New member, recovering from open wound surgery

Discussion in 'Pilonidal Discussions' started by Jiggly, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Jiggly

    Jiggly New Member

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    Hello all, very nice to be here I'm super thankful that this exists as this is a very confusing and difficult condition. I just got open wound surgery on Tuesday (04/24/2012) so I thought I would join the community and share my ongoing experience. The first time that my pilonidal cyst made its appearance was when I was in senior year of high school so I was 17/18 years old. At the time, I was embarrassed about it and had no idea what it was; I hoped it would go away by itself but of course it didn't so by the time my mom took me to the emergency room it was infected and painful and they drained it right there, which was a horribly painful experience as the local anesthesia they applied did not take. Anyway, after that I basically lived with it for the next few years (I'm 24 now) and managed it using hot water, belladonna cream, and any other home remedies I could try (I even once put mashed garlic on it, which actually did help but wow did it smell). However, in the last two weeks I had a particularly nasty cyst, I couldn't even walk or stand up properly as it hurt so much. I went to the emergency room friday night (04/20), was given antibiotics and painkillers and told to go back on monday if it had not gone down by then. Come monday it hadn't gone down, so I went to emergency, they admitted me to the hospital and tuesday morning I was operated on. I knew what I was getting into as I had done my research (thank you pilonidal.org) so I opted for the open wound surgery (that was what the surgeon tod me he was going to do as well). Well, after the surgery I had a very large wound left. Right now it's about 8 cm deep or so, 5 cm wide. I'm at home already, and my mom is helping me with cleaning the wound, but as I am hands on (and I feel a lot less scared seeing what is happening) I've figured out how to clean it and pack it myself standing in front of my mirrors. Only thing I really need help with is the tape..Anyway, so that's basically it...I just have two small worries I was wondering if I could get some help with (if anyone is left reading after all my rambling!)

    1. I bleed through the gauze normally, not that much but it always gets through the gauze and stains my undies a bit. That's normal right?

    2. There is a white bump I can see inside the wound. It doesn't look like pus but I'm kind of worried about the color...honestly I have no idea really what it's supposed to look like...are bumps normal at all?

    Thanks for any help, glad to be here.
     
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  2. Jiggly

    Jiggly New Member

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    Oh yes, and feel free to call me Nati :)
     
  3. kaylalynn

    kaylalynn New Member

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    The first week or so i leaked through the gauze all the time. as for the white bump, i would ask your doctor. i honestly have no idea if its bad or good (purhaps someone else here might?) but your doctor is there to help you, call him up and ask!
     
  4. AlexM

    AlexM New Member

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    I did mine just a week before you, the first week is the worst, after that it got much much better, the wound packing was not paingul after that, I could move etc. Not sit down of course, but still, way better. So don't worry, I think you muight be over the hill now :p
    As for the bleeding, you sure it's blood? If it is, and it bleeds everyday through the gauze, maybe you should check it out. That should normally be exudate, the fluid by-product of wound healing. There's a lot of it and it would soak up my bandages, still does and I am 3 weeks post-op.
    The white spot, I had the EXACT same thing, my brother would help me with the wound packing and he noticed it. What he did was, on every change he would poor plenty of saline fluid down the wound and clean it with sterile gauze by putting pressure on it, and he was just a little more thorough on that white spot, it slowly went away. I asked the doctor, he said that's nothing to worry about. Infections and stuff like that normally show as yellowish brown pus and bad smell and other disgusting stuff :p
     
  5. Jiggly

    Jiggly New Member

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    Thanks very much! So far its looking good, been a week now. I make sure to thouroughly clean it in the shower, lots of water with antibacterial soap and using the showerhead to really get a good water flow in there. As for if it's blood or exudate, I think it would be the latter, as it looks like a mix of yellow liquid and blood, but definently there's blood (i still think its normal though). Im scheduled for a checkup with the surgeon next thursday the 10th but I'll probably drop by earlier than that just to be sure, more now than ever am I following the old saying "better safe than sorry."

    I do have another question though..the tape I'm using leaves behind a lot of sticky residue on my bum and I wonder whats the best and safest way to get it off (i don't want any of it falling in the wound or clogging up my pores). Also if anyone has any suggestions on tape brands that worked best for them I'd greatly appreciate it (for me its more important that it seals well than the residue thing though). Thanks again and good health to everyone.
     
  6. UnluckyOne

    UnluckyOne Very Helpful

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    The blood is normal as long as it is diluted and more of an exudate rather than just pure, dark blood.

