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Incision infection; Re-opened incision.  "Packed" and left open Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open

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Unread 03-20-2005, 05:17 PM
Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open


My hysterectomy went well. I have begun HRT to replace hormones no longer produced due to the loss of the ovaries. I’m amazed that I have not experienced the difficulties that typically commence upon “sudden menopause”. This continues to be the upside of the surgery. As with any upside, there is the downside, and mine really has been prevalent since my surgery three weeks ago.

Right after surgery, there was a persistent redness and some swelling that was still evident the day I was released. GYN continued to watch it and almost put me back in the hospital, but decided that the infection had begun to respond to the antibiotics. Two and half weeks later at my post-surgical appt, the redness and swelling stubbornly remained! Wow and YIKES! The doc opened up about 3+ inches of the 5 inch incision, drained it, cleaned it and then packed it with gauze…. Yes, that meant that she would leave the incision open for about a week+.

As awful as this sounds, the only incision discomfort I feel is the continuing burning I have experienced since just after surgery; so no major pain. I have restarted the antibiotics, and a home health nurse comes in once a day to repack, dress, and evaluate it. DH does the same in the evening. The depth of the incision where the infection was yellow/white, became greenish this morning, but we were told this may happen and not to worry unless I show a temperature of 100+.

I am in total awe that I have this opening in my lower abdomen, and completely intrigued by it. I’m telling you, this opened incision looks totally KEWL! The really sucky part is that I am once again “grounded” to the house, and am not allowed to bend, do chores, etc. It’s as though I am once again in my first week post-op.

Please let me know about “your” incision infection post-surgery. How long did you deal/dealing with it? Did the GYN/doc leave it to heal from inside to out? Any discoloration of the puss? Any further hospitalization? Any discussion/had ultimate stitching or was there closure/talk of closure on it‘s own? How did the scar look? I haven’t seen the above mentioned and really would like to know more about other’s experience… (ok, maybe I’m just wanting to know I’m not alone in this unanticipated adventure….*sigh*)

Thanks, Trishie
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Unread 03-20-2005, 06:36 PM
Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open

Sorry to hear it.


I'm still dealing with it.

Yes I had gotten an infection the day after my staples were removed. About 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch and maybe 3 inches deep
went went back to dr next day and he had to open another area above my belly button so I had 2 open areas, that was Jan 13th I had a visiting nurse come everyday for 6 wks to unpack and repack it and had to see my dr once a week until 3 wks ago and the visiting nurse discharge me, now I only use a small 2x2 gauze pad folded and a piece of tape to cover it (that I do myself now) because it still leaks alittle, I see my dr on thur mar 25th. I'll be 11 wks post-op tomorrow.


TAH very large fibroid (4 lbs) and 3 small one
everything removed. vertical incision ( 7" ) 28 staples.
Unread 03-21-2005, 01:28 AM
Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open

I got an incisional abcess at 1 week post-op. It was also painless except for the normal "I've got an incision here pain.

Here's how it went....

I woke up at about 5 AM wanting a shower because of night sweats (I didn't start HRT 'til week 3), went to the bathroom, took off my dressing and discovered that it was covered in dark brown SMELLY gunk. I woke my Mom who's staying with me 'til next week and had her check it. The incision was open about 1 inch and seeping the gunk. I called my doc's associate who told me to tape it shut and if it got worse, she'd be working at the hospital and I could come to the ER and request that she see me. I went back to sleep and when I woke, it was open to 2 inchs and still seeping the gunk. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with an abcess, they cleaned it out really well, taped it most of the way closed (left a 1/4 inch drain site), told me to clean it out with alcohol 2x daily and keep it dry, and put me on Keflex. A week later, I went for them to check it out and it was closed except for the 1/8-1/4 inch drain site and not seeping any infected fluid. I went in to see my doc at 3 weeks and the incision was closed off. There's a dimple where it was open. Doc says that it'll fill in over the next few months. I'm almost 6 weeks and I feel better than I have in years!!!
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Unread 03-21-2005, 06:44 PM
Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open

