Surgery Log

Discussion in 'Pilonidal Discussions' started by BetterButt4Me, Dec 20, 2007.

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  1. BetterButt4Me

    BetterButt4Me New Member

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    Hey all, it's been awhile since I've been here due to life (you know, that lovely four letter word), but I'm back. Yay, right? [x0x]

    I had my surgery yesterday. Checked in at 12:30 pm, had my IV in at 1:30 or so, but my doctor got bogged down with an emergency and so I didn't get into surgery until almost 5 pm. The surgery itself only took about 20 minutes and I was outta there by 6:30 pm.

    So now it's day one after the surgery and I've had my first packing change. I took a vicoden about a half-hour before, soaked, rinsed, and then began packing again. The wound is fairly deep - about two inches long and about an inch deep? I packed three 4x4 gauze pads into it after they'd been soaked in a saline solution. I'm supposed to call the nurse today and see about getting a wound vac, so I'm waiting to hear back from her on that.

    So far, so good. The wound looks pink and healthy, I haven't felt a speck of pain, just some discomfort if I sit wrong or the like.

    Speaking of -- I've seen tushcush.com, but my dad picked up one of those donut looking seat things instead. It's NOT comfortable at all. Any ideas?

    I'll keep updating as I can. Happy holidays everyone!
     
  2. uwpsocr13

    uwpsocr13 New Member

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    Hi there, I also had open excision surgery yesterday morning, and am doing great. I was at the hospital a total of 6 and half hours. My wound is football shaped, and bout 1 1/2" long, 1" wide, and about 1 1/2" deep. The surgeon said I only had one tunnel/sinus which was great to hear. I was given Darvocet instead of Vicodin, just because I sometimes have trouble with it. Ive basically been taking it to prevent pain. The pain so far has been soooo much less than expected. I know Im not out of the woods yet, but this has been great so far.
    The nurse came this morning. I soaked before and was able to remove my own packing (about 2 feet of gause were inside). I expected it to be really painful, but it actually wasnt bad at all. Felt no worse then pulling the tape off. The nurse lightly packed it with a couple 2x2 pieces of gause, and it really didnt hurt. When she put a qtip in to measure I felt a little bit of pressure, but nothing bad. I was soooo pleased. My parents are now confident enough that they can do the dressings.
    Im not up for sitting yet, but prior to surgery my mom had gotten me a coccyx cushion at a health store. its worked ok, but ill probably invest in a tush cush cuz they seem to be the best.
    Anyways, i hope you continue to heal well and continue to be painfree!
     
  3. pilo14

    pilo14 New Member

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    GOOD STUFF! Glad you're doing great!
     
  4. BetterButt4Me

    BetterButt4Me New Member

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    uwp - Good to hear you're doing well! Shall we make this a joint log of our journey? I'd like to hear how you progress and all -- kinda like workout buddies, you know? lol

    I just had a question for anyone reading -- is it normal for the painkillers to make you super woozy? I was able to drive only after I let one wear off. They're 750 mg hydrocodone tablets, and I'm 5'9", 190 lbs, and female. I don't know if this is normal or if I should call the doctor about the dosage.
     
  5. NorthernGirl

    NorthernGirl New Member

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    BetterButt: I was told not to drive for a couple of days after the surgery (due to the after effects of the general anesthesia) - just something you might want to consider. The side effects on my painkillers also include drowsiness and do say not to drive. Glad to hear you're doing well otherwise, but do try to take it easy (I think driving at this point might aggravate your wound as well).

    Those donut seats are useless for this condition - they actually put pressure on your tailbone! I've heard of people making a half donut seat by stuffing socks - just keep the pressure off your tailbone!

    Glad to hear you're doing well too, uwpsocr13!

    My surgery was Monday and I'm starting to feel my wound a bit more now - nothing too painful, just some mild discomfort. Just a heads up to my recovery buddies (I also went through the whole, "Wow, I just had surgery and I feel no pain!"). I think the discomfort is probably a good sign, because it probably means the healing process has started.

    Good luck BetterButt and uwpsocr13 on your recoveries!
     
  6. BetterButt4Me

    BetterButt4Me New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, NorthernGirl! The drive this morning was a quick jaunt and I'd only had one painkiller a few hours before, but I know what you mean about being on the safe side. I did feel the pressure on my wound just from that little ride, so I'll be staying away from my car for now.

    And for some reason, my dad's office chair feels amazing, so I'm going to see if he'll let me steal that for a week or so. I'll need everyone's fingers crossed to accomplish that, lol.

    Hope everyone had a good recovery day. [o+o]
     
  7. BetterButt4Me

    BetterButt4Me New Member

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    So it's day two after surgery and I *think* things are going well. I'm still soaking/packing 3 - 4 times a day, but the amount of gauze I can get in there is a little bit less. The nurses for the wound vac were here today, but the wound vac hadn't been delivered! Argh! [:^] So the medical company, my doctor's office, and the healthcare center are going round and round. They say it should be here Monday. They measured the wound, too, and it's 4 cm x 2 cm x 3 cm deep. Definitely not as large as it looks in the mirror or as some of the ones I've seen, right?

