As you know, about 6 weeks ago, on April 25, I underwent open heart surgery at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey. The surgery installed quadruple bypass grafts for four clogged coronary arteries.
I've been sore, but recovering without incident - until this morning. Today, there's a small HOLE in the main incision - puss came out.
It's not a deep hole; you cannot see into my chest cavity. No visible heart or lungs! But there's a definite hole on the surface of the incision.
I do not have a fever. No vomiting or diarrhea. No pain from my heart or lungs. I'm not feeling sick, or weak, or dizzy. No major pain or swelling; just the typical soreness from the Sternum bone that has been trying to heal after they cut into my chest.
I have no idea at all how or why this main incision along my sternum is opening up.
I called Englewood Hospital at 5:25 AM and they paged the on-call Thorasic surgery person who told me I have to come in.
Great. Here we go. More hospital.
I do not believe I will be admitted, and in fact, I will OPPOSE being admitted. Hospital is like prison and having been in both, I wish to avoid both at all costs.
I'll keep you posted.
UPDATE 11:24 AM EDT --
I'm home from the hospital. The hole in my cardiac incision occurred because . . . ready for this . . . my body is rejecting and attacking the internal stitches used during surgery.
The Doc pulled fragments of an internal stitch from the hole that developed this morning. This fragment was one of the internal stitches that held my INTERNAL chest wall closed after surgery.
Then she looked farther down the main incision and found three or four more Internal stitches that are being rejected/attacked and pushed out of my body. She took them out too.
The internal stitches are a type which is "dissolvable." After a certain period of time, the stitch dissolves and is cleared from our bodies the way any other debris is cleared.
As the stitch dissolves, it releases whatever tissue it was previously holding together, which has already taken place inside me. That internal tissue is mostly healed.
But portions of some of the stitches haven't fully dissolved . . . so my immune system is treating those segments as foreign invaders and attacking them.
They gave me Keflex antibiotic to be on the safe side, told me to bathe the incision more frequently and gave me Betadyne swabs to coat the wound twice a day.
I am to take the Keflex (500 mg) FOUR TIMES A DAY for ten days and if any further holes develop, I have to go right back to the Hospital that same day. If this persists, they may have to culture the puss to see if something else is at play here.
Other than that, hopefully this will pass as the remaining fragments of internal stitches continue to dissolve and go away. We hope.