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Abscess in Neck

momall25ofu's picture
momall25ofu
Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2018

My husband has a neck abscess.  He kept complaining about bad tasting stuff being secreted out of his upper jaw/cheekbone.  Then his temperature started going up; his incision and drain site looked red and puffy.  I wasn't taking chances, so took pictures of his neck and sent by text to the doctor's assistant.  They had us come straight in.  Danny told the doc about the "secretions".  After checking, the doctor said where the tonsil had been looked like it was healing well.  He didn't seem concerned that he really might be having infection secretions.  The Doc drained the abscess and put in a new drain.  Also put him on antibiotics.  We're supposed to go back in Friday.  I was a little concerned that there really is something going on behind the wound that "looked like it was healing well."  Has anyone else had something like this happen?  They took out 27 lymph nodes as well as the tumor and area that looked cancerous in the throat (pharyngeal wall, part of tongue, and muscle).  The doctor told us they tried to make sure everything was closed up right but he thinks there is a "communication" between the throat and the lymph node area.   I know this is just another hurdle, but I'm concerned about the "secreting" that Danny's complaining about.  The doctor kind of pushed it aside, but it concerns me.  Anybody had anything like this?

kgasmart
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2018

I dealt with a series of abcesses beginning right at the tail end of radiation, this went on for nearly 2 months, was ultimtely diagnosed as cellulitis; several rounds of IV antibiotics, ultimtely (after testing revealed I wasn't actually allergic to penicillin after all!) killed it with amoxycillin in early May.

Never "secreted" inside my mouth, but those "secretions" may well be pus (gross, I know); what happened in my case was I got a small cut near my Adam's apple during radiation and, because my immune system was so compromised, it just blossomed into this huge problem. Patients are really, really at risk for infection at this stage. Hopefully the antibiotics will work for your husband, he may need to do a round or 2 of the IV antibiotics to finally kill the bug. Good luck!

 

 

wbcgaruss's picture
wbcgaruss
Posts: 183
Joined: May 2018

I was never operated on just chemo and radiation. But about a third to halfway through rads I think, I'm a little foggy on timelines I was at the health campus getting chemo and scheduling as it was I had to stop and go to the rad area and get my rads. They had a tough time getting my mask on it seemed extremely tight and I felt like it made my breathing difficult. So we skipped that for a day and I went back to finish my chemo treatment and was feeling not so good so the nurse in charge of chemo checked me out and determined I had a high fever and my left sort of jawbone area was swelled and I must not have looked so good over all. She recommended I get admitted to the hospital to find out what was going on. At this point, I was ready I did not feel well. Once in the hospital, they determined my Parotid Gland had gotten infected I am assuming from the radiation on that side and I was put on intravenous antibiotics and spent 5 days in the hospital. That was on a Friday and in order to not miss rads I was transported back out to the campus Mon.-Wed. to keep up and not have a long gap missing radiation treatments and finally by Thursday I was able to go back home. Certainly different from your husband but it demonstrates infection can occur in other ways. Sounds like you got good care and they are taking it very seriously that is good. I never had any secretions just infected and swollen never any open areas. But definitely had a fever and felt really beat. It is a hurdle but you will get through this-Prayers and God Bless-Russ

momall25ofu's picture
momall25ofu
Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2018

Thank you both for your replys .... I know every case is a little different, but it helps to hear about your experiences.  I will look up the parotoid and ask about it.  

His drain isn't working right.  Nothing on the pads.  Was swollen up huge and very red.  He took a warm shower and that broke it loose.  Flowed out when he pushed on the side of his jawline.  I agree, it is gross, but it is also happening.  Under the drain is oozing just a little, but the drain does not drain unless he pushes on his skin.  He said he only has to lightly push.

I already have a call and text in to them.  The PA-C texted that she'll give me a call as soon as she's out of clinic.  My issue is, don't wait until he is more serious.  It's made him very weak.   I'm ready to drive in to the ER, but he wants to wait for her call.   

Cancer stinks.

wbcgaruss's picture
wbcgaruss
Posts: 183
Joined: May 2018

Your situation seems pretty serious if something doesn't change but I am not a physician of course. Make sure you ask the PA-C if this is an occurrence they have seen before and should he have to massage it to keep the drain working and cleared? If there is a drain it is there for a reason and I think any drain tube in a medical situation should just let the bad stuff drain out. If light massaging makes it work though keep doing it. Hang in there and wait for the call but not too long you may have to make the decision to go to ER. Thinking of you folks and praying for a good resolve to this situation-Take care.

yensid683's picture
yensid683
Posts: 341
Joined: Apr 2012

I had a selective neck dissection in October of 2012 and thought I healed well.  I visited an oral surgeon to rule out any issues with osteo-radio necrosis the Monday before Thanksgiving who pushed, prodded and massaged the incision side of my neck looking for issues with lymph nodes - never seemed to understand what I said when I told them about the dissection.  By Thanksgiving day my neck swelled up like I was smuggling tennis balls.  By Friday it was red, sore and very much a problem.  Contacted the ENT's office and was advised to go to the ER as they felt it needed to be drained.  At first everyone thought it was a bleed, but the CT showed 'cystitus'.  Put on an anti-biotic and it began to clear up.  2 days after the end of the course of anti-biotics it started up again.  Visited the ENT,had it opened and suctioned out (man that hurt) and had a drain inserted.  Drain was in for 4 days, heavy duty anti-biotic for 2 more weeks and it cleared up, but the ENT warned me that I'd be susceptible to an abcess for a full year due to rads.

 

Hope it turns out better for him!

 

PS, 6 years out of treatment, doing fine with reduced saliva and an inability to eat anything with a sour taste, but life is good....

momall25ofu's picture
momall25ofu
Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2018

Yensid683, Thank you for sharing what you went through.  He won't start radiation until the last of September/first of October.  I pray he won't be susceptible when he starts the radiation, but can see how the radiation would cause more issues.

momall25ofu's picture
momall25ofu
Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2018

Danny is getting better.  Had me really worried for awhile.  The antibiotic is definitely working and he has even been up and around this morning, for the first time since this started.  The doctor had called back and told us to take warm showers several times a day and "milk" out the infection.  It has worked.  

TheDrj820
Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2017

Danny is very blessed to have someone to care for him like you do during this tough time. I am glad to hear the situation is improving.

wbcgaruss's picture
wbcgaruss
Posts: 183
Joined: May 2018

that things have turned a corner and are getting better and you have solutions that are working for you to resolve Danny's issues-problems. You will get through this-God Bless

momall25ofu's picture
momall25ofu
Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2018

Back in the hospital for IV antibiotics and a nasal feeding tube.  He’s just not kicking the infection.   Doctor thinks there’s a pinhole communication/fistula causing it.  Prayers appreciated. 

katlou
Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2017

I am sorry to hear that your husband is still having difficulty with the infection.  He sure is having a hard time.  I just wanted you to know that he is in my prayers and has been since you first started posting here.  I hope he can get all of his treatment over with soon and move on to being healthy.

wbcgaruss's picture
wbcgaruss
Posts: 183
Joined: May 2018

Prayers that this infection is conquered quickly and gotten taken care of to trouble him no more. We go through enough tough treatments and recovery and don't need something hanging on like an infection-following your postings hang in there and you will get through this and the rest of his regimen-God Bless

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