What Is It Like to Recover from Pilonidal Cyst Surgery?

Middle aged man driving a truck

Over 200,000 people are affected by pilonidal cysts each year. A pilonidal cyst is a bump that forms in the crease of the buttocks.  It causes pain, swelling, and may include drainage of pus if it forms an abscess. There are nonsurgical treatments for these cysts, including antibiotics and local wound care, but some patients require a surgical treatment for more advanced symptoms.

Traditional surgical treatment for pilonidal cysts has required a lengthy, painful recovery time. However, thanks to the cleft lift technique utilized by Dr. Laurence Rosenberg, at Southeastern Plastic Surgery, recovery from pilonidal cyst surgery is quick and relatively painless.

Traditional Surgery versus Cleft Lift Surgery

At Southeastern Plastic Surgery in Tallahassee, FL, Dr. Laurence Rosenberg performs the cleft lift procedure to treat pilonidal cysts in order to reduce pain and recovery so that patient can return to their normal lives as quickly as possible. The recovery from cleft lift operation is quick, with substantially less pain then with traditional surgical techniques.  Unlike the recovery from traditional pilonidal cyst surgery, the cleft lift operation ends with a closed wound – there is no wound packing.

Cleft lift surgery has only a 5% recurrence rate for cysts, whereas traditional pilonidal cyst surgery has a recurrence rate of more than 50%.

Traditional surgery for pilonidal cysts involves excising the wound then packing it with gauze. Recovery from this type of surgery can take weeks or months to heal, is extremely painful, and often results in a recurrence.

Cleft lift surgery is an outpatient surgery that only requires about 1 hour to perform. The wound is excised and closed, requiring no packing. Patients are able to return home the same day, and recovery is relatively quick. The wound is fully sutured and closed, using dissolvable sutures, requiring no packing, and the scar is moved off the midline so that recurrence of cysts and pain are minimized.

How Quickly Can You Sit After Cleft Lift Surgery?

Since cleft lift surgery is an outpatient procedure, patients are able to return home the same day as surgery. They are able to sit and ride home in a car immediately after cleft lift surgery.

How Soon Can You Drive After Surgery?

You are allowed to drive once you stop taking narcotic pain medications. The sutures will dissolve after a few weeks, so there is no need to return to the doctor to have them removed.

Is Recovery Painful?

Recovery from cleft lift surgery can be painful, but we provide medications to help manage pain after surgery. Some patients find the recovery relatively easy, while others find it to be painful, but all patients who have had traditional pilonidal cyst surgery feel the cleft lift operation recovery is significantly less painful than the traditional surgery.

Follow the instructions provided by your surgeon for post-operative care and give yourself time to heal after the procedure so that your body has a chance to fully recover. Within 2 weeks or less, you should be able to return to your normal routine.

Dr. Rosenberg usually sees patients for 1 to 2 follow-up visits after surgery. For out of town patients, he communicates with them via e-mail. He is available to answer questions and check in on your recovery.

Dr. Rosenberg is the only surgeon in the Tallahassee area who performs the cleft lift procedure to treat pilonidal cysts. If you would like to learn more about the cleft lift treatment for pilonidal cyst disease at our Tallahassee plastic surgery practice, please request a consultation or call (850) 219-2000.

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