Lump formed around leg incision

Nov. 3 2011 I had Aortic valve replacement and coronary bypass surgery. Not long after I got home the incision area on my left leg filled with fluid, it has been drained twice. I have difficulty sleeping with the pressure when my leg lays on top of the other, I'm not a back sleeper but am learning to be. I am having way to many restless nights.
Option 3 is drain again or surgery procedure that I cannot explain at this point.
Have any of you heard of this ? what was the solution ?
thanks
Brad

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What kind of fluid is it? Lymph, blood, or infection?
I suggest that you keep your legs elevated when sleeping and when sitting.
If it's lymph fluid, then I'd ask your MD about compression stockings or elastic wrap.
Honestly though, I'm just guessing. Good luck, let us know what happens, and welcome aboard.
jack

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Fluid is not infected or blood, it is clear....plasma and other body fluids ??
Been thru all suggestions you mention, I see my Doc again tomorrow, should know more later in day.
Wish I could post a pic, not sure how here. I did my normal PB copy paste but no pic, it gave my PB page.

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It's my understanding that clear fluid is usually lymphatic and the swelling is called edema, put it together and it's known as lymphatic edema or lymphoedema. Aside from elevation and compression, I know no other procedure that can be done in the home. I have heard that massage and raising the leg up and down several times a day can help sometimes, but your doctor needs to advise you on that. Now if both legs are swollen, and only one had surgery, then it may be a condition related to the heart (e.g. CHF), kidney trouble or any one of several other disorders and should be promptly evaluated by an MD.

I'd keep an eye out for any impairment in circulation in the foot ( changes in color, numbness, tingling or cool temp to the touch) compare it to the opposite foot. Should this occur then you need to call 911 and have it evaluated by a medic. Good luck and let me know it goes.

PS My mother suffered from this condition chronically and it was up and down for her, but they never aspirated or drew any off that I'm aware of. Elevation mostly controlled it, plus she was on a diuretic (lasix).
Hers began shortly after a stent was inserted into her abdominal aorta for an aneurysm. Unsure if this was the cause or not. She also had a CABG a few years earlier...

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Good Morning Brad!

I know exactly what you have and what you're going through. It's not the whole leg that's swollen, but just the area around the incision site.

I had the same condition. Mine was the length of the incision, about two inches wide and about one-half inch high. Mine started while I was in the hospital. They attempted to drain mine with a syringe on the day of my discharge, but they said it was too thick to draw out with the syringe. They told me that within a couple of weeks the body would break it down and absorb it.

Well, that didn't happen. I ended up having another surgery (out-patient) to have the liquid removed. I ended up with a suction drain (doctor can explain what that is and how it works) installed in my new incision site for two-weeks. It automatically drains any liquid that builds up, allowing the body to close up and heal. I would talk to your doctor about this.

As far as sleep...I'm a side sleeper too. I found putting a pillow between my legs relieved some, not all of the pressure. Enough to get some decent sleep.

I feel you bro...best of luck at the doctor today.

Jeff in Minneapolis, MN

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I also had a lump on my leg after the surgery. Fortunately it went away. Never had the fluid problem though. Should it persist, see your doctor.

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JD, that is exactly what I'm dealing with. The doctor will make a decision today , it is smaller after the last draining and I would prefer to try again before being cut open.
How much pain did you have with your procedure and did it keep you from doing anything, like work ? Were any meds prescribed?
I cannot take anti inflammatory ( mechanical valve ), but pain meds OK. Reason I ask the last draining really smarted, the PA really milked it and it looks like she made a small cut below the lump in hopes it would drain, no meds were given , lucky I has some left over to take. Did the Docs say anything about how it could get infected if they did not do the procedure on you ?
I'm 10 weeks post op now and was about to return to work but need to get the leg corrected along with some aches in my left shoulder.
I may have more questions ,
thanks
Brad

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Hello again!

I agree with you, it would be better to drain than cut. :o)

After being cut open, the surgeon told me to continue taking the prescribed pain medication from my quadruple bypass as needed, which only was about a week. After that I just took extra-strength Tylenol.

