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WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SURGERY?

  • The surgery usually lasts about an hour. Your will be able to go home after the surgery. Make sure you have someone with you to drive you home and go over postoperative instructions.

  • You will have a drain (a plastic drainage tube) that comes out from the skin at the top of where the surgeon did the surgery. This typically stays for 4-5 days depending on the amount of drainage. It is removed in Dr. Wadie’s office. The tube will be attached to a rubber bulb for suction. The nurses will show you how to empty this and attach it back. Please record the amount of drainage every 12 hours. Typically, the tube will be removed once the drainage is less than 20-25 ml/day. You will be on oral antibiotics during the time you have the drain (3-5 days). In some cases, Dr. Wadie will offer you to remove the drain yourself at home. Instructions will be provided.

  • Pain after surgery is usually minimal. Most patients require only ibuprofen every 6 hours for pain control alternating with Tylenol. We will give you a prescription for stronger pain medicine with narcotics to be taken as needed. Most patients will only need this for 2-3 days.

  • You will have a gauze dressing over the wound with tape to keep the dressing in place. The tape is open at the bottom to allow for bowel movements. Underneath the gauze, the wound is covered by Steri-strips to hold the skin edges together. The wound itself is closed by dissolvable sutures under the skin. Rarely, there will also be few outside sutures at the lower part of the incision. Remember, no open wounds or packing. Keep the dressing intact till your first visit with Dr. Wadie or the drain is ready to come out.

  • Your first postoperative visit will be 4-5 days after surgery. During this visit, Dr. Wadie will remove the drain. He will also remove the gauze dressing and ask you to paint the wound once daily with an antiseptic solution called Betadine. This keeps the wound clean and dry. If you opt to remove the drain yourself, this visit is not needed. You can share pictures of the wound with Dr. Wadie through our secure email and he will let you know what to do.

  • Your second visit will be 2 weeks after surgery. Dr. Wadie will remove any outside sutures during this visit. Most of the time, the Steri-strips will have fallen off already leaving a clean linear thin scar. This is normal. For those from out of state, again, you can email us pictures.

  • Keep the wound dry until the drain is out. You can have a shower 48 hours after the drain is removed with nothing covering the wound. No sitting in water or swimming until 2 weeks after surgery. If you want to have a shower before the drain is out, you can cover the whole area with water proof bags and make sure the dressing does not get wet.

  • Once the dressing is removed, you or someone will need to paint the wound with an antiseptic solution called Betadine. Get a piece of gauze wet with Betadine and paint the wound daily from top to bottom. Make sure to cover the steri-strips with the Betadine and paint the lowermost part of the wound well. Let the Betadine air dry and then put on normal cloth or cover with a small piece of gauze to avoid staining your cloth. At this point, no bulky dressing or tape needed.

  • Activity: Most patients will be able to sit and resume regular activities the day after surgery. If you are taking narcotics, it is not advisable to go back to school, work or drive till you stop taking it. Most children can go back to school 3-4 days after surgery. Adults can go back to work around the same time. You should avoid squatting, bike riding, sliding, contact sports or direct falls on the buttock area until the second postoperative visit. All activities can be resumed in 2 weeks. Remember, the cleft lift procedure has the quickest recovery.

  • Constipation: is common after any surgery, particularly if you are taking narcotics. If you do not have a bowel movement 2 days after surgery, you can take a laxative (Miralax or Senna products). Keep the area around the incision clean and paint with Betadine.

  • Symptoms to look for after surgery include fever higher than 102 degrees, severe pain at the operative site, increased drainage or milky (white, green, yellow) drainage from the wound. Please call our office if you develop any of these symptoms.

 

Carolina Pilonidal Center

Phone: (919) 858-7020

Fax: (919) 859-5695

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