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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 55449
Experience:  Medical Doctor Trained at a Top Academic Institution
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My question is related to MRSA. I have been having these

Customer Question

Hi! My question is related to MRSA. I have been having these liquid filled boil on my chest along the bra line since November 2014, about 5 breakouts in total. I didn't think much of them because they were small and drained and healed up within a week
to 10 days. The last one I had started the same way and was on the elastic of my bra line. It was painful for about 10 days then I started with a fever and what felt like swollen glands. The site swelled badly overnight and was extremely red, hard and painful.
I went to my dermatologist who sent me to the surgeon right away. The surgeon lanced it in the office and packed it and sent me home with antibiotics and had me come back the next day. When I went back, the infection was still quite present so he decided to
take me into surgery to properly clean it and pack it. A culture then came back and was present for MRSA. He gave me 2 antibiotics for 2 weeks that showed the MRSA was sensitive to on the culture report. A week later, he said the site looked good and clean
and he took me back to surgery to clean it again and this time close the wound. I've been taking the antibiotics and after day 3 no more fever. I had half of the stitches removed today and he said it looks very good and the infection was gone. He said I should
just consider this bad luck and not worry about it anymore. I am still concerned though. I have been reading horror stories online about MRSA taking over your life. Should I be concerned? What should I do to prevent this from happening again? Also, since I've
been on antibiotic and the site looks like no more infection is present, can I be sure this MRSA infection did not spread to my body? Could it spread internally and the original infection site look clean and good? I am concerned because I started having an
ache in my left arm a day or two ago and extends to the top of my shoulder. It is more a bad ache. Its on the same side as my infection. But the dr said the infection is gone. Can the ache in my arm be related to MRSA in some way. I don't have any skin boils
or redness, it's just feels achy and still, especially in the area just next to the crease in my elbow (inside). I am not running a fever but I feel tired. Dr. said the tiredness is from receiving general anesthesia twice in 7 days. My main question is should
I be concerned about this ache? Should I be concerned that MRSA will come back again? Could MRSA be spreading in my body even though I am on antibiotic? What symptoms should I look for to suggest that the MRSA is internal? Since the sensitivity report indicated
the antibiotics that responded to the MRSA in the lab, can I feel certain that those antibiotics wiped out the MRSA in my body? I am on Cipro, Doxicycline and I have an IV of Vancomycin during the outpatient surgery.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for this question.
I'm very sorry this happened.
The problem here is that MRSA can colonize your body. So, as you may know, we have billions of bacteria on our skin. Most are harmless. However, MRSA can take up residence on us and cause a recurrent infection
So after this is resolved you need to have a skin test/nasal test for MRSA. It is a swab to see if MRSA is living on you. If it is then you will need to undergo a decolonization protocol. Here is an example.
Now as for the ache, yes you do need it looked at. The infection can spread but it seems like it is under control. Have another doctor look at it to be sure.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would the surgeon do the skin/nasal swab? Also, what symptoms should I be concerned with if the MRSA is not under control? Shouldn't a fever be one? I don't have a fever. Should I call the surgeon about the ache or go to ER, etc?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.
yes, the surgeon or your primary doctor can do the swabYou should look for redness, fever, swelling.I don't think you need to go to ER just call the surgeon or see your primary doctor. I really don't think the arm pain is from MRSA
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I will keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get worse. Neither my doctor nor my surgeon are available again until Monday. Hence the reason I am writing now. So you think as long as it doesn't get worse it will be ok to wait until Monday?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I think that is fine.
As long as it doesn't worsen you are safe to wait :)
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.
Please don't forget a positive rating. I appreciate it