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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Mysterious Rash
Posted by: Judie Bates
Date: October 1, 1999 7:59 PM

Due to an accident in 1/97, I broke my nose. I have had 5 nose surgeries as a result of the broken nose. For the 3rd one the Dr. used a gortex graft - which never did lay down properly and caused extreme itching around my eyes and nose. I also ended up with infection following that surgery. On 3/5/99 the 5th surgery was performed. An alloderm graft was used - an Alloderm graft has all of the cells removed using salt and detergent and is supposed to be 'inert'. It has only been used in about 40,000 procedures. Within a week of the 5th surgery, with the alloderm implant, I have experienced the following. (I will try to put these in the order they were noticed, but it is all beginning to blur together as it has been a long battle.) My feet itched, my hands itched, I had a rash behind my knees, what appeared to be bites in my head and sores on the lower leg, between the knee and ankle (some of these have left scars). I had a burning sensation over my entire body, once even commenting to my daughter that it was almost like I was allergic to water! My mouth burns, and my voice has changed! (Quite obvious even to my 11 year old granddaughter.) I have had some nights that I wake up soaking wet, to the point I have to get out of my bed and sleep on the couch as it is so wet. And now my hands and feet are cold some times. I have pains in my stomach periodically, not often, but often enough to know this is something that is NOT usual for me. (I had an ulcer years ago and the pain I have periodically now does not even come close to feeling like an ulcer problem.) I also have breathing problems now which I never had prior to the surgery. I did all the 'normal' things, changed shampoos, hair conditioners, went back to Ivory bath soap, changed laundry detergent and fabric softener. The problem persisted and began getting worse, welts - large red burning and itching became the order of the day. These places could be the size of a small pea or the palm of my hand, many spots on my legs- along with lumps periodically on my back. We have 3 indoor cats (none of which are new to our environment). I thought they might have fleas so I gave them all a bath. I didn't find one flea (but I did irritate the cats!) I then decided there was 'something' in my room trying to eat me alive. I tore my room apart and cleaned it to a fare the well (mind you I am an immaculate housekeeper anyway, but I was doing what seemed 'logical' at the time), washed all the bedclothes, the furniture, took all my clothes out of the closet and put them in plastic bags planning on running everything through a hot drier for at least 5 minutes...and my daughter watched this process and finally said, "Mother if there was something that bad in this house, WE WOULD ALL HAVE BITES." About that time a friend of mine said she had poison oak, the wind had been blowing extremely hard for quite some time and a lot of people were getting poison oak out of the air. So that provided a 'logical' answer to my problem - never mind the fact I had the problem before the wind started blowing! At some point I decided it couldn't be poison oak, for one thing it really didn't look like it and for another, it had lasted much to long. I periodically decided I was allergic to Jelly Bellys, cookies, and everything I was eating, drinking and/or breathing. About mid-June I was standing in line at Mc Donalds with my daughter. She looked at me and said, "What is wrong with your lip?" My lip had been hurting, felt like it might be swelling, and in fact it was swelling so fast that it was quite noticeable in that my daughter could see it swell. (This has since happened periodically on both the upper and lower lip.) I had a lump about the size of a small marble come up on the right side of my nose by my eye. My eyes turned black when this happened. Again those with me could see the spot swelling. (I saw the Dr. who did the graft when this lump come up beside

Mysterious Rash
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: October 15, 1999 6:42 AM

There are specialized immune system tests which can document disturbances consistent with silicone exposure. The Silicone Implant Panel from Immuno-Sciences Lab (800)950-4686 is one such test. They may also have something to say about alloderm. Give them a call.160

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