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Can Infection Come Back in a New Surgery? A question about Pseudomonas

jajalangjjajalang Posts: 12
Hi, I was recently (i.e. 2 days ago) told that I need major back surgery again.

My last surgery (1 year ago) had many complications 1 of which was 3 infections. I was told in follow up visits (with my Infectious Diseases Dr.) that 1 of these infections, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa could flare up if I was to ever get hit hard in the back...

The procedure the doctor thinks I should have would cut parts of the spine to reshape it, add osteomies and instrumentation to connect the thoracic to the pelvis with bilateral iliac screws and also reattach onto existing hardware that begins at T1.

Anyways, does anyone know if this procedure will reawaken the infection?


  • I had MRSA in my first spine surgical site. The 2nd surgery allowed oxygen to activate it again and I ended up with a chunk of necrotic(dead) tissue and a PICC line for daily IV antibiotics for weeks.

    After we realized this was a problem, the dr. took additional precautions. You always get antibiotics in surgery, hopefully within 30 min of the first cut(before or during.) He added additional to the standard antibiotic. I also took oral pills after. I had several spine surgeries after(including spinal cord stim) and never had it flare up again.

    Don't know about your particular situation, but I would think as long as your dr. is aware he may very well be able to prevent it. Good luck!
  • Hi All,

    I thought I'd follow up on my own post.

    I've seen several surgeons lately that have given me mixed reviews regarding this topic.

    The synthesis of their responses is this:

    1. You are more susceptable to catching the same thing again.

    2. You can't really have antibiotics in advance because that just kills off all the minor things allowing anything 'hard core' to take over and spread.

    3. Knowledge is power- i.e. surgeons who know about this reaction last time will be more vigilant in watching for it again. They may also take samples at the end of surgery for cultures JIC.

    4. It is unlikely that cutting into spine will 'reawaken' Pseudomonas.

    Just thought I'd fill you all in on my findings!
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  • What does your infectious disease doctor say about this?
  • I've not had any reason to return to my infectious disease doctor, so I have no idea what his continued opinion is?

    Originally he informed me of case studies based on a lot of Vietnam era soldiers who had Pseudomonas come back once they were hit in that area - effectively waking it back up.

    But... as is the normal problem with case studies I'm not a Vietnam soldier nor have I had exposure to Agent Orange.

    Sorry, this is less than helpful.
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