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lilac997
13th January 2009, 08:57 AM
So I'm considering surgery for my kyphosis, but I'm worried that the post-surgery scar tissue will be so bad that I won't be able to take my shirt off in public. Does anyone know if there are ways to reduce scarring post-surgery, or if I'm perhaps exaggerating how bad the scars really look down the road? Or maybe there's a less invasive surgery option? Thanks for the support.

Simon
13th January 2009, 10:48 AM
http://www.scoliosis-support.org/showthread.php?t=7009

Thats pics of my back so you can see what it like 8 mths post op you can hardly see it hope that helps x x x

GillyG
13th January 2009, 11:03 AM
Hi there :welcome:

Well my surgery was for scoliosis rather than kyphosis but the incision and scar are basically the same. Mine had virtually disappeared by a year post-op and was/is a tiny silvery line of which I am extremely proud as it gives me some 'street-cred' with my kids :p

To try and give you some idea, this first pic is the day after I came out of hospital, ie 9 days post-op:

http://i40.tinypic.com/nc41k.jpg


And this was at one year:

http://i41.tinypic.com/244t88x.jpg

tonibunny
13th January 2009, 11:36 AM
Please don't worry! The vast majority of people find that their scars eventually heal to just a thin line, and that the midline scar that runs vertically is generally not very noticeable because it follows the natural line of your musculature (as you can see from Gilly's photos) :) You can also buy stuff callled Bio Oil which helps scars to heal neatly.

I've had a lot of surgery, with my posterior midline scar opened three times, and two diagonal anterior release scars running around the sides of my torso, but these are so invisible now that I'm happy to sit on a beach in a bikini and no-one ever notices the scars unless I point them out :D

Mustang Sal
13th January 2009, 04:23 PM
Wow Gilly, how neat is your scar?! You must be well chuffed with that :)

It's funny how we all seem to scar differently - not wanting to frighten anyone, but none of my scars have ever faded that well (2 of them are still quite wide and raised after 10 years) - a very old one from childhood went a bit mangled because they stitched me with silk sutures, which my skin managed to gobble up and subsequently form a dermal sinus. I even have small raised scars on my wrists and neck where i've had IVs in the past :( They don't really bother me though - even if they did, it's not like they're going anywhere so what's the point?! I guess i'm just not a good 'healer'!

GillyG
13th January 2009, 05:23 PM
Wow Gilly, how neat is your scar?! You must be well chuffed with that :)

I am indeed :D Actually, I would have liked a nice cross-stitch pattern all the way down my back, but I suppose that was hoping a bit much :p Interestingly enough, I have always been quite a good 'healer' so I suppose that helped somewhat :)

Little Ali
20th January 2009, 03:47 PM
My physio suggested if I had another anterior surgery, I could have a union jack! :hehe:

Re the scar tissue. The scars really don't look that bad and if the pain is bad, it's a worthwhile sacrifice. The best thing you can do to reduce scar tissue is a bit of massage on it, once the incision has healed.
Good luck with your decision x

Ryansmum
21st January 2009, 12:43 AM
Ryan was the same Gilly only he was hoping for a right old meaty one to show off to his mates and to be honest you can barely see it already :D
He has been opened twice now (August and January) on the same scar and had his second lot of stitches out today..(well it turned out they only used steristrips) and has healed so well there is only the faintest of red marks on the 2 ends.
I am very impressed with 'the boys' stitching at Stanmore :D

hvdeen
1st February 2009, 05:50 AM
hi there-I was told some lotion with vitamin e (?) supposedly helps. I might have that wrong but the lotion part is right I know for sure. Maybe some lotion with aloe might help? But don't apply it until the incision is healed! I don't think it would be wise to put lotion on an unhealed incision. I have been "opened up" twice in the same spot and the scar is healing quite nicely. My last surgery was in Aug. 08 and mine is already starting to dissapear. I can post some pics maybe at some point but I will need to wait until I can get some help with taking pics because it isn't very easy to take pictures of my own back! lol So we'll see. I had some issues actually with wearing a shirt that would show the scar and worried what people might thnk and if they would stare but I talked to a few people now and have learned that it is no big deal and it just means we have been through something and survived! lol Someone called it a battle scar too! So don't be worried about it showing in public-it shows you are tough. lol

clairabella68
1st February 2009, 09:50 AM
Wow Ryansmum

Did Ryan have sticthes?? Katie hasnt got any -just the steristrips. I am soooo glad cos it was traumatic enough taking the dressing off, never mind stitches out. She was screaming cos it was hurting, I was crying cos I was hurting her and my mum was crying cos me and katie were crying, phew!!!! Claire xx

Little Ali
1st February 2009, 02:08 PM
That's a lot of crying! Things like that can be very traumatic for kids.

