I had surgery and it went fine

Glinda

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I live in Denver, Colorado, and three weeks ago, I had surgery for my pilonidal mess at Rose Hospital, performed by Dr. Lisa Schatz. Overall, things went well, and a lot of my initial discomfort after surgery was from the anesthesia. I tried taking Percocet, but it made me throw up, so I had to get by with Aleve, Tylenol, and a THC/CBD 1:1 powder that I mixed into juice or tea. All of that together was enough to make the pain manageable.

Dr. Schatz performed a closed excision. At my follow-up appointment, she showed me the surgical and pathology reports. The cyst (which had abscessed), was about the size of a small walnut, which is, apparently, huge for a pilonidal. The cyst was very much up against my tailbone. The sinus was substantial, as well, and was also removed. The incision was just over four inches long, two inches wide, and more than an inch deep. The doctor made the incision off to the side of the mid-cleft line (not in the cleft itself) and it was closed with three layers of stitches topped off by surgical glue.

I'm healing well but a little slower than expected. The doctor was surpised that I had no dishcarge or bleeding at all after surgery. Two weeks after surgery, I was able to start taking warm baths with epsom salts, and those have been quite soothing. I still can't sleep on my back, and I can't exercise (except for short walks), bend, lift anything, or twist for another two weeks. Dr. Schatz said that based on my age, anatomy, and the surgery I had, it is highly unlikely I'll ever have to go through this again.

Although I have surgery-related pain, overall, I already feel a lot better. It's clear to me now that the nearly debilitating, burning sacrum pain I had suffered the last few years wasn't from arthritis, it was pilonidal disease.

One other thing: I didn't have a cleft lift, per se, but...my cleft is significantly lifted as a result of the procedure I had. It feels weird for it to be so shallow.

I wish I had known much sooner what my condition was. Perhaps I wouldn't have felt so miserable for so long. I'm looking forward to being completely healed and getting back to my life.
 

Glinda

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Hi, good to hear the surgery has helped a lot! How are you doing now? :)
I'm OK. I'm surprised that I still have constant pain. I'm sure that part of that is because I sit all the time. I mean, I'm home for the duration of the pandemic, I stand when I can, but my house is small and I don't really have a lot of room to move around. I go out for walks when the weather is nice, but otherwise, I'm reading or watching TV, or doing work on the computer. I can only be standing so much--it's just not that practical. The pain itself isn't too bad, just constant. My incision is totally healed on the outside. I assume the lingering pain is because healing is still happening underneath. Overall, though, I'm able to go for walks, exercise, stretch, and generally do everything I need and want to do, physically.
 

diva001

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I'm OK. I'm surprised that I still have constant pain. I'm sure that part of that is because I sit all the time. I mean, I'm home for the duration of the pandemic, I stand when I can, but my house is small and I don't really have a lot of room to move around. I go out for walks when the weather is nice, but otherwise, I'm reading or watching TV, or doing work on the computer. I can only be standing so much--it's just not that practical. The pain itself isn't too bad, just constant. My incision is totally healed on the outside. I assume the lingering pain is because healing is still happening underneath. Overall, though, I'm able to go for walks, exercise, stretch, and generally do everything I need and want to do, physically.
Hmm well your surgery was only recently so it's probably okay to have some pain but I'd ask your surgeon or a nurse for advice since it's constant for you. Generally, pain should be getting less as time goes on. It could also be the excessive sitting, I know it's hard given your circumstances but could you try lying on your side on the sofa when watching TV etc? That's what I've been doing during my recovery process. It's annoying, but takes the pressure off the area as it will still be delicate from the surgery.
 

Psychonaut

New Member
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I live in Denver, Colorado, and three weeks ago, I had surgery for my pilonidal mess at Rose Hospital, performed by Dr. Lisa Schatz. Overall, things went well, and a lot of my initial discomfort after surgery was from the anesthesia. I tried taking Percocet, but it made me throw up, so I had to get by with Aleve, Tylenol, and a THC/CBD 1:1 powder that I mixed into juice or tea. All of that together was enough to make the pain manageable.

Dr. Schatz performed a closed excision. At my follow-up appointment, she showed me the surgical and pathology reports. The cyst (which had abscessed), was about the size of a small walnut, which is, apparently, huge for a pilonidal. The cyst was very much up against my tailbone. The sinus was substantial, as well, and was also removed. The incision was just over four inches long, two inches wide, and more than an inch deep. The doctor made the incision off to the side of the mid-cleft line (not in the cleft itself) and it was closed with three layers of stitches topped off by surgical glue.

I'm healing well but a little slower than expected. The doctor was surpised that I had no dishcarge or bleeding at all after surgery. Two weeks after surgery, I was able to start taking warm baths with epsom salts, and those have been quite soothing. I still can't sleep on my back, and I can't exercise (except for short walks), bend, lift anything, or twist for another two weeks. Dr. Schatz said that based on my age, anatomy, and the surgery I had, it is highly unlikely I'll ever have to go through this again.

Although I have surgery-related pain, overall, I already feel a lot better. It's clear to me now that the nearly debilitating, burning sacrum pain I had suffered the last few years wasn't from arthritis, it was pilonidal disease.

One other thing: I didn't have a cleft lift, per se, but...my cleft is significantly lifted as a result of the procedure I had. It feels weird for it to be so shallow.

I wish I had known much sooner what my condition was. Perhaps I wouldn't have felt so miserable for so long. I'm looking forward to being completely healed and getting back to my life.
I’m glad you’re healing, and that you probably won’t have to go through it again. Do you mind if I ask your age range? I’m 41, and if I get surgery I don’t know if my age makes it more or less likely to be worse.
 

Glinda

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I’m glad you’re healing, and that you probably won’t have to go through it again. Do you mind if I ask your age range? I’m 41, and if I get surgery I don’t know if my age makes it more or less likely to be worse.
I'm 59. My surgeon told me that being an older-than-typical pilonidal patient doesn't really matter in terms of how it goes. Healing might be slower, but that's all. For me, I struggled a bit with after-effects of general anesthesia, but overall, according to my doc, the surgery and recovery have been unremarkable, medically speaking.
 

DanAub

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How soon were you able to go back to work? I am thinking about seeing Dr. Shatz but may wait until I retire from work.
It is a little bothersome at times but for the most part I can tolerate it. Maybe she does more pilonidal surgeries than anyone else in the Colorado area?
 

Glinda

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I've been working from home this year, but it took a full week before I could sit in front of a computer. It wasn't only the sitting that was a problem--I just felt really wiped out after surgery and I spent most of that first week after surgery resting and napping. It slowly got better after that. If I had a more physical job, there's no way I could have done anything for almost a month. I'm approaching 60 years old, so not as quick to recover as a teenager or college student would be (the usual demographic for pilonidal).

Part of the reason I chose Dr. Shatz was that I wanted a woman doctor. She doesn't have the warmest bedside manner, but she's good at what she does and has a lot of experience with pilonidal surgery. There are other doctors who do the surgery in Denver, but I already had a familiarity (and comfort level) with Rose Hospital and the outpatient surgery center. My husband's colorectal surgeon is Dr. Longcope, also at Rose, who is a sweetheart. I have no idea if he does pilonidal surgery, though.

For what it's worth, I didn't realize how miserable I actually felt before surgery until after I had the procedure and started to heal. This made a dramatic difference in my life.
 
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