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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17510
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am posting on behalf of my mom. She had a atal Hernia

Customer Question

Hello, I am posting on behalf of my mom. She had a Hiatal Hernia Repair done on 11/18/15. (not laparoscopic) She is on a full diet, but is really struggling with the healing process. She had tubes in to support her stomach and got them removed on Thursday
12/10/15. They did not cover up the holes where the tubes were except with a little bit of gauze. One of the holes she has quite a bit of drainage. This had caused the area around the hole to be very red and tinder. She cries out in pain every time it drains.
It drains if she eats or drinks(of course). I fear she isn't eating or drinking because of this(she is drinking, but I don't think enough and is really not eating. She tried a few sips of a protein smoothie today, but hasn't drank any since. She has started
on a 100% complete vitamin today to hopefully get some nutrients. Even when she moves, it hurts and drains (the drainage is bloody sometimes. She did fall off her bed earlier this morning. (she fell down on her tail bone). She has a bad back so she is in a
lot of pain with that also. (she was told to lay flat after eating or even for a while, but that caused her a lot of pain with her back.) Does you have any suggestions for her? Mostly with healing of the holes. She called the nurse/doctor on Friday and they
said to give it a few days to a week. All they suggested was protein. Right now she is putting a gauze on it and putting a bit of pressure on it. She doesn't want to tape gauze on there because when it soaks up the drainage it hits the raw skin and it hurts
a lot. I feel so bad for her and want to help her. Thank you so much in advance for any help. *I apologize if I posted this in the wrong area. I wasn't sure what doctor area to click on. If you could help point me in the right direction if this area is incorrect,
I would really appreciate it. Thank you!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 11 months ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

They are correct that it will typically take several more days for these wounds to heal after the tubes are removed and that protein intake is the most important nutritional component to promote healing, and there is no supplement that can substitute for protein intake. If she is not getting a good amount of protein in her diet, then the next option would be to get some protein powder and add it to whatever food is well tolerated. Protein powder is frequently sold as something to be added to smoothies, but can be added to other foods. A multivitamin supplement can also help promote healing in someone with poor oral intake.

It also may help to apply a minor pressure dressing to the wound by folding one gauze pad into quarters and covering with a second unfolded gauze pad. If she finds it uncomfortable to tape these in place, then using an elastic bandage, such as an ACE bandage, to wrap the entire abdomen would be an alternative. If using this, you would not want it so tight that it constricts breathing. It should just be form enough to hold the gauze pads firmly in place. Depending upon the exact location of the wound, it may also be possible to hold the gauze pads in place using a back brace.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello Dr. Love. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. I wanted to see how today went before I replied to you. Thank you for answering my question. I let my mom know what you said and she tried the gauze on the wound and then a larger gauze on top of it. This has seemed to help. Today has been better than the last few days. (Oh the two holes(wounds) are on her stomach)Also she did follow up with her doctor's M.A. today and they said food in small amounts through out the day will help aid in the healing process. (the M.A. did also mention protein being good for helping the healing process)My mom found out today from the M.A. that the tubes actually went into her stomach. She was not told this before. This seems to be why she has had so much drainage. She was wondered/worried if she keep gauze on the wound, if this would prevent some of the drainage from coming out if this could cause damage to the hole(s) in the stomach?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 11 months ago.

I assumed that it was likely that the tubes entered the stomach, since the drainage increased when she ate or drank. A gauze pad is absorbent, so will not prevent drainage that needs to come out nor damage the wounds, just as the gauze that was originally placed over the wounds would not damage the wounds.

If the ACE bandage were constricting, that might be another issue, beyond the issue with breathing noted above, but as long as it is firm, but not tight, it typically will not be a problem for wound healing.

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