I've been advised that it doesn't really matter what you use on and around the scar because it's the massaging that matters, but Bio-Oil is meant to be best.

I agree...we should all be proud of our battle scars! I have lots!

Mustang Sal
1st February 2009, 05:56 PM
I had some issues actually with wearing a shirt that would show the scar and worried what people might thnk and if they would stare but I talked to a few people now and have learned that it is no big deal and it just means we have been through something and survived! lol Someone called it a battle scar too! So don't be worried about it showing in public-it shows you are tough. lol

I used to feel so self-conscious about my scars that i'd go to great lengths to ensure nobody ever saw them. Bikinis were out, anything cropped was out, trousers cut too low were out (not really a problem because even low cut 'hipster' styles tend to sit quite high on me). I wouldn't even wear tight pale coloured tops because the raised scars, along with all the other lumps and bumps, would show through. But the thing I was most afraid of showing was my hairy patch - I felt like such a hairy beast! I now realise the chances of someone noticing anything were quite small, but it was a huge issue to me in the past, so I know where you're coming from. I have to say though, joining this forum has really helped me accept my scars and weird lumps etc, so much so that I even posted a picture (you can see it here if you're interested - http://www.scoliosis-support.org/showthread.php?t=6515

Little Ali
1st February 2009, 06:22 PM
I've just bought some stretch mark reduction lotion from The Body Shop. I couldn't find any Bio-oil. The guy who sold it to me said it works if you apply it religiously every morning and night.

If it works, I'll do it! My scar/nerves has been killing me today! :eek: I'll let you know how I get on.

bara
1st February 2009, 07:57 PM
I have never had a problem with my fusion scar - it wasn't the neatest in the world, but they tidied the upper portion of it considerably when they removed my Harrinton rod. My hip scar where they harvested the bone graft is a different story, they had tried out some kind of new instrument (new in 1970 that is!) which they described as being like a mechanised butter curler - of all things. The scar is crooked, wide and uncomfomfortable and nothing like the neat little jobs I have seen done more recently.
However in spite of all that, my fusion has held, my curves are no worse and I remain mostly pain-free after 36 years (so long as I don't dance in killer heels or re-arrange the furniture single handed) and so I reckon that for me at least, it was a small price to pay.

Cassie
1st February 2009, 11:36 PM
I have never had a problem with my fusion scar - it wasn't the neatest in the world, but they tidied the upper portion of it considerably when they removed my Harrinton rod. My hip scar where they harvested the bone graft is a different story, they had tried out some kind of new instrument (new in 1970 that is!) which they described as being like a mechanised butter curler - of all things. The scar is crooked, wide and uncomfomfortable and nothing like the neat little jobs I have seen done more recently.
However in spite of all that, my fusion has held, my curves are no worse and I remain mostly pain-free after 36 years (so long as I don't dance in killer heels or re-arrange the furniture single handed) and so I reckon that for me at least, it was a small price to pay.

Oh, my hip scar is horrid as well, they cut a sort of half moon shape flap but when it got stitched back it didn't seem to match properly and looks awful and has caused me lots of pain over the years, plus the scar tissue was stuck to the bone (ouch!) but a physio did some ultra sound to try and help that a bit. The long scar is better. And of course now they have much better methods and no black silk needlework being carried out on the skin :) as it was a long time ago!

Unfortunately my unistrumented fusion isn't holding up and is now at 50degrees and very painful :(

Mustang Sal
1st February 2009, 11:48 PM
And of course now they have much better methods and no black silk needlework being carried out on the skin :) as it was a long time ago!

Ooh I was stitched with silk sutures after my original detethering surgery in '84 and I had loads of problems - my skin effectively 'gobbled up' the stitches and caused a dermal sinus (a hole running from the surface into my spinal canal - nice) which is why I have such a horrible looking scar now. I'm not eligible for scar revision either because of nerve issues (apparently) :( Hurrah for dissolvable stitches!

titch
2nd February 2009, 10:45 AM
I think my preferred method of closure is staples. My back scar has spread at the top, and the only other person I know with a scar that looked like it is Blair, who turned out to be allergic to dissolvers. I'm also sensitive to the standard dark blue sutures, so I pretty near begged them to use staples for my caesarian. The only issue I had with them is that somewhere along the line I've become prone to overgranulation - it's an over-eager healing response, so essentially what's underneath the skin heals and regrows a little too fast, so if the skin doesn't close quickly enough it can be unable to without a little assistance. The assistance is simple enough - just an impregnated plaster that goes on for a couple of days, so as far as I'm concerned that's really no problem at all - I had one staple hole that did it, and it was sorted very quickly and with no problems :D