Now I had a fifth mass growing and I was giving up hope that anyone could help me. I was in pain, depressed, scarred all over my stomach and given up on many of life's pleasures. I guess I'm that unlucky rare case who goes to a NY magazine Top 10 Plastic Surgeon at one of the best NYC hospitals (in Manhattan's East 60s) and ends up with a series of slow growing internal MRSA infections around the suture knot locations of the tummy tuck as I recently found out. This has consumed the last nine years of my life with the worst of it progressing steadily from 2011 to 2015.
The original tummy tuck surgeon handled the first two surgeries but suggested I go to a general surgeon for the third mass as I was also moving to LI. The general surgeon from LI had a totally different approach to the third and fourth surgeries, which was to take antibiotics for months (now pre-surgically) and then cut and drain rather than remove any material. He also said to me "What do you want me to go in and look for all the sutures?” so now having heard that from both surgeons I thought it was impossible! So as I feel the 5th abdominal mass start to grow he says "Well let's just wait until it gets worse before we operate again". It is physically visible and it feels like a hernia to me but he wants to wait. Now every instinct in my body is telling me this not the right thing to do for myself and I'm in physical as well as mental anguish.
Meanwhile I visited my trusted GYN who successfully removed some serious uterine fibroids while leaving my anatomy intact. A renowned authority, he literally wrote the textbook on fibroids. When I saw him and told him what I was going thru he said, "Why don't you go see my daughter?” Herself a gifted surgeon he said maybe she will think of something to help you... " She has new ideas. "
How thankful I am to have gone to Dr Sophie Bartisch (Ernest's daughter) who brought an ultrasound machine into the OR and actually looked for every piece of stitch left in me and found quite a bit! She noted the correlation of infection sites to the areas of suture knots. She saw the damage that had been building over the years and how my body dealt with this crazy infection. Things no one else discovered!
From the moment I woke up from the surgery, I felt something was different. I was feeling much better and still healthy now. I still live with some fear of it coming back but she is still checking on me. Even though Dr Bartisch's expertise is hand surgery I think she's so resourceful and talented she could do anything.
Also I give high praise to St Francis Hospital for their infection protocol. It was the best of any facility I was in during this long ordeal.