The Never Healing Abscess

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MAG102886
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 2/25/2009 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Ive had this abscess ever since my last resection in sept.  The first round I was rushed to the ER where it decided to explode, it was then opened up completely cleaned out, and I was hooked up to this lovely machine called a wound VAC. It seemed to heal up completely, but a couple of weeks later it was back again! Horray.  It was opened again but because I didnt have insurance this go around, I didnt get a wound VAC, and I was told just to do a wet to dry dressing.  Heres the problem, it heals around, but not from the bottom up, so its still just as deep as it was to begin with but MUCH smaller in diameter.  My surgeon said its because of my weight, which I wont deny, I did gain 45lbs from being on 100MG of pred for over 5 months, plus the taper off.  Of course I cant just drop the 45lbs in a day, a week, or even a months time...its a long process, but is there anything I can do to help it help from the bottom up faster.  Its so frustrating, theres a lot of discharge from it, sometimes dark brown or black, I was worried it was actually wastes from my stomach but my surgeon said if it wasnt more than a liter of discharge he highly doubts my intestines tunneled into my abscess.  Im supposed to only change the dressing twice a day, but I find myself changing it every 2 hours because it leaks through, I have to wash my bed sheets every morning because during the night it leaks horribly, Im worried about work, I start back on Saturday, hopefully it doesnt leak through my work clothes.  Blah!  Any advice or has anyone ever gone through this before?
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Humira (bi-weekly)
 

FallColors
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 2/25/2009 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Has your doc run a screen on the discharge? They can often tell where the fluid is coming from by the bacteria that is present. Also, maybe see a wound care specialist? Persistent wounds can be wicked to heal, and you can get nasty cellulitis and lots of edema. Some hospitals have wound care clinics. I googled "wound care" and found this article in Medscape:
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/194018-treatment#Treatment

I hope you get help soon!!
Diagnosed with rectal Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 2/25/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, Mag, that's terrible. I'm so sorry you've had to endure this.

This disease keeps getting crueller, doesn't it?
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


gachrons
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 2/25/2009 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Have you had it dressed by a nurse lately black coloring don't sound the greatest to me. I had a abdominal abcess and it healed but not completely it developed a fistula. Sounds like you are draining a fair amount. What are you using for dressing and cleaning? I changed mine to if it leaked threw and would up the amount of gauze or bandage depending on how much it drained. I used saline to clean it ,I did have a nurse come in and clean it about every 2 days or so when I was discharged I also used a cream on it that the Dr. had recommended ,and at the end I was using polytopic . Also they told me to up my protien intake and I know B-12 also helps heal . Keep in touch as I would like to know how things are going with you. I went on REmicade after a few months or so after my fistula developed.. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still alive.lol gail


craizy_daizy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 2/25/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
When I had an abscess drained (the second time around,also) they left a drain tube in for about three weeks with a drain bag that I strapped to my leg so you could hide it under my clothes. The tube had sort of a perforated balloon at the end so it wouldn't slide out, but would drain what was at the bottom. Then finally they did a CT scan that showed all the muscle had closed in around it and that's when they took it out.
craizy_daizy

-22 y/o alaskan
-resection oct '08
-diagnosed nov '08
-currently on asacol & flagyl


chroniemomx2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 2/25/2009 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
My surgeon told me that 50% of abscesss will turn into a fistula....so it could not be healing because it is a fistula. Where is the abscess at?

MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 2/25/2009 11:14 PM (GMT -7)   
The abscess is right above my bellybutton (the fattiest part of my stomach), my surgeon never mentioned that I could turn into a fistula, but he did say that eventually  hernia would develop there.  Ive been getting B12 shots every month.  I clean it out with saline and I use Kerlix gauze to pack it, and then I put a sterile pad over top of that and then tape it.

