Today was the second full week that I had worn the VAC dressing and it was time for the fourth change. So how is it healing?

The Wound

The wound still looks quite raw and sizeable but I’m reliably informed that despite being a bit stinky when the dressing came off it’s looking very clean. Each time I get a dressing change I get the district nurse to take a photo so that I can forward it on to my surgical care practitioner for review. To her it appears to be a lot shallower which is a good sign of healing. 

Feeling brave? Here’s the wound after 14 days of using a VAC dressing (17 days after surgery).

Click to view
Very raw around the wound but the wound itself is clean and healing

The Skin Around the Wound

As mentioned in a previous post (10 Things I’ve Learned About Wearing a VAC Dressing), the area beneath the dressing can get very itchy and even though scratching it doesn’t do anything to relieve the itchiness, you can’t help but continue to do it. Consequently, the area has become quite raw During a dressing change Cavlon (or equivalent) is used to try and help alleviate this issue but due to inexperience, I think the district nurses were not putting enough on. Unfortunately once the dressing is on, and you’ve realised that more Cavlon should have been applied, it’s too late and you have to wait another 3 days to put some on. 

What’s Next?

Based on how it’s healing, the surgical care practitioner is planning on one more dressing change in 3 days time and then removing it 3/4 days afterwards thus giving a total time of 3 weeks. It will then be back to the regular daily dressing changes with the practice nurse. 

The VAC dressing appears to be a great way of rapidly healing a wound but I’ll be glad to have it disconnected. It has become a pain having to plug it around everywhere I go but ultimately worth it in the long run.

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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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