    Hope everyone had a good healing day.
     
  8. uwpsocr13

    uwpsocr13 New Member

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    2nd day post surgery...

    Still doing extremely well, so much better than we were planning. The nurse came again this morning, but for the last time. My mom is doing the packing changes from now on. The doctor had thought that I might not want to shower for a couple days because of the water pressure, but I was able to shower last night after my bath and it wasnt bad at all. I washed my hair to the side just incase, and then rinsed the wound area last to clean it out. We told the nurse that I would see my surgeon right after the holidays, and that he would "clean out" the wound and the dead tissues. I was freaked about this, but she said the edges look so clean cut, that she doesnt think they'll be much for him to do. she even thinks I'll be closed up a great deal by then, even though its only a couple weeks away. I havent really had any blood since yesterday morning, all just draining fluid. I still havent had a BM yet, and am honestly dreading it, but I figure that's the next hurdle, and hopefully wont be too bad.

    I'm still not really in much pain (knock on wood), just some movements make it a little tender. We're still expecting a slight increase in the pain, but I just cant believe how minimal this has all been. Even the packing changes, I mostly just feel the pressure. After the extremely painful lancing I had, I was preparing for this to be just as bad, but this is nothing in comparison. On a scale of 1-10, the worse its really gotten is a 4 or 5 maybe, and that was for an instant. I'd say I've consistently been at like a 2. I am getting a little sore from laying on my sides, but am trying to switch often and get up and move around a little from time to time. I'm still a little weak and queasy, assumingly from the drugs and just being out of whack, but its nothing major. Mostly I've just been sleeping.

    All I can say is, so far so good. We'll keep our fingers crossed that everything continues to go well... for all of us!
     
  9. BetterButt4Me

    BetterButt4Me New Member

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    uwpsocr13 - Sounds great! I'll keep my fingers crossed for your continued success in recovering.
     
  10. NorthernGirl

    NorthernGirl New Member

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    Glad to hear everyone's still doing well. I am too - yay!

    Britt - did the doctor tell you why you were getting a woundvac? I'm assuming it helps speed up recovery, but I'm wondering how one qualifies to get it (and if it works for all types of wounds).

    uwpsocr13 - a tip about the whole bathroom issue - take stool softeners if you can and drink lots of fluids. Those painkillers and anesthesia can be kind of binding. I think my first experience after was worse more because of my fear of doing somethihg to the wound, but nothing bad happened and now I'm feeling back to normal (it was a few days before I felt like I had to go, which I've read is normal).

    Keep up the great recovery, everyone:)
     
  11. BetterButt4Me

    BetterButt4Me New Member

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    NorthernGirl - I called to see why I needed a wound vac, but the nurse said she hadn't been able to talk to the doctor. Said he may have seen something during surgery that he though made the vac necessary. My insurance will provide for it and the nurse to come out three times a week, but it's super expensive either way and I'm not sure I'm going to keep it. They want me to at least try it out until Wednesday.

    uwpsocr13 - I second NorthernGirl's reccomendations about the bathroom issue. I was on the vycoden for a day or two and realized I really didn't like it. It also made me woozy and made me lose my appetite. The doctor let me switch to just plain ole Motrin and things have been fine since then.
     
  12. NorthernGirl

    NorthernGirl New Member

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    Thanks for the WoundVac information. The super expensive part is probably why my surgeon never mentioned it:)
     
  13. pilo14

    pilo14 New Member

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    Hey ladies! So thankful that you have posted your post op experiences on the site. I'm a bit freaked out from reading others' horror stories and get so dang sensitive when I'm trying to "line my ducks in a row" and my fiance' tells me, "We'll see, my brother had it excised and his wasn't so bad." It feels like he's downgrading my emotions - BUT - reading your postings make me feel that maybe he's right! My surgery is scheduled January 3rd and I cannot wait to get it done and over with so I can start the recovery process.

    Gals - let me know how it feels at Day 7 --- I need to figure out how long I should be gone from work. We have Short Term Disability, and my plan right now is just to take 2 weeks off -- based on your postings, maybe 1 week is enough.

    Good luck on your recoveries and I will be following your logs until "Go time!" :)
     
  14. uwpsocr13

    uwpsocr13 New Member

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    pilo14...
    All I can do is speak for myself regarding this, but so far, this has been far better than what we were expecting. Its a decision we would repeat. I was pretty terrified at first about having a hole in my bottom, and having to change it, but thus far, I have not experienced anything that has made me regret the surgery. I had a painful lancing in Sept, and thought I'd be feeling that pain again, but nothing has come close. Not downgrading it at all, because when it comes down to it, its still a pretty significant surgery. I know some people have complications, but some people do really well, as you can see from the posts in this thread. Just tell yourself that you're going to be one of the lucky ones that never has to deal with it again. I think attitude makes a big difference, so go in with a positive attitude, and remember the sooner you get it over with, the sooner you can start the healing process.
    As far as working after a week. Im not sure about that yet. I'm 3 days post op, and pretty comfortable, but I dont think I could sit yet for an extended period. Maybe in a few days, but not right now. Im still a little weak, which Im sure is a combination of the drugs, inactivity, and just my body recovering. Might depend on the type of job you have, but I'd give yourself the two weeks if you can, otherwise just see how you're feeling, and maybe go in for a little bit if you can. Do purchase a tush cush or coccyx cushion though!!! Good Luck, and we'll update you.
     
