After a break of a month, the Ken Butt wound that has been persisting for over 7 months has started to deteriorate again so I’ve had to restart seeing my team of nurses again. 

With the coronavirus pandemic taking hold and a lockdown on the horizon, I was told to no longer come to the surgery for wound dressings on March 20th. The process is straightforward enough to do myself so that wasn’t an issue and the wound was looking like it was on the way to healing we hoped that it would heal without any further intervention from a nurse. 

How the Wound Looked on March 5th (almost healed?)

Back visiting my team of nurses

However, throughout the end of March and into April, the wound looked like it was getting marginally worse but I was in regular contact with my surgical care practitioner (SCP) and she recommended that I continue dressing it myself. On April 17th the wound wasn’t looking good, was looking slightly larger and was starting to bleed on contact. This was a sign that the skin was very fragile and was easily breaking.  My SCP suggested that I start seeing my practice nurses again and trying out silver nitrate to treat the wound. Despite everything that’s going on, you can still make appointments if you really need to.

How the Wound Looked on April 17th (Deteriorating)
Pre-Silver Nitrate Treatment

Silver Nitrate Treatment

Silver nitrate can be used as an anti-infective treatment and can cauterise bleeding. The treatment is relatively painless but can cause a blackening of the skin where treated. 

I was given a single treatment which tingled a little and continued to throughout the day. I hadn’t given it much thought as to whether it would work or not it would help the wound but automatically presumed it would. However, the next day the wound had opened up and was bleeding a little more. It hadn’t helped and if anything had made things slightly worse. Since then I’ve seen a nurse twice and on both occasions we’ve held off applying any more silver nitrate and instead and resorted to the usual treatment of using an Aquacel and Zetuvit dressing simply to absorb the blood and small amount of exudate. 

How the Wound Looked on April 22nd (After Silver Nitrate Treatment)

What’s Next?

This is third or fourth time that the wound has appeared to be almost healed and then reopened due to the fragility of the skin. The skin just never seems to become thick enough to prevent any further opening of the wound and I’m not sure how it will become thick enough. I’ve contacted my SCP again asking if there are any other types of treatment that we can try or specialists that can help. This particular wound is now 7 months old and the end just doesn’t seem to be in sight. I’m hoping that there is something else to try rather than just crossing my fingers and hoping it all sorts itself out!

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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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