Wednesday, December 21, 2005

the big scar

My surgery was 2 months ago. It's weird to think that it was only 2 months, it feels like a lifetime ago. My scar's looking really terrific:

Here are the previous views: scary photo (immediately post-op) and not-so-scary photo(3 weeks post-op).

Now, to put things in better perspective, here's a new picture of me -- do you notice the scar much?

And here's the picture I took 3 months after last year's much less invasive surgery. Wow, my hair was dreadful last year! But this new scar at 2 months out looks about the same as my old scar was at 3 months out. The most interesting thing to me is that this surgery re-opened the old scar, and if anything, it has healed even better than it did last time.

After my first surgery, I didn't get any particular instructions on caring for the scar once the steri-strips were removed. This time, with such a long scar, I was instructed to massage the scar using vitamin E oil. However, as a veteran of multiple skin biopsies and excisions, I went with Aquaphor healing lotion instead. It's what my dermatologist recommends, after all, and it's a lot more manageable.

I massage all along the incision once or twice a day. Both my surgeon and physical therapist stressed the importance of the massage, to prevent adhesions from forming underneath the scar which could limit mobility and cause pain down the line. After 2 months of more or less diligent care (I've been slacking lately), the skin along the scarline is quite mobile and flexible.

This experience has converted me to the school of active scar management, so to speak. I have a 2-inch scar on my left leg that could've benefited from massage while healing. It's in a place where you'd think that mobility wouldn't be an issue, but every now and then, it pulls. Plus, it's rather hideous, and if I wonder if, had it been massaged, it would look any different.

Can't change the past, but the main thing is, if I ever go under the knife again, I'll make sure to take better care of my scars as they heal.


Sheik Yerbootie said...

I still think two bolts and some green makeup would compliment that scar perfectly.


Hey, have a Merry christmas kiddo - all the best to you and yours.

Jo said...

Hello, I just found your blog after much searching through Google for thyroid cancer blogs. I too have had thyroid cancer as have my oldest two kids (ours was hereditary-MEN2a caused) and can I just say that your scar is beautiful. It is honestly so tiny and I hope that it fades more and more each year.

Of course, I can call yours tiny since mine covers my entire neck in a U-shape. LOL.

Please feel free to visit our medical blog and even our family blog if you'd ever like. I'd also be honored if you would let me put your link on our MEN2a/medical blog.

Vicki said...

Hi, I had a hemi-thyroid op 4 weeks ago and have looked at this page a few times in the last few weeks. It's been good to see how the scar goes away with time. Luckily mine was just a benign lump and I am still healthy afterwards.
Maybe I'll put the pics from mine onto my blog sometime soon..when I get a chance.
I hope you are well now.