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Humira (bi-weekly)
 

gachrons
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 2/26/2009 3:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I put more gauze as it drained more on mine and glad your getting B-12. Sounds like you are getting the area cleaned that's good was wandering about that. Hopefully it will improve soon they take a long time especially if there is a fistula. How deep is it now? lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still alive.lol gail


dreamer06
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 221
   Posted 2/26/2009 4:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had the same problem as you.  My abcess appeared in October of 07 and I am still having surgery for it I am going in for my 6th in a few weeks.  I drain all the time and it never heals.  It drives my crazy.  The doctors tell me that this is a common problem and that it takes time. First I was told it would only take a few months to heal and stop draining I am now a year and a half later I am still draining!  I wear sanitary pads 24/7  they help me feel more comfortable going in public and not being afraid of the draining, which sucks.  If you find an answer to make it all go away let me know.  I can tell you this you will get used to it as much as it stinks to have it. 

crohn's pt mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 2/26/2009 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, boy.  It sounds like you are going through the same thing as my daughter, who's 21. I wish she would get on this site.  She's had this abcess for almost a year.  It is actually on or in her buttocks and she hasn't been able to sit comfortably for most of this time.  Friday she had surgery again, now she has 3 cton drains in. But the surgeon did irrigate the abcess and I'm hoping that this time it will heal.  She's on Flagyl again and sees the surgeon again on Monday - I'm just praying that she gets some relief soon. 
 
Her discharge was yellow, clear, bloody and now it is mostly bloody and not new blood either so I hope that's a good sign. She is supposed to go back to work later today. She uses the biggest, actually longest, menstrual pads she can find.
 
Good luck and I pray you heal quickly and with as little pain as possible.

MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 3/3/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I finally went to the ER because I just knew in my heart that something was wrong, and none of my doctors would listen to me.  Ive been thinking I had a fistula for a while now, but everyone kept blowing me off saying that it wasnt.  So when I got to the ER and I spoke with the doctor the first thing I told her was to give me a CT scan with the contrast and that I wouldnt leave until it was done.  Suprise, suprise. The CT scan showed a small fistula going right into the hole in my stomach.  Then the ER doctor offered me a job, jokingly for my "well thought out diagnosis" I did on myself, I thought to myself "well thought out?"  It doesnt take a doctor to tell someone if they have crap (litterally) coming out of a hole in their stomach that its probably a fistula.  Anyways, they admitted me, and the next morning one of my surgeons partners came in and told me I would need surgery to fix it, so Im now waiting until my surgeon gets back into the US from a business trip to plan things out with him.



Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Humira (bi-weekly)
 
www.myspace.com/mastermelissa

Post Edited (MAG102886) : 3/3/2009 1:58:56 PM (GMT-7)


Jen77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2690
   Posted 3/3/2009 12:51 PM (GMT -7)   
The first thing I thought when reading your first post was fistula. I'm amazed that your doctors didn't go there to begin with. My abcess busted (sadly the natural way, even after seeing a doctor, lots of baths, very painful!). But it never really healed up. I was left with this hole that just drained yuck, and didn't feel great. I was lucky that it never closed up because then you just end up with another painful abcsess like you have.
 
I'm glad they've found the fistula for you now though. Hopefully now they can help you get it healed up (I had surgery after having it there for a year).
~Jennifer
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.


crohn's pt mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 3/3/2009 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
My daughter is still draining from her abcess and today she had to leave work the pain was so bad.  I thought with the drains an abcess is supposed to close up.  What kind of surgery do they do for abcesses?
 
Because her's is on her bottom, she can lie in a warm bath for some relief but as soon as she gets up the pain is back.  She taking percocet now but it's too binding and she has to change to vicadin and that still does not get rid of the pain.

MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 3/3/2009 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
The only kind of surgery Ive had for my abscess is to clean it out.  Ive had that done twice.  But Ive never had a drain.  Are you talking about an abscess or a fistula with the drain?  I have a fistula coming out of the abscess on my stomach.  When I was 16 and first diagnosed I did have a fistula in my stomach and I had a drain for about a week or so and it was gone apparently.

