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Thread: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

  1. #1
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    Default Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    Hi all
    Hope you are all well.
    Some people might know my story but I have been struggling with my diagnosis more so since June so can I have your opinions on the title Ė is it ok to have scoliosis surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?
    Not saying that I will (because I suffer from pain) but I think itís a good topic to get some views on this?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    Hi,

    A very strong no from me.

    I do have to mention that the cosmetic effects of the surgery are wonderful IF they are achievable. It is not always a satisfactory result though. I love the how surgery has made me look but i would trade it for no surgery if that was the only consideration.

    This aside the no1 major concern would be the serious risks that this surgery carries. Putting ur life and ability to walk at risk to improve your appearance slightly?

    If you don't have pain before surgery without the complications the surgery will pretty much guarantee you alot of pain that may end eventually but may carry on indefinitely.

    A fused spine behaves differently from an un fused spine and there id definitely drawbacks to being fused that aren't worth it.

    Hope this helps

    Ange

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    A good surgeon wouldn't do this surgery purely for cosmetic reasons, any good surgeon will always tell you that its done primarily to stop progression.

    I was very lucky because my surgeon offered me a costoplasty because I had a large hump which wouldn't have been improved with the fusion alone. I had 8 ribs chopped and shaped and the results are amazing-I have body confidence that I've never had.

    I would still rather not have the surgery though because its tough having a spine that doesn't 'work' anymore. I also have added pain from the metalwork. The way I see it though is that the surgery hasn't improved my life but it has stopped it from getting any worse.
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluestone View Post

    I would still rather not have the surgery though because its tough having a spine that doesn't 'work' anymore. I also have added pain from the metalwork. The way I see it though is that the surgery hasn't improved my life but it has stopped it from getting any worse.
    That is a BRILLIANT way of putting it!

    Ange

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    That is a great way. Thanks guys, interesting views. Anyone else?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angeceilien View Post
    That is a BRILLIANT way of putting it!

    Ange
    I actually quoted that from my husband
    I was feeling low with my pain and that what he said-clever boy!
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I was having quite a bad day pain wise and it really helped put things in perspective! Ur very lucky to have such a wise soul!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I would never of gone for it purely for cosmetic reasons, i only went for it because i was progressing badly and was going to continue to do so, so i had it to stop progression and try and get my health back to relative order. I only see the cosmetic changes as an added bonus to it all.
    Diagnosed at 14 in '08 with Neuromuscular Kyposcoliosis (due to my Neurofibromatosis Type 1) in the Thoraco-lumber region (T-65* L60*).
    Halo traction for a week then I had surgery 08/05/14, fused C5-T12 correcting curves by about half! By the wonderful and amazing, Mr Bernard. And then an Anterior Iliac Strut graft in my neck/ chest on the 05/06/14

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I would say if you're having the thoracic region of your spine fused, go for it. Most of our movement comes from the lumbar spine anyway so post op you really won't notice a difference in your range of motion. Now, however, if your curve is in your lumbar spine, you may want to take your time with your decision because of the reason stated above.

    My surgery was primarily cosmetic. My curve was only 40 degrees but it affected the shape of my ribcage and I was pretty lopsided (go check out the "paranoid" thread if you want to see pictures haha). Due to the fact that I wasn't feeling any pain, my surgeon left the decision up to me.

    Don't worry about the pain, its tolerable and declines rapidly as each day passes. Worry more about the restrictions that will be placed on you during your recovery period. The b/l/t rule of no bending, twisting, or lifting makes basic tasks such as getting into bed, washing your face, and putting your shoes on rather challenging but they're there to ensure your rods fuse properly. In addition you can't drive or exercise (you can walk though) so if you like to do those things, its going to be a long 6 weeks (4 more weeks for me asdf).

    I hope this information helps!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I have to correct bobashek because for me I have got restriction within my thoracic area and you do use that area-you lean forwards and you lean over and I find that restrictive and painful. I had a 72 degree curve and I was 45 when I had it fixed so maybe that is a factor. I also have protruding hardware there and a lot of pain especially if I have been leaning forwards or over too much.

    Its important to say that everyone is different, this surgery is a very personal experience because no curve is the same. My thoracic curve was very rotated and my surgeon said he had to bunch some big screws up to get the correction he did. Once my spine was de rotated and fixed the screws had to be close to the surface because of the shape of my spine. When you go into this surgery things can happen that you don't expect so its best to keep an open mind at the same time staying positive.
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I would like to second bluestones everyone is different statement.

    There are many ppl who after surgery go on to lead basically normal lives. However not always the case I feel very restricted by my thoracic fusion. I long to do the things I used to. So u always have to consider multiple factors in the surgery decision which Is permanent life changing for good or bad and tough.

    Ange

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I think it a bad idea after weighing the pros and cons. Have you had any success with non-surgical methods of reducing the appearance of your curve?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I am 3 weeks post op tomorrow, and whoever posted that the pain was nothing.....WOW! your a stud! I have 2 children and I have NEVER EVER experienced pain of that level! Not ever in my life have I been so over taken with pain and misery. That being said I am now no longer on narcotics and am MUCH better. I am fused from T4 to L5 and I can definitely tell my thoracic is fused. I also ended up needing 2 blood transfusions and was put back into the hospital after being home 12 hours for a total of 10 days in the hospital.

    All of that being said I could NEVER imagine having gone through all that for sheer cosmetic purposes, however as bluestone said " everyone is different" my thoracic was 41į and my lumbar 52 and I was progressing yearly. Best of luck!
    Krier

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    The human body is extremely complicated......its amazing what we know, and what we donít know.

    There are text books that cover surgical complications that are almost endless.....and it is, if they donít know. Most of the serious complications donít happen too often, but when they happen to you, thatís when it really matters....we try not to think about when we will get hit by lightning....but at least we know about it.

    Timing is the most critical part of scoliosis surgery......

    An honest surgeon will talk about complications.....In fact, in the US, we sign waivers that cover complications.

    For those that explore non-surgical routes of maintenance, power to you.....Surgery is ďusuallyĒ a last ditch effort.

    I came out great and have adapted well......maybe Iím lucky, maybe I deserve it after 40 years of battling scoliosis. I donít know.

    I do know that I have written some incredibly difficult posts through the years for those in need of some sort of hope. For those that were dealt a bad hand of cards.....It happens once in a while..... I have become more conservative over the last few years, I guess for a reason.

    Ed

    55 yr old male
    T70 L70 double trouble
    A/P T2-Pelvis BMP Jan 2008

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Scolosis Surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

    I understand why you might want to. I got treated so badly by other people because of how I looked.

    For myself, though...I actually liked how I looked before more. Maybe that sounds weird, it was a big curve. But, that was only something I could see when I looked in the mirror, I wasn't really as aware of it. My stomach wound up looking worse after the operation (I think my ribcage looks more forward too, but maybe that's because of my tummy?), and there's the scar, too. I'm not sure what they did, but considering they messed up my op in other ways, maybe they didn't pull the skin right or something?

    I need two more operations, so I wonder if they can do something this time to improve the appearance cosmetically?

    I wouldn't advise doing it for purely cosmetic reasons, the risk is far too high.

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