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Swelling & Bloating

Today I had another post-op appointment.  It was just supposed to be with a nurse to get the rest of my staples out, but since I have been having some issues, she had to call my surgeon in as well.

Last Friday I called and explained to them that my bellybutton was still not looking good.  Since they took 1/2 the staples out last week, it has sort of pulled away and doesn’t seem to be healing together.  I can see the stitches under the skin and it drains quite a lot, not to mention it hurts all the way around it and its a deep pain.  So they said they would leave a prescription for more pain meds for me in the emergency department since it would be after hours before I could pick it up.  But on the way there I decided I would go ahead and see a doctor since there was just the beginning of an odor.

Once I got there, the ER doctor took a look and diagnosed me with mild cellulitis in and around my bellybutton.  He prescribed a different antibiotic than I had just finished off, I picked up my prescription for pain meds, and went home.  The pain meds helped over the weekend, but my bloating got pretty bad.  In fact, I think my tummy looks about 3-4 months pregnant.  I had been telling Jake I was pregnant with a water baby.  LOL

My bloated round belly

Back to today… the nurse took my staples out everywhere except around my bellybutton.  She put steri-strips across the entire incision where there weren’t already steri-strips from last week.  Then the surgeon came in and decided he wanted to try to drain fluid from under my skin, since that was what he believed the bloating to be from.  He had a large, I’m guessing 14-gauge needle, and poked me right in the belly to drain fluid.  It really freaked me out, and it hurt.  Thank goodness my mom was there with me to try to distract me because I thought I was going to pass out.  He didn’t get any fluid out, so he tried a second poke.  He then told me that it wasn’t fluid making me bloated, it was a large blood clot between my skin and my abdominal wall that could not be removed with the needle due to its thick consistency.  It is not dangerous, and is fairly normal.  But it was not able to be drained.  He said keep wearing compression garments (which I have been 24/7 except showers), and go ahead and stay active.  It will take 6-10 weeks for the clot to dissolve and go away, and until then I just have to deal with the bloating. He said to speed the process slightly and decrease discomfort, I should take hot showers (not baths), and/or use a heating pad on my belly.

Also, he said my bellybutton looks okay, and he promises it will look better someday.  But for now I am to finish up the antibiotics and keep the remaining staples in it for another 2 weeks.

The best news of the day: most of the staples are out and I can be active again.  And by active I mean walking.  Still no lifting or strenuous activity.

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