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Wound vac

Jme
 
This is the best website for people with an Ostomy. So much understanding.

I had rectal cancer surgery on 9/6/2022 that required a large surgical incision via my perineum.  I am not currently having any problems with my ostomy, but the 3M wound vac I have been on since 9/30 has been a ‘pain in the butt’.  Anyone out there now on a wound vac?  

 

Never had to have one but I was really close. All the nurses said….you don’t want one back there if you don’t have to. My wound wouldn’t heal and I finally did HBO treatments and that pretty much took care of it.

MeetAnOstoMate - 28,893 members
 

I had a wound vac for 6 weeks in the middle of my abdomen last year. It went from my waist up. I went home from the hospital with a portable one. Home health nurses came and changed the dressing every 3rd day. The location you have it sounds excruciatingly difficult compared to my location. I wish you a very speedy recovery...

 

not my most recent surgey but the one before that I had a wound vac over an abdominal incision that was 28” long by 15” across. I had the vac for 8 weeks, the incision took 6 months to fully heal. 🥴😵‍💫  it wasn’t fun. I can’t imagine having one in the bum area. 

 

I had a wound vac on until 2 weeks ago.    I was told it was never to be off more than 2 hours in an emergency or 1 hour if I was taking a shower.   My first 24 hours I got a blockage alarm and had to call home health care.    I wish I could say that was the only time.   I got really good at unblocking it, and I learned how to seal it better if I was getting a warning over that.   The last two days I had the wound vac were sleepless because my wound was so small by that time, that it wasn't able to suck and alarms went off over pressure, over blockage.    I was so glad to send it back.   

I don't know how big your wound is, but I have to lightly pack mine daily and I have an ointment that I apply.    The sticky tape on the right side of my ostomy wafer has to be cut at an angle because it covers part of the wound.    I do know the closer it is to your ostomy the more of a headache it is.  

Jme
 


AlexT wrote:

Never had to have one but I was really close. All the nurses said….you don’t want one back there if you don’t have to. My wound wouldn’t heal and I finally did HBO treatments and that prett...

Thanks for the tip.  None of my health care people had as yet mentioned that to me.  I will read up on it and bring it and if progress with the wound vac slows to nil, start asking q’s about hyperbaric.

Jme
 


WIGirl77 wrote:

not my most recent surgey but the one before that I had a wound vac over an abdominal incision that was 28” long by 15” across. I had the vac for 8 weeks, the incision took 6 months to fully he...

Thank you for responding.  Mine is not that large by ‘area’, but was 10 cm deep (a tunnel ) — now down to 5 cm.

6 months, yikes.  

 


Jme wrote:

Thanks for the tip.  None of my health care people had as yet mentioned that to me.  I will read up on it and bring it and if progress with the wound vac slows to nil, start asking q’s about hy...

Good luck. They tried all kinds of stuff on me. The HBO treatments are painless unless you have pressure problems in your ears like when you fly. I did and had to get tubes put in. The treatments are time consuming, I did 40 at first Monday thru Friday for 2 hrs each day. Watch a movie or sleep, very easy to do. They do affect your eyes but it goes back to what it was prior to treatments. 

Jme
 


gairdinspreagtha wrote:

I had a wound vac on until 2 weeks ago.    I was told it was never to be off more than 2 hours in an emergency or 1 hour if I was taking a shower.   My first 24 hours I got a blockage alarm and...

Mine is 1/2” away from my testicles, so the nurse has a heck of a time taping it so that it lasts 10 minutes without a leak alarm.

By the time she finishes, there is no more tape left from the package.  I have to lay immobile on my back until she comes back 2 days later.  My big problem right now is that without extra tape, I have to lay here and my muscles are atrophying.  

We’re you able to buy extra tape somewhere?  I have searched and come up blank.  

Jme
 


AlexT wrote:

Good luck. They tried all kinds of stuff on me. The HBO treatments are painless unless you have pressure problems in your ears like when you fly. I did and had to get tubes put in. The treatments a...

Your hospital has one of these machines?

 


Jme wrote:

Your hospital has one of these machines?

Yes, actually 4 of them. 

 


Jme wrote:

Thank you for responding.  Mine is not that large by ‘area’, but was 10 cm deep (a tunnel ) — now down to 5 cm.

6 months, yikes.  

 

It sounds like you have almost exactly the same wound I had post-surgery last year.  Perineum all sewed up, but a 10cm deep hole that needed healing and keeping clean, so I was on a vac in hospital for a good few weeks before I was released home with a portable unit.

Not gonna lie, it was a total pain.  Because of the location, there was just not a way to keep the area still, and  even lying in bed for a few weeks I was constantly getting alarms due to broken seals, then having to call in district nurses every couple of days to change the whole thing.  Only problem, they had little to zero experience of dealing with the vac, and especially applying the dressings with a view to getting a seal that would last more than a day, or even a few hours.

Turns out having fulsome young ladies stopping by frequently to rummage around my undercarriage was a not as sexy as one would hope…

Anyway.  The good news for me, and hopefully for you, is that the worst of the wound did heal very quickly (lots of protein in my diet to help the process), and within a month I was cleared to lose the dratted vac and to look after myself - plenty of sterile gauze, antiseptic creams, saline solution etc.  Had a week or so of wearing incontinence pants, just for confidence when finally venturing forth outside.

Had all the surgeries over March/April 2021  and back at work (taking it very easy) at the beginning of July.  
Hang on in there, it does get better!

Jme
 

My fulsome young ladies have all been in their mid sixties to early seventies.

Ahh, but their hands!

Thanks for the chuckle.  Maybe I’ll be done and shoveling snow by Christmas.

 

You’ll be fine chap.  That whole deal felt like the end of the world at the time, but you figure it out in the end and just get on with it, y’know?

I definitely came out of it with some stories.  Definitely not the sort I’d share with with someone  who didn’t know the gig - but there were some appallingly funny moments nonetheless :)

Some of you out there might know what a ‘flap’ is.  I have one, and the bloody thing escaped.  Or so I  thought (terrified) and so did the attending student nurse(absolutely shitting herself) one busy night on my ward.  The culprit?  Wash ‘n Vac.  Basically a vac with a built in douche and a mind of its own! Dunno what sadist thought that thing up, but I don’t miss it one bit.

Jme
 

Wash n’ vac = a tiny, automated mobile car wash unit?  I think I’ll pass on that critter.

My nurse comes in 1 hour to inspect our recent experiment.  She decided on Monday to try using only the white foam instead of using white foam in the tunnel and black foam in the flap.  Of course I can’t see any of it and have decided after much deliberation to not put huge mirrors on my bedroom ceiling.

Thanks for the encouragement.

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