Pilonidal cyst open wound is associated with slow healing wound, which needs more time compared to other kinds of open wounds, even though the surgery itself is not a major one. Because of the slow healing, the open wound might be susceptible to infection and bacteria infestation, not to mention re-opening and re-bleeding which come from excessive weight supporting while doing heavy activities such as driving and sitting for a long time. Despite this, proper wound care in every healing stage will improve the healing process and can possibly make it shorter.
What affects pilonidal cyst open wound healing
Pilonidal cyst surgical wound needs to elapse certain stages before it is completely healed. During these stages, interruptions might happen, causing the healing to slow down. In most patients, complete healing for post-operative pilonidal cyst open wound takes weeks—8 to 14 weeks in average. However, some open wounds resulted from a cyst surgery might heal either faster or slower, depending on some factors, such as:
- The depth of the wound
- The enclosure method used
- Activities during wound healing
- Wound care
Healing time for pilonidal cyst open wound
Pilonidal cyst open wound which is not infected
- The deep incision is still obviously visible, with excessive discharge of both blood and open wound fluids, which are the by-products of wound healing process.
- The three days post-surgery is reported as the worst ones. Within this period, the pain elevates and is worsening. Fortunately, the surgeon must have prescribed some pain killers which makes the pain more endurable.
- Having the gauze changed in the first week after surgery also causes an excruciating pain, especially when the wound dressing gets dry and attached to the incision which still bleeds.
- Almost all daily activities cannot be done properly since the pain is still very severe.
- Total rest is required during this first week.
- The wound will likely to stop the discharge. Thus, the pain will also subside, although walking, sitting down, and driving might still trigger pain. Some patients also experience nausea, dizziness, and headache during the first and second weeks of healing.
- Showering is mostly allowed, since it is fine to wet the wound site.
- Antibiotics are generally still given to help preventing infection to the incision.
- Swelling and drainage stops at this stage. As a result, the open wound gets smaller and the pain is minimal.
- Daily activities can probably be done with some breaks.
- Antibiotic ointment can be applied to the wound site instead of taking some oral antibiotic ones.
- The wound continues to fill and the incision seems shallow during this period of time.
- Patients can be more active, although the wound should be monitored each time after some heavy activities. Although the wound gets smaller, it is still possible to have granulation instead of new skin layer. If this happens, check with the doctor, since it may need further examination as the wound site tends to produce discharge, which in fact, should not occur during the seventh week.
- The scar should have formed. Hence, the wound site will have lighter-colored skin than the skin around it.
- Itching sensation might still occur, but the wound has possessed the layer, which protect it from external hazards. It is also stronger and will not re-open too easily.
Infected pilonidal cyst open wound which is not infected
With infected incision after a pilonidal cyst surgery, healing process takes slightly longer period. Infected pilonidal cyst incision will need more than 10 weeks to fully recover, after the infection itself is healed. Oral antibiotics and antibiotic ointment will be needed to get the infection healed properly. Immediately visit the doctor as soon as you notice re-opened incision with re-occurring drainage. Infection is usually triggered by heavy activities, which cause the wound site to re-bleed without being noticed. Tight clothes and excessive scratches will make it worse, not to mention the bacteria existing on the skin, which can get into the wound and infest it, causing worse incision.