Infection After Surgery

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Infection After Surgery

by Dallas101 on Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:00 AM

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My son just had surgery on 3/25/05. after 2 weeks the DR's had to re-open his incission on the bottom part of his belly bottom. I have been packing it in with gause 2 times a day and this has posponed his Chemo treatment for 3 weeks. I am really concerned because they will not be stiching it back up but tell us the area has to heal from inside out. The cut is very large and deep. He is not on any antibiotics but his oncologist put him on a very low dose of blood thinners so that his port does not get clots in it. Has anyone who has had a tumor in the sigmoid area removed and 2 out of 9 nodes come back positive gone thru this before with the infection and all? worried mom!My son is 31 yrs. old.

Infection After Surgery

by Gtindy on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:00 AM

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I had similar surgery on 3/10. (I turned 38 on 3/25) About 2 weeks after my surgery I started running high fever and had pain in my abdomen. I had an abcess in the area where they did the colon resection. They didn't cut me back open, but they did drain it and insert a tube in me. It wasn't very pleasant. I was told by my doctors that infections are very common with this type of surgery, even though they do their best to make sure everything is sterile. I guess when dealing with that part of the body it's hard to have a perfectly clean environment. Why is he not on antibiotics? That seems quite odd considering he has an infection?

Infection After Surgery

by Gtindy on Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:00 AM

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I had similar surgery on 3/10. (I turned 38 on 3/25) About 2 weeks after my surgery I started running high fever and had pain in my abdomen. I had an abcess in the area where they did the colon resection. They didn't cut me back open, but they did drain it and insert a tube in me. It wasn't very pleasant. I was told by my doctors that infections are very common with this type of surgery, even though they do their best to make sure everything is sterile. I guess when dealing with that part of the body it's hard to have a perfectly clean environment. Why is he not on antibiotics? That seems quite odd considering he has an infection?

Similar Circumstance

by John456 on Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:00 AM

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I'm 43 and had an attempted sigmoid resection in January. A few weeks afterward, I noticed that the lowest end of the incision had become hard and painful. In Urgent Care they suspected a suture cyst, but upon cutting it open (1cm incision), they found necrotic (dead) fat. They dug out the fat and packed the open incision with shoestring dressing. They did put me on antibiotics, but my oncologist took me off of them so that I could start chemotherapy. He made it clear that I could not start chemo while on antbiotics. I was very careful to not allow the wound to get infected. My home health care nurse showed me how to care for it. This included flushing it out daily with a wound care spray and sticking a sterile Q-tip inside and wiping it out. Then I apply a doctor-approved antibiotic ointment around the opening and cover it with gauze and a breathable bandage or tape. This kept it bacteria-free and it closed up in less than a week. The scar in that area is only about half-again as wide as the rest of the incision scar. Keeping tape or Steri-strips streched across the incision for about two months will minimize the scar width after the staples are removed. We were told by nurses that patients with ports are routinely put on blood thinners to keep the port clear. The port should be flushed with saline and then heprin every few weeks to prevent coagulation/clogging, but this is not necessarily true if you are on blood thinners. I am not on blood thinners, but my port is flushed and heprinized every two weeks. I remember in the early stages of treatment how easy it is to panic and think that delayed treatment is just the worst thing that can happen, afterall, everyone's so anxious to start therapy. What we were told is that if the chemo is going to work, it will work. A few weeks will likely make no difference. It is out of your hands, so the best thing you can do for your son is to stay positive about his treatment. When the incision closes, see if you can start chemo right away. Read Lance Armstrong's book, "It's Not About The Bike." My oncologist gave my chemo a 50/50 chance of working and I just got news last Thursday that it is working. I learned the most from attending the American Cancer Society's "I Can Cope" class. Look it up at your local chapter. I also use a visualization CD from www.drmiller.com for cancer. Ask an oncology doctor or nurse about a copy of Cure magazine, it's free. By the way, mine is Stage IV and my first oncologist gave me little hope for recovery. Keep up the faith and believe in the treatment.

John456 Continued

by John456 on Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:00 AM

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I forgot, take them literally regarding the healing from the inside out! Make sure to keep the wound open and probe it with a Q-tip (pending Dr's approval, of course) to ensure the progress of the internal healing. I was able to probe mine every day without much pain until it closed up inside. Then the incision closed up within two days. Will your son go on the FOLFOX or FOLFIRI regime? The former is a combination of 5 Fluorouricil (5FU), Leukovorin, and Oxaliplatin which may be milder than the FOLFIRI regime. I am on the FOLFOX6 regime which includes a take-home pump of 5FU. The take-home pump, which extends delivery of 5FU by 46 hours, has been found to dramatically increase efficacy of treatment. Have you done any research on Avastin? This is may be something to consider down the road, but he may not need it. Remember, you can never be too informed. At the I Can Cope class, they mentioned something to the effect that the more knowledgeable patients have a better survival rate.

Infection After Surgery

by Dallas101 on Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:00 AM

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Thank you for your replies Gt_indy and John456. Your information was quite helpful. We are scheduled to see the surgeons this week. He only experienced pain around the area when the infection started(stomach sore and hard all around the bottom part of his stomach) since it has been opened he is not experiencing out-side pain only pain from the incision and is on mega pain pills-no fever so far.I am not sure why they did not put him on antbiotics.The incision is about 3 inches L,3 inches wide and 2inches deep. He has not even started to close yet. Has no staples, they were removed one week after surgery. He is scheduled to start Chemo sometime in May. I will ask about Avastin. Leucovorin,Fluorouracil(5-FU)and Oxaliplatin are what we have discussed with his oncologist and he will be on the take home pump. John456... FOLFOX6 is this the same thing that my son will be taking? He will be doing Chemo for 6 months. I also forgot to mention he has a couple of spots on his Liver they will be watching closely. Hopefully no surgery on the Liver later down the road. He has "It's Not About The Bike." We will look into "I Can Cope" classes. Thank You very much for your information. We will Keep the Faith. Good Luck to you and Please keep us updated on your progress.

Infection After Surgery

by Gtindy on Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:00 AM

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I am on the same regimen as you John456, but they called it FOLFOX4.. So far the chemo isn't too bad. I am still able to do pretty much everything I was able to do before this whole ordeal started. Dallas, make sure you get a script for EMLA (Lidocaine and Prilocaine in a cream). You put that on the port about an hour before the nurse accesses the port. I didn't have it last week at my first round, and it hurt quite a bit to get stuck by that needle. Sometimes they forget to mention the little things. I am going to my first "I Can Cope" tonight. Check the American Cancer Society website for information about them in your area. http://www.cancer.org My doctor also said that there were spots on my lungs that were too small to characterize, but that needed to be watched.

Post Surgical Infection

by Radioman on Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:00 AM

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Hi Gary: You mentioned that you weren't cut open but they placed a tube inside you and it wasn't pleasant. How did they do this and how long was the drain with you? Did they place you on antibiotics? I have just had a colon resection and three weeks post surgery have some redness, swelling and really hard matter beneath the wound. They did try a needle and got nothing out and have placed me on antibiotics and hopefully this will clear things up. After all I've been through, your remark about "it wasn't very pleasant" got me as I've been through enough already! Thanks Bruce

Post Surgical Infection

by Gtindy on Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:00 AM

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They placed the drain thru a very small hole in my side. I really couldn't say how they did it exactly, I was on some very good drugs at the time. When I say it "wasn't very pleasant", I mean the fact that I had a drain tube in me for a week. Plus when they removed it they didn't bother to offer any sort of pain relief before jerking it out. It was quite painful when the did that. All in all, I would say that avoiding having an abcess or infection after surgery is the way to go.
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