There are a few considerations that come into play regarding our recommendations regarding how long to stay post-operatively.
For patients who have fairly mild pilonidal disease and have not had extensive, previous, failed surgery our main concern is that if there is some problem in the first 48 hours after surgery that you be able to come back and see Dr. Immerman if urgently needed. Although situations like this come up much less than 0.1% of the time we usually ask you to stay in the area for about 2 days just in case there is a problem. However, if you live only a few hours drive away, and if a problem came up you would agree to get in the car and come back to Eau Claire, we feel that is quite reasonable to go home the day of the procedure or the next morning.
You will need to have some plan for drain removal, and the options are to come back and see Dr. Immerman, have a local health-care provider remove it, or have a family member remove it. Dr. Immerman always asks that you communicate with him before having the drain removed.
If you have had other operations, particularly ones that have removed significant amounts of skin, distorted the normal anatomy, or have left you with wounds near the anus, Dr. Immerman would like to be able to evaluate you around the 6th post-operative day. We understand that this can be a burden, but our goal is to have this operation be a success, and we want to play a close role in your recovery in whatever way might be necessary.
In most situations, by post op day 6 the drain is ready to come out, and Dr. Immerman will remove it during this visit, as well as evaluating your progress and going over wound care instructions that might be specific to your case. The situations where the drain does not come out are (1) if we suspect infection; (2) there was any post-op bleeding; or (3) the drainage amount is too high.
Of course, every patient is different, and we can not predict your situation with complete accuracy, but after performing over 850 cleft lifts here are some facts and general observations that should have some validity:
There is no question that coming to Eau Claire to have surgery and recovery is not how you want to spend your vacation dollars! However, of the various cities you could be visiting for a situation like this, Eau Claire is relatively economical and easy to navigate. There are discounted rates at the various hotels in town if you mention that you are having surgery with Dr. Immerman at the OakLeaf Hosptial, and our recommendation (based on our patient’s experiences) is the Staybridge Suites, but there are many other options. The Staybridge Suites rooms have kitchens and the hotel is across the street from a large grocery store, and there are several restaurants within the area around the hotel.
Patients who fly here usually land in the Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport (MSP). It is a 90 minute drive from the airport to Eau Claire. Options for transfer from the MSP airport to Eau Claire include:
Once in Eau Claire, Uber, Lyft, or taxi’s are available, as well as Girl Friday for shuttling between hotel, hospital, clinic and pharmacy.
If you don’t want the hassle of driving yourself from the airport to Eau Claire, it is not unreasonable to use one of the above transfer options to get to Eau Claire, and then rent a car once in town. There are several rental car agencies in Eau Claire.