Packing of Abscess

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I have an abscess which I have packed daily by the district nurse. I have it packed in the morning, I have a bath in the moning, which makes the packing come out. I do this before my before the packing appointment,  then in the evening I have a shower, but avoid the packed area. Is it ok to leave the packing in overnight.

Is it normal for the packing to have a slight smell, or is it a sign of infection, I'm feeling upset as If I leave the packing in overnight, it has a slight smell in the morning. I'm scared of the packing come out in the evening, as last time my wound healed on outside before the inside and I had to have an op to open the wound again

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Try and keep wound dry.. And just get nurses to clean wound before they pack u

    Like I said in last post, I didn't get my wound wet till about 5 month down the line till it was practicly closed , the first 5 month I would shower body but not wound.. And just get my district nurse to give the wound a wet, and a gentle wipe etc..

    Laying in the bath till it practicly closed is a no no in my opinion even now I'm sticking to showers cos I'm nearly closed just the last bit won't close due to a infection.. But I did try baddidas baths recently and they didn't seem to help so just having showers and showering the wound letting it run down gentle.. Don't hold the shower head close to your wound cos it can open the wound the pressure of the shower

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  • Posted

    Tbh I have had different opinions from different nurses.  I have had packing left in for 3 days before I had to get myself up the doctors after the hospital failed to phone the district nurse so 24hrs isn't an issue. The smell varies from person to person as mine has a very distinct smell but have been told its not infection, ( not sure why it hasn't healed then?). If there is an infection you will probably notice extra fluid leaking rather than the smell as the colour of the discharge is a big sign of its condition.  

      When I shower I spray the water onto the wound like danielnortheast said but don't be too rough and a bath should only be used as a last resort.  Nobody can say for sure over the internet but we can try to give you advice that nurses don't always know for sure. 

    Hope this helps.

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  • Posted


    I spoke to the nurse today and she sai there will be a slight smell, she also said there's no sign of infection.

    She did however say there is overgranulation occuring in some areas and gave me a prescription for some 0.1% hydrocortisone cream. So she will put it on during packing changes.

    They cover the wound with a mepliex foam dressing which says it keeps the wound moist... I don't know if this is making things worse tho...

    It is a bit more than last time they operated.

    I'm fed up.. and scared about this overgranulaton busineess

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  • Posted

    I'm on my 7th op from this surgery in June 2014! When I had it packed it was twice a day. They used mepolex (however you spell it!) aquacel packing savlon manuca honey silver nitrate gauze... I've had the lot! But the dressings are good and you need to keep them on. Mine over granulated several times. The smell is normal and it's fine to leave it packed over night. The longer the better tbf until it's soaked because constantly repacking the wound will irritate it after a while xx
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate your comments, I have it packed daily, at first they packed it every other day but the outside healed before the inside, so i had to have it redone. it is now 4 week post op. They were getting 25cm packing in now it's about 5cm, so healing slowly...
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