I recently met with a young mother. She had been dealing with the emotional toll of living with an open wound for 3 years after 5 failed pilonidal operations. Here’s what she initially wrote to me:
“Hi! I am in desperate need of help and feel this may be my last resort. I have been dealing with pilonidal disease for over 3 years and have missed my life with my son and husband during those 3 long years. I can’t sit without tears and can’t sit without ruining something from awful drainage and blood. I have been in the operating room 5 times for surgery and had 3 I & D’s prior to the 5 surgeries. I have had 3 different surgeons. I have never had a surgery that healed. None of my surgeons have offered me any hope.”
She had undergone a number of traditional excisional surgeries. When those didn’t work, she traveled several hours away to undergo “plastic surgery” procedures with flaps. She underwent flap revisions and those operations still didn’t heal her wound or relieve her discomfort.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story of pilonidal surgery mishap. Overly aggressive surgery or disfiguring flap surgery are not a solution to the problem and often make matters worse.
This patient flew out to San Francisco to The Sternberg Clinic. I performed a cleft lift procedure on her and fixed her complex wound, she healed and was ecstatic!
She called me a month after surgery to thank me. She was able to exercise and run her household again. She was back to her normal life.
The Cleft Lift Procedure is lifechanging if you have pilonidal disease requiring surgery. Please do your research and travel if you need to in order to find an experienced pilonidal surgeon.