We are 160,313 members in 80 forums discussing 126,497 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: incision infections

Topic: incision infections

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Jul 23, 2009 06:21PM

MillieD wrote:

Hi guys.  You helped me through my anxiety about my surgery.  I had a bilateral mx with t/e on 5/13.  My incisions opened up after a few fillins.  I got a bad infection on both breasts and needed surgery again on 6/30.  I was in the hospital for 6 days on heavy duty antibiotics.  Thank God the dr was able to save the implants but they had to be drained.  I then fell down a flight of stairs four days after coming home from the hospital and my right breast is swollen and black and blue.  It didn't show up for 8 days so we didn't think it was from the fall.  I now have to wait until 8/3 to start getting my fillins.  I'm still out of work and still have to take pain meds when needed.  Thank God I don't need chemo or radiation.

I'm here again because I need reassurance that I will be ok.  I know I should be thankful that I'm cancer free - and I am - but I feel at times that I'm being punished. 

Has anyone had difficulty after their surgeries.  How long did it take you to get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle. 

 I'm venting and I thank you for listening to me.

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Posts 1 - 18 (18 total)

Log in to post a reply

Jul 23, 2009 07:29PM sandy1964 wrote:

Oh my gosh!  You take care of yourself.  I had a bilateral on May 27th and about 2 weeks after the surgery my breast started to get red around the incision area.  The doctors have checked, run tests, had a guided aspiration, and other testing but there is no sign of infection.  I tend to have sensitive skin and we are beginning to think it might be that.  I am concerned because I will start getting my fills next week and if there is some type of undetected infection there perhaps I will have similar problems like you.  Hang in there and please keep a positive attitude!!!

Dx 3/30/2009, DCIS, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 23, 2009 07:53PM baywatcher wrote:

Millie-

This is a good place to vent. Cancer sucks!!! Things will get better with time.

Log in to post a reply

Jul 24, 2009 01:57PM MillieD wrote:

Sandy good luck with your fills.  Thank God you didn't get an infection.  How much does your PS intend to fill each time you go and how often. 

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 24, 2009 01:58PM MillieD wrote:

THANK YOU Baywatcher.

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 24, 2009 02:13PM CAROLMARIE427 wrote:

Yes, I have been down this road too.  In my initial mastectomy back last September, I had nipple sparing that got necrotic and infected.  I had debridement, packing and antibiotics for months.  Once we got that under control, one of my incisions opened up after some fills too and my muscle became exposed.  Thank goodness, my implant didn't become infected,but we had to do the exchange surgery quicker than I wanted to.  It seems like this isn't too uncommon, though when you are going through it, you feel very alone.  Reassurance here that it will turn out okay.  There are so many obstacles on this journey but somehow we survive.  Good luck and hang in there.  

Dx 7/31/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Jul 24, 2009 08:24PM MillieD wrote:

Hi CarolMarie.  You got the exchange before finishing the fills.  My PS said if everything goes ok from here (God Willing) I will have my exchange the end of Nov. beginning of Dec.  Thank you for your reassurance.

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 08:33AM CAROLMARIE427 wrote:

Yes, I had my exchange before finishing my fills.  I was a bit nervous at the outcome as my original surgery from mastectomy was in September and I had my exchange in February.  We didn't even begin filling until the beginning of December because I had an infection.  My doc quickly filled me (3 times) and then waited only two weeks to do the exchange. (and muscle repair!)  I wound up with a smalll C cup, which is just fine.  My plastic surgeon told me I can now go bigger if I want to.  I just had a prophylactic July 13 and when they go to exchange on that side, he can revise the original.  But things healed just fine and I am comfortable with leaving it alone.  Talk to your doctor about using Alloderm.  That strengthens the area where the implant goes on.  My doctor said he should have used it on me when I had the expander and this time around he did.  But when he exchanged to implant, he used it then to prevent further complications.  

Dx 7/31/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 08:49AM MillieD wrote:

Thank God it all worked out.  God BlessYou...

I have Alloderm.  He was able to save them.  He just had to drain them so I'm starting the fills all over again.  I have an hour and a half commute to work one way everyday.  I can't even think about going back to work.  I am always so uncomfortable.  But time will tell.  I'm so happy to hear things turnd out good for you.

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 02:18PM sandy1964 wrote:

Millie, I go to PS on Monday to get all the details on the fills.  I am still concerned about the redness as it seems worse the past couple of days.  Hmmm??

Dx 3/30/2009, DCIS, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 03:15PM , edited Jul 25, 2009 03:17PM by MillieD

My PS was concerned about any redness (he wanted me in right away if I had any).  I didn't have any.  My incisions opened up.  Are you running a fever, are they swollen?  I wish you the best of luck.  Please let me know what happens.  God Bless You.

