Lancing Recovery Time? Help Moving Forward Please

carkey

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I am a 19 year old female, who is very much on the hairy side. I cannot tell you how upsetting it was to basically get told by my doctor that I had been medically diagnosed with Shrek butt. I had always been embarrassed with my appearance, but to know it's causing me medical problems is another level of emotional pain.

The first time I got a pilonidal cyst was in Feb of 2021, and my doctor had no idea what it was. The pain was absolutely excruciating. They gave me antibiotics and a numbing cream for the pain. The pain stopped and life went on. Then after 4-5 months it started paining again, but only after I sat down for hours on end. I didn't have a problem avoiding tight pants/shorts or getting up every 4 hours. However, in the last two weeks of May I again felt excruciating pain. This time I went to a different doctor in the US, and they referred me to a general surgeon for lancing (I&D). I got my infected cyst incised and drained June 2, and was told the hole would fill in 2-3 weeks. It has been close to 3 months, and I still have to get my wound packed every single day. The wound is certainly smaller than it was initially, but the healing has basically stalled. Between the first I&D and now, I moved from Saratoga, CA, US to New Delhi, India. My university starts in 1 week. My doctor here is a plastic surgeon. She told me to get the wound debrided and to get the whole enlarged, so I can continue to stuff it and avoid getting anaerobic bacterial infections. I got that done last week, and there has been some healing, but it's slow.

Have any of you had similar recovery times (3 months) for lancing? In your experience, having had the wound cleaned, should the healing return to normal? I have to make a decision to either go to school, where I will have to pack the wound myself and risk getting infection until December (keeping in mind I am an international student and live continents away from any family that could help take care of me and I am w/o a car) OR take a gap semester and get open wound surgery.

I cannot describe how desperately I wish I had known about this forum and website earlier. My first doctor brushed me off when I told him it was taking more than 1 month to heal, so I assumed this was normal. I now know better than to blindly trust a doctor. If I'd known something was wrong with the healing while I was still in California, then I would have only been a 45 minute drive away from 3 surgeons who could perform a cleft lift surgery and recovered in time for college. Now I'm in India, where there's only one surgeon who can perform the procedure, and they are in a totally different city. I won't be able to recover in time for college. So I have turned to this forum to ask if there's anyone who can help advise me based off of their experience.
 

carkey

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I'm not sure if anyone has seen this or will see this. But if your lancing has taken far longer than it should to heal, then I hope my experience can help you. I was all set to go to college thinking that I would do my own dressing ever day, and that it would heal eventually. Thankfully, the night before I had to get on my flight to uni my packing fell out on its own, and the hole completely sealed off. My doctor (plastic surgeon) advised that I get an MRI of my pilonidal sinus done, so I could make a more informed decision. She told me that I shouldn't go to college until there was an opening or I would be at high risk for getting anaerobic bacterial infections. However, she strongly urged me to go to delay my flight a few days and then go to school once she had made a new incision.

Then we got the MRI results back. They found out that the sinus cavity was getting extremely close to my spine, because it had actually grown even while I was getting it packed daily-- despite there being no active infection. This really scared me. I desperately wanted to go back to school, but not at the expense of needing to get surgery that close to my spine after giving it months to grow further. I realized that if I wanted to put my health first, then I would need to take a gap semester. I really liked my doctor, a plastic surgeon, who was recommending flap surgery. However, I wasn't keen on flap surgery and my insurance wouldn't cover her hospital. My mom and I set about finding a doctor within our insurance plan who actually had experience treating pilonidal sinuses, instead of someone who we knew previously. After getting passed around 3 different times, we were finally referred to a general surgeon who: was under our insurance plan, operated in a hospital closer to home, and was confident in their treatment because they specialized in the area and did the excision surgeries often. Funnily enough, it turns out we already knew the doctor because he had operated on my brother for a different procedure. Anyways, I got closed wound surgery (and they also laserd it) yesterday, and I am already able to sit down with the painkillers I have been prescribed. So um long story short, put your health first! If it's taken more than 3 months, then it might never heal unless you get excision surgery.
 
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