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D.J. Hayden's college doctor says latest surgery is a common one

May 28, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Raiders first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden has undergone an abdominal surgery that his college doctor estimated would require a minimum six-week recovery period, although he has not examined Hayden personally.
Raiders first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden has undergone an abdominal… (Tony Avelar / Associated…)

D.J. Hayden’s college doctor said he is not overly concerned about the Oakland Raiders rookie returning to the hospital for scarring in his abdomen, but said he doesn't anticipate the first-round draft pick having a “quick, quick recovery.”

“The time frame for him to get over it will probably take a little while,” Dr. Walter Lowe told The Times on Tuesday. “I would expect this would probably be a six-week recovery for him at the very least.”

Hayden, the 12th overall pick last month, is still in a Bay Area hospital after being admitted late last week and undergoing surgery on his abdomen. The Raiders are holding off-season workouts this week.

Lowe, head physician at the University of Houston, said he does not have first-hand knowledge of Hayden’s status.

A Raiders spokesman confirmed that Hayden underwent surgery late last week for internal scarring and that doctors do not believe the most recent issue is an indication anything is seriously wrong with him.

The Raiders said they expect him to be ready to return for the start of training camp in late July.

In November, Hayden suffered a freak, life-threatening injury after colliding with a teammate at practice. He sustained a torn inferior vena cava -- the vein that carries blood from the lower body back to the heart. There is no record of that type of injury occurring on a sports field, and it most often is a result of motor-vehicle accidents or on the battlefield. Doctors say 95% of people who suffer such an injury die before they reach the hospital.

A team of trauma surgeons, Ron Albarado and Phil Adams, and chief resident Laura Kreiner, performed the original 2 1/2-hour operation on Hayden at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston.

Hayden now has a scar that runs from his navel to the top of his sternum, apparently resulting in the “adhesion.”

“An adhesion is scarring that happens from all the blood in his belly from a big, open procedure. But that scar with bowel movement -- because your bowel is always moving and pushing food through -- sometimes can entangle the bowel and start to strangle it off so that nothing can get past it,” Lowe said.

“Having an adhesion from a big belly surgery is something the general surgeons see day in and day out.”

Lowe said there are different ways of fixing the problem, including making another incision or a less-invasive scoping of the region.

 “You lose some strength, you lose some conditioning, so this won’t be where he’s back on the practice field in two weeks,” he said.

“You just hope that it doesn’t become recurrent. You hope that this doesn’t happen twice a year or something. You can see bowel obstructions from people that have had their appendix taken out. Anything in the belly can lead to a bowel obstruction from scarring. It’s usually a one-time thing and done. So hopefully this is the end of that issue too.”

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