Warning- Cleft lift REGRET!

I had a cleft lift/modified karydakis in 2013 by someone overseas recommended on the board. After being stressed to the max I went to a colon surgeon in the US end-2014 who said it looked good and he did a good job, like pedro3 wrote about others saying of his.

My backstory, 2007 I had it lanced and packed, was in school and once it subsided never thought of it again, until it flared up in 2013. I had a deep cleft, hairy, and 4 sinuses, and the cyst was near my anus... probably the ideal candidate. He told me that it would probably come back with the pit picking, and to be fair to him I wanted it over and done with as well.

I tremendously regret getting this done, and the anxiety is consuming me. I wanted it over and done with as I was starting a new job, I was on painkillers, and I did not properly think it through, I just don't understand why surgeons are so keen to remove perfectly healthy tissue as a "first line." Sigh... it's so frustrating because I can't even see it in real time without taking pictures, an issue I had never even thought about.

I regret it for two main reasons:
1- There is mild discomfort, like a body dysmorphia or something. If I move my head all the way up and down quickly I feel "something" tug or move but can't pinpoint it, and everyone thinks it's in my head... does anyone have this, does it get better?!
2- it IS an invasive surgery and I feel like it should only be reserved for extreme cases, as health is more important than time or money. So what if your chances of recurrence are a few percentage points higher with pit picking, when almost nothing on your butt is changed?

I should mention I have a tremendous amount of time on my hands now, stressed about personal stuff, and to some degree this could be me overthinking it and finding a concrete outlet for the anxiety.

What would I have done if I could go back?

Lance it again, and leave it! Then take better care of it, hygiene etc, and wait. It was six years of no issue, maybe it would have been another couple years, or even never, and the technology etc would get better in the meantime too. Then I'd go see Luigi Basso in Rome.

After reading about him on the forum, and watching his videos on customized pit picking, it seems like a no brainer... I am very upset with myself and hope I can add some sanity to this forum, which seems to advocate cleft lift as a first line defense, part of the reason I got it! And if it came back after I could just get another pit picking, or even a cleft lift.

I know it doesn't matter now, but to help with the anxiety, is it "likely" a pit picking would have worked, like Luigi Basso's, or was it the right call given my preop condition described above?

I just feel so stupid. Is anyone else regretting theirs and wishing they had been more conservative? Does it all get better as the years go by?

Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
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I had a cleft lift as my first pilonidal procedure and don't regret it. It has only been 8 months, so I can't guarantee its a forever solution, but my wound healed to where i basically felt 100% within 2 months, and i don't have to deal with discomfort or drainage I was plagued with for years.
Thanks flamingo. Can I ask, why didn't you consider a pit picking? Did you have pits I assume, if so how many? How long was your flap? At 10cm mine must have been on the longer side.


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I wanted to be done with it. I've read many on here who went from one surgery to the next and it seemed most people were happy and finished with this disease after the cleft lift.

I'm not sure how many pits I had. The incision was from an inch or so above the crack to 2 or so inches from anus.


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I had Cleft Lift done here in Rio de Janeiro 12 years ago, and Im cured....
Cleft was performed after 3 failed standard surgeries along 3 years
Didn't yours come back after the cleft lift!?


In any case even if it didn't, you had multiple previous failed surgeries... which is rare despite us reading about it on forums, and you can be confident that cleft lift was correct.

However for me I hadn't, I only had a lancing and draining six years prior. The "cyst" they removed from the abscess was small as well, only about 2cm. I used a nuke when only a gun was likely required, or at least without trying the gun first.

My point is not that cleft lift is bad, it's that it should NOT be a universal first line defense.