A College Freshman’s Story of Pilonidal Surgery

A College Freshman’s Story of Pilonidal Surgery

I was a freshman in college and spent long hours in the library studying.  The chairs were wooden and not comfortable, but they kept me awake. Near the end of my first semester, I began having a pain back there.  It was a pain in my ass. I had never experienced this before. Several days later the pain worsened, and I noticed a swelling by my tailbone.  Soon the pain was unbearable. I went to the college infirmary and they told me that I had a pilonidal abscess. What’s that? I had never heard of it.  Luckily the doctor there was able to drain it and I felt much better.

So, I started doing some internet research.  I found out that pilonidal cysts/abscesses/sinuses are really common.  They may the most common illness that no one has ever heard of. I also found out that they tend to recur.

Just my luck, the abscess came back 2 months later and just before the end of the school year.  I needed to have it drained both times.

I returned home to NYC and was determined to get rid of this thing.  I was horrified when I met with 2 surgeons, both of whom wanted to perform a seemingly barbaric operation where they removed a huge chunk of tissue from my butt and left it open.  I was told that I would need to stay home on my stomach for a few months.

Then a did some research and found that there are better options.  I flew with my parents to San Francisco and met with Dr. Sternberg.  He performs a very different operation called the Cleft Lift Procedure.  I had the surgery and flew home 2 days later. Dr. Sternberg called me a week later and instructed my Dad to remove my drain.  I was allowed to start exercising.

I thoroughly enjoyed my summer between Freshman and Sophomore year.  I was able to do everything – even swim after a month.

I am grateful that I was able to find Dr. Sternberg and the better operation, the Cleft Lift Procedure.  It’s worth the hassle of traveling to have the best operation by an experienced surgeon. Thank you, Dr. Sternberg.

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