I had my experience not due to my TAH but when I had my first child emergency c-section, my incision wasn't hot or red but it was swollen from day one and the hospital kept telling me it was just swollen muscle tissue and proceeded to tell me this even when the swelling was the size of a baseball, the night before my incision came open I went to the ER they stuck to the swollen muscle tissue issue and sent me home, next morning I was holding my son and using the restroom when stuff tons of it brown, red, green white started gushing at first I thought my son had diarrhea he was 2 weeks old so I took my gown off and started to undress him when I realized it was me and coming from my incision first reaction was to scream and grab all the clean burp rags and cover it immediately then my sons father rushed me to the ER where they made me sit there in the waiting room for 2 hours finally I go back and the doctor starts pushing on my stomach to get more out, and then says they are going to numb me by sticking needles in my incision with medication I flipped out and started screaming no so he tried to dump it in no go so they took tweezers and string gauze and packed my incision without pain meds I had to have this done every day until it was barely open it was called the zipper affect, my mom cried with me everyday that I had to have this done, it was very painful to say the least and pray to god that it never happends again, I am paranoid when I have a surgery because of that.
Unread 03-21-2005, 08:15 PM
Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open

Hi......yes I too had an infection. I had a horizontal incision on the outside and vertical on the inside. This is where the infection was, the inside vertical incision. I came home 1/8 and was readmitted to hospital on 1/16 through the er.
I had 3 more surgeries, the first to open wound and clear away all dead tissue.....wound vac installed, 2nd one they thought they would close the wound, but it ended up being more dead tissue removed and wound vac placed back on.........last surgery was on 1/31 and they finally closed the wound. During all of this I went through 6 different types of iv antibiotics till they found one that was working, my kidneys went crazy and was told that if they continued for another day or so I would have to have a round of dialysis, had a central line in my neck with a 2 stitches in my jaw to my neck to hold in place, was a very healthy diabetic before this and blood sugar went so out of control was placed on insulin shots while there and found out I am allergic to the contrast they use in the ct scans. I also ran fevers of 104+. I had my gyn, a general surgeon, and infection control specialist and a kidney specialist all on my care list.
I was released from the hospital on 2/1.
When I went to see my gyn for my original 6 week checkup she told me she was amazed at how sick I truly was but never really complained and remained so optimistic through out it all.
My last visit to the general surgeon was to get out the "heavy duty" stitches as he called them. This is when I became well aware of how sick I was as he told me it was a very bad and nasty infection. Never did find out what type, but plan on that real soon.
Then for 3 weeks I vomitted everyday......went to my GP and found out I had an ulcer......this was caused from all the stress of 4 surgeries in less than a month that traumatized my body.
I am doing much better now, back on my oral meds for diabetes with my blood sugar coming back into my presurgery range, kidney function is now completely normal and I went to work full time on 3/7. I come home from 8 hours of standing/walking with swelly belly and tired, but I know that things will just keep getting better. I hope to start back to Curves next week, but will take it easy and listen to my body.
Just remember you come first!!!! Take care of yourself and listen to your body.

TAH/BSO no HRT......body cannot tolerate it
Unread 03-22-2005, 01:18 AM
Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open

((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))) Archergal you poor thing I hope the future is much brighter and NO MORE SURGERIES! (((((((((((((((((BIG HUGS)))))))))))))))))
Unread 03-22-2005, 03:53 PM
Incision infection; Re-opened incision. "Packed" and left open

Wow! So amazing how such an inconcievable thing can become so nasty! I'm surprised at some of the above posts and messages... I really never knew how such a "little" thing as an infection can be so debilitating! I'm really sorry for anyone that is induring/has indured such terror/discomfort. You are with me in my thoughts and prayers.

My five day old open incision does not burn as much, but the burn still originates from the same spot. On day three, I noticed a lump leading up and at a diagonal under my skin. It leads up and away from the oposite end of the burning site of the incision. Not sure what this is. I willl see the GYN again.

God Bless all the ladies out there who visit and share at this site

Unread 03-28-2005, 07:45 AM
same thing here

I call myself the complication queen. I get infections with surgery, it seems.

My incision got infected about 2 days after being discharged from the VNA..That was about 4-5 weeks post-op. Now about 6 weeks later I'm still being packed by the nurse and it's almost healed.

The same thing happend with my breast reconstruction after BC surgery. that time it happend 2 YEARS after the initial surgery..then didn't resolve for about 1 1/2 years with 3 hospital stays! OH MY! I hope this is better than that one!

Thing is I'm getting these "mini" fevers. My normal on the same thermometer for the last 2-3 months has be between 96.5-97.7 or so. NOW after exertion (exercise, or long day) I end up with a fever the next day...98.9-99.9. Which makes me feel crappy.

Has this happened to anyone else. My belly is still swollen, and looks wierd, but no redness or excessive pain when I have the fever.

?? Strange: would love to hear your comments on this one!


1/27/05 TAH/BSO
Adeomyosis/pevic mass on ovary...polyps and cycsts...minor pre endo cancer cells Stage IIIB Breast cancer 6 years ago at 35 years old

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