Due to my bypass, I was not at work, but the thigh surgery would not have kept me out of work, I just limped. Of course, it depends on the kind of work you do...I'm a cubicle worker...sitting on my ass all day.

My doctor never mentioned anything about infection, but I can see how that could happen.

Ok, this is weird...I too have left shoulder discomfort. It was fine before surgery, but now I don't have full range of motion. I wonder what they do to our left arms during surgery???

Hope this helped...fell free to ask any questions?

Jeff in Minneapolis


JD, that is exactly what I'm dealing with. The doctor will make a decision today , it is smaller after the last draining and I would prefer to try again before being cut open.
How much pain did you have with your procedure and did it keep you from doing anything, like work ? Were any meds prescribed?
I cannot take anti inflammatory ( mechanical valve ), but pain meds OK. Reason I ask the last draining really smarted, the PA really milked it and it looks like she made a small cut below the lump in hopes it would drain, no meds were given , lucky I has some left over to take. Did the Docs say anything about how it could get infected if they did not do the procedure on you ?
I'm 10 weeks post op now and was about to return to work but need to get the leg corrected along with some aches in my left shoulder.
I may have more questions ,
thanks
Brad

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I'm a maintenance supervisor for a manufacturer, so I have to get on ladders, climb over equipment etc. Not always, just when we have problems, other wise I get to sit more then I should. Guess I'll have to wait and see what the doc says, but I'm really not wanting to open that incision again.

As far as shoulder pain , maybe them rib spreaders force more pressure over to the left ??
A couple weeks ago I was darn near to tears it hurt so bad, I even asked my GP to give me a cordisone shot, he would not.
Then a few days later a bone popped in my neck and 1/2 the pain went away, tells me pinched nerves are a lot of this problem.

I have had back bones pop before but never so many neck area pops . The PA told me on my last visit that we carry our bodys gingerly after surgery and posture changes for some time until we heal some, then the bone popping starts. I've been trying to stretch out more to help with this. If I could get the pain out of my left shoulder and the leg fixed I would feel GREAT !!
I might try a massage later this week.
Brad

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Hey Brad WELCOME to inspire ..............glad you are finding some answers here

Greg

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Hey Greg, thanks for the link. I will also do a copy paste of this reply for the valve site.

I just got back from seeing my surgeon, he suggested a surgery this Friday to open incision and set in drain tube.
I asked if this was something he could do in office and he said no, it would be at the hospital. So I responded that this means opening up a new insurance claim and he acknowledged yes.

I let him know I really could not afford this right now and he said we could try another drain so that is what we did.
While my leg was being drained by the PA the surgeon came back in and said if this did not take he had another idea that he could do in office. He would go ahead and make incision to allow to drain, it would be packed with gauze and it would be up to me to change dressing. He said the would would have to heal from the inside out, like the drain tubes in our chest had done.
A poor mans way to get same results .
This would not cost me funds and that works for me at this time. So if this draining does not work, I go back in next Tuesday or I live with what I got.
Brad

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Hi. I had a quad bye pass 2 years ago. A vein over 2 feet long was used from my left leg. Initially swelling near the ankles continued for over a year ,with relief if I frequently kept my feet elevated. I was on Co approval 150/12.5 and Norvasc 5 mg 1+1 for hypertension.
Swelling reduced gradually to 25% , but persisted at that level and it was suspected that it was due to impaired Kidney function which showed up during my bye pass and Pain medication for other transitory problems. Meanwhile I was put on Co Approval 300/12.5 and at some stage Norvasc 5 mg was reduced to 1 a day. I have consciously stayed off pain killers and kidney function has improved somewhat which has probably helped During the next 4 to 6 months the swelling had reduced to normal with limited or no great amount of foot elevation. I have recently acquired a Lazy boy ( Chair) about 4 months ago and prop up my feet maybe 30% of the time. but could probably do without this . I am a diabetic and still suffer from numbness ( gradually reducing) in the left leg, also some numbness / tingling in the toes of both feet. Check with your doctor and form your own conclusions also studying the effect of various medications he is prescribing. GOOD LUCK. ADI.

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