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Vascular Surgery/Fem -pop post op pain


QUESTION: I had fem pop on May 17, 2015. Previously had 2 angioplasty that did not work. I used to smoke but quit before my fem-pop. I still have open wound in groin but it is getting better everyday. My problem is I still have pain in my leg. Not all the time but sometimes it feels like stabbing pain in leg. Does not hurt at wound but hurts along my scar line. I am still taking oxycodon 2-3 times a day. I am using a walker but trying to not use it so much. How long will this pain last? I am worried about taking pain meds for so long. I see a wound Dr one week and the the vascular surgeon the next week. Hubby is still packing my wound every night. My surgeon had told me I had very small veins, and the had lots of plaque, have hyperlipemia and high blood pressure and I am also diabetic. How long before I get my life back? I can usually last about 2-4 hours and then I just collapse. I am getting worried because I thought it was 4-6 weeks to recover and I am already at 10 weeks. Thanks for any light you can shed for me!!

ANSWER: hi Marianne
sounds like you are doing every thing right, it really takes tincture of time for the leg to start feeling normal again. remember you are only a couple months out from surgery and have other issues that complicate your healing.
the one thing that pops into my mind is to tell you the nerves, muscles, tissue in your operative leg have been starving for nutrition, oxygen, nourishment for years and now the blood flow is starting to bring that healing to your leg and the leg has been 'starved' so long that it actually hurts to have the bloodflow reinstated. one thing that helps is gentle massage, daily, when you shower or get dressed, just use some oil or lotion (without alcohol) to the leg and just rub, all the way from groin to toes and back to groin, this helps stimulated the tissue in the leg, sort of waking them up. and exercise, walking should never be to the point of pain, if you start feeling pain in the leg while walking, stop and let the leg rest a bit and start up again.  the massage and exercise will improve pain and speed healing. I know you have to be careful because of your diabetes but protein helps speed wound healing and you should for sure be on a multivitamin with minerals especially zinc. remember your leg doesn't know it had surgery, it may think it got hit by a bus for all the damage, be kind to yourself, it will all be worth it as your leg and life get better and better

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QUESTION: Is it normal for it to feel like cement?

yup, the body heals with scar tissue, it is like glue to cement things together. it pours into the injured area for about 6 weeks and hardens up giving time to heal the tissues, then over the next 6 weeks things soften up
massage is the only thing I know to help it, start off up to a nice deep stroke, ar try a TENS type unit, nowadays you can get over the counter in drug and department stores I think made by icy hot or bengay one of the "rub" makers, these are under 50 bucks and work the same as the professional ones, but they turn them selves off after 20 minutes or so and if they are working to relieve pain and soften sacr tissue, twenty minutes is too short a time, I am sure it is a mechanism to reduce lawsuits in case a guy leaves on too long BUT you can usually get a used one on ebay or a medical supply company, if it helps ( the one from walgreens) I would consider a professional version ( called TENS unit, EMS unit, there are a few varieties, if you have good insurance ask for a prescription and have the physical therapist help decide which is best for you and teach how to use safely...they are great for back ache, shoulder aches whatever hurts!!!!!!!!!! lauri

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Lauri Ordway


I can answer your questions related to your circulation, your peripheral vascular system. This includes all arteries and veins except those inside the head and inside the heart. For example, neck (carotid), arms (carotid subclavian bypasses to Thoracic Outlet) belly (aortic aneurysm & occlusive disorders, renal artery stenosis), legs (iliac, femoral, popliteal, peroneal, dorasalis pedis, posterior and anterior tibial) arteries. Aneurysm & occlusive disease, atherosclerosis, leg pain, arterial wounds and gangrene, amputation prevention. Arterial Bypass, Reynaud’s, Buerger's disease (thromboangiitis obliterans), Thoracic Outlet and other circulation disorders. Vein disorders: Blood Clots (DVT), post-phlebetic syndrome, varicose veins, venous stasis ulcers. I can help with vascular wounds from diagnosis to treatments. I have worked extensively with VNUS Closure and EVLT (Laser) for varicose veins and can describe pre and post procedure expectations and describe the procedures themselves. I can't help with spider veins or cosmetic vein treatment, we don't do it. I have 15 years of wound care experience, arterial, venous, trauma and diabetic wounds for example. **I CANNOT answer questions about STENTS or STENTING, heart disease, blood pressure, brain aneurysm although I can help with questions about the arteries that go to and from those organs.


I am a nurse, I worked for 15 years with two terrific peripheral vascular surgeons, and one of them is also the inventor of very innovative wound care products and surgical instruments to make vascular surgery procedures better and faster. I wrote and manage the clinic website and field questions from patients all over the world. I am now working with another vascular surgeon and wound care expert, which has given me an opportunity to widen my horizons as I learn another excellent physician's preferences and benefit from his experiences in this amazing specialty.

I am an LPN, licensed in Minnesota

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