In the course of two years (from 2006 - 2008), I've had a total of six surgeries, all generally for the same thing. I was 16 years old when I had my first two surgeries, and I've had two surgeons. My second surgeon has been a great guy, but he's basically had to clean up the mess my first surgeon left me.
A bit of background: I've symptoms of having a pilonidal cyst ever since I was 11 years old. However, when I was 16, I was finally diagnosed by my family doctor. She told me it was a pilonidal cyst, and I needed to have surgery to remove it. She sent me to my first surgeon, who I'll call Dr. M from now on.
So I make an appointment to go see Dr. M, who takes a look at the cyst, and says that he thinks it's not pilonidal. He tells me I would just need a minor surgery to get it removed, and I wouldn't need to be put to sleep for it. I warned him I have panic attacks fairly easily, and I'd REAAALLLY would like to be put to sleep for it. He insisted that it wouldn't take long, didn't require general anesthesia, and I'd be numbed throughout the procedure. I was really surprised that he declared that my family doctor, who I've gone to for years and trust a lot, was actually wrong with the diagnoses. So he puts me on heavy antibiotics and sends me on my way to prepare for surgery the following week.
Worst experience I've ever had.
First mistake was that he kept me awake for it. I was a nervous wreck, and hyperventilating at times because it terrified me that I was going to be aware of what was going on. Granted, I wasn't able to see it happening, but still. He injects me with the stuff to make me numb, and almost immediately afterward, starts cutting into me. I wasn't even NUMB yet, I cried and yelled and told him to STOP because it was hurting and I wasn't NUMB. About FIVE MINUTES after I begged him to stop because I was in pain, he goes, "Oh, I guess she needs another shot. She isn't numb yet." FGNFGN! So I get another shot, and he finally WAITS before cutting again so it actually kicks in.
The surgery lasted about 45 minutes, and I'm stitched up and sent home. One week later, I had the stitches removed.
One week after that, the cyst came back, bigger, and even WORSE than before. It was excruciating pain, and we went back and had him look at it again. He takes a look and says, "Oh well I guess it was pilonidal after all! :D" So yeah, my family doctor was right, and he was wrong. I had to go through that first surgery for no reason.
Sooo, the second surgery is scheduled, and this time, I'm put asleep for it. When I wake up, my dad told me that the cyst they removed was 6 inches long. I'm stitched up again, this time with three layers of stitching, (one would dissolve on it's own, and the other two were normal stitches) told I wasn't allowed to shower or bathe for three weeks (!!!!!!!!!!), and that I needed to stay in bed.
'Course I did NOT feel like moving at all for those three weeks. The pain was incredibly bad, even with Vicodin. I couldn't go to school (thank god it was the last 2 weeks of school when I had this done), and all I could do was lay in bed. But after going through three weeks of hell, I FINALLY get my stitches taken out.
Aaaand cyst comes back with a doozy infection not a week later.
So it's at this time I switch surgeons, because it's obvious this last one isn't helping at ALL. When my dad explained to my new surgeon what the old one did, he looked at me as if he was shocked. He said, "That technique for dealing with a pilonidal cyst is 20 years outdated. It's been proven to cause infections and high recurrence rates. The wound should NOT be stitched at all, it needs to be left open and washed DAILY to make sure infections are kept out." He looked at me and said, "You basically just went through 3 weeks of pain for no reason."
It took me four surgeries after that to actually heal up completely. All because that first one used a technique that was TWENTY YEARS OUTDATED. I will say though my last four surgeries were virtually pain free. I was only kept home for 2 weeks after each one, and I really didn't feel much pain at all. I even didn't need to take the Vicodin after only two days after each surgery.
Dr. M moved out of town not long after he did my surgery. So glad I'll never see him again.