My second VAC dressing change took place on Sunday and whereas I had been having a lot of exudate draining out of it, it suddenly slowed down. Was everything ok?

What It Was Like Prior To The Change

The day before the second change

Prior to the change there was a steady flow of brown exudate draining from the wound into the machine’s canister but after the full dressing change the exudate practically disappeared. By the next day the clear fluid was draining out with the occasional drop of exudate. I was also hearing a weird gurgling noise from the soft port that’s connected to the dressing.

Two days after the second change and the tube was predominantly like this

Luckily I have a surgical care practitioner who is passionate about wound care and is determined to get my wound fully healed so I was able to call her for advice. The first port of call is the district nurse but none in my area that appear to be experienced in VAC dressings I left it for that day in the hope that it would kick in again.

I obviously have very limited experience with a VAC so it’s difficult to know when it’s working correctly and when it’s not. The machine was maintaining a vacuum and wasn’t alarming to indicate a leak or blockage so there may not have been an issue but the sudden change from exudate to very little concerned me and I wasn’t in a position to decide whether it was working correctly.

Time For An Early Change

On the second day (today) I decided that I would have to make the call to a district nurse knowing that the only real way of checking everything would be to take it down early and redress it entirely – which is what we did.

Everything looked normal and at the request of my surgical care practitioner we took a photograph of the wound to send to her. She’s the only one that’s seen it so is in the best position to know how well it’s healing. If you curious to know what it looks like, as well as what an AP resection looks like, the photo is below.

What The Wound Currently Looks Like
11 days post surgery and 8 days with a VAC dressing

Wound Appears To Be Healing Well

The photo was sent off and the signs are good. On appearance it’s looking healthy with no signs off infection and has become shallower which is why there’s less exudate. She is keen to get the wound healed so for the time being we’ll be keeping the VAC dressing on.

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life. I had the surgery in 2019 and this is my journey having a 'New Bum'.

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