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 03:23PM swimangel72 wrote:

Did your PS test your infection to see was it MRSA? Were you on IV vancomyacin while in the hospital? I just get FURIOUS reading about infections - no matter that they "warn" us prior to surgery, according to www.hospitalinfection.org - these infections are totally avoidable if the surgeons and hospitals would follow proper infection protocols - and if they would educate patients on how to care for their incisions at home. Sigh........sorry for my rant Millie - I truly feel sorry for what you are enduring. I had an opened abdominal incision after my free-tram and it had to heal from inside-out, which meant packing it twice a day for 4 months. Infections ARE avoidable - even with implant surgery. I just wonder how long it'll take (how many more BC patients need to endure infections) before major changes take place in PS's attitudes! Yell

3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53 Dx 2/5/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 05:00PM MillieD wrote:

Hi Swimangel.  I don't know what kind of bacteria I had but I know the nurses said I was on a heavy duty IV antibiotics.  I don't know what it was though.  What is MRSA?  I'm glad someone besides me is ranting....LOL

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 05:01PM , edited Jul 25, 2009 05:03PM by MillieD

This Post was deleted by MillieD.
Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 05:09PM , edited Jul 25, 2009 05:09PM by terrij152

MRSA is Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus.  In the past it was a hospital acquired infection, but now it is showing up in the community as well.  The only antibiotic to treat it is vancomycin. 

When I was in the hospital in June for my bilat Mx's, the patient in the room across from me was on contact isolation, for what I don't know.  But when I was up and walking the next day and saw that and also that we had the same nursing staff, I wanted out! 

Dr's are so quick to prescribe antibiotics for anything, even if it's viral, which antibiotics won't work for.  Also some people stop their antibiotics when they are feeling better and then the bacteria become resistant to that particular abx. 

Life is a journey...Enjoy the ride!!! Dx 3/16/2009, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/20/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary, Right Surgery 6/17/2009 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 7/21/2009 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/7/2010 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Dx 4/2/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 4/19/2015 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 6/7/2015 External: Bone
Log in to post a reply

Jul 25, 2009 05:26PM cmharris59 wrote:

HI Millie I had a unilateral in NOv 2007 and had to have emergency surgery in Dec 2007 because of an infection at the incision site. My incision did not want to heal and kept oozing a yellowish discharge - like cuts when you were a good would drain on the band-aid.  They replaced my tissue expander and only partially iflled it the second time. I still have the expander and I am waiting now for recon surgery. I had chemo, rads, the whole nine yards soI had ot wait until my body healed and resumed a healthy status before the surgery.

You are not alone. Good luck. I had no problems with my second surgery and the fills.

C

"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue." ~ Dorothy Parker Dx 6/8/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Jul 26, 2009 05:37AM , edited Jul 26, 2009 05:45AM by swimangel72

Millie - you NEED to know what kind of infection you had. No one told me I had MSRA until I started complaining to the insurance company nurse (who called me every two weeks with an angel's voice!) She was worried about me and checked her files on me and lo-and-behold SHE was the first person to tell me I had contracted MRSA! Surprised No thanks to ANY of the doctors or nurses! Of course they try to keep a low-profile about MRSA in the hospital (afraid of law-suits and bad press). I immediately went to the Records department at the hospital and got copies of all my hospital reports - there it was, spelled out in black and white - and all the notes from the specialists, including an infectious disease specialist. It wasn't until a year later this past May, when I was going for Stage 2 free-tram revisions, that my NEW plastic surgeon advised me to get checked again for MRSA with their infectious disease specialist. He had to swab my nose, underarms and groin - I was SHOCKED to learn that MRSA was cultivated (meaning alive but dormant) in my nostrils! I had to apply an antibiotic ointment twice-a-day in that area for 10 days, then get rechecked (it was then negative, thank God) before my PS would perform surgery. I was VERY angry that neither my breast surgeon nor old PS recommended that I get rechecked for MRSA............I was walking around with it in my nostrils for a YEAR! Don't these doctors have ANY conscience at all? Oh - and btw - vancomyacin isn't the only antibiotic they use - when they tried to give it to my prophylactically before my abdominal hernia repair surgery on July 10th, I immediately got a rash on my arm and the nurse stopped the IV and they switched me to ZYVOX which is very effective, but very expensive. Money mouth

Anyway Millie - try to get copies of all your operative/hospital reports. It's good to keep a file at home, especially if you ever need to go for a second opinion - or just to act as an advocate for yourself (which is so important in today's world of rush-rush medicine). Good luck and I hope you continue healing well!

ited to add:  To understand WHY I get so angry about hospital-acquired infections please check out http://www.hospitalinfection.org/. Their 15 steps to protect yourself from infection is very helpful.

3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53 Dx 2/5/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Jul 26, 2009 05:11PM MillieD wrote:

Hi CMHarris;.  That is exactly what i had.  Yellow discharge oozing out of both incisions.  The dr. said it wasn't uncommon for this to happen.  Stay healthy so that you can get your reconstruction done soon.  Good Luck and God Bless you and Thank you.

 Swimangel.  I am going to call my PS tomorrow morning to find out about this.  Thank you so much... I will let you know what they tell me.

Millie ~ BLM with TE on 5/13/09 ~ Tamoxifen for 5 years - Exchange to implants on 1/22/10 Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 30, 2009 01:09PM swimangel72 wrote:

Hi Millie - what did your PS say? Did you find out what kind of infection you had? I hope you're feeling better!

3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53 Dx 2/5/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+