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Humira (bi-weekly)
 

crohn's pt mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 3/3/2009 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm not sure about the fistula, she may have one.  I think it started draining into her anal canal and they put a drain in to assist in the drainage last July and cleaned out the abcess (supposedly) I'm not sure anymore.  After a few weeks they took the drain out and then put it back in in October because she had stopped draining and she could feel the pressure building up.  However, nothing happened she has been draining all this time then 2 weeks ago they went in and "irrigated the abcess" and put in 2 more drains.

So if the surgery is just cleaning out the abcess she has had that twice now and she's been on Cipro for a couple of months - not now though.  Her surgeon said the abcess goes almost from her tailbone to nearly her vagina.  The first surgeon was from our colo-rectal surgeons office but not the one treating her.  I'm hoping that since it was her treating dr. that did the surgery 2 weeks ago he will have a better understanding of the size, location etc. of hth abcess and somehow that will help her.

The pain she is experiencing with this abcess is intolerable.  Is that normal with most abcesses?


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 3/3/2009 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Mag I am so sorry. This is such a bummer. Wish there was something we could do for you.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 3/3/2009 3:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I would assume yes, however my abscess and fistula are both on my stomach right above my bellybutton so Im not putting hardly any pressure on it.  Before the abscess burst tho it was extemely painful, but now I dont feel it.  Sounds like a fistula to me, it could be a mix of both...but Im not a doctor I just know what I went through.  All I know is it continually drains, and I was now told not to pack it, just to cover it and tape it. I was like oh thats real cute, because theres nothing better then going to work and having to worry about it leaking and smelling.

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Humira (bi-weekly)
 

geordie lass
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/3/2009 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
 Hi sorry to hear your not doing so good at the minute and im not sure if this will help . Im new to this site so not even sure im doin this right but hope i am .....I ahve had crohns disease for over 12 years and had a open wound on my stomache where i had surgery and it would not heal , i was giving something called aquacell it comes in a ribbon like state .What you do is use a metal probe and gentle push the aquacell into the hole until its full ( try and measure how much goes in ) after the aquacell has been in for a while it turns to a gel like substance and after a while it will fall out so try and keep a dry dressing over just to keep it in place . It will heal your wound from the inside out and it is amazing to use it really does work as time goes by you should be using less and less to fill the whole as it heals . I live in england so the name might differ if your in another part ov the world so you might have to first do a search .I hope this helps and if not i hope you find help from some other source ......best wishes geordiedi x 

FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/3/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Geordie Lass! Welcome to the Forum! Sounds like you had quite the experience! Does the aquacell act like a plug?

Crohn's pt mom and MAG102886 -- I think we are talking about two types of fistulae, and the treatment is different for each. One exits from the abdomin. It appears surgery is often used to treat it, but some may heal with medication. I am not familiar with this type. I am too familiar with the second type which starts in the rectum and exits to the skin nearby (perineum, cheek, etc.). (Fistula can also go to the vagina, but I don't think anyone mentioned that type in this thread).

MAG102886 -- Good for you!! But I am concerned about your surgeons' performing surgery on you if they couldn't even recognise a fistula and wouldn't listen to you. Grrrrrr!! If it was so easy for the ER to see, what is wrong with your doctors? Is this the first time they have seen this?? Please, please make sure they describe in detail exactly what they are going to do. If they don't know Crohn's, they may not know which procedures are more successful. We just don't heal the same way. If you have any doubts, please please go see a colo-rectal surgeon who has experience in CD rather than a general surgoen who perfroms run-of-the-mill abdominal surgeries.

