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« on: July 04, 2006, 01:47:21 AM »


I had my VNS implanted for TRD 7 weeks ago and everything seemed to be healing fine except for a funny bump in the scar on my chest.  Last week it started to get red and inflamed and painful; I called the surgeon whose nurse told me it was probably a retained suture and told me to use bacitracin on it.  My psychiatrist was afraid it might be infected so started me on antibiotics- if an infection spread to the generator, that would be a disaster and it would have to be removed.  I saw the surgeon yesterday and he reopened the incision and found no suture- just scar tissue and fibrosis really close to the device.  He said- get this- the area got irritated because my generator sticks out so much because I am too skinny.  So now I have a second incision, have to be on antibiotics, and can't go swimming next week when I go on vacation.  And I thought things were going so well!
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 03:14:27 AM »

:im_033:  What an experience to have to go through!!  :So Sad:

I can't offer advice on this situation. I hate it for you and hope it improves. My incicision has a knot at, what I think was the first site that the scapel was put in. It is the incition on my chest, not neck. On my neck is very smooth and white.  I have never had any problems with my incisions. I have had my VNS for about 81/2 months. My surgeon sent me home with antibiotics and painkillers in case I needed them. I did take the antibiotics as scheduled. I was the first person in my region to recieve the VNS and because of that I have received calls from about every state in the United States. ( I gave my Dr. and Cyberonics permission to give out my number to people who needed to talk to someone before or after their VNS implantation.) I have followed up on everyone that has called me, and have been amazed at all the different circumstances patients were released from the hospital. Sometimes even under the same surgeon! Most did not leave with a perscription for antibiotics. I feel that should be mandatory. Most, not all, were sent home with a pain killer percription. Some needed it, some didn't.
Some people were told of nothing to put on their scars after the stitches/or medistrips were taken off. I was told Vitamin E would help them heal quicker with less scaring, some were told Neoporine, some were told to use the new scar medication. I feel Cyberonics should set guidelines that the sugeon's HAVE to follow when dimissing a patient. I don't know that it would have helped in your case or not.

Keep us posted and best of luck. :goodluck:  :im_033:


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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 05:17:58 AM »

Well babsro, every one reacts differently and heals differently.  There is a woman I know whose generator sticks out because she is so skinny.  There is just no meat on her chest at all.

We live in Las Vegas and the summer sun is terribly hot. The tempratures reaches 120+.  She must protect the unit from the sun and heat because she has so little fat on her body.  Her skin actually burned around the unit during her first summer after implantation. : sun :

Healing setbacks are very common with surgery.  Any incision into the skin invites bacteria in,  no matter how well steril proceedures are followed, infection is the #1 problem with surgeries.  I have gone through 15 different surgeries from C-section to knee replacements to bilateral carpel tunnel repair. and I can tell you every single one healed differently.
  • a cyst developed and had to be reopened to drain
  • sutures worked their way to the surface
  • sutures were never completly removed and did not disolve
  • staples and/or sutures had some drainage
  • did not knit back together, just fell open when the sutures were removed
  • healed beautifly, not one problem
This is a small list but so many things can and do happen.  You just have to take one day at a time.

Each surgeon has their own post sugical proceedure.  Antibiotics are over used in many cases and a lot of doctors are hesitant to prescribe them.  

OT---My husband contracted MRSA when he had a toe amputated 4 years ago and we have been battling this nasty bug ever since.  It causes a very agressive cellulitious inflamation which he ends up in the hospital 4-5 times a year.  He was on and off anitbiotics for years because of a constant staph infection in his legs.  It wasn't until a PICC line was inserted did we get control of this bug! : doctor :

So what a doctor prescribes depends a lot on his personal preferences, the patient, the type of surgery and even where the surgery was done.[/color]
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 05:22:12 AM by birdbomb » Logged

"If you are going through hell, keep going." (Sir Winston Churchill, 1874-1965)
VNS implanted Sept 02, turned off Dec 04, Generator ex-planted Nov 07
Electrodes are in me for LIFE!
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