Slight Complications


Not to fear, everything went well during my husband’s outpatient surgery to remove his Medi-port. He was in and out of the general surgery office within 45 minutes; one less port and a few stitches.

The thing that bothers me is when doctors send you home with no instructions or any idea on what you can expect. They simply told Greg to keep his bandage on until it falls off and the stitches would dissolve on their own. So what kind of panic do you expect a patient to feel when they get home and their bandages are soaked through with blood?

Since Greg and I are pros at this, I simply told him to keep an eye on it and if it started to bleed outside the Tegaderm, then we will need to clean the wound area ourselves and get some fresh bandages. That was exactly what needed to happen because he woke up the next morning with blood pooling behind the Tegaderm. Needless to say, he panicked and wanted to do back to the doctor right away. I, on the other hand, convinced my loving husband to have us clean the area first to see if ho badly the wound is bleeding under the dressing. Luckily, it was no longer bleeding and with some fresh bandages, he was good as new.

But this still goes back to the point I made earlier. I hate it when doctors don’t tell you more than take some Tylenol and let it be. Luckily we have done a lot more “nursing care” at home for Greg’s ailments in the past that it was a walk in the park to clean up the area and apply new bandages. We knew exactly where to clean, how to make sure the preparation area was sterile, and the proper bandages that were needed.

If only doctors would communicate possible complications and what to be on the lookout for, they would greatly decrease the amount of anxiety and frustration their patients (and families) feel. (sigh)

After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

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