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Recovery after large abscess (surgery) and cellulitis, how long?

(3 Posts)
TheWanderingUterus Wed 02-Nov-16 19:04:59

At the beginning of August I had emergency surgery to drain a massive abscess in my left side, just by my hip. It was about 8cm across and it was surrounded by a large patch of cellulitis (about 15 cm by 20 cm). The open wound was about ten cm deep and eight cm long and was packed and dressed every day until the 17th of September when it finally closed and I was discharged.

The nurses were fantastic and it has healed beautifully but they didn't have much advice to give me about the long term. The area with cellulitis is still discoloured (darker, slightly puffy) and is sometimes tender. I have had pulling, burning and aching sensations in the scar and its surrounding area and the occasional stabbing pains and twinges which have stopped me in my tracks. Recovery was complicated a little by a large swollen bruise close to the wound, where I fainted and hit a door handle hard (hard enough that I still have the mark of a perfect circle on my back).

After 6 weeks of slow recovery (and a week of illness before that) and then another month of less activity, I have had more than enough of resting and being treated like an invalid by everyone. I am trying to get back to normal, but I don't want to do myself any serious damage. Can anyone give me some idea about recovery times, I'm assuming months but desperately hoping not lots of months.

We are moving house soon and I have been shifting boxes/cleaning recently, there has been some aching in my hip area and some slight redness in my scar. I have been having lots of backaches but I assumed that's down to weeks of bed rest and then limited activity. DH is being a worrier and thinks I will reopen my scar, I presume by this point that is fairly unlikely.

PuppetInParadize Wed 02-Nov-16 20:38:50

Yes, it's unlikely you'd reopen the wound now if, as you say, it's healed well. The scarring would take a few months to settle, I think. It's hard to be sure as I can't see it - maybe you should show it to a HCP (a nurse or a GP) to be certain the cellulitis is all gone. A couple of years ago I had something similar. It remained slightly inflamed for a while, maybe 6 months, after the actual infection was gone. Just had a look - it's on my abdomen - and it's still a different shade of pink and a slightly odd shape but definitely all healthy skin now.

TheWanderingUterus Thu 03-Nov-16 12:45:35

Thank you Puppet, thats very reassuring. Its a deep scar and its definitely changing shape and becoming shallower slowly over time, I guess that must be it settling.

The nurses who packed and dressed the wound were very certain that the infection had all gone, but if the redness persists I will get an appointment to get it checked out. Occasionally I've noticed that just the cellulitis area has red pinprick spots over it but they clear very quickly.

Different shade of pink and slightly odd shape are both things I can live with. I was concerned that it wasn't 'healing' but I guess it was pretty traumatic for my body/skin.

I'm just going to keep going as I am then and tell DH to shush about overdoing it and ruptures and death etc. I am not a good patient at all.

Thank you again Puppet.

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