The curious girl in me looked up "wound vac" on YouTube and yes, watched a video of the installation. It was helpful to know what to expect and I like to be prepared mentally. It started on Tuesday when I went into my check up with the plastic surgeon. He took one look at the abdominal wound and said he was sending me to the wound clinic to put in a wound vac. He (like my husband here at home) said that this healing process is not progressing like he would like to see. He did a little snipping and a little poking around and then sent me on my way.
Once at the wound clinic I was told that they were working with the insurance to make sure that it would be covered before they put it in since each day I have it will be very expensive (so expensive in fact, that the nurse wouldn't give us a figure). They got me all registered and typed in all of my information before the doctor came in. Just hearing him say "Oh yeah, this will heal up quick with the vac in place" made that little glimmer of hope reappear. Unfortunately, they couldn't confirm the coverage for Tuesday so they again packed my wound full of gauze and sent me home.
Fast forward to Wednesday at 2 o'clock. I am back at the wound clinic approved by insurance to put it in and get the healing jump started! It is amazing what it does (tonight when my husband got home from his trip to Des Moines for a conference he was relieved to see it doing its thing). They put a piece of foam into the wound and seal the area. There is a tube that is inserted into the foam and when the vac is turned on it sucks all of the air and moisture out of the area. It keeps the wound together and gives it a much better chance to stay clear of infection. They said a 8-10 week healing time can be reduced to 2 1/2 - 3 weeks. I am looking forward to reporting they were right!
Hopefully my picture won't gross anyone out, the kids think it is cool! They put an extra piece of foam coming from the wound and attached the tubing a little farther away from the hole so it wouldn't cause any irritation. The wound itself is the part along the bottom. The picture is after the vacuum had started the suction.
I am looking forward to going in tomorrow and hearing the measurements. I will get a new set of foam and tubing tomorrow. In the meantime I carry this little pack around with me that if you listen very carefully at times sounds like I had too many beans for dinner! It makes my boys giggle so it is all good!