Post-operative abscess

catherine58 Member Posts: 92
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Has anyone else had this problem? I had a right hemicolectomy three weeks ago and generally have made a good recovery. However, ten days after surgery (shortly after coming home) a lot of yellow stuff (pus, I presume - sorry about disgusting details!) started to ooze from the top of my wound (which has been swollen ever since the operation). The nurse said it was nothing to worry about and put me on a short course of mild antibiotics. Three days ago (just after finishing the course) it started to hurt quite badly (in fact it’s the worst pain I’ve had). The swelling is bigger than ever and feels hard, although the skin is not hot nor particularly red. I saw my GP yesterday who put me on some stronger antibiotics and said that, if these don’t work, I may have to have the wound surgically reopened for the abscess to drain. The rest of my wound (which runs the length of my abdomen) has healed very well (in fact even at the top it has scabbed over).

I just wondered if anyone else had been through anything similar and what to expect?

Best wishes, Catherine


  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072
    You should call the surgeon TODAY and be seen by him/her TODAY> I had a post op wound infection and ended up with 2 open areas in my incision--one opened on its own and the other was opened on a w/e during an ER visit. I had called the surgeon and had me go to the ER because he did not want me to wait until that Mon. I had radiation which can slow your healing. I ende up with 2 areas of my incision that had to get packed for about 5 mos. un til they healed. They were both very small, but took a while to heal.

    Good luck

  • cahalstead
    cahalstead Member Posts: 118

    I had a suspected abscess last week. Our surgeries are just days apart. My surgeon immedicately had a ct scan done to rule it out. I had a temperature every day spiking to 102. If I were you I would call your surgeon right away so he can check it out. My dr. put me on Flagl and Cipro, two pretty potent antibiotics and they took care of it. The CT showed inflammation around the resection point but it was healing. I really felt bad but didn't have visible pus anywhere.

    I really think you should get it checked out now!

  • Lucylu
    Lucylu Member Posts: 7
    Ihad a right hemicolectomy also and had no problems but I saw my surgeon several times after the surgery. I think you should be talking with your surgeon and meeting with him about this as soon as possible. also sorry for all you are going through...hope it gets better soon.
  • alta29
    alta29 Member Posts: 435
    sounds like an infection.....need to go to the Dr.....Same thing happened to me....
    Take care
  • JADot
    JADot Member Posts: 709 Member
    Hi Catherine,

    Ouch, this sounds like something your surgeon should know about right away. I had two small oozes, they went away on their own. They sounded nothnig like yours in severity. I think you should call your surgeon right away and schedule a n office visit so he can give you an accurate assessment of the situation.

    It was very demoralizing for me when I had the ooze, but it did eventually heal. This, too, will pass, but you do need some extra care now.

    Take good care and keep us posted!

  • vinny3
    vinny3 Member Posts: 928
    If it is painful and not presently draining it likely needs to be opened. Contact your surgeon as the sooner it is opened, if necessary, the better the results.

  • levensweg
    levensweg Member Posts: 55
    When I had my resection i had a nasty infection that antibiotics curbed but didn't eliminate. It really hurt, and the nurses said walking around during recovery would help, not knowing it was an infection.Walking made it hurt worse. My incision was healing nicely but, but my skin was red and itchy since just underneath was my infection. I was so relieved when they finally drained it. It was a hassle but once they drained it everything seemed to work out ok. but it took some time to heal since they left my incision open and I irrigated it myself mostly and packed it with gauze soaked in saline to extract the yellow stuff.It took three weeks since mine was pretty bad, but it cleared. At some point before they drained it I had a fever too, which is a tell tale of infection.
    Hope that's all helpfull
  • catherine58
    catherine58 Member Posts: 92
    Thank you all for your help. Saw the surgeon today and he said the GP was wrong, it was NOT an abscess but the swelling was probably caused by a lump of fat (don’t have much of that left!) and the pain by dissolvable stitches which have not yet dissolved and are pulling. He told me to stop taking the antibiotics. I will just have to grin and bear it until the stitches dissolve. So far, I have been very pleasantly surprised by how little pain I have had so this is a nusiance, but evidently not a life-threatening one. Catherine

    PS Does anyone know how to do apostrophes on this website? Mine always come out like this: ’ (I have a Mac).