Crohn's pt mom -- I am concerned about her level of pain and that this has been going on for so long. Doesn't sound like the abscess/infection is gone. Does she have a fever? The second surgery was 2 weeks ago so she should be improving (slowly, but still moving in the right direction). Is she improving?? I had a pair very large and very deep abscess that went from vaginal wall to rectum. The surgeon opened it up wide and scaped it out. No drain was used because the surgeon opened the whole area up. I ended up with a whole the size of a small ice cream scoop, but it healed completely!! Took a couple of months but I really didn't have that horrible abscess pain and I felt better and better. Drains can be bad because bacteria can actually get back up there through the drain, and I am wondering if that is what is happening. Maybe she needs several days of IV antibiotics too. I would get a second opinion. It just doesn't sound right. I recommend a good colo-rectal suregon who knows CD at a teaching hospital.

Take care everyone!
Diagnosed with rectal Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.


MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 3/3/2009 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
FallColors- Whats weird and baffles me is that my surgeon is actually a GI surgeon and specializes in crohns surgeries and anything with the digestive tract, hes also a professor of surgery.  He actually called me this evening from Paris because his nurse sent him an email telling him what was going on.  He said he didnt suspect a fistula because for one to form so soon after surgery is very uncommon.  Im wondering if I had it all along and it was hidden or overlooked because of the abscess. Regardless of how crazy it seems, he is the only one I feel comfortable doing surgery on me, he knows my complete history and has been following along with my story the whole time, he works in my GI's office, so its very easy to relay whats going on from my GI to the surgeon, and its a group effort.  One of his partners actually came to see me while I was in the hospital and explained to me what was going on and told me he could do surgery on Thursday and I basically told him he wasnt going to touch me, and that I wanted my surgeon (I think I pissed him off, but I was tired and on pain meds and just wasnt myself.)

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Humira (bi-weekly)
 

FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/3/2009 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mag,

I'm glad you like him. I think he should have explored the abscess cavity more for a fistula. They use dye and see if it comes out somewhere else. Also, testing the discharge from your wound would have told him if it was wound fluid or stomach/intestinal stuff. So was he just not being thorogh enough?? You probably have his full attention now after another doc confirmed the fistula. I hope he can get this fixed ASAP for you! As for declining the offer of the other doctor. Don't feel badly. YOu can't let aomeone cut into you unless you have checked them out. Maybe he is experienced, but maybe not. You weren't in critical condition and needing emergency surgery, so I think you were smart ot wait.

What I have learned -- and what you just proved in insisting on teh scan -- is that we have to be active in managing our own disease. If we think we know what is worng, the doctors need to listen to us. We just can take the risk of doing anything less!

Take care!
Diagnosed with rectal Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.


piece of cake
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/21/2013 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
My son who is 23 years old was diagnosed with Crohn's in March. Since then he has had five surgeries plus two wound vac changes in the OR. He has been in the hospital 56 days to date. He has had a small section of his intestines removed in April. Less that two weeks later he was taken in for emergency surgery because his staples had burst open and the had to get the infection out. At this point they put in a wound vac. He had two wound vac changes in the OR. The second one showed more infection which they cleaned out stapled him closed with a drain in his side. After 23 days in the hospital he went home, only to return less than two weeks later with not only the incision burst open again but a large blister where the original laproscopic incision was that did as well. The surgeon did a panniculectomy at this point. My son has been having wound vac changes every other day both in the hospital and as an out patient. His most recent surgery was Sunday morning. He was leaking a large amount of intestinal fluid out of his wound causing the wound vac to be pushed out. His new wound vac is a silver one to promote healing. He has been on a feeding bag through IV since the surgery to let the fistula heal. I was wondering if anyone had advice? I was going to ask the surgeon aquacell. I was also going to ask him about the dye, instead of just giving him food on Tuesday and hoping for the best.

scifigal2k
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2644
   Posted 6/21/2013 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
This is a really old post; it might be better to make a new thread so that more people see your question.
CD 2010, Fistula, Pancreatitis, C. Diff.
Current: Remicade
Previous: Prednisone, Imuran, and Asacol

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
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