Open incision wound after ostomy reversal

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 10/10/2007 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Has anybody else had to suffer an open wound after they got their ostomies reversed? about a week after I got home I noticed this thick brown discharge saturating my bandages at the incision site. Went to the doctor and he said I had a hematoma and the brown discharge was old blood from the surgery. He proceeded to open a few more inches of my incision right there in the room. It was painful and disgusting!
So now I have a very deep hole in my stomach. It's so deep my Mom uses a flashlight to get a good look all the way inside. My little nephew said it looked like a bullet hole. Thank God I have my Mom to do the packing for me. When I looked at it my stomach turned. This is even more gross then my ileostomy.

Post Edited (taurus) : 10/10/2007 2:10:40 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 10/10/2007 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry to hear about your wound. I still have my ostomy but I'm contemplating reversal. I did have two wicked big surgeries from which my ileostomy resulted. I had big time incisions, j-tube, g-tube and several
drains installed to drain infections plus two stage 4 bedsores. The wound care nurse at the hospital was invaluable in helping me heal and I even saw a wound care doc for a while after my discharge. They had me use Siverdine (Silver Sulfadia) and Baza antifungal cream. They certainly helped with the bedsores I am not sure if they are appropriate for your incision site. Maybe you can have a consult with a wound care specialist? My surgeon deferred to my wound care doc re: healing.

How is your appetite? Did you lose a lot of weight?

I hope your feeling better soon.

Ileostomy since August 2005.
As result of surgery (modified whipple) for necrotising pancreatitis. Removal of gallbladder, 2/3 of pancreas, resections of large and small intestines. Massive infection. 8 months in ICU at Westchester County M.C. (I think that's a record). Second surgery for resection due to fistulas in January 2007. Been slowly recovering since then. Possible reconnection candidate.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 10/10/2007 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
i'm not sure i understand exactly what you mean, they didn't sew you up after surgery? that sounds dangerous. anyway, i don't have any experience with that, but a girl i used to work with had a condition where she was born with her stomach open, it didnt' close in the womb. And she apparetnly had a lot of trouble with that, infections and all kinds of stuff.
I can imagine that you must be in a lot of pain, i hope you start to feel better

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 10/11/2007 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I had to have my incision opened up after surgery while I was still in the hospital because the incision became infected. I can't believe you don't have a wound care nurse, especially if it's that deep. I had a nurse twice a day once I went home, to pack with wed/dry packs.After a week or so they decided to put me on a wound Vacuum (which needs a nurse visit 3 times a week). It took a long time to heal (about 2 months), but they say the wound Vac really speeds up the process.

Sometimes they try to have a family member do this wound care, saves the insurance company a lot of money, but I really believe you need a trained nurse looking at this and changing things depending on how it's healing. I ended up with tunnels that had to be addressed and were hard to see but a trained nurse knew what to look for.

If you push, say your mom can't do it, you can't see it to do it, your insurance should cover home health to come out and/or a wound Vac.

49 years old, CD since I was a child.    
Six resection surgeries, permanent ostomy, adverse reactions to Remicade finally off of Prednisone, back on 6MP, hoping for a long remission from this last surgery. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 301
   Posted 10/11/2007 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi taurus,I don't usually post on this board,but the title of your thread caught my eye.I do not have an ostomy,but did have an open incision after resection.

First off,I like to say that I can totally relate,& was pretty freaked out by having a hole the size of a nerf football in my tummy.The whole purpose of leaving the incision open is to greatly reduce the risk of serious infection in the wound.The incision will close from the inside out,thus pushing any bacteria or infection up & out.

Mine closed up successfuly w/out any infections in about 2 months time.My scar is pretty bad though,but atleast I didn't have to get cut open again because of infection,so I can't complain.

If you don't mind,I would like to offer some advice on 2 things that I think greatly helped in my a total sanitary freak w/your dressing changes & supplies.My family got sick of me being so bossy about it,but I know that it paid off in the end.I even moved into my moms pet free home temporarily at first ,just in case.The other thing that I did was wear an abdominal binder.It made wearing pants a whole lot easier(I even wore jeans about 2 wks after surgery),& it really helped me get around alot better.

I really hope that you have a good & speedy recovery.Take care.
Official Crohns DX-march 2004.Pentasa 4000mg,B12,Probiotics
         1 resection
Cardiomyopathy DX-may 2004.Coreg,Altace,Digitek,Lasix,Potassium,very low-sodium diet

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/11/2007 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad to hear such good advice.  I expect, if all goes well and doc approves in Nov I will have my reversal in Dec.  I didnt know what to expect with the hole closing up.  I am sure it will be like having it to close from inside out, like my initial wound for the first surgery.  It has taken a couple of months for that to heal also.  We did twice daily dressing changes also.  Not too sure what to expect as far as prep for the second surgery, but I expect it to be very rigerous also.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 10/12/2007 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
My old ostomy site healed great, took minimal care, just a non-stick bandage change daily.
49 years old, CD since I was a child.    
Six resection surgeries, permanent ostomy, adverse reactions to Remicade finally off of Prednisone, back on 6MP for maintenance, hoping for a long remission from this last surgery. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 10/14/2007 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
hi there,
    i had my ileostomy reversed this last april i ended up with a hole kinda like what you are talking about and it was healing from the inside out it was gross and leaked a whole lot of stuff but i just kept it clean and changed the bandages as often as i could it took until july before it was fully healed up tho so could take awhile.hope it gets better for you soon just watch for signs of infection like the site being unusually red or if you get a tempature.
~~Had emergency surgery for perforated diverticulitis jan 2007, ileostomy reversal april 2007~~

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 10/14/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
My incision was closed with staples after my surgery. Things were fine for a day or two but after I got home it started seeping. That's when I went back to the doctor and he opened it up a bit more and drained the hematoma. It's been a couple weeks and it's not as deep now as it was. But it's still pretty disgusting. My Mom is in the health field that's why she volunteered to take care of it for me. She does this kind of thing for a living.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 10/14/2007 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
You are lucky to have someone that is knowledgeable to help you take care of it. Sometimes, incisions healing from the inside -- out take a while to close up. Be patient and hopefully once it is closed, you'll never have to worry about it.

Many years ago, I was released from the hospital with a drainage tube after an attempt at my temporary ostomy at that time. My CD came right back in full force, and a few years down the line after treating with oral drugs, I had to have a perm ileostomy. But, my temp ostomy site healed very well and no problems with it since cuz they were able to cut out that temp scar when they did the perm ostomy. My stoma is in the same exact location at the temp one was. I still have a couple of small scars from the drainage tube --- no worries tho.
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/25/2011 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my ostomy reversed in November had to go back into the hospital because it got infected. They had to open up about 4 inches of my incision and clean it out. I then had home health nurse coming at first to pack it because I had quite a lot of tunneling under the stitches. Then I had a wound vac put on. I hated it but it really helped the incision to heal quickly. It is now the end of February and the wound finally has a scab on it so I hope it is about over. What I am concerned about is that my stomach looks like I am about 3 months pregnant. It is not fat. It is solid and feels like when I was pregnant. Has anyone else had this? I am wondering if I am still swollen from the surgery or if this huge stomach is here to stay. Some attending at my last check up said that it was scar tissue. I can't believe I can have THAT much scar tissue. I am thinking of buying some Spanx or something soon to squish it all in. I have lost 20 pounds because of the surgery but my stomach is so big I can't wear clothes to show off my weight loss. Anyone with something similar please answer my question or any help would be greatly appreciated.

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