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Admitted 11 Days Post Op w/ Abcess vs Seroma

TrixieMamaTTrixieMama Posts: 64
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
This afternoon I popped a stitch while coughing and
Realized a large hard ball had developed to the left
of my incision. Surgeon sent me straight to E.R. and
had a CT that revealed a very deep and large fluid/puss
filled pocket. The depth prevented drainage in ER so
in the AM I am having a CT guided debridement and
drain placement. Im super bummed and frustrated,
my next surgery to complete 360 is in 17 days. I could
use as many prayers as possible. Im posting from my
phone so sorry for typos. Thx and have a blessed day.


  • I'm sorry to hear about going back to ER. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
  • and well wishes coming your way Kimberly! Sorry to hear about this development. Glad to see that they are addressing the issue right away, and then you can continue on your journey.

    We are here for you for support.

    gentle >:D<
    >: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 am sorry to hear! My mom has almost the same thing going on. She is 2 weeks post op 3 level anterior lumbar fusion. She also has an abscess. They are not sure what it is filled with, they are thinking blood because she has a bleeding disorder. She is currently out of the hospital but in a lot of pain and they won't up her pain meds! She is seeing the abdominal surgeon today.

    I am really sorry you are going through this, my prayers are with you.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Kimberly,

    What a bummer to have a setback, but atleast they found it and are treating it. Hopefully it is not to serious and this will address it and you will be back on the road to recovery. Prayers coming your way. Keep us posted.
  • Oh Kimberley, you could have done without this setback. Hope the debridement and drain gets the infection under control.

    Let us know how it all goes.



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008

  • So sorry to hear of your set back.
    Hopefully they will be able to deal with it quickly and then your healing and recovery can continue.

    Praying for you
    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Considering that you'd already been recuperating from surgery, you certainly didn't need the setback. You're in my prayers, too, and it sounds like you're in good hands. Keep the faith. Love 'n >:D< >:D< >:D< , Ess
  • Not the news I wanted to hear. I will keep you in my thoughts. Stay strong.

    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.
  • Hello my amazing spiney friends!

    Pls accept my apologies for not responding more timely and for not posting individual replies. I am still in the hospital and my surgeon told me this a.m. ill be here for the long haul, whatever that means.

    So yesterday they did a fine needle,biopsy of my belly. They withdrew 18cc, which is a lot and there was still more! The aspirate was ser sanguinous, kind of like a light red wine color fir those unfamiliar. It was clear w no signs of infectiion. Still waiting on culture results. On vanco, flagyl and cefpedmine. Infectious disease docs think cultures will be clear and it will just be a seroma. As for hematoma vs seroma on spine, they wont discuss tx plan until they rule out infecyiom in belly so as not to spread it.

    Just wanted to give a quick update. Im using my phone to post so im keeping this short to avoid added frustration. Thank you all for your love, support and prayers. I will update when I know more.

  • right back at you Kimberly! Sorry that you are now going to be in for the "long haul" but good that you have them looking out for your best interest and keeping an eye on you.

    I am sure it must be hard especially knowing that you will be in again in a couple of weeks for your next surgery. Try to look to the future and know that this will all be over soon enough and you will be on your way to recovery completely.

    Love your blog on youtube! Although I am not having the same surgery (having adr) it is great to hear other's experiences.

    Continued prayers and good thoughts coming your way!

    >: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

  • and praying that things will settle down soon.
    Good to hear that they are taking good care of you, and I hope that you are not stressing about having to stay in the hospital.

    Hopefully in 6 months time (or even quicker) this will all just be a memory and you will then be well on the way to getting your life back.

    God bless you
    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • are more common than most realize. I even had a seroma that showed up on my 7 week postop MRI. Didn't even know it. Just had severe pain. Many times they will absorb on their own, but it is great that your doctor did the aspirate to make sure.
    18cc is only a little more than a tablespoon, so that is good.

