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Post menopausal period. Had hysterectomy. Started having dry cough after surgery. Took Codeine. Should I take antibiotics?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
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Hello, I am a 52 year old post menopausal female, 165 lbs, in excellent health, who had a hysterectomy leaving the cervix as well as some bladder repair work 5 weeks ago. Aug 21. Surgery was great success and uncomplicated. Surgical areas healed nicely. 10 days after the surgery I stared with a dry cough, terrible at night along with sweats. My doctor did not want me coughing due to recent surgery so put me on a cough suppressant/ with codeine. A week later symptoms were worsening, deeper painful coughing spasms with some mucus and fatigue? Dr put me on Cipro. A week latter my cough was worsening and getting a low rumble, with just feeling terrible, easily out of breath and excertion causing coughing spasms. Dr switched me to Septra. It has been a week more and I am no better and now along with the horrible chest cold I have developed terrible painful sinusitis and have headache, intense pressure and right ear pressure. I am now thinking I may have picked up a bug while in the hospital having surgery. Is there a better or different antibiotic I should be on? This has been going on for 3.5 weeks now and no better.. . Also, my doctor placed me on an estrogen patch of 1.53 mg daily immediately after my hysterectomy for post menopausal hot flashes, which was working great, until I started getting sick. I have been full body sweating on and off all day and night since I became ill with chest infection. I have not been running any significant fever.. Just wondering, could this be mycoplasma? Other thoughts? Do I need a different antibiotic? I am a busy mom who needs to get well!! I've been down way too long!!!
Posted Sat, 12 Oct 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Varnika J.P. 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Seem to have contracted pneumonia after surgery

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for your query.

Your symptoms point towards post hysterectomy commonly occurs due to the inhalation of anaesthesia gases and also due to any infection picked up from the hospital surroundings.

It is seen in roughly about 1% of the patients undergoing hysterectomy.

I would advise you to get-
1.a sputum culture
2.chest X-ray
3.blood work
all of the above done.this will help us to pinpoint the cause- whether it is bacterial or viral in origin.
It will also give us a note of the range to which infection has spread.

The treatment for it includes-
1. general rest
2. A course of antibiotics
3. lots of fluids
4. simple analgesics

-For bacterial pneumonia azithromycin or erythromycin is generally used

-For hospital acquired pneumonia generally
Carbepenams, amino glycosides and vancomycin are used.

You can consult your doctor regarding these. He/she may even suggest you to take these by the IV route for faster action.a blood culture would help us know if your present set of antibiotics are active against your infection or not.

Antibiotics induce a speedy recovery and cut down the infection time,hence completing the course is necessary.stopping it midway an cause relapse of the infection.

Generally the X-ray and blood reports show improvements within a week of antibiotic usage.

Many nursing homes offer booklets on breathing exercises for prevention and management of such post op respiratory diseases. You can ask your nursing home for one

Along with this I would advise you to stay away from polluted areas or any other places that may worsen your allergies.

Mycoplasma pneumonia is a concern as you feel your antibiotics aren't showing the desire response but an explanation can be that it can also be viral pneumonia as antibiotics fail to act in viral cases.

If possible please try to get an anti-pneumonia shot after the illness is over,this will prevent any such situations in the future.

The condition though not critical definitely requires monitoring,hence kindly consult with your GP for the tests.

Thank you for your query,
Wishing you good health
You can contact me for any further queries.
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