Post-Surgery Infection

Sixteen days after my surgery, things seemed to be going well.  Until a rapidly increasing fever set in.

When I called the urologist, he ordered me back to the hospital as soon as I could get there.  That was going to be tricky, because that day, a winter storm was approaching.  I couldn’t drive yet, and my boss lived not far from the hospital, so I called him just as the company decided to shut down the plant and send people home ahead of the storm.  He happily gave me a ride to the Emergency Room.

I was re-admitted to the hospital and was subjected to a battery of tests to determine what was going on.  In a nutshell, lymph fluid was building up around my bladder and had become infected.  I was started on a course of intravenous antibiotics, and two drains were inserted into my groin to drain the fluid.

I remained in the hospital for five nights–three nights longer than for my original surgery–before the antibiotics kicked in and got the infection and fever under control.  I was sent home with the drainage tubes still sticking out of my groin.  Each had a lemon-sized rubber reservoir that the fluid drained into, and I had to measure and record the fluid output.

The urologist was wanting to see the fluid output below a certain level before making the decision to remove the drainage tubes.  It took two weeks before one tube could be removed, and an additional week after that before the second tube could be removed.  Frustratingly, I had had a catheter or tube coming out of my body for 33 of 38 days after the surgery.  It sucked.

The surgeon said that this was a very rare occurrence; I guess I was just the “lucky” one that had to have it happen to him.

Needless to say, the whole experience slowed my recovery, but I don’t think there were any lasting effects as a result.

 

2 thoughts on “Post-Surgery Infection

  1. Kristi Bennett

    So glad I came back to this. I thought I remembered that you had post-surgical complications. When I read this today, it gave me hope because my husband is back in the hospital with infected lymphocele fluid after radical open prostatectomy. Today is day five (if you include overnight in ER). Unfortunately, his reports of side abdominal pain since 1 week after surgery were dismissed as “well, it takes a while to heal from this.” Then, sudden fever, chills, and collapse with blood pressure of around 54/42 at Urgent Care, followed by ambulance ride to ER, followed by stabilization with CT scan and blood draws resulting in ER finding the fluid buildup, followed by much longer ambulance ride to hospital where surgery was performed — and all of this was five-and-a-half weeks after surgery. Glad to know there’s hope after still cycling into fever after 3-1/2 days of IV antibiotics and Tylenol.

    Thanks so much for your blog; Steve may be coming up to the same treatment choices as you’re currently facing, as well. I appreciate the personal perspective after reading so many scientific studies. I also like your continuing PSA graph and so many good links; my husband is a stats/graph-keeper from way back, and when he comes out of the overwhelmed period, he’ll appreciate your blog for that, too. Good luck for the continuing journey….

    Like

    1. Hi Kristi,

      I’m sorry to hear that Steve is going through this, but glad to hear that it sounds like they’ve got things under control and are making progress. That post-surgery infection in my case was almost a worse experience than the actual surgery and the recovery. Just keep closely monitoring things once he gets home.

      Thanks, too, for your kind words about my blog. It was really important to me to have that first-hand patient insight, so this is my way of repaying the favor. Little did I know when I started this, that I’d still be writing coming up on 8 years later. Who knew?

      Wishing you and Steve all the best and a full recovery—patience is a virtue (although difficult to achieve) in a situation like this.

      —Dan

      Like

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