    You are on great antibiotics, so hopefully you will get through this without an problems. Nice to see a surgeon be aggressive to make sure you do not have or get a serious infection.

    Much luck to you!!

  • Thank you all for your encouraging words and prayers. I am typing
    on my phone so please excuse my not responding individually as I
    usually do. Its really hard to type on this small keypad so a group
    response lessens frustration, lol.

    So the latest is that the cultures look good. Unfortunately the seroma
    they aspirated refilled, which im told shouldnt have happened. As such
    tomorrow they will place a drain. They stopped the vanco and replaced
    it with deptomycin? Diarrhea has lessened but flagyl is so strong I can
    hardly stand it. It tastes horrible and makes my urine smell just as bad.
    I started walking yesterday. I will be in here for at least a week post tube
    placement so may not go home before nxt surgery. Started lyrica and hust want to sleep.

    Super tired sk will close for now. Love yiu and thsnk you##!
  • Sorry it's been awhile since i've posted and haven't responded personally to each post. Thank you all for your love, support, prayers and encouraging words!

    I ended up spending 7 days in the hospital! Much of the time is a blur since I was heavily medicated. The cultures all came back negative. One day 3 or 4 though the swelling and hard mass returned so they scheduled me for a drain placement the following morning. That night though I had a large group of Christian nurses/aides working who offered to pray for me at their daily 2am prayer vigil they hold. I accepted their offer. The next morning I went down for my CT prior to drain placement and miraculously the fluid had decreased dramatically. They opted at that point not to put in the drain and rather watch me for a few days and treat me with heavy, heavy antibiotics just in case and also because of the unknown seroma vs hematoma on my spine.

    So they kept me for 7 days and thanks to Divine intervention I didn't have to have a drain placed. The fluid pocket on my spine decreased/shrank some as well and my surgeon said if it was still there when they do surgery on the 17th they will clean it out and remove the fluid and/or blood at that time.

    Coming home has been hard. My kids have been having a rough go of it for a couple days, as have I and the rest of my family. Getting comfortable was really hard because I opted to go to my grandparents house vs. my house. Instead I let my BIL/sister move in temporarily to house sit :)

    I still have a cough post op, wheezing a lot but with all the abx and the continued dosing of keflex 4 x daily, I doubt it's anything more than an asthma exacerbation at this point. Some mucus still but taking mucinex for that. Coughing is the worst. Sometimes it feels like i've pulled something or hurt something terribly in my back. Tonight i'm having difficulty finding a comfortable position.

    I wasn't online for a couple days because I was dealing with some hard core spiritual warfare and have been battling some depression which we all know hits sooner or later to one degree or another. Thankfully since i'm trained in a specialty that deals with depressed patients i've been able to pick up on the signs and institute some coping mechanisms. Still waiting for my psych consult though, won't be until i'm healed and can drive after my next surgery though but thankfully they started me on Xanax for my anxiety and I have some Ativan but i've found the Xanax works the best to relax me and take the eddge off.

    I've updated my YT channel. If you don't have the link and want it PM me and i'll send it to you. I have been very, VERY blunt in the past couple videos and tomorrows video will be about the lovely joy of candidia - thanks to the 4 antibiotics they had me on in my re-admission. Have been wanting to post a response here on SH however my meds keep my vision really blurry and typing is hard, it's much easier to make a video than to type when you can't see very clearly, lol :)

    Anyway, my meds are kicking in and everything is getting blurry/double vision so it's time for me to close this note down. Just wanted to touch bases and give thanks to everyone for all your support, love and encouragement. You all are wonderful and i'd be so lost without this board.

    God bless you all my friends, I hope you all are doing well and that you have an amazing and blessed day. I am indebted to you all for your support.

  • You have been in my thoughts, and I have been following you on youtube. How wonderful that you din't have to have the drain tube put in and it started to minimize after the prayer circle.

