Topic: Trying to heal an open wound after double masectomy

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer — Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Jun 22, 2013 10:01AM

Posted on: Jun 22, 2013 10:01AM

amylovesstu wrote:

Has anyone else dealt with this; I had my double masectomy; no reconstruction yet on May 15, 2013; i have since been back to see the surgeon weekly because she pulled of the scab and left a big hole that my husband is now packing with sterile wound wash and saline; how do you deal with the pulling, burning, and on the same side as the open wound i have a lot of numbness in my left arm, hand; i am simply on the edge. Though my oncologist says i should be getting pain meds from the surgeon, they refuse to give them to me; i have a bad back that i was in therapy for before and now wish i could get back to that but with this hole i can't.?.  I started my cancer journey last June 2012; several biopsies; lumpectomy with it in my lymphnodes; straight to chemo; then with no testing the oncologist at that time tells me i have to have a double masectomy. Went to get 2nd opinion at the Susan B. Komen center an hour and a half away; another biopsy; and more tests to find out not only did the first surgeon miss the cancer by 1/2 inch during my lumpectomy but my left side had another mass was there we didn't know about. So onto my new surgeon and new oncologist; all i get is it takes time and you have to quit smoking ( electric cigarettes); I know it has an affect but i am trying, just under so much stress because of this; i am an outdoor gardener, love to walk, swim and enjoy the summer sunshine and i hibernate in the winter; but had leg surgeries for blood clots 2 years ago that keep me from doing much walking or standing for very long. I'm only 44 but i'm tired of being in this bed; and only getting out for my sons ballgames and to the doctors. I lost my oldest son 8 years ago this coming monday; due to brain injury while we were in a car accident when he was a baby; he lived to be 17;  I have 5 more children ( 2 adults) but 3 left to raise; twin girls age 14; youngest boy 10. My oldest daughter is in the process of moving from missouri to the same town i am going to for treatment, but not till october. I just met my husband in 2011; we married in 2012 and 3 months later; boom, cancer is here. Lost my hair, my boobs, and i'm so totally insecure; was before all this because of past, now even more so. Between us both we have 9 children and 8 grandchildren; his oldest living with us thats in his 30's; trying to help but he had an accident years ago that caused brain injury; and is on seizure meds;  anyway, i'm mumbling, just want someone out there to understand where i'm at as far as the healing issue, smoking issue.....I am trying, but to the point of just getting tired. How long does it take to heal from the inside out when you have a deep wide hole???? I have to go to radiation as soon as it heals and see oncologist this week to soon start hormone therapy...............Any advice???? 

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Mar 1, 2018 05:23PM clarrn wrote:

I had the pico for about a month. Also found it annoying, discontinued due to a yeast infection that it caused.

30 years old at dx, Implant lost due to infection. Open wound packing for 108 days :( now onto a Free Tram Dx 12/4/2013, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Dx 1/29/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/27/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/7/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/14/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 2/27/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 3/22/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/23/2020 Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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Apr 2, 2018 02:15AM shann03 wrote:

Hi clarrn

Just wondering did you heal and if so how long and how did it heal? I am still struggling and just have had another large opening that I am dressing every 2nd day. They seem to put me into the too hard basket here and don't want to deal with it.

I am hopeing I can get some answers shortly. Been reading the others and might have to go under and clean it and re stitch as I have now got an infection and re started my antibiotics again could be helping, can't see surgeon till Friday 3 Aprl 2018. Fingers crossed !

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Apr 5, 2018 10:43PM clarrn wrote:

Shann03- I only started healing after the implant was removed. It was packed open (I could see my own ribs!) and took 6 months. The result is terrible, but hopefully I can get a flap recon next year.

30 years old at dx, Implant lost due to infection. Open wound packing for 108 days :( now onto a Free Tram Dx 12/4/2013, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Dx 1/29/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/27/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/7/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/14/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 2/27/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 3/22/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/23/2020 Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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Apr 15, 2018 06:58AM - edited Apr 15, 2018 07:00AM by Jane2310

I had a bilateral mastectomy about 6 weeks ago. Came through most of it very well. Drain was in my right breast for over 4 weeks (this is the breast with the cancer). Looking forward to reconstruction in the next 4-6 months but I've hit an road bump.

The right breast since day one has had an open wound about the size of a golf ball. I went in to my Dr. 2-3 times a week to have the wound scraped. I was using a wound gel and I kept it covered.

We are now on vacation and won't be back home for 2 weeks and the wound has gotten smaller (size of quarter) but is now turning black and the odor coming from it is AWFUL. I have no fever or symptoms of anything else going on. I have spoke to my Dr and he said I should just keep it dry (no gel) and covered.

Are there any others going through this that know of anything I can do, short of going home, to help the healing. I wondered about putting vitamin E on the wound.

I can hardly stand this odor. I can't even enjoy my vacation.

Thanks in advance.....


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Apr 15, 2018 02:21PM moderators wrote:

Hi Jane,

Welcome to the community forums, we're glad to see that you found us.

Sorry to hear that you've been having open wound issues for so long and that it's affecting your holiday.

Sometimes the boards can be slow but we're sure other members will be along to offer their advice/experiences to you.

We do hope that this heals asap.

Keep us updated on how you're doing!


To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
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Apr 23, 2018 12:51AM clarrn wrote:

jane- mine never went blavk or smelled but I am glad you are in touch with your doctor. Does he have you in antibiotics? I would definitely go see him/her as soon as you get home.

30 years old at dx, Implant lost due to infection. Open wound packing for 108 days :( now onto a Free Tram Dx 12/4/2013, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Dx 1/29/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/27/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/7/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/14/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 2/27/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 3/22/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/23/2020 Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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Jul 12, 2018 02:33PM jenco60 wrote:

I am battling cancer bumps coming through the skin and my incision never healed. One problem is Diabetes. Check your sugar. If it is off, healing is tough no matter what. I am now on insulin day/night and I am also using gel called Silver gel. You can get it in a health food store. I hope soon to heal better.

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Aug 12, 2019 12:19AM macb04 wrote:

I hope that everyone of you are on whopping amounts of Vitamin C every day.

Vitamin C is CRUCIAL for strong collagen formation and wound healing. When I had trouble healing, my Naturopath had me increase my Vitamin C daily until I reached Bowel Tolerance ( basically Diarrhea). I then backed off just slightly from the amount of Vitamin C that caused diarrhea, spread out my Vitamin C intake over the course of the day, every day until it healed. As soon as I started that, the stalled healing rapidly sped up.

The PS was pretty surprised.

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