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Unread 09-18-2011, 12:01 PM
Re: SAH check in


First, how did you handle wound care? Did you use anything to minimize scarring? I have stretch marks from childbirth, so I'm not too concern about keeping things pretty.
At about 4 weeks, I started massaging the incision gently and using Bio Oil. To be honest, I don't think the Bio Oil did a whole heck of a lot but the massaging did help soften the scar and loosen it from the underlying tissues. At first, it was like it was glued to the muscles under it but with months of massage, the scar is behaving like the rest of my skin and it is very flexible. I also started using Silicone scar sheets at about 3 or 4 months post-op, once again trying to minimize the raising of the scar. The silicone sheets did help fade it a bit and it might have helped with the flattening but I don't really know. I think that time and continued massage is what is going to do the trick on that. According to what I have read, hypertrophic scar eventually flatten on their own within a year or two. Part of it has flattened but there is still over half that is raised and feels like a ridge. I hope your skin is better than mine and heals nicely. I knew going into this that I would have an issue with the scar as I always scar badly and that is why I insisted on stitches. I literally told my doctor I would kill him if I woke up with staples. That didn't go over well as he threatened to cancel the operation. This was as we were going into surgery. I told him that "Yes, you can do that!" He went through with it anyhow. I know it isn't a good idea to upset your surgeons as you are going into surgery but I knew what I wanted. By the way, I had asked him to use glue but he had no experience with it and wouldn't let me be his guinea pig even though I offered.

I've heard and read about infections too. What are the possible causes? Could it be related to showering? My doctor suggested that I could as soon as Im ready, even the next day; however, my mother (who's not a dr, LOL) doesn't think it's a good idea.
Keeping things very clean are what prevents infections. Your doctor is right about showering right away. You will get instructions that say to let the soapy water run over your incision and then rinse. Do not poke, scrub or apply soap directly to your incision and dry very well by patting with a towel. Some ladies even use a blow dryer on cool to dry theirs. Airing the incision helps too. I went commando for a couple of week because my undies were irritating it. Loose pajama pants did the trick for me. One more thing, if you do have stitches poking out, don't pull on them like I did. I ended up with a minor infection that needed antibiotics. If you do have a stitch poking out, let your doctor know and he or she will snip it using sterile methods.

As to your tummy, try to be in the best shape possible prior to your surgery. That will help with your recovery. And yes, your tummy will probably look pretty gross after surgery but like my doctor said, with eating well and exercise it will go. I think I said that mine was mostly gone but it took a very, very, long time. It isn't totally flat but it looks darn good for someone who is 53 years old. I could get away with a bikini and not gross people out if I wanted.

my second question. in your experience, do you feel your pain was lessen when you laying down, sitting and standing because of techniques you used, i.e. how you positioned yourself getting out of bed? I'm practicing that now, before surgery so I can be ready to go.
It is hard to answer your question about pain because when staying still such as sitting, lying down or standing, I was one of the lucky ones who didn't have any. I truly didn't have a single twinge if I wasn't moving. When moving, there was definite pulling that wasn't comfortable and bordered on painful. I used a trick that my doctor's resident gave me. Before moving, take a deep breath and when doing the move, breathe out. Apparently, you can't tighten your stomach muscles as much when you do this and it help with the pain when moving.

Getting out of bed is a whole different story when you can't use your tummy muscles. I rolled over to my side, swung my legs over the side of the bed and used my upper arm to partially raise me up from the bed, then used the lower arm to finish pushing me up. If you go on the internet, there are videos that show you how to get up from a lying position.

I hope that this answers your questions. Probably in too much detail...sorry...
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