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Simmering Infection???????

Posted by Mary S. on 6/26/01 at 18:59 (051575)

I saw my doctor yesterday. Four weeks post-op for gastroc slide on back of calf. It has been red, hot and hard around the incision the whole time. I took Cipro 750 mg. twice a day for one week about two weeks after surgery. Stitches have been out and the incision is totally sealed.
This is the strange part---First, a last year resident looked at my leg and said that it obviously had a simmering infection and that he knew I need more antibotics. He said to wait till my doctor came in to let him determine if I sould have them by shot, drip, mouth. My doctor came in and said that it does look red and angry, more than is common, but the only way to know if I have an infection is to open it back up and wash it out and that that would put me back to square one again. I asked if blood work would help identify an infection, and he said, no. That my bloodwork would certaintly be elevated due to the inflamation. I kept expressing my concern about leaving a possible infection unattended, and he finally said to get back on the Cipro for another week, to come back in to see him in two weeks, and call if I saw anything that concerned me.
soooooooo--here I sit. I really don't know if I should continue with my progressively, increasing activities or get off of it all over again.
The doctor said to use heat or cold on it-whichever I prefer. Would one be better than the other for an incision that is closed with a simmering infection?
I think I am approaching my wits end with the indecisiveness that I am experiencing, and I will really appreciate any help that you can offer.??

Re: Simmering Infection???????

Julie on 6/27/01 at 02:59 (051608)

Mary, this concerns me. I have to tread lightly, because all I know about wound infection is from the one I had myself, after my mastectomy. My consultant put me on an antibiotic immediately, then did blood tests, from which he discovered exactly what sort of infection it was. He changed the antibiotics, and the infection cleared.

OK - a different person, a different surgery, a different country, a different situation altogether - but I can't understand why your doctor says wait two weeks, or why the 'only' way to determine infection is to open you up, or why he doesn't do blood tests to determine the presence of one type of bacteria or another.

I hope the doctors will say what they think because I'm talking from very limited experience, but your description of what is going on with your wound really concerns me, and I can imagine what you must be going through.

Re: Simmering Infection???????

Tammie on 6/27/01 at 07:41 (051617)

Julie , ditto here I feel this way also and worries me to!!!!!

Re: Simmering Infection???????

ellen w on 6/27/01 at 09:40 (051626)

Mary,

Do you live anywhere close to a major medical center that has a wound healing center or a strong derm department? It sounds to me like you need someone besides this surgeon to evaluate what's going on.
ellen

Re: Simmering Infection???????

JudyS on 6/27/01 at 12:48 (051642)

Mary, I'm not a physician but I have to say that your doctor's response seems a bit odd to me(there goes that mom in me again!). Do you think there's an infection? And, if he said it's more red than usual, why not just go ahead with an antibiotic just in case? No, I'm not a proponent of blanketing every symptom with an anitbiotic in every case, but gosh, if the probability/possibility exists here, why take a chance that there might have to be another surgery?

Re: Julie, Ellen, Tammie, Judy

Mary S. on 6/27/01 at 15:14 (051653)

Thank ya'll so much for caring!! I am taking 750mg. of cipro twice a day now. I have already been through one round of it two weeks ago. I decided that I want my family doctor to look at it, plus I need to see him anyway for checkup. They are going to try to work me in tomorrow. If he seems worried, I'll just do whatever he says. I do think it is an infection by the way it looks and feels. Soooooo hot to the touch, flesh very hard and red, but the redness does not extend as far out as it did at first. The incision line feels like a thick cord, but maybe that is to be expected.
You ladies are such sweethearts. This message board is loaded with angels.
I hope that each of you are feeling great today and that God's blessings have filled your cups to overflowing. Many hugs!!!

Re: Julie, Ellen, Tammie, Judy

ellenw on 6/27/01 at 15:23 (051654)

hugs back.
ellen

Re: Simmering Infection???????-Doctors??

Mary S. on 6/27/01 at 15:26 (051655)

Still hoping one of the board's kind doctors could advise or comment.
Thanks so much in advance!!
Thanks again to all my friends who I can count on to come to my rescue.

Re: Cipro is not good for this possible infection. I have to tell it like it is !!!

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/27/01 at 21:59 (051685)

Heat is important and now I have to put my experience into this. Cipro is the wrong drug to be using. The typical post-op infection is caused by Staph and cipro is terrible for this bacteria. You need to be on a drug such as Ampicillin or klefex but cipro in not good.

Heat elevation, rest rest. and the right antibiotic

Re: Dr. z.--I'm allergic to penicillian & all related drugs

Mary S. on 6/27/01 at 22:38 (051690)

Could you please tell me an antibiotic that is not related penicillan that I could take. I am going to try to see my family doctor tomorrow.
Thank you so much for telling me this!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Dr. z.--I'm allergic to penicillian & all related drugs

wendyn on 6/27/01 at 22:57 (051693)

Mary - my son is allergic to penicillin and sulpha...they usually give him clarithromycin (biaxin) or erythromycin. There are lots of alternatives to penicillin.

Re: the right antiobiotic

Julie on 6/28/01 at 02:34 (051706)

Mary, re Dr Z's response, that's exactly what I was trying to say in my yesterday post. I'm not familiar with Cipro, so I refrained from commenting specifically, but it did sound, and still does, as though you were taking the wrong drug for the particular infection you have. You need the right one. This is why I queried your guy's dismissing of blood work as unhelpful - a blood test would (as far as I know) identify the type of bacteria causing the infection. Erythromycin was the antibiotic I was given for my wound infection (which was a staph infection) and it cleared it within two or three days.

