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Thread: What If It Goes Wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    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!


    Thanks (sorry for the HUMONGOUS RANT)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Hi Clare,

    you really seem to be thinking about your situation a lot. That is good. The decision to have a fusion surgery is a big one!! While you say it is only for cosmetic reasons, what do the doctors say about your liklihood of progressing further? Progression can lead to many other problems. You should get a 1st and 2nd opinion from reputable doctors in the field of scoliosis. Then sit down with your family and talk it out. As far as researching surgeries gone wrong, I do not recommend doing that. It can be scary and unsettling, and many stories are based on surgeries done many years ago. Fusion surgery is different today. You should be aware that things can go wrong and what that would mean, but do not dwell on that aspect. Fusion surgery is usually very successful, especially for otherwise healthy young people like yourself.

    Another thing you can do is start a thread asking people to share their fusion surgery story with you. You will get honest feedback from a few different people. There are also people who will share their belief about why you should not have fusion surgery. Ultimately, you will have to weigh it all out in your mind and come to your own decision. This is very tough, especially for a person your age.

    I definitely think you should get a few opinions from the scoliosis docs out there. They may help you gain some prospective. I know that if it were me, and it may be one of my daughters in the future, I would get as much information and perspective as I could, then decide what is ultimately best for her future.

    I hope this helps a bit. Nothing about scoliosis is easy. Hang tough, you are right to give this much consideration!!

    hugs to you,
    Last edited by stephanieC; 02-07-2008 at 08:43 AM.
    Mom to Michela ~age 12 ~VBS @ age 9 - 12/19/07 26* to 1*
    10/8/08 ~ curve is immeasurable!!
    07/16/09 ~ a few degrees overcorrected... being monitored
    12/28/09 ~ 14* overcorrected to the right
    2/23/10 ~ 12* overcorrected
    3/12/10 ~ Boston Brace at night to prevent further overcorrection. In brace corrects to -8*

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I can only really add to what has already been said.

    At your age I had a double curve of around 50 degrees and it didn't really cause me any problems until I was about 30. It was then that my curvature started to progress and at 40 years old with curves of over 70 degrees and pressure on my internal organs I had to do something. My surgery has been very successful but I only have a 50% correction because my spine was stiffer because I am older.

    Personally I think cosmetics are not a big enough reason to get it done. You'll have a huge scar and possibly some deformity remaining (don't forget your ribs have grown around that curve) BUT, you need to speak to a surgeon about progression. Its the most important issue because its the one that will affect you when you are older.

    Only when you have all the facts and projections about what may or may not happen, will you be able to make the decision that is best for you.

    You may also want to check out as that's a UK based forum and I think has quite a few people your age.

    Hope all this is a help.

    Good luck.
    Double 63(T)/75(L) deg curve with big sideways shift - Surgery in UK on 8th February 2006.
    Post op 30(T)/33(L)

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