  15. NorthernGirl

    NorthernGirl New Member

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    Pilo 4: About returning to work - I'm still doing quite well and I'm on Day 6 after my surgery. However, I've started to feel a little more pain recently (nothing unmanageable at all - just discomfort) and I still have quite a bit of drainage. I would definitely not be ready to go back to work tomorrow. Luckily for me, I now have a natural two week break from work (I've only had to take one week off), so I won't be going back until 3 weeks after my surgery. I will let you know in about a week if I would be ready to go back after two weeks if I had to. Glad to hear this information is coming in handy for you!
     
  16. Ashley_19

    Ashley_19 New Member

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    i'm new to all this so what exactly is a wound vac?
     
  17. sroberts25

    sroberts25 New Member

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  18. BetterButt4Me

    BetterButt4Me New Member

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    pilo14 - I wouldn't reccommend taking only a week. I'm almost on day four and I'm slowing down - BIG TIME. I guess I had the long acting anaesthetic because I'm deifinitely having to walk a little more carefully and do things more slowly.

    Update, too, on my progress -- I was changing my packing out tonight. I think I may be getting something of an infection going, but I can't tell for certain. I'm not on antibiotics (don't ask me why, I guess the doc thought since I'd come off two really strong ones the week before I'd be alright). I *think* I saw some green, but it was pretty pale. I know I've been having some exudate, which looks more like a watery-mustard color (oo, yum, let's go get hotdogs now, right?), so I'm not sure what's going on. Running a slight fever, but I was the other day when the nurses were here and they said my wound looked fine. I may go to urgent care tomorrow (Sunday) just to make sure everything is okay.

    How was everyone else's day?

    (P.S. - And yes, I'm changing my own packings, etc. My care is entirely my own at this point. It can be done! lol)
     
  19. pilo14

    pilo14 New Member

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    NorthernGirl and Uwp - thanks gals! I will definitely watch this post for any of your updates. I guess my initial 2 week decision might be the best bet. I travel about 40 miles each way to work and have a very stressful job (although I sit majority of the time). I would hate to go gung ho and find out that I have just delayed the whole healing process. After all, this is STILL an open wound, and it needs to be respected.
    I need to get some things done before the procedure - maybe get my hair cut, it's a pain to wash it on the side (I did it after my lancing - and btw, that lancing was THE MOST PAINFUL THING ever - and I've had a baby, and those contractions were terrible, but nothing like the pain from the lancing). The lancing is most fresh in my head and that just scares me. I've also seen the open excision pictures and it still scares me. The other thing that is worrying me is that I think I will have my period same time as the surgery. I don't think I want to deal with that in addition to the excision - lol. Oh well, it is what it is, and like Uwps said - just gotta stay positive.
    Thanks again and hope yous are doing good - :)

    And Britt - thanks too for the response. I've seen on posts about this green colored stuff - and yes, it's exudate. But having a slight fever might be an indication that there is certainly an infection. Good choice on going to see someone, you just might never know.
     
  20. uwpsocr13

    uwpsocr13 New Member

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    My doc also didnt give me antibiotics. I thought it was weird too, but I'm doing so good, I'll give him the benefit of doubt right now. Im only draining yellow right now, no blood for a day now. I think I may be starting to drain a bit more, but nothing that requires additional changes. The nurse had told me if it was infected, I would know. She said the smell would be horrible and strong, even through my clothes. Also, they said a fever of over 101, consistently. If you're worried, it cant hurt to go get it checked out. If anything, maybe they can get you some antibiotics as a preventative measure.
    Im still doing really well. It felt a little more sensitive today, but still great. When I came out of surgery, the surgeon spoke to me for a couple minutes after talking with my parents. I was sooooo out of it, but I do remember asking if he used a long lasting anesthetic, and he said no. Infact, he told my parents that after about 4 hrs I'd be feeling it, but that didnt really happen. He thought from day 3- day 7 would be my worst. With the packings I felt a bit more pressure, but not really pain. Some movements I am feeling a bit more, but my pain is still a lot lower than expected.

    How do you guys feel about the whole thing so far?

    Pilo14- My lancing was extremely painful. They gave me locals and Demarhol, and I cried like a baby. It was excruciating. That was the biggest reason i decided to have surgery, as I vowed to do everything in my power never to have a lancing again. I can honestly say i havent felt any pain from the surgery even remotely close to the lancing. They said when the infection is that bad the drugs dont always work. I thought the packing changes would feel similar to the lancing, but not even close. Hope thats a little comforting.
     
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