I hope you get more sense out of your family doctor today and that you'll get over this thing quickly now.. Please keep us posted.

Re: Simmering Infection???????--THANKS FOR HELP!!

Mary S. on 6/28/01 at 08:55 (051721)

I appreciate Dr. Z and all of you for the advice and information. I have an appointment at 1:10 today with my family doctor. Now I can go in there and know waht I'm talking about--I will get another antibiotic. This doctor saved me once, so I'm counting on him to save me now.
Actually, Dr. Zuckerman saved me just by alerting me to the fact that cipro is the wrong med. for this. Many thanks to him!!

Re: Simmering Infection???????

Julie on 6/27/01 at 02:59 (051608)

Mary, this concerns me. I have to tread lightly, because all I know about wound infection is from the one I had myself, after my mastectomy. My consultant put me on an antibiotic immediately, then did blood tests, from which he discovered exactly what sort of infection it was. He changed the antibiotics, and the infection cleared.

OK - a different person, a different surgery, a different country, a different situation altogether - but I can't understand why your doctor says wait two weeks, or why the 'only' way to determine infection is to open you up, or why he doesn't do blood tests to determine the presence of one type of bacteria or another.

I hope the doctors will say what they think because I'm talking from very limited experience, but your description of what is going on with your wound really concerns me, and I can imagine what you must be going through.

Re: Simmering Infection???????

Tammie on 6/27/01 at 07:41 (051617)

Julie , ditto here I feel this way also and worries me to!!!!!

Re: Simmering Infection???????

ellen w on 6/27/01 at 09:40 (051626)

Mary,

Do you live anywhere close to a major medical center that has a wound healing center or a strong derm department? It sounds to me like you need someone besides this surgeon to evaluate what's going on.
ellen

Re: Simmering Infection???????

JudyS on 6/27/01 at 12:48 (051642)

Mary, I'm not a physician but I have to say that your doctor's response seems a bit odd to me(there goes that mom in me again!). Do you think there's an infection? And, if he said it's more red than usual, why not just go ahead with an antibiotic just in case? No, I'm not a proponent of blanketing every symptom with an anitbiotic in every case, but gosh, if the probability/possibility exists here, why take a chance that there might have to be another surgery?

Re: Julie, Ellen, Tammie, Judy

Mary S. on 6/27/01 at 15:14 (051653)

Thank ya'll so much for caring!! I am taking 750mg. of cipro twice a day now. I have already been through one round of it two weeks ago. I decided that I want my family doctor to look at it, plus I need to see him anyway for checkup. They are going to try to work me in tomorrow. If he seems worried, I'll just do whatever he says. I do think it is an infection by the way it looks and feels. Soooooo hot to the touch, flesh very hard and red, but the redness does not extend as far out as it did at first. The incision line feels like a thick cord, but maybe that is to be expected.
You ladies are such sweethearts. This message board is loaded with angels.
I hope that each of you are feeling great today and that God's blessings have filled your cups to overflowing. Many hugs!!!

Re: Julie, Ellen, Tammie, Judy

ellenw on 6/27/01 at 15:23 (051654)

hugs back.
ellen

Re: Simmering Infection???????-Doctors??

Mary S. on 6/27/01 at 15:26 (051655)

Still hoping one of the board's kind doctors could advise or comment.
Thanks so much in advance!!
Thanks again to all my friends who I can count on to come to my rescue.

Re: Cipro is not good for this possible infection. I have to tell it like it is !!!

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/27/01 at 21:59 (051685)

Heat is important and now I have to put my experience into this. Cipro is the wrong drug to be using. The typical post-op infection is caused by Staph and cipro is terrible for this bacteria. You need to be on a drug such as Ampicillin or klefex but cipro in not good.

Heat elevation, rest rest. and the right antibiotic

Re: Dr. z.--I'm allergic to penicillian & all related drugs

Mary S. on 6/27/01 at 22:38 (051690)

Could you please tell me an antibiotic that is not related penicillan that I could take. I am going to try to see my family doctor tomorrow.
Thank you so much for telling me this!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Dr. z.--I'm allergic to penicillian & all related drugs

wendyn on 6/27/01 at 22:57 (051693)

Mary - my son is allergic to penicillin and sulpha...they usually give him clarithromycin (biaxin) or erythromycin. There are lots of alternatives to penicillin.

Re: the right antiobiotic

Julie on 6/28/01 at 02:34 (051706)

Mary, re Dr Z's response, that's exactly what I was trying to say in my yesterday post. I'm not familiar with Cipro, so I refrained from commenting specifically, but it did sound, and still does, as though you were taking the wrong drug for the particular infection you have. You need the right one. This is why I queried your guy's dismissing of blood work as unhelpful - a blood test would (as far as I know) identify the type of bacteria causing the infection. Erythromycin was the antibiotic I was given for my wound infection (which was a staph infection) and it cleared it within two or three days.

I hope you get more sense out of your family doctor today and that you'll get over this thing quickly now.. Please keep us posted.

Re: Simmering Infection???????--THANKS FOR HELP!!

Mary S. on 6/28/01 at 08:55 (051721)

I appreciate Dr. Z and all of you for the advice and information. I have an appointment at 1:10 today with my family doctor. Now I can go in there and know waht I'm talking about--I will get another antibiotic. This doctor saved me once, so I'm counting on him to save me now.
Actually, Dr. Zuckerman saved me just by alerting me to the fact that cipro is the wrong med. for this. Many thanks to him!!