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Incision Issues

fishinwidow98ffishinwidow98 Posts: 54
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hardware removed 6-30-11, surgery went well, one incision is closed and healed, the other is not.

I am going to have to have my incision RE-OPENED Friday so that it can be drained, and have a wound vac attached. Seriously?? Anyone have any experience? Because I am straight flipping OUT. Going to the docs like it's any other visit, to have him slice me open, send me to the Wound Clinic (a car ride away) and then off to fill my rx's. I'm SO lost. Anyone?



  • Yesterday I went to the dr's office to have my staples and stitches removed. Since I has a minimally invasive PLIF I had four incisions; two small ones and two longer incisions below. Guess what? Only one incision closed up properly (and one of the short ones at that).

    I had to grit my teeth and bear it when she pulled the staples, removed the underlying sutures, and debrided the edges of the wounds. Fortunately my drainage was not infected or terribly deep. The nurse then taught my wife how to clean and pack the wounds for me.

    The one good outcome is that the post-op pain that I had to endure went down by about 2 pain levels (8 to a 6 or so). The RN was also able to get me scripts for some Percets and Flexeril. I go back in a week for a followup check-up.

    While my back is stiff and sore this morning it already feels like I made some progress.

    Disability retirement
  • Sorry to hear about your incisions not healing properly. Hopefully after they address these issues you will be back on track with recovery.

    Did you have a feeling that there was an infection? Was your incision swollen or was there discharge or strictly extra pain?

    Wishing that both your recoveries improve now that this issue is addressed.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I didn't have any clue that I wasn't healing right until I went to get the stitches removed. I knew I had additional discharge from the one incision but I had it when I had my fusion as well so I didn't think much. I am now leaking through thick ABD pads that have been folded into 4's. It's BAD. There's no infection, I have been VERY swollen though. The tunnel is more than 6cm deep... I just had no idea.

    Thanks for the well wishes!
  • Karen,

    As a former Navy Hospital Corpsman I noticed the drainange about a day before I left the hospital. As a general rule, I don't worry too much if I don't have a fever, the drainage is red-yellow, doesn't have a foul odor, and isn't noticibly painful. On the other hand, if the wound does have at least one of the characteristics listed above, you need to get somebody's attention in a real hurry.

    I figured that the drainage was a generally normal part of the healing process. Also, don't forget what we've all been told before surgery, "your pain level will increase after the surgery." I only found out how much extra pain the drainage caused me when the nurse drained the wounds.

    Anyway, as of now, my pain level is a tolerable 5 and my back is feeling stiff. The staple removal process does cause some pain in and of itself.

    Disability retirement
  • I have had incisions re-opened for other surgeries. But never for a drainage. I have a good surgeon and the incision doesn't look any worse than the first time he went in. I just wished he had put in zippers. Good luck. I hope it all goes well and you are soon healing.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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