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Thread: Let's talk cosmetic ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    37

    Let's talk cosmetic ...

    OK, so it's not the main reason we have surgery, but it's important to me and many others I'm sure. Do we get a waist? What about gain in height? What about initial weight loss after surgery, and weight gain during recovery? Anything, good or bad, you can tell to help prepare for the 'after'. Swelling, bruising, etc...
    48 yr old female. 80 thoracolumber curve. Surgery Feb 14 2007. Fused T3 - L5. Correction to 23. Happy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bucks County, Pa
    Posts
    274
    All of that! I do have a waist which is wonderful. After surgery my son wanted to know if I was pregnant. I had a lot of swelling in the front which took a couple of months to go away. I lost 30 lbs but I had some complications and had a tube down my throat and wasn't allowed to eat I gained about 20 of it back but I am exercising regularly and I just went back to work. I fell great at this point. I still have a lot of stiffness in the morning but it is much better than the pain. I hope I answered some of your questions. One important thing to remeber is that everyones recovery is different.
    surgery 9/06
    Rothman institute

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    88
    Mouna,
    I'm only 3 1/2 weeks post-op, so I'm still bloated (from constipation), but I lost about 12 or 13 pounds. i was btwn 132-134 before surgery and now i'm around 121 (last time I checked). I also gained an inch, well... I was 5'5 up until a little over a year ago and I shrunk to 5'4!! So I got that inch back. Although, i feel and look significantly taller, because my posture is so good! Everyone has been telling me that I look like I gained more than an inch of height, but it's because I stand so straight.
    When I was in the hospital, I looked like I was 3 months pregnant, because I was so bloated. (My sweatpants were too tight around my waist and now I cant keep them from falling off!!). I still look maybe a month pregnant, but the bloated belly is more uncomfortable now than the way it looks.
    Hope this helps!
    Lesly

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    65
    I gained about an inch in my height, I am now a big 5'3"!! I am 4 months post-op and I still feel like I am swollen and I have no feeling throughout almost my entire back. I cried just after surgery because I thought I looked like a tree trunk, I had no waist and my butt seemed to be just an extension of my back. Now, I definately have a waist so the swelling is going down. I did not lose any weight, I stayed exactly the same. It does seem like however, that I can eat almost anything and not gain which is very different for me. I happen to be one of those people who gains weight easily. I don't know if it has anything to do with the surgery or not, it's wierd. I am happiest that the hump on my back is gone! That is the best cosmetic difference for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    169
    Mouna,
    Yes we all care about the cosmetic! I am 6 weeks post op-had severe kyphosis which caused the hump, plus a 100 deg curve. Now the hump is gone, I am 2 1/2 inches taller, I have a waist- you will be happy! The down side is the swelling in my tummy- I look like I am 3 months pregnant. It has gone down some but I have a ways to go. Keep us posted!
    Cathie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Mouna, I have been thinking about this lately also. I've been wearing long sweaters and shirts and jackets for ten years and I'm excited about the prospect of having a waist again. As you say, it's not the reason we're having the surgery but it's a really good thing to focus on beforehand.....
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    I live in Cedar Park, TX which is a suburb of Austin, TX.
    Posts
    76

    Waist is great!

    I have gained a waist and lost 20 pounds. I am eating healthy but trying to keep those off. Walking three miles a day helps. After surgery I had a lot of bruising around my ribs and incisions. It went away in about three weeks. The hump is gone and clothes fit a lot better. Still waiting to feel like my old self again but I have a lot of muscle spasms and pain still. Hoping 4 and 5 months will bring improvement.

    Joan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    92
    I think it's important to remember that each of us has a different "scoliosis" experience, which depends a lot on the degree of curve, rotation, location, etc. I gained 3" after my first surgery, but I still had a bit of a rib hump, although no where to the degree it was before - it was because they couldn't get a perfect correction due to the amount of rotation. Sorry - I know that's different from what others are saying. So while clothes fit better, I still have to watch out for tightly fitting items. I did get a waist - which was huge - since prior to surgery it looked like I only had one on one side - the other was straight. After my last revision surgery I lost 20 pounds, and have managed to keep it off by watching my food intake (I'm doing WW). I never had swelling in my stomach. I think the biggest thing that made an impact on how I look is how I felt - the reduction in pain.
    Cena
    Nov. 2006 - revision surgery
    Aug. 1992 - revision surgery for hook removal and pseudoarthrosis
    July 1989 - Cortrell Doubosett procedure - two rods and fusion T4-L4 (age 13)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    313

    Cosmetic results are worth it.

