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what is wound exploration??????? please help

juliababy
Posts: 130
Joined: Sep 2004

I am so very upset today. My dad had his follow-up with the surgeon today just to find out he has to go back into surgery for "wound exploration". He was operated on July 2004 for stage 3 colon ca, but the wound just never healed properly. So today the surgeon was probing inside and he said it felt like a staple may still be inside, or at least that's what he thinks it is. I am so scared right now. Of course I am thinking the total worst like the cancer is back.

I did hear though that this is relatively safe procedure and a relatively quick one being it's done on a outpatient basis.

Guys please help me right now, my mind is going crazy with worry. could the cancer be back already. He just had a ct scan done about 2 months ago and everything was clear!

Susana

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Susana,
I don't want to give you any wrong info, but as a nurse, I can tell you that in my experience "wound exploration" is literally just that...taking a closer look into some part of the incision that either isn't healing right or is infected. It would not seem to me to be related to cancer, since wound problems happen after all kinds of surgery. If there is a staple in there, it is very hard for the body to heal around a foreign object.
Hang in there; hoping to hear good news, Judy

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Judy's description is spot on. IT is exactly as the name suggests- simply exploring the healing wound for any foreign body or pocket of infection that may be preventing it from healing properly. The wound is reopened but usually just in small areas and not usually all teh way into the abdomen. Thus it is more minor and recovery is fairly quick. It is unlikely that a recurrence of teh cancer is the cause of the wound not healing.

Keep supporting your dad and try your best to balance those intrusive, 'bad news' thoughts we all get racing around our heads at such a time with logical and reaoned thoughts that this is something that will help the healing process so your dad can get on with life again.
Let us know how it goes,
Steve.

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