Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.

6.06.2005

Not so bad news

Well, I am still leaking but it could be worse. What it appears that I have is a seroma. Apparently, sometimes after procedures like the panniculectumy, a collection of serum beneath the skin develops and is called a seroma. This fluid will not clot and contains albumin, fat and red blood cells. It is clear and yellow in color, which is totally consistient with this. Grody factor is high here ... sorry. But, while using the bathroom, this stuff was just pouring out of the incision (right above my pubic area) and down my leg. So, that shows just how it won't clot.

According to the plastic surgeon's website I referred to above, a seroma is usually noticed about 7-10 days after surgery and a few days after drains are removed. For me, it was 18 days after surgery, but six days after the last drain was removed. The website states that it is seen as a swelling in the area undermined at surgery. I did notice that that spot was swollen, but it didn't seem out of the ordinary since most of my abdomen is still a wee bit swollen.

The website said:
The initial treatment is to remove the fluid with a needle. This is called "aspiration". Often 150 ml of fluid is removed each time. This is done once or twice a week and within a month the fluid has usually absorbed. A pressure dressing is usually applied a at the same time to reduce the size of the space under the skin and increase the likelihood of the pocket closing. The fluid is rich in protein so it is important that the patient take extra fluids and protein during this time. There is a small risk of the fluid becoming infected so many surgeons use antibiotics.

I didn't get to see my doctor, just his nurse. But, she checked me out and didn't think it looked infected and then she called the doctor and he diagnosed the seroma from her description. So, I'm wearing a maxipad and a towel in my undies, positioned over the opening and I'm wearing cycling shorts under my athletic pants. The goal is to wear a "pressure garment" to force all the fluid out. I have a girdle that I wore under tight skirts that will come out for work tomorrow. Yippee. I hate that device of torture, however, it sounds better than being aspirated. I go pick up my antibiotics in about an hour and start those back, too.

The nurse did a culture and I should know in a couple of days if it is infected or not. I had an infection on the c-section scar and that is what prompted this surgery, so needless to say this scared the bejeezers out of me.

Adding insult to injury today, I lost the watch Army of Dad gave me for my birthday about seven years ago. My heart broke when I realized I had lost it. I was hoping it was just sitting on my jewelry box at home, but no such luck.

4 Comments:

  • At 4:00 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Alli said…

    Weren't lying about the grody factor.

    Hope the culture turns out ok. Figures it had to show up on your first day back to work.

    Hope you find your watch. :-(

     
  • At 4:53 PM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Army of Dad said…

    Did you call up to your work and have your boss look around for it?

     
  • At 6:24 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    Oh yeah. The grody factor is even higher when it is YOU!!!! You know? Blech. Why do all the grody things happen to me? Gees. And, yeah, it has to be my first day back at work. Couldn't have happened last week while I'm sitting around the house. NOOOOOO!!!!!

    And, my boss was gone when I called. I asked the receptionist to go look. No one turned in a watch. *sigh*

     
  • At 4:21 PM, January 27, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This happened to me and I have to "pack" mine. We take a long cloth type thing and use a long sterile q-tip to push it in there. Then we put pads over it to absorb all the fluid. We have to do this twice a day and my doctor said it would only take a couple weeks to heal and the "packing" was going to keep it all from being infected. It sounds painful, but it really isn't. You don't feel a whole lot.

     

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