Over the last few days I have developed a bulge on the left half of my incision. It is extremely painful when I stand up, lean back (to recline or try to lay down) or sometimes just when I am sitting. I was worried that I had either torn my internal stitches that are holding my abdomen muscles together or that it was an incisional hernia. I figured we should probably call UCSF and see what they wanted to do. My mom called and talked to one of my favorite doctors! Doctor Mark, he was one of the transplant fellows, he was cool!
He said that because we are almost 4 weeks post op that my muscles should be healing up really well so tearing the stitches is unlikely. Also he said that hernia’s usually only happen with liver transplant patients who have mercedes incisions (where as I have a rainbow incision) and it is even more rare to get a hernia on the left side (they are more common on the right side of the incisions).
Because the bulge is a little above my incision, he said be believes it is an incisional hematoma (blood clot). We recently found out that there was a blood clot that contributed to my first transplant’s failure! These incisional hematoms can be common and the blood clot, in good time, should be reabsorbed by my body. However, they can be very painful. I can no longer stand up straight (where as I finally was able to stand up straight, it was so nice).
He didn’t give me any suggestions on what to do for it… I have a friend who also had a transplant at UCSF last year. She also developed a hematoma on her incision. Her hematoma caused her incision to open… 4″ wide, 2″ deep and took 2 months to finally heal (she had to pack it and change her dressing twice a day). Please pray that doesn’t happen and that God would give my body the capability to totally absorb this hematoma overnight!
To add insult to injury, as I have been doing more physically, my back is majorly protesting. My back pain is horrible! I guess being in surgery, totally relaxed on a hard table with my spine having no support for 20 hours will do that. I had to get out of bed last night and come sleep in the chair as I was in too much pain. My pain killers don’t touch either the hematoma pain or the back pain. You would think with how many surgeries they do and the technology we have today that they would create a surgery table that supports your back! It is crazy to me.
Oh well, God is good… all the time! I am alive, have a new liver and don’t have to go back to UCSF (I was afraid they would want to see me). I hope and pray that this dissipates and doesn’t turn into anything else.