Make the Cleft Lift Procedure Your First Choice of Surgery

So, you develop a symptomatic pilonidal “cyst” (really an abscess), or sinus and you see a local surgeon. The surgeon advises surgery. What operation does that surgeon recommend?

This is a critical question for anybody with symptoms of pilonidal disease (often incorrectly called pilonidal cyst), as not all operations are equivalent, and many operations can make your condition worse.  If an operation fails, it can lead to endless months of wound care and may require another operation all together to cure you of your pilonidal disease.

Why Traditional Operations Often Fail

Traditional operations for a pilonidal “cyst” typically involve the removal of large amounts of tissue to remove the “cyst” with a margin of normal tissue.  But there is no “cyst” as a pilonidal “cyst” is just an infection under the surface of the buttock cleft.  The removal of large amounts of tissue is not required and may lead to a large non-healing wound.  Traditional operations place the incision or an open wound at the bottom of a deep, airless cleft.  Incisions in this area often break-down especially if the skin is closed over “dead” (empty) space since this space gets filled with infected fluid.  Wounds in this area also struggle to heal for the same reasons.  These operations lead to reoperation in more than 30% of patients.

The Cleft Lift Procedure/Pilonidal RAF (rotation and advancement flap) is a first line treatment for pilonidal “cyst” disease

Illustration of The Cleft Lift Procedure

The Cleft Lift Procedure (also called the Pilonidal RAF) should be the first-line procedure for any form of pilonidal disease requiring surgery. In the procedure, the dead-space under the surface is eliminated, the cleft is made shallower (a deep cleft is the cause of the condition), and the incision is placed off to the side so it’s in the open air and heals. In the hands of a surgeon experienced with the Cleft Lift Procedure, reoperation rates are less than 1%. It should be the standard of care. Unfortunately, not many surgeons are experienced in the procedure and many who claim to perform the Cleft Lift Procedure perform it incorrectly and have high rates of reoperation.

Please do your homework.  Find a surgeon well experienced in the Cleft Lift Procedure.  You may have to travel but it will be worth it.  It will give you your life back.

Patient Success Stories

Dr. Sternberg has treated over 1,500 cases of pilonidal disease , and his surgical protocol cures nearly 100% of his patients.

“After four failed and mentally taxing surgeries, I knew I needed to find a surgeon that truly cared about the outcome of their patients . . . finding the Sternberg Clinic was a game changer!”

– Will

“After suffering for years with this disease and always worrying about sitting too hard, or another infection, the pain… now, I feel great. I would like to thank Dr. Sternberg and his staff for everything that they did. I recommend this procedure 100%.”