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Severe swelling and weight gain!!!

rascal2717rrascal2717 Posts: 109
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 1 week post-op from L4-S1 ALIF and posterior rods and screws. I have gained 15 pounds from the day of surgery to 3 days after surgery. I have eaten very litlle since surgery, probably 500 to 1200 calories per day. If anything, I should have lost weight. My left side of my body is so totally swollen and distorted. Called my Surgeon who said to call my general practitioner. My GP put me on a diuretic and when there was no change the next day, doubled the dosage. My foot and ankle and thigh on my left side are like Eddie Murphy in a fat suit in the Nutty Professor. No joke! My stomach looks about 6 months pregnant. Went to see my GP 5 days post op and he checked my calves for pain to determine clotting and then ordered blood work to check whether my kidneys are functioning properly. Results of bloodwork today showed kidneys are functioning fine, red blood count way low because of loss of blood during surgery (2 units transfused) and low iron. So all things considered great news that sounds like everything will be corrected during the healing process. My question is are there others out there with this kind of weight gain and puffiness and how long does it take to get back to normal? I cannot fit into any of my pants other than sweats and it's 95 degrees in Florida. I can't even recognize this body as mine!


  • Did you take any kind of Steroids right after surgery while in the hospital, and did you have a bone graft, and if so what side was your bone taken from?
    I had terrible weight gain after my lumbar fusion last August, and again from my recent fusion of my neck in March. The last one they took the bone graft from the front and I had allot of swelling on that side. I also had transfusions with both of these surgeries. It's hard to lose the weight sometimes because of the restrictions, but if you can walk that will help allot.
  • I didn't have any bone grafts, did have 2 units of blood loss and not sure about the steroids. But, the swelling (all left side) is get progressively worse as the day goes on and I have been doing lots of walking. The problem is that the more I walk, the more swelling occurs as the day goes on, so today I am going to try to stay in bed and keep my legs elevated above my heart. The bummer is that I worked hard for about a year to lose 20 lbs prior to surgery, and in 3 days with virtually no eating 15 lbs came back on and I look loke the Pillsberry Dough girl!
  • Sorry you're dealing with this Rascal. I was wondering if it could be all the fluids they give you in the hospital? But, then, I'd think that after a week that it'd mostly be gone.

    Are you urinating like normal?

    And like Mindy said, maybe it's steroids...those always make me bloat real bad. (and increase my appetite! LOL!)

    Please keep us posted and let us know how things are going as other folks may be experiencing the same thing!

    Good luck, hon!
  • It's temporary and most likely water weight. Once they figure out what to do with you I suspect that will all disappear. I'd bet the meds from surgery or the ones you are on caused it. Once all the mess from surgery is out of your system and your doc can get you under control. That weight should drop.

    There is no way that this is from the fat you worked so hard to shed. Two very different things. Just give it some time. The weather doesn't help. It's 100+ here in NC and humid like crazy.

  • Stayed in bed all day yesterday and kept my legs elevated. Definitely helped, so am going to try to repeat today. It's very hard and tedious to just lay there, plus painful to not move around and walk. But, once the swelling goes down a bit, it should be much more comfortable to walk around. Thanks for all your suggestions.
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