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Thread: What If It Goes Wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    58

    Exclamation What If It Goes Wrong?

    Hello I'm Clare, I'm 18 years old from England and have an S curve both curves are about 50-60 degrees (something like that anyway). I don't really get any pain except when doing domestic things like vacuuming or something! But I've been contemplating surgery for about 3 years now because I absolutely HATE the way it looks. Obviously nobody is perfect, but it's a lot harder to except a deformity so I am down about it quite a lot and I've been thinking about trying to have surgery this summer. I've been leaning towards having it, until last night when i started to have doubts.

    Basically, I always knew there were risks, even though they're small, they're still risks and now I'm really worried. My dad and sister don't really think i should have it, and my dad thinks that when I'm older I'll be able to except it and therefore thinks I should wait a while before having it. I'm worried about how I'd handle things if it did go wrong, because I seriously wouldn't be able to handle it!!! My sister told me to research into when surgery goes wrong, but it's hard to find stories of it going horribly wrong, as I guess people don't want to write about it. I've never had surgery and it's such a hugely invasive surgery that I just don't know what to do anymore.

    My primary reason for wanting the surgery is to improve the cosmetic side of things, so I don't know if its right to even consider surgery but I can't help the way I feel. My dad thinks I have lots of other things 'going for me' so to speak like brains, good looks, blah blah blah, therefore I shouldn't need surgery to improve myself, but he doesn't understand how seriously it affects me not physically but emotionally. This may be a bit strange, but I'm very reluctant to have a boyfriend or anything because I don't want people to get too close and discover my faults and I'm just really not confident enough about myself to handle a relationship, so I always shy away from people that actually do show interest me. I realise this is very sad! My dad says that if I don't have the surgery I'll have a good quality of life, even though I may be unhappy with my looks, but if I have the surgery and something goes wrong then my quality of life will plummet and I'll end up regretting having it at all. I don't don't want to regret having it, nor do I want to regret not having it.

    It's the most difficult decision I've ever had to make! but I don't NEED the surgery, so am I just causing extra stress for myself by even considering it? I'm just unhappy at the moment and maybe I will feel better about it in the future but I can't see that happening just yet. To sum up, I feel like I've gone back a few stages with my decision as I'm now very unsure. I'm considering waiting one more year and then seeing how I feel. Then I could have the summer with my friends on holiday which is great, but then I wouldn't be able to wear a bikini or any summer clothes on the holiday so thats bad, so I'll regret NOT having the surgery!


    As you can tell I'm EXTREMELY confused and I'm probably not being very logical at the moment. But i don't talk to anyone in depth about my feelings so it all comes out on here!

    I NEED ADVICE.

    Thanks (sorry for the HUMONGOUS RANT)

    -x-x-x-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    6
    our 7 yr old daugther has surgery 2 weeks ago at Stanmore, north of London.. not sure where you may have your operation... There were 5 girls in the adolescant ward, all of them so proud and pleased when they left... The hospital team was fantastic. Yes it must have hurt... does she remember it 2 week on... No! Go for it.. you wont look back..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    58
    thanks, I've been thinking of just going for it until I got scared about the whole thing again. Everyone is being positive but my dad and sister are being realistic, and i can't stop thinking, what if I'm the person it happens to? and it goes wrong for me and i'll be in a wheelchair or something. i know that the worst case scenario, but I wouldn't know what to do if that happened. (I'd be treated at leeds general hospital by the way)

    -x-

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    178
    Clare, here's a couple of thoughts for you. You are still very young and delaing with something like this is tough at your age unless you've got the support behind you. The odds are that you could wait a few years (3 or 4) and nothing worse would happen with your spine (but no guarantee). The curvature could conceivably get worse over time, and may or may not lead to other problems down the road. While there's probably no harm in waiting, having the surgery at a young age will probably be easier for you to "bounce back" from than if you wait until say your 40's or 50's. Being so young, you still are at an age where body image is everything to you. It's likely that as you get older, and know better who you are, that body image won't be quite so important to you. Yeah, it's important to look good at any age, but maturity, and time will allow you to not put quite as much importance to it. If your curves are in the 50's, I would seriously consider surgery not for cosmetic reasons, but for health reasons and to hopefully avert problems later. Take your time and talk to at least two different doctors and see what your options are before you make a decision and take the time if possible to plan when you want the surgery to minimize the disruption to you daily life. Hang in there! One way or another, things will work themselves out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    58
    thanks for the reply. I'm now thinking I may wait a year and think about it, but i'm still not sure. I don't have much choice of when to actually have the surgery as I'd be having it on the NHS in England, not privately so I'd have to hope they have an opening in the summer time. BUt maybe next summer, not this summer, I want to start university on time and maybe my feelings will change in that time.

    What do you think? at least if I still wanted the surgery in a year, I'd be 19 and still young enough to get through it fairly easily?

    -x-

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978

    Thumbs down Hey, faris...

    She just obviously wanted to make sure people saw her post, in case they don't check around in other sections of the forum. Be a little more patient with people, please.
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    178
    What you need to do is sit down with a specialist and at least discuss it so that you can get some realistic ideas of what the possible complications are. Your sister and father are correct that this is real serious surgery and there are other possible complications some that may be more likely than paralysis. Bear in mind that some of them, many of them, could very well happen, that in most cases, the chances are fairly low. They tell you most of what could go wrong so that you at least are aware of it when making your decision. This way if there is a problem, you can't say later that they didn't tell you that it could happen. In the US we have something called the PDR which lists most drugs on the market. If you look at the list of possible side effects there are so many that it makes you think twice about taking it. However, it's a list of all of the ones that were experienced during clinical trials of the medication. Most of these are extremely rare. The other thing to remember is that you need to take it one step at a time. Let's just say that you had the surgery and ended up paralyzed. No, of course it's not a good thing to have to deal with and I don't think anyone would want it, or take it lightly, but I think what scares you most about that is the idea of how you would cope with being in a wheel chair. That's a normal response, but there would be plenty of resources out there to lean on to learn how to do it. The chances of paralysis are there, but pretty unlikely. I would start the whole process now so that you have a better idea of how much of a waiting time there is before you can have the surgery. You don't want to start near summer next year and then find out that you'll have to wait 6 months to a year for the surgery as you might miss the summer break to have it. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    137
    I replied to your other post, but thought you might like to know the actual statistic of paralysis for a normal young fit healthy person are something like less than 0.01% - that's pretty tiny....

    They manage to get these odds by connecting your toes to a computer and monitoring nerves. If they do anything that affects anything, they try and stop before its too late.

    Also, I don't think its likely to make much difference if you wanted to wait a year or two...you'd still be young

    Pip
    Double 63(T)/75(L) deg curve with big sideways shift - Surgery in UK on 8th February 2006.
    Post op 30(T)/33(L)
    http://warpedwoman.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6
    i think understand how you feel. My father is against getting surgery because of the risks, but i'm not sure if i want to live the rest of my life with a spinal deformity, especially if it will get worse as i get older.

    good luck.

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