How deep can tunnels go?

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I have not been diagnosed with HS but am starting to strongly suspect this may be what is causing my problem.

I have had issues with "abceses" for a very long time. I just recently had surgery for a pilonidal cyst which is not healing, the wound will not close. I also have multiple "abceses" in my Goin area which are currently inflamed and draining. I have thickened looking lines in my groin from previous "abceses".

My question is this:

Could an HS breakout cause tunnels that could go from my pilonidal area to my groin? I know this seems far fetched but it could explain why my surgical site is not healing. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? My home care nurses don't understand why it's not closing or why it keeps having bright green exudate that nothing has gotten rid of. I've been on 3 rounds of antibiotics, iodine placed in the wound, silver packing, salt packing...the list goes on and on. I will be going for revision surgery in 2 weeks if this wound does not heal by then.

I'm at a loss and really at the end of my rope. There has to be a reason that this keeps happening and why my surgical site is not healing.

Thank you in advance for any insight or suggestions

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    They may have not gone deep enough. If you have multiple abscesses along the edges of your buttocks to your groin there could possibly be a tunnel but usually it's multiple tunnels. HS also usually starts with a pilonidal cyst then you just get more that are not connected. You can try coconut oil to draw out the drainage. I never had the surgery to get rid of mine it just flares up every now and then and drains.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply! I totally think it is possible they didn't get it all or go deep enough. My next surgery will be a wide excision so hopefully they will get it right this time. I'm wondering if an ultrasound would reveal tunnels?

      I'm just trying to think like a doctor because mine don't seem to be acting like doctors lol.

      I just don't know where to turn or what to do

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    • Posted

      Hi celticgrl

      Firstly, it does sound like HS to me. I also had it years, I diagnosed myself, told the doctor what I thought it was and then an appointment with a dermatologist confirmed it. Some doctors have never even heard of it.

      Secondly, there's a possibility its not healing due to tunneling but i doubt that's the reason. I agree with the reply above, that they've not dug deep enough. You must be in an awful lot of pain with it, you poor thing.

      Thirdly, some people are just bad healers. I was. I was always told it was because I smoked (given up years ago) and it affected my circulation.

      My daughter is a nurse and has told me that some patients have special bandages that are soaked with honey, I think it's manuka honey. I've a feeling your access is too deep rooted for this to have any effect but it's worth a try.

      Good luck and chin up.

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    • Posted

      Hi if you get ones that recur frequently the best way to get rid of them is to have the matter cut out by a surgeon under a local anaesthetic.  This would be done when it is quiet again.   I have had 2 of mine done like this coz they kept flaring up again.  I have never had any problem there since.

      If you just leave them to flare up then drain then each time there will be further damage to the lower layers of your skin.   x

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    • Posted

      I am fairly confident that not all of it was extracted. I'm getting really frustrated by the ordeal.

      Thank you for your suggestion of manuka honey. My dad had actually heard of that for wound healing. I haven't been able to fund any. Do you know where I could purchase it?

      It is rather painful for sure, pain meds help with that to a certain extent. I will be going back to see my family doctor in the next week and I will bring this up to her.

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    • Posted

      If you Google manuka honey dressings loads come up. Try the cheaper options first though as they look a bit pricey.
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  • Posted

    Hi this does sound like HS and I do feel for you.  You need to get a firm diagnosis  from a dermatologist so why haven't you been referred to one?   They are the experts and can suggest other treatments doctors aren't aware of.   Your care should be undertaken under the derm and not just doctors or surgeons.  x
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    • Posted

      I will be seeing my family doctor in the next week and I will ask her for a referral to a dermatologist. In the past I have brought up the abceses and have shown them to doctors but they just prescribe antibiotics and that's it.

      I take the pills and they reduce the abceses but they never fully go away and just come back right after I'm finished (usually the next day)

      Thank you for your input I greatly appreciate it. I always hesitate on pushing my doctor but I think sometimes it just needs to be done.

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    • Posted

      The doctor always treated mine just the same - dealt with the abcesses and nothing else.  The truth is most of them don't know about HS and certainly aren't qualified to give a diagnosis.   I only knew I had it coz a friend did and she was sure I had it as well.  So I told the doctor I wanted a referral to a dermatologist and there it was confirmed,  and I was advised on treatments available.   x
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  • Posted

    I used to have my tunnels scraped out before I found remission. My dermatologist said there is a "bed" of hard cystic material at the bottom of the tunnels that you have to get out. She explained it as being like a rock bottom?? Anyway, I could always feel her breaking up those hard areas and then she could scrape it all out. If they don't get all of the cystic material, it won't heal. Look into food sensitivities as the cause of HS. I found remission by cutting out nightshade vegetables. I'm also sensitive to coconut and nuts. Good luck!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your description and suggestion. I will take a look at the food sensitivities. I will be mentioning the crystals to my surgeon and ask her if she thinks this is possibly why it's not healing. I just wish this would end.
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  • Posted

    Yea you can get a food allergy test done. There's also respiratory allergies. Even if you eat right and exercise you will always get HS. They can dig out one but it will just develop somewhere else. I worked in a dermatologist office before and the doctor would actually get upset when patients with HS came in bc there's nothing they can do unfortunately. One thing I have learned is to not cover it, letting it breathe is important to healing. Covering it up lets it fester.
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