NYC Pilonidal Surgeons - Dr. Faith Menken?


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Hi Folks, I'm so glad I've found this forum and so sorry you all are going through the same pain.

I have seen Dr. Faith Menken once already, she has great reviews and seems to be experienced although I'd love to hear more detail from anyone who has had her as a surgeon for this issue.

When I saw her initially, I was about 1 week out from an urgent care drainage. My cyst became extremely painful and infected out of the blue, luckily she was able to see me just a few days after I found her online. She took a look at the cyst which has gotten significantly better already, with almost no pain now, but said some pus was still coming out from the sinus when she pushed on the cyst itself it. Since she saw pus, she said it either needs to be drained again before surgery or for it to heal on its' own. She said I was 80% healed it just needed to be 100%. She scheduled an appointment for another 10 days out and recommended me to use Hibiclens, 2 daily hot showers, and hot compress. Tomorrow she will decide if it needs to be drained again or not, and hopefully I will be getting a surgery date.

To anyone who has seen her, did you have any healing complications? What kind of procedure did she do? Do other doctors commonly drain before surgery?

Background on me and my pilonidal experience:

I'm a 21 year old girl living in NYC but not from here. I'm alone besides friends and my bf so this whole experience has been pretty scary being away from my family. I've had tailbone pain on and off for YEARS like probably 10 years but it was always acute and never caused an issue. I was only recently diagnosed when I switched to a new GP and brought up the issue. Since covid and more time sitting/laying the slight pain has become more of a problem and since November 2020 when I found out it was a cyst and not some type of previously broken bone that never healed right (what I thought before) I have been looking into solutions. I am a college student and was really hoping to deal with this issue during the summer when I wouldn't have to worry about school.

Almost one month ago now I had a slight flare up, happens every few months but would always go away within a few days. During the flare up, I got the first dose of the covid vaccine (I had covid a few months back so I know now the first dose effected me like the second dose would for others). The pain the next day on my tailbone was unbearable like never before. I couldn't sit or barely walk. It stayed bad for a couple days and I was hoping it would go away like it usually does but it just kept getting worse. I had to call off work and kept getting shifts covered hoping it would be better by the time my next shift was.

Around one week from my initial flare up, it was starting to get slightly better when out of nowhere it took a turn for the worse. Suddenly the area was getting red and veryyyy painful. The swelling was increasing and soon the redness had spread out from my buttcrack like 3 inches or more. I was so terrified and once I felt like I had a slight fever I knew I had to go to urgent care and get it drained. Jesus Christ it hurt like nothing else even with the numbing because of how sensitive the area was. I was put on antibiotics for one week and after the initial pain subsided it was getting so much better. I could finally walk and sit again, but still knew I needed surgery ASAP. That's when I found Dr. Menken's website and read many great reviews.

Although she has great reviews, there's not much info on her actually regarding the pilonidal surgery. I know she only specializes in around 7 types of surgery compared to other surgeons I was looking at who had a list of 20+. I found that to be much more comforting, especially since she speaks about pilonidal disease on her website which pretty much no other nyc doctors have. She was sweet and assuring and I do feel good about her although I really would like to hear more from anyone who has experienced care from her, or just comments and recommendations in general.

I'm just really scared and want my normal active life of walking everywhere, biking, and regular yoga back. It's been almost one month and I'm terrified of doing any type of exercise now. I miss being active and have rarely seen any friends since this whole thing started. I'm scared I will miss out on a lot of life from this shitty situation, and scared of having to go back for multiple surgeries.

Thanks everyone, would love to hear from you...
Figure out what kind of procedures she's done (closed-excision, open-excision, pit-picking, cleft-lift etc.) to name a few. Many people on this forum (myself included) have had the cleft lift procedure and would recommend it. If you want a surgery that has a relatively quick/painless recovery period and low rates of pilonidal recurrence, you should look into the cleft-lift procedure. See if your doc performs it, but make sure she's done a TON of them. If not, find a surgeon that has a lot of experience in the cleft-lift. There are many recommendations on the forum page. I personally got my done by Dr. Immerman, and he was great. Key is to make sure you are dealing with a doc that specializes in the procedure you want done/pilonidal disease. Sounds like you are on the right track - but continue to do your due diligence in research before committing to any operation. Hope this helps and good luck with everything.


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I believe Dr. Menken is a general surgeon. Be cautious having any surgery in this area unless specialist.