    I've found the residue is easier to get off by folding guaze squares and putting a little bit of water and soap on them to scrub it. The gauze has a netting type texture that gets the sticky residue to stick to it pretty easily (keep in mind you may have to scrub it quite a bit, especially if it's built up).
    Choosing the brand/type of type is definitely a tricky game because you have to find a balance between being sticky enough and not leaving too much residue/not irritating your skin.
    Honestly every doctor/nurse I've seen has put a different type of tape on my butt, however, I think I've found my top choice just recently. I'm not sure how big your wound is (I know you gave measurements but I can't really imagine it on a butt haha) but mine is the size where all I've been doing is having a couple of gauze sponges rolled/folded into the crack on top of the wound and then a thicker gauze pad put over it and taped in place.
    Replacing the surface gauze pad and tape, I've now switched to "Island Gauze Dressings." I highly recommend you look into them and see if you can get them because it's really just a gauze pad bandage with adhesive already on there. It sticks SO well, and although it seems a little tough to take off when it's time for a bandage change, it doesn't hurt and it doesn't leave any rash or irritation. Occasionally it leaves some residue but it's easy to get off and since you're changing it yourself, you can wash it off before you put the new bandage on in order to prevent any adhesive build up.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.
     
  7. Jiggly

    Jiggly New Member

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    That sounds great! Thanks very much, I'll see if I find those anywhere, I'm in Puerto Rico sometimes its not easy to find everything but it can't hurt to look!
     
  8. AlexM

    AlexM New Member

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    Well fluid with a little blood in it sounds normal :) I went back to the surgeon today after posting that last comment, he said it's healing perfectly, it's almost half the size now after 3 weeks :D

    Now for products, I use the Seasorb Ag dressing by Coloplast
    http://www.coloplast.ca/en-ca/produ...04(coloplast)&commcategory=seasorb(coloplast)
    it's just an alginate dressing ribbon thing ( http://www.pilonidal.org/_assets/pdf/alginates-questions.pdf ) you pack in the wound, which absorbs the fluid but stays moist and becomes gel-like after a day. Simple gauze will soak up all the fluid and dry up and stick to the wound, but this stays moist, very easy to remove and a moist but clean environment helps quick wound healing. Considering my friend that did the same thing but used a plain gauze only, still couldn't move after 3 weeks, whereas I'm all up and running, I think it's a pretty good product. Of course anyone can suggest any different product, but this is the one I am familiar with.

    On top of the dressing I just place one of these every day: http://www.coloplast.com/products/woundandskincare/biatain/productoptions/biatainsilicone
    Same company that makes the Seasorb ribbon thing, it's a nice little thing, flexible, very absorbant and water proof at the same time. It does leave glue residue though which irritates my skin. I just clean the skin over there with some wet gauze to remove the glue, but I do try different things, placing it a little to the left, or right, diagonally, cutting off the sticky edges and using some simple gauze tape. Basically just so that the skin can breathe between changes, I don't want it to be all glue-y at the exact same spot.
    Right now the wound is itching, which is a good sign (vessel and nerve re-construction) but oooooh my god it is killing me :p No pain whatsoever though :) I wish you all a quick an easy healing :)
     
  9. leist22

    leist22 New Member

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    How are you guys doing? I have open surgery scheduled for next week and have been following yall on this board.
     
  10. AlexM

    AlexM New Member

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    It's been 3 months since my open surgery I think, and the wound has healed perfectly and there is no pain at all, FINALLY!! xD Of course the skin there is still not elastic and gets a little wet sometimes, but really, I can't stress how happy I am I did this quick and I am over it now :)
     
  11. leist22

    leist22 New Member

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    Alex,
    From your experience, what would you recommend for wound packing for the first week to make it as painless as possible and to decrease overall wound healing time? I saw your post above about the colonplast wound dressing.
     
  12. woundcaremom

    woundcaremom New Member

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    How did the white bump turn out? I am taking care of my daughters wound and she has one also. It has been there about a week.
     
  13. AlexM

    AlexM New Member

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    I am sorry for the extremely late reply, naturally after I was over with it, I haven't checked this forum much, but I'll try to look around some more, if I can help anyone with what experience I have now from my own surgery and recovery, I would be happy to :) leist22, looking at the comment I made above some time ago, I was quite happy with those products, mainly because they did decrease my wound healing time, (I had a friend that did the same, he used plain gauze and he told me it was quite painful and it took him a month to be finally able to get up) whereas I could st down on a pillow after 3 weeks. Not comfortably, but I could. Plus the changes weren't painful, because the riboon things turns into a jelly like substance and is very easy to remove, doesn't stick at all.

    I know this will sound weird, but after the first week, when all the pain was gone, I was *looking forward* to my brother coming over to change my gauze, the saline solution and the feeling of air was so relieving, and those jelly gauzes made it much simpler.
     
  14. Ina95

    Ina95 New Member

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    Hi, I had surgery about 2 days ago (I was left open) and I get packed and unpacked twice a day and my mom noticed that I had a little hair in the top left hand corner and she tried to wipe it but it wouldn't get off. Can I use tweezers to get the hair out? The nurse said that the hair was fine and I don't need to take it out but this is my second time having this surgery and I don't want there to be a 3rd. Any help would be great! Thanks.
     
  15. naomiama

    naomiama Very Helpful

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    If you can remove the hair with tweezers without hurting the wound then I would remove it, better safe than sorry hair can potentially cause problems
     
  16. Ina95

    Ina95 New Member

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    Thank you so much also I had another question. My mom noticed that on my open wound on the top left side of my cheek, it was kind of swollen seeing as how that was the side that was infected. Is this normal?
     

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