    Sorry to hear that you are feeling down, but glad that you are trained in, and know the signs of depression, to get a jump on it.Things will get better. You are going through SO much this month, but it will all be worth it in the end. Won't be long now, and you will have your second surgery and then the real healing will begin.

    More prayers and good thoughts coming your way!

    >: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

  • Great to hear from you Kimberley.

    I'll keep praying for you.
    As Karen said, you are going to have a lot to deal with over the next month, but remember, you are not alone. You can do all things .....

    There are so many people praying for you, your friends there at the hospital and locally to where you are, but also your spiney friends from all over the world.

    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Hope today's just a little bit better for you - my goodness you've been through a lot since the first surgery.

    Hope the Xanax is helping with the depression. It's hard not to get anxious and depressed when you're trying to deal with several things happening at the same time.



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thank you my beloved friends for your continued support, prayers and encouraging words! I cannot ever tell you how much they mean to me. I do suspect you know first hand though because you are a spiney friend, you have walked this path and been on the receiving end of many prayers and support along your own journeys!

    Today was an okay day. I was really tired and stayed in bed most of the day. I think yesterday I was up WAY too much and ended up exhausted as a result today. We are working out the kinks still with the meds. Made an excel spreadsheet that we use to keep track and have a timer set to remind when the next dose is due, also not giving meds to myself, my grandmother and I dispense them in a weekly pill dispenser marked with the times to be given and then she gives them to me so we can double check to make sure we aren't making a mistake! I guess thats what happens when you have two nurses in the house together! LOL.

    Emotionally today has been trying. The Xanax i've noticed doesn't take the edge off if I take it too late in the game. I need to take it immediately when the anxiety starts otherwise it's a quick downhill spiral to tears and frustration.

    I made a new YT video today and showed my incision now that the steri strips are off and also talked candidly about Candidia, a topic most women don't like to discuss but after being on 4 heavy hitter antibiotics in the hospital I figured i'd talk about how it brought chaos to my body and how i'm coping with it. Since I can't be a bedside nurse at least with the YT channel I am able to do a little teaching about certain subjects and that just so happened to be todays. Yesterdays was poop! LOL. One thing I promised when I made my YT diary was that i'd be blunt and straight forward, i'd tell it like it is because this whole process is new to me but as a nurse I can offer some advice or tips that are helpful and the videos may help others who have no idea what to expect. I didn't expect them to be so cathartic for me but really they have been so very therapeutic on many levels. I highly suggest considering making a video diary for your personal use or to share publicly if you are getting ready to go through this. It has helped me TONS.

    My pain isn't too bad. They got me on the Lyrica in the hospital but i've noticed the past two days that the pre-op pain I had in my left foot is returning. It's not as bad as it was but it is coming back or appears to be more noticeable. Not sure if an increase in Lyrica will help that or not. Still have the numb spot on my thigh/left leg however i've noticed it seems that it is much smaller than it was and not as numb as it initially was so hopefully it will work out to just be nerve irritation vs. perm damage.

    Been having trouble peeing. This is something new post complication with the seroma. Been wondering if maybe my meds are having something to do with it. Peeing has always been natural for me, no thought involved just sit down and out it comes but now sometimes I find myself having to really relax and think about what i'm trying to do. Maybe i'll make a video on that one. Might prove interesting and give some good laughs none the less, LOL.

    Other than that, not much new to report other than tomorrow is my pre-op for Saturdays surgery! Hard to believe it's already time for my PLIF. I am feeling confident and at this point just want to get it over with. I think most of my anxiety is about immediate post op vomiting. For some reason that just really makes me anxious. Unfortunately it is something that most people do post op from any surgery thanks to anesthesia however i'm just anxious because of the posterior fusion, don't want to hurt anything. If anyone has any tips on proper ways to cope with this while waiting for anti nausea meds to kick in, i'd appreciate it :) haha.

