have as many vacation/personal days as I'd like. The silver lining is that I probably CAN work from home for at least a week (I just do desk-based/computer work). So, I'm hoping I'll be able to take off around 3 days + a weekend to have the surgery and chill out, and then work from home for a week after that. In total, I'd be spending most of my time at home for 10 days or so. Ideally I would take a whole week off but I just don't think I'll be able to swing it. Am I pretty screwed or will I likely be ok?

Bonus questions in case anyone feels like chiming in:
1) I'm thinking of moving to Japan and it would probably be around 4 months after I get the surgery. Is this also a horrible idea? Any input on this?
2) Anyone have experience with Dr. Bastawrous in Seattle? He seems good but can never be too sure :)
 

martialartsdad

New Member
Country flag
I would definitely try to find a surgeon who performs the GIPS/MIPE procedure before going for the Cleft Lift procedure. You can view how this procedure works here: https://videolibrary.globalcastmd.com/novel-therapies-in-pilonidal-disease-update-course

They use biopsy punches/trephines to remove the pits/tracks and bore out the sinus and remove anything debris, dirt or hair. It takes 2-4 weeks to heal, and you can return to normal activity almost immediately.

It is minimally invasive and has very low recurrence rates. I would personally rather get this done multiple times in my life, then ever doing something more invasive/major. Just a thought!
 
My 2 sons had these pit picking procedures and they never worked. Had to go back for repeat picking every 2 months with pain and drainage. They both had their pilonidal disease treated by cleft lift surgery almost 2 years ago with no problems since then whatsoever. I really do not think the pit picking works. You need to make sure a surgeon experienced with the cleft lift is the one doing the surgery. Dr George Wadie in Raleigh NC did both my sons surgery and they were 1 month apart. He did an amazing job. Very knowledgeable and understanding of the pain patients with this disease suffer.
https://www.wakemed.org/dr-george-wadie-md-raleigh-pediatric-surgeon
 

k0d14k

New Member
Country flag
I would definitely try to find a surgeon who performs the GIPS/MIPE procedure before going for the Cleft Lift procedure. You can view how this procedure works here: https://videolibrary.globalcastmd.com/novel-therapies-in-pilonidal-disease-update-course

They use biopsy punches/trephines to remove the pits/tracks and bore out the sinus and remove anything debris, dirt or hair. It takes 2-4 weeks to heal, and you can return to normal activity almost immediately.

It is minimally invasive and has very low recurrence rates. I would personally rather get this done multiple times in my life, then ever doing something more invasive/major. Just a thought!

Um, wow, sounds great EXCEPT I've never heard of it until now, which is kind of a red flag.

I have no idea how to go about finding someone to perform this procedure, but I guess I can look.
 

k0d14k

New Member
Country flag
Oh, I just realized GIPS/MIPE means pit picking. Unfortunately I can't seem to find anyone who claims to do pit picking in the Seattle area, or I'd love to go with that... Anyone have any ideas?
 

martialartsdad

New Member
Country flag
Well there's a slight difference I think between pit picking and GIPS. I think it lies in the tools uses. With GIPS they use trephines, and with pit picking some surgeons use small scalpel to cut diamond chunks of skin out and do an off-midline incision to debride or remove the cyst. Either way, I think starting as minimally invasive as possible is a great idea. Its easier to go bigger later, and harder to do it in reverse.
 

cifland

Helpful
Country flag
Hey k0d14k,

Going back to your original questions, I think you will be fine working from home for a week and then going back to work. I would consider trying to get a standing desk though because sitting all day will likely not be possible. It also might be difficult to drive at that point. My cleft lift was pretty major because I had three previous non-cleft lift surgeries, but I wasn't able to drive for at least 2 weeks and I think it was closer to 3. As far as moving to Japan, I'm 6 weeks post cleft-lift and I feel like I would be fine moving to Japan right now. The flight would be the only concern but if you had an aisle seat you could stand up frequently. Dr. Wadie in Raleigh did my procedure so I don't have any input on your doctor, just make sure he/she is experienced. Let me know if you any further questions!
 

k0d14k

New Member
Country flag
Hey k0d14k,

Going back to your original questions, I think you will be fine working from home for a week and then going back to work. I would consider trying to get a standing desk though because sitting all day will likely not be possible. It also might be difficult to drive at that point. My cleft lift was pretty major because I had three previous non-cleft lift surgeries, but I wasn't able to drive for at least 2 weeks and I think it was closer to 3. As far as moving to Japan, I'm 6 weeks post cleft-lift and I feel like I would be fine moving to Japan right now. The flight would be the only concern but if you had an aisle seat you could stand up frequently. Dr. Wadie in Raleigh did my procedure so I don't have any input on your doctor, just make sure he/she is experienced. Let me know if you any further questions!

Thanks a ton. When did you feel like you could lift weights?
 

cifland

Helpful
Country flag
I was able to do upper body weight lifting (I'm not a big weight lifter though) about 2 weeks after, which is when Dr. Wadie clears patients for all activity. I would not have felt comfortable doing squats or even bench press because of the pressure at 2 weeks and would probably only do very light squats now at 6 weeks. However, as long as everything looks good Dr. Wadie fully clears patients for any activity at 2 weeks. I just wouldn't have felt good enough both pain/discomfort wise and also being worried about something happening.
 
I asked my sons regarding when did they go back to doing squats and weight lifting. Dr Wadie did their surgery too. They said about a month to 6 weeks. They have to do that at work so it was not by choice. Dr Wadie cleared them at 2 weeks too. I guess everybody is different but it looks like you are heading in the right direction. Regarding the soreness, they had this too for about a month. They still get sore after sitting on a hard surface for a very long period of time like 5 hours but who won’t
 

cifland

Helpful
Country flag
Yeah I will say that all doctors give different recovery times and some are more cautious/conservative than Dr. Wadie or they might just stitch the wound up differently and want a longer recovery time. So make sure you listen to your doctor's advice and not just ours!
 
Top