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Thread: Scar Revision tomorrow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166

    Scar Revision tomorrow

    Tomorrow afternoon I'm having my scar revision surgery done.
    I'm pretty excited about it, but kind of nervous too.
    They are going to do skin grafting likely because the scar itself is very very thin and probably won't stand up to a whole lot of pressure.
    The thought of skin grafting really creeps me out a bit, but it beats being able to see the bumps of my vertibrae through the scar...
    I'll hopefully remember to get "before" pics, as well as "after" pics at various stages...
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    108
    Hi:

    I hope this isn't prying, but with my daughter's surgery coming up, we're interested in the long-term issues: Is your scar correction primarily a cosmetic decision, or are there some functional issues as well?

    Thanks -

    Patricia
    New Zealand

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    No problem at all.

    A little background:
    Here is a photo of what my back would have looked like if it had healed properly:
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...06232073ITfAHT

    And here is what I ended up with:
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...43182668EcstJs
    and
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...43184059qazeuE

    Neither of those is really a good representation of it currently... In the past several months, the scar has mellowed to a purple color, and while it's not as sudden of a dip, the scar has widened out due in part (I believe) to my being in physical therapy and them working on scar mobility....

    I developed an infection in my incision a couple days out of the hospital, and as a result had to have a few of the stitches removed and left out so that it could be treated. My incision was all but open to the bone. As a result, the top of my scar is about an inch wide, tapering down about 3 inches, and is very thin and very recessed. You can clearly see the bumps of the vertibrae through this part of the scar.

    Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't happen, and it's nothing you really have to worry about as being a common outcome of the sugery. The rest of my scar is just lovely, as are the five other people I've actually met.

    The choice to have the scar revised is both cosmetic and functional... I get creeped out by my scar from time to time. I try not to be self conscious about it, but it still bothers me.
    Also it is pretty uncomfortable leaning against a high backed chair.
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    67

    good luck

    with your scar revision and thanks for sharing your pictures. I would want my scar to look as good as possible so good for you for going for it. I hope all goes well for you.
    Tiny

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    Heya! I'm back!

    I feel good. I was just sedated enough to put me to sleep for the surgery, so I'm not as out of it as I would be with general anesthesia. I'm still a little bit woozy, but not nearly as bad as with general anesthesia.
    I'm not having much pain. It's a little achey. Not sure if it'll get worse when the local anesthesia wears off or not.

    I hopefully got a couple better pics of my scar this morning- had to use a disposable camera.
    I have to stay quiet and not stress the stitches, and have to see my plastic surgeon on monday to remove the dressing covering the op. site. I cant shower until the dressing comes off.. And then I will be able to see what it looks like.
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    108
    Originally posted by blairf83
    No problem at all.
    Thanks for that Blair.

    The correction looks excellent. We're impressed by the toe touching.....


    Patricia

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    I had my first followup with my surgeon today....

    I got my first semiglimpse of what my scar will look like... Well, it's still coveredin steristrips so I haven't actully *seen* it.
    But it looks as though my surgery was a total success, and now the top of my scar is just as thin as the rest....

    I'm having some pain, but it's managed by vicodin...

    I am running into a couple of troubles...
    First off, I cannot get the incision wet until the stitches come out a week from now on Feb 14th.
    That means I can't shower. I can bathe, but it pulls on my stitches to bend over the tub to wash my hair, so that's not really an option for me.
    This leaves me looking quite scuzzy.... Which wil be embarassing going to school.

    Secondly, it's painful to wear a shirt that covers the incision. i have a couple of camis that dont touch it, but then my incision is prominently displayed... The steristrips are bloodstained and the stitching is visible. I worry that I will gross out my classmates...

