Photo Journey: Graphic Pictures of the Healing Process



On May 31st 2007 I had a Pilonidal Cystectomy. Here are the pictures of the wound as it healed.

I have posted these pictures to help others who may need this surgery. I searched the internet for photos and information before I had my surgery. I really appreciated being able to see what was in store for me. I wanted to do my part and share my story.

Please be advised: the pictures are graphic! If you are not comfortable with medical photographs, are squimish or sensitive to negative visual stimuli  DON'T LOOK!  (Consider yourself warned! LOL) Please use the Picture links at the top of the page. Please be patient as the pictures may take a moment to load.

I had 2 tunnels that had started to track off of the pilonidal cyst. These tunnels were removed with the cyst. The site was initially closed, or stitched up, and a large gauze was stitched over the wound site. Then the gauze was removed and the site remained stitched. Then the stitches were removed and it was revealed that the wound didn't heal all the way. I then had an open wound that had to be packed every day. I have a home health care nurse come everyday and do that. In order to take a shower I have to remove the packing myself and quickly get into the shower before the nurse arrives (she calls first). Then she packs it and covers it. What an adventure!!! And it continues...

*** August 17, 2011***

I wanted to do a quick post to keep this current. After over 4 years I'm still okay. I have not had any real problems though even now I still have occasional pain at the site. I have fibromyaligia so I can't say for sure that the pain is any way related to the pilonidal surgery. My scar is wicked looking and I sometimes joke with people that I once had a tail. hehehe (I will try to get a pic up soon)

My advice now would be to tell people to deal with a pilonidal cyst immediately even if they can't afford to do so. Find a way to afford to deal with it right away. I let mine go for years and that is why they had to cut so deep and dig out the tracks. My son also ended up with one which he dealt with right away to avoid the problems I had. Hopefully his won't come back.  

If you are experiencing a pilonidal cyst do anything you can to deal with it as soon as possible. Best wishes!!

Also, if you have tried to contact me using the contact form I never got the emails. I have fixed (hopefully) the problem so please try again!!!!

***Update August 25, 2007***

With my hopes high, I believe this will be my last posting. I am posting the remaining pictures and hopefully I will never have to come back here again to post anything. You can continue to ask me questions if you like.

I will add that the scar is very crazy and is still not 100% healed. It is no longer painful but every once in awhile I will experience a random sharp shooting pain in that area. Hopefully it is nothing.

I wish everyone luck with their pilonidal experience. It isn't easy and I hope the resources on this site are helpful.

Be well,

Gracie Six



***Update August 1, 2007***

Sorry for the delay in updating the site. There isn't too much more to talk about at this point. I am almost completely healed and will put up the remaining pictures as soon as I can.

I did receive a question recently from someone named "Frustrated" and I tried to write back but it was undeliverable. Sorry! I would recommend a second opinion. Hang in there!

I am sorry for anyone who got an error message from the site exceeding bandwidth. The joys of a free website!

Please check back soon for the latest and hopefully the last pictures!

Be well,

Gracie Six

***Update June 29, 2007***

I have received lots of mail and lots of questions. I am doing my best to answer all of them. I want to address a few things that I have been asked quite a bit.

I wish I could tell all of you who have a surgery coming up that on Day 1 this will happen and you will feel this way and on Day 4 your wound will look like this or feel like that. But I can't. I can only tell you what happened to me. I'm really sorry because that was what I wanted to know before surgery too. This procedure has an unknown outcome and therefore you can't really prepare.

I offer this advice: Prepare for a really challenging first week. Even if your surgery goes exactly as expected and you have a super high pain tolerance and no open wound, the first week is going to be a time for rest, healthy eating, and hygienic wound care.

Another thing I wanted to say was that the stitches, for me, were very painful. They were like wire and poked me and were so tight it felt like my muscles were tearing every time I moved. I couldn't sit in a desk chair for than 5 minutes. Once the stitches were removed and I had an open wound I was relieved of most of my pain. I know this is hard to imagine. I remember reading other people's stories and they said the open wound didn't really hurt too badly. I thought it was impossible for that to be true. But it is true for me as well. There is discomfort, some minor occasional burning and throbbing and aching. But it's nothing compared to the stitches for me. The pictures in the beginning didn't do the pain justice. Now with the open wound, the pictures look worse then it feels.

Emotionally this is challenging. I wish I could say it was easy. It's not. A few people asked, I will be 35 in July and I have a 15 year old at home. I'm a single mom and I don't have anyone else in the house to help me. I have a friend who comes and visits and I have had a home health care nurse come in to pack the wound. I'm not tooting my own horn here just letting people out there know that it can be done. We all have lives to get back to and this surgery is without doubt a huge interruption. But for as bad as the pictures look and for as challenging as it is, life goes on. Stay strong and just do the best you can. I have trouble asking people for help but I would advise that you take any help offered to you during this time.

I also want to mention that I misspelled the Tape that the nurse was using. It's Mefix not Mefit.

I have a doctor's appointment on Monday July 2. I will do an update after that appointment. I am posting some new pictures up today as well. For now, I wish you all well and happy healing. If you have a surgery coming up, I wish you the very best.

Gracie Six