I Had a Surgery Because of Sitting Too Much

Here is how it happened

Me having to lie down in the prone position post surgery

It was early December of 2020 when I began to feel discomfort while sitting down during work. It was then that I noticed that there was a cyst on my left glute. At first, I didn’t make much of it because I thought that it would just go away. Guess what? It didn’t go away.

After a week of dealing with the pain, I finally decided to go to the Doctor to get it checked out. I’ll admit that it felt weird when the doctor asked me to lie down in order to take a look at the cyst. To my surprise, the weirdness went away when he began to feel around the cyst to give me a diagnosis. I guess it became a normal doctor-patient thing after that.

The doctor suggested that I get an MRI in order to make a proper diagnosis. The MRI was an interesting experience. I had to lay still for about an hour while bearing the pain of the cyst being pressed down by my body. I felt so relieved when it was over. Little did I know that there was more to come.

The MRI results came back in the evening so I went to the doctor the next day. With the help of the MRI, the doctor concluded that I had developed something called Pilonidal Sinus. With my limited knowledge from the experience, I can say that this occurs when hair from some part of the body gets into the skin around the glutes. The hair then gets trapped inside and in turn, causes a cyst to grow. This cyst hurts a lot!

I was also told that it is mainly seen in people in their 20s who do a lot of sitting. I work out for more than an hour, 6 days a week. But the problem was that I spend about 9 hours sitting because of my software engineering job. Therefore, it seems that just staying active a fraction of the day does not help.

Someone might be prone to developing a Pilonidal Sinus if they are naturally hairy — which is the case for most people where I am from. The risks are increased if your work involves sitting a lot.

It seems that the recurrence rate is also quite high for Pilonidal Sinuses. So, the doctor suggested a Limberg’s flap procedure which is one of the procedures with low recurrence rates. This involves surgically removing the infected area and replacing it using a non infected area.

I decided to go along with the surgery. I got all my pre-surgery tests done within the next day because I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. The tests included blood tests, urine tests, a COVID-19 test, an ECG and an X-RAY.

During the surgery, I was given regional anesthesia. This means that everything below my hips was anesthetized. The anesthesiologist asked me if I wanted to be put to sleep during the surgery. I said no because I wanted to experience the surgery and see how it would feel.

My heart rate was over the roof when they gave me the spinal anesthesia before the surgery. I had to maintain the fetal position while they administered the anesthesia which was already difficult. On top of that, I was freaked out because my cousin told me that they would push a big injection into my spine. To my surprise, the big spine injection did not feel any worse than a normal injection.

The surgery itself went smooth. I was numb from the hips down and could only feel little “ghost” sensations. There was no pain at all. I felt like I could very well read a book or browse Reddit during the surgery. However, it was weird listening to the beeps synchronized to my own heart beat go up and down for about an hour. The beeps would follow a pattern and unexpectedly switch to another pattern. This led to a few moments where I felt like my heart would just stop beating. That part freaked me out. All in all, it was still a new (and a little weird) experience.

After the surgery was done, I was shown what they cut out of me. I was surprised that they had removed such a big chunk out of my body. I was then transferred to the post-operation ward where they took care of me for a while. All this time, I had been laying on my front side, in the prone position. In fact, I had to stay in the prone position till the next morning. Interestingly, that was the toughest part of this whole trip to the hospital.

I was discharged from the hospital the next day. The post operation experience was interesting. It was difficult to sit down for long periods so I had to alternate between sitting, standing up and lying down in the prone position for almost a week.

In the follow ups after the surgery, I was told that I had to be extra careful in order to reduce chances of recurrence. I was advised to shave my glutes for the next two years.

Seriously, the difficult parts were the 2–3 weeks after the surgery and not the surgery itself. I know I do not want to go through something like that again. I am taking the advice that was given and am taking precautions to minimize recurrence. I am also considering getting a laser hair removal procedure. In addition, I alternate between sitting down and standing up during work hours and try to be more active throughout the day.

If you also fall within the demographic which has a higher risk of developing a Pilonidal Sinus then please take precautions. I assure you that the post surgery is a difficult time and you do not want to go through this.

The same applies for any other condition. I had a minor surgery and it was really tough. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to have bigger surgeries. I have realized the hard way that it is important to be mindful of how our daily activities affect our health. Don’t make the same mistake that I did.

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