Pilonidal Cyst Surgery Recovery

Pilonidal cystectomy is a procedure used to remove a tailbone cyst which usually develops along your tailbone near the cleft of the buttocks. It is usually 4-5 cm from the anus. The cyst can cause pain, which becomes worse when an infection develops in this area. The procedure helps relieve pain and prevent infections. 

The Recovery Time of Pilonidal Cyst Surgery

You usually need at least 4 weeks to recover if your surgeon has used stitches to close the incision. You need around 4 weeks to several months if your surgeon decides to leave your incision open. A scar develops at the site of surgery but usually fades with time.

What it implies is that the type of surgery you have selected will determine the length of your recovery time. Most people return to work in 2-4 weeks, but it can take longer. While you are still recovering, it is important to avoid heavy lifting as well as activities that demand long periods of sitting.

How to Speed Up Pilonidal Cyst Surgery Recovery

You can take several steps to shorten the recovery time. Here are a few important considerations.

1. Watch for Your Activities

Certain activities can lengthen your recovery time, so it is important to avoid them and talk to your doctor before doing anything that requires lots of strength. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Go for a walk regularly but start with a slower pace. This prevents problems like constipation and pneumonia.
  • Do not push yourself hard and take rest when you feel tried.
  • Take showers but be sure to pat dry the area around your cut using a soft towel. Take baths only when your wound has healed completely.
  • Do not drive until your doctor allows you to.
  • Do not sit or stand for a long time. Avoid sitting on hard surfaces as much as possible.

2. Pay Attention to Your Diet

What you eat during your pilonidal cyst surgery recovery matters a lot. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to eat only bland, low-fat foods when you have an upset stomach. Broiled chicken, plain rice, yogurt, and toast are perfect choices.
  • Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids. Limit your intake if your doctor has advised so.
  • Do not strain with bowel movements after your surgery. Irregularity in bowel movements is common, but you can improve things by taking fiber supplements or eating fiber-rich foods.

3. Take Medicines As Directed

Your doctor will give you certain medications to take during your recovery, and he or she will also tell you when you can restart any medicines you may have been taking before your surgery.

  • Talk to your doctor if you have been taking blood thinners such as clopidogrel or warfarin. Ask your doctor whether you should stop taking these medicines for a while or take them as before.
  • Take prescription pain medicines as directed by your doctor. If you are taking antibiotics, do not stop taking them even when you start feeling better. Let your doctor decide when to stop taking those antibiotics.
  • Ask your doctor to give you something else when your regular OTC or prescription pain relievers do not work.

4. Take Special Care of Your Incision

During the period of pilonidal cyst surgery recovery, you have to consider if your incision is left open or closed with stitches to determine how to take the right care of it.

If You Have Stitches:

  • Be sure to keep the area clean and wash it daily with warm, soapy water.
  • Pat the area dry properly and never use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide afterwards.

If You Have an Open Incision:

  • Be sure to change the bandage as per your doctor's instructions.
  • Take pain relievers about 30 minutes before changing the bandage to reduce pain.
  • Soak the dressing in warm water for no more than 10 minutes in case it sticks to your wound.

5. Other Instructions

  • Do not feel concerned when you notice greenish grey fluid coming out of your wound, which usually means your wound is healing.
  • Make use of a doughnut cushion to sit comfortably.
  • Ask your doctor how to remove any hair around your wound to avoid any complications.

When to See a Doctor

You do not have to worry much during your pilonidal cyst surgery recovery, especially if you pay attention to your diet, medicines, and wound care. Still, you should talk to your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following issues:

  • You have excessive pain and pain relievers fail to offer any relief.
  • Your pain becomes worse with time.
  • You have a fever or experience pain while urinating.
  • You experience severe bleeding that persists even after using gauze.
  • You have constipation with no bowel movement for more than three days.
  • You have diarrhea with more than three bowel movements within a day.
  • You have nausea or vomit consistently.
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