19 days post op and scared to death...please help.


I had surgery 19 days ago. They removed a baseball sized chuck of my rear with a plastic surgeon closing the wound. I'm not sure of the technical name of the procedure. I went home with a JP drain and over 100 stitches, many internal in layers and then the external ones. I've followed all instructions and thought healing was going good until I discovered something yesterday that has me scared to death. At my follow up appointment 8 days ago, the plastics doc said that everything looked great but mentioned that he was a little puzzled that the fluid amounts draining from my JP suction were not going down as quickly as he thought they would but that it was nothing to be concerned about. He said he would leave the drain in until the levels were around 30 mls per day and then I needed to call and go in to have it removed.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was doing my morning "ablutions" which include milking and emptying my drain pump, recording the amount of fluid, showering with antibacterial soap, patting dry the surgical area followed applying Neosporin, and dressing for the day. While applying the Neosporin near the lower end of my stitches, I felt something that seemed unusual. I got a hand mirror and tried my best to inspect this area but couldn't so I had my wife come to look at it. I ended up laying on the bed so she could check it out. What she discovered shocked us both. It was an area that was not stitched up and the wound was opened and gross looking (beware when you see the pic as it is scary gross). I had her take pictures so I could see it myself and once I saw it I was freaked out. Not being a doctor, my mind immediately went to thinking that this must be gangrene or staphylococcus or flesh-eating bacteria that would surely have me in the hospital dying within hours (I say that tongue in cheek but you get my point). Knowing this could not be "normal" I phoned the plastic surgeons office to ask what I should do. I explained my situation to a nurse and she said I should send her the pics and she would consult with the surgeon and call me back ASAP. Naturally, I began pacing the floor waiting for a call back. I live over 2 hours away from the doctor or I would have just gone directly to his office. After 2-3 hours, she finally called back and said that the surgeon said the pictures looked fine but that the area needed to be derided and to have my wife do it. Not knowing what debride even means, I asked for clarification. She explained that the white stuff I was seeing was just dead tissue that needed to be removed and my wife could use tweezers to remove it. Still not fully understanding, I thought to myself that we could just "Google it" for more detailed instructions on what and how my wife should debride the area. I was relieved that it wasn't some deadly flesh eating bacteria and told my wife that she would have to play nurse if she didn't mind and we decided she could "debride" the wound last night once the kids were in bed and the house was calm for the evening. In the meantime, I Googled for instructions to give my wife and became immediately concerned. From what I could tell from the information I was finding on the Internet, this did not seem like something my unskilled wife should be doing with a pair of tweezers. It was about 10:00 pm by this time so we decided to hold off on her doing anything yet until the morning. Well, it is now morning and I simply don't know what to do. I'm scared, frustrated and concerned. I'm not running fever, not in pain, and fairly confident I'm not going to die.

BUT... I am stuck at the moment trying to decide what direction to take. I don't feel like the plastic surgeons office is being straightforward with me. After all, this surgery was supposed to be a total excision with wound closure. Was it something else? Did I bust some stitches at some point? Did I misunderstand the post-op instructions? I don't know. Should I let my wife attempt to debride this area as the plastic surgeon suggested? If so, how? Should I go to another doctor? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I'm frozen with fear. Not a fear of pain or dying, but a fear that after suffering with Pilonidal Disease for over 25 years, this wound area could easily cause reoccurrence (or is it already reoccurring before I'm even finished healing from this operation?)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I've got to move on this quickly.

Thanks for reading. I'll be updating and adding more info about my 25 year long battle with Pilonidal Disease to my profile soon. But this question just couldn't wait.


Very Helpful
That's rough...
You had I believe a "z plasty" surgery done from the looks of it.
I haven't seen many of those done but most stories I have read on here have said they made a full recovery with no more issues.
The debride issue puzzles me, I honestly have no idea what's up with that and I understand the worry/frustration with the surgeons office.
If possible, try to just go to a walk in type clinic or see a doctor and I'm sure they would be able to do whatever that debride thing is.
As long as you don't have any pain, fever, pus draining like you said, then you def don't have an infection and won't die so don't worry :)
I understand that constant fear of did the surgery fail and I'm screwed.
I had two surgeries fail and I def understand the anxiety/worry.
My suggestion just try to go to some type of clinic and see a doc, I'm confident they could help you out.