    My vicodin really kicks my butt too... I know I won't be safe to drive on it. But I'm also

    So now I'm wondering if I should go to class this week... (missing 2 class periods for each course)

    Any thoughts? I've already e-mailed my profs to inquire as to their views on my predicament....
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    108
    So now I'm wondering if I should go to class this week... (missing 2 class periods for each course)
    Hi Blair:

    Since you're 20, I assume you're in college? This is the age group I teach, and I would absolutely, positively advise any of my students to skip classes while recuperating from even a comparatively minor surgical procedure. It is also our department policy to provide extra tutor support to help students who are off on a medical. I think this is pretty standard. Your job during this time is to stay home and take biologically important naps.

    Patricia
    New Zealand

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    Patricia- thanks for your opinion.
    Yes, I am indeed in college.

    I think I'm going to take the next day or two off... At least until I'm off vicodin because that stuff really is bad for me to drive with...
    Not to mention I can't carry a backpack and have too many books and not enough time between classes to just pick them up from the car...

    I hate to do it though... I missed my classes today to meet with my surgeon. But tomorrow morning I have my two hardest classes- Ethics and Shakespeare. Neither professor is very understanding about absences...
    But... I think they'll have to live with it. I would honestly probably not get a whole lot out of the classes because the drugs make me really dozy...
    Also, I bumped my back against a doorway today. That wasn't fun...
    So... Maybe I'll try to be back to school on thursday.
    At least my pain/medication problem will be solved. The hygene issue won't though... But I can't take off monday and tuesday of next week too... So I'm just going to have to wait a couple of days, let my incision heal a bit, and then grin and bear it and wash my hair in the sink...
    That or I could go with a baseball cap. but it's direspectful to wear one inside a building... So... I;'d feel weird about it.
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    Here's a pic of my new scar. 8 days post revision. Im shocked at how tiny the sutures are! They don't even show up in the picture

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...b/9f7a7c03.jpg
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    A little irritated right now...
    My scar cracked and split some today. It isn't too bad... Not down to the bone like the first time that happened... It only bled a little. But it sure is sore and sensitive. And then in my rush to get to work on time, I threw on a sweater, which snagged it up worse.
    So I'm all gauzed up for the third time...
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    255
    Blair, as a university instructor, I'm mad about your profs who aren't understanding towards you! Please give your professors the full detail of your surgeries so they understand what you have been through!! I can never figure out why people are not more forgiving of medical absences. If the profs make life difficult for you, see your personal advisor. Let everyone know you'll do everything you can in due course to catch up from classmates, and then rest peacefully knowing you've done your part. Take care. Laura
    30y/o
    Upper curve around 55
    Lower curve around 35

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    The scar revision saga continues.
    My body is apparently rejecting the internal stitches.

    A couple days ago, I had one split. Last night, another. And this morning when I woke up, I had a chain about an inch long of holes in my back.

    My plastic surgeon got me in this morning. Guess my big scar wasn't caused by an infection afterall. My body just hates those internal stitches.

    The scar has widened a good bit, and will widen more since the now exposed stitches had to be removed.

    I am SO disappointed. This surgery may have all been for nothing.

    I'm really hoping that it doesn't reject any more of the stitches. If anymore open up, i have to go in and get them clipped out too... Which hurts and makes me woozy, and results in an even wider scar.
    If not, I have antibiotics for the next 2 weeks, and follow up.
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    Well, it looks like I'll likely undergo another scar revision in 6 months time, using a different closure method.
    I'm trying to get a hold of my scoliosis surgeon to get the name of the stitches used in my first surgery. It's likely the same thing used this time- it was about the same length of time between the surgeries and when my body started to reject the sutures.
    The ones I reacted to this time are called Vicryl.

    On the bright side, I'm finally able to leave off my bandages. The split in the incision is slowly filling in and drying up. The new scar is a bit over 3/4" wide the whole lentght of the revision site...
    Blair

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    96
    Poor you - you really have my sympathy with all that you're going through, your hopes so high etc. Suppose the only good thing is that you are now further forward to where you want to be, you know why the scar op didn't work right, and also that you REALLY NEED TIME OFF after the next op.

    Keep letting us know how you go,

    Lavinia

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