    Everyone said how straight and tall I looked afterwards--gained 2 inches. Also got my waistline back on the side of the lumbar curve. I still have a larger shoulder hump on the side of my thoracic curve, but my husband said it is so much improved from before there is no comparison and it's only noticeable if you look for it.

    There is some swelling and discoloration afterwards, of course, but it fades away very quickly.

    I lost 20 pounds from surgery, but have gained it all back in the months of recovery at home once my appetite came back and I had long hours to bake and try out new recipes.

    It is totally all worth it, though.

    Deb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    66
    hi

    i have gained an inch and a half so now 5 ft 8.5 which is great-apart from the fact a lot of my tops from before dont fit properly-silver lining!?!....shopping!!!!!

    i also have a waist now and my hump from right shoulder blade has gone and im loving trying tighter tops to show it off.

    i dont know other peoples views on this but i found the best way to deal with things with me was to not know too much about what would happen after the operation. That way i wasnt let down if anything didnt go as i thought and took everything as it came and to be honest with you its been fine.

    Hope this has helped

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    105
    I had my surgery mainly due to pain and curve progression, but I certainly was pleased with the cosmetic results: I gained two inches in height and was FINALLY able to wear a bikini and tight tank tops, which I couldn't really wear before. My spine used to stick out from the curve and I just looked awful in bathing suits. My whole upper body torso was pushed to the left side and my right hip stuck out also. My back is now totally flat and normal looking.
    Heather

    P.S. If only they had a plastic surgeon in the operating room, and I could have also had breast augmentation to give me something other than a flat chest! Oh well.
    Heather
    Surgery date: April 20, 2004
    Anterior/posterior surgery
    Fused T-11 to L-5
    Pre op lumbar curve: 70 degrees, thoracic curve: 42 degrees
    Post op lumbar curve: 19 degrees, thoracic curve: 18
    Surgeon: Dr. Boachie-Adjei
    Had successful pregnancy and birth 2 years post-op

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    Lost 20 lbs. gained a waist (had a half waist before). My shoulders are even and straight. I gained maybe 1/2 an inch in height. I had a puffy tummy for a couple of months from the anterior procedure. Luckily, it subsided. Each case is different (famous last words).
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    850

    new clothes!!!!!

    I now have a side of my closet that is getting full...I have bought many new shirts!! Its so much fun! The other side of the closet has the 'big' size stuff...
    The cosmetic difference has made a big impact on me...never thought it would! I carry myself better! Hey, for what I went through, I deserve it right?? we all do!!! Lynne

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Staten Island New York
    Posts
    298
    We definately deserve it. As women we are always worried, dislike or hate our bodies or body parts and to have scoliosis just makes it harder especially for a teenager and everyone else has on bathing suts and form fitting tops and we had to go around hiding our hump or afraid someone will touch it.

    Sue

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    19

    fashionistas

    i havent had anything done or even seen anyone about my scoliosis for 9 years, and have only just told my friends about it recently. its wierd cause i have a obvious rib hump on my right (back) and at the front and an uneven waist but i think because i wear very tight jeans with batwing tops or cut up band t shirts no one really notices. I am glad that i am not just another lyrca drone but i would love to wear pencil skirts and tucked in tops. I have only just got a little bit of pain in my bottom rib but its really not that bad ( i dont take pain killers and swimming helps!- even though i look odd in a costume), i have to go to see my consultant soon and face up to things- i am terrified but i guess you gotta do what i gotta, does everyone have surgery for the pain or is it cosmetic too?
    i realise this post isnt that helpful but just wanted to talk. sorry i am not being all that helpful

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