    Well, time for me to close, it's time for bedtime meds. Thank you again for all your continued support, prayers and encouragement, they have left permanent impressions on my heart that I cherish! Have a blessed day and I will update soon.
  • Here's a suggestion for alleviation of the nausea so you hopefully won't vomit: when I was in the rocovery room after a pain management procedure, another patient told the nurse she felt nauseous from anesthesia. The nurse handed her a disinfection swab impregnated with alcohol and told her to hold it close to her nostrils and inhale the scent. It seemed to work for her.

    I don't understand why nurses don't anticipate postop nausea in patients who've had experiences of that type and administer an anti-nausea drug into the IV as soon as the patients waken from anesthesia instead of waiting for them to start vomiting. Even though I'm one of the fortunate ones who aren't affected that way, I realize how unpleasant that must be for people who are - especially right on top of having had surgery (ugh)! Love 'n >:D< >:D< >:D<, Ess
  • Ess!

    First let me start off by saying thank you for sticking it out with me on this journey and for all your support and prayers! I am so blessed!

    What a wonderful idea about the alcohol swab! I never would have thought of that but I can see how the smell would take away from the thought of vomiting! Great idea that I will try to remember post op :) I think I will also tell them this time when they ask if I have problems with anesthesia that I wake up nauseous for about 24 hours afterwards. All I remember after my first surgery a few weeks ago was needing to vomit and being so afraid to do it because I couldn't sit up and couldn't twist and had so many restrictions it made it even worse!

    You are very blessed to not be effected by anesthesia in that way! I know they gave me Reglan for about two days after surgery alternated with Tigan because as luck would have it i'm severely allergic to Compazine and Zofran. I get EPS with Compazine so it's not something they are even willing to consider and with Zofran my nose swells, turns bright red and itches uncontrollably! LOL, it's rather funny about the Zofran, i'm the only documented case like it or so i've been told!

    Thank you again for your continued support and prayers! I cannot say thank you enough.

    Have a blessed day and hope to talk with you again soon...


  • Kimberley,

    I spoke to my anaesthetist before my surgery about my concern that I would be vomiting after surgery.
    When I woke up, I already had anti-sickness medication in my IV. I never felt sick at all. :-)

    I hope that they will be able to help you in the same way.

    I'm still praying for you.

    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Thank you SO much hun!

    I will tell the anesthesiologist prior to surgery! FABULOUS idea! Unfortunately i'm allergic to the two main anti-emetics they use, compazine and zofran so they seemed a little hesitant this past surgery to give me the dose i needed of the two I can take, probably out of concern of developing another allergy. But I will be sure to write a note on my medication list to remind me to tell the doctor before hand :)

    Thank you for your continued support, encouraging words and prayers! You know this hospital I had surgery at and will have my second surgery at has a strong, strong Christian staff that makes it a point to talk about Christ with the patients in an open, non threatening way that way if someone isn't interested in prayer, it doesn't affect the nurse/patient relationship. Anyway, the nurses and doctors prayed for me and each day I was blessed with a Christian nurse during each hospitalization and each one was 7 days in length! It was a remarkable experience and such a blessing. I really, really felt comfortable and safe because I knew I was surrounded by people who were praying for me constantly.

    I am so thankful that you have endured this journey with me so far and stuck it out, and taken the time to watch some of my video's. It really means so much and like I said in another post, finding the right words to say thank you is really hard because there are no words that adequately convey the feelings of gratitude I hold in my heart. So, thank you will have to do for now :)

    Love, hugs and blessings.....
  • that all went well with your pre op today. I watched your latest two videos on youtube, very informative! You are going to help so many people who are awaiting surgery.

    It was great that you showed your incission to give people an idea. You are brave and beautiful, and glad to see that you did that, as well as talking about other sensitive but important topics.Bravo to you! =D>

    I look forward to your updates, and most of all, look forward to you being on the other side of your next surgery and on way to full recovery.

    Prayers and hugs >:D<
    >: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
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