10 days postop closed incision leaking

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My post op visit with surgeon is tomorrow, but a question is bothering me today. After a week of relatively no problems, my incision (2 inches, 3 stitches) is now leaking fluid (clear to pinkish) and the pain level has gone up some. Had hubby change dressing twice yesterday. He will change it again today. Still can't sit, other than perched on edge of chair on pillow. Hubby says incision is split apart a bit above the top stitch. I'd call the surgeon, but even if I started antibiotics today, it wouldn't change before I see him tomorrow anyway. No fever, just this icky drainage. Was thinking of going back to work on Wednesday, but it's looking less likely. So tired of laying on sides.

Anyone else have this sort of thing happen?
I think that is what is known as exadate. I can't be sure of spelling. I'm having the same issue. It's a normal part of healing from what I read. My first fear was the same as you, infection and oh god, they're going to have to open me up again.

Basically, exadate are the remains of the healing process. The body uses what it needs to heal and then flushes out the waste from the wound. It can be clear, pinkish, grayish or light brown. Mine is light brown.

Of course, I'm not a doctor so don't take my words as gospel. Any concerns like infection should be brought up with your doctor and since you're heading in tomorrow, well it's good timing. Until then, I wouldn't worry too much. If you were seeing actual pus, then I would worry.

I just recently found out that my surgery is a closed healing. My surgeon didn't feel comfortable leaving the wound open considering the depth of the cyst and the proximity to my anus.

As far as the pain is concerned, I've been laying down a lot. I've also stopped trying to shift my weight while I'm on my bum. Instead, I push myself up on the arms of my chair and re-seat until I find a comfortable position. Also, get yourself a sitting donut. I have the round kind used for hemorroids but again, my wound is a bit further south than normal. I know the folks on this site recommend the donuts made for people with tail bone problems.

Good luck tomorrow. I think you'll be fine. Just be honest with the doctor and face it head on.


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That sounds like Serous Fluid, which means you may have a pocket of fluid under the stitch line - best to get to the doctor tomorrow. That fluid needs to be drained...
Funkbomb, when was your surgery? Yes, I'm glad to already have an appt...figure I'll be standing around in the waiting room before appt, LOL. Hubby will have to drive. Serous fluid or exudate sounds better than infection, but it's a little surprising to have it this far after surgery, would have thought this drainage would have been earlier rather than later. Then again, 10 days isn't really "later". I'm bandaging with gauze and tegaderm-no specificaton on what to use from the surgeon. I guess if he was concerned, he would have specified what to use. My skin doesn't do well with most sorts of tape. Thanks for the replies to both Funkbomb and Sasha.

What does draining the wound entail? Sucking it out with a needle?

Is it common to have antibiotics after closed surgery? I don't remember seeing that mentioned in other posts.
Hey Rumble,
I'm glad things havent been too bad for you while healing. From what you said, I would say that exudate is probably normal. I always felt weird as I never had any drainage so I wondered how I just 'absorbed' it or something. Not sure what tegaderm is but I was told just covering the stitches very loosely with gauze is all that was needed or even just using a women's pantiliner in case you had leakage. That pantiliner would avoid using any sort of tape as well. If I would have had an infection, I was told they would give oral antibiotics but the stitches should be red if there really was an infection. How long before you get your stitches out? I hope they are waiting closer to 3 weeks as that is when mine were taken out. We were putting the Bacitracin on twice/day and then after 2 weeks just once/day so are you guys using that as well? Just so you know, I didnt really sit more until after the stitches were out and I think you will find it will be more comfortable.

Good luck and at least with me, I think avoiding sitting was best for my healing so although it is reallly annoying, it may help you heal faster :) As for me, I'm totally back to normal so I still have no regrets having a closed surgery!

I got mine done on the 16th. I get my stitches out on Friday. The nurses recommended maxi pads since they stick to the underwear. Pretty humiliating for a guy to wear.

Mine started draining immediately. It had more blood in it the first few days but now it's almost all light brown.

I didn't get any antibiotics. My surgeon said they would be worthless and wouldn't prevent an infection.

You're going to the doc tomorrow so it will all get cleared up.
I had the exact same thing that started on Day 8 after my stitches were put in. Be sure to go to the doctor immediately. I was told that my draining was "normal" and now I am left with an open wound. I will admit that I was TERRIFIED of an open wound, but it is not as bad as I thought. My incision was much longer than yours (6-7 inches) so even if they do have to open it or it comes apart I bet you will heal great. I eventually wound up at a wound care center and that is the best decision I could have made. IF your wound breaks down (which hopefully it won't) then I highly recommend finding a wound care center! GOOD LUCK TOMORROW. Be sure to ask questions and be persisitent!!!!!!
Just got home from dr appt. He said it looked okay, the drainage was just fluid, though it looked a little nasty. The pathology report said it was just a pilonidal cyst (relief). He took out the 3 stitches and squeezed a little pocket of fluid that was persisting. Put me on 500 mg keflex and said to come back in 10 days. Keeping the wound uncovered now, with the maxi pad to catch the drainage. Good thing I already had the baby wipes. Said I could go back to work on Wednesday. Driving was really 'special'. Argh. My regular car is a sporty convertible, so I opted to drive our van today. I didn't think shifting would be comfortable.

11 days post-op, closed incision, 50 yr old female.
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