Post-surgery my specialist had recommended seeing someone in his team for more specialised advice on how to care for my wounds.
Today I met with his Surgical Care Practitioner and as far as wound knowledge goes, she really knew her onions! I’d never heard of the role before but they are an integral part of the surgical team and are involved in some capacity from admission to discharge and can even be trained to perform some aspects of the surgery such as wound closure.
Before examining the wound I gave her a bit of background as to how I ended up having an EUA (Examination Under Anaesthetic) and the fact that I had been bedridden for most of the weekend due to (most probably) another infection. A swab had been taken on the day before surgery and it revealed that I was harbouring a colony (her words) of Staphylococcus aureus so a treatment of Doxycycline was prescribed. I was already feeling ill before going into hospital and in the days leading up to admission I had wondered whether there was a second infection present that the Clarithromycin I was taking wasn’t killing.
During the EUA the wounds would have be debrided (a new word to me) to remove dead and infected tissue but there was a chance that there could be some infection left so a swab was taken of both wounds. Blood was also taken to double check everything.
She dressed both wounds meticulously and ensured that both wounds were dressed separately and a bridge was retained between then to try and prevent any exudate/blood moving between the two wounds. This was another level wound management compared to what I had been receiving at the GP surgery but I would be able to pass this information on.
She probed both wounds and was doubtful that they were connected but only an MRI would reveal whether they were so she tried to bump me up the list although it would likely be August before I have one. Should the two be connected the remedy would be to open up the Ken Butt and leave it open but covered with a VAC (Vacuum-Assisted Closure). The VAC would help promote faster healing and reduce the risk of further infections. If the two are not connected then there may not be a need for a VAC and they would try to heal the wound in the current way of daily dressing changes.
So going forward I will return to the daly dressings with my regular cohort of nurses at the GP surgery with the possibility of a follow up visit to the Surgical Care Practitioner at the end of the week.