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heating pad/hot water bottle heating pad/hot water bottle

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Unread 01-18-2003, 07:44 AM
heating pad/hot water bottle

On the post op board, many of our sisters talk about using these to make their
tummies feel better. I have read in more than one place, that using heat on the'
abdomen where there is or has been cancer/tumors can increase chance of
the cancer/tumors growing (they like heat?).

Have any of you been OK'd to use? I frequent another board and have gotten
various answers from those women! So just wanted to hear what you ladies
have to say?

I know my tummy sure does feel better when I let the hot shower hit it!

Cindi M TAH/BSO on 11/26 w/ diagnosis of epithelial OvCa IIIc
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Unread 01-18-2003, 08:07 AM
heating pad/hot water bottle

s Cindi

As an experienced ICU nurse for 29 years, I must say I have never seen heating pads or hot water bottles used for abdominal incision pain relief.
I did use a heating pad quite a bit before my surgery for ovca.
And it helped minimally. Certainly hope I wasn't aiding the growth of cancer cells!
Warm water in the shower is another story altogether!!!
How are you doing?

Unread 01-18-2003, 05:52 PM
heating pad/hot water bottle


This really is a good question for your doctor. I'm with Karen--I've never really heard of people using heat for their incisional discomfort, although, I did use a heating pad for my backache. I know I was given cold pacs to use on my vaginal incision, and nothing for my abdominal incision.

As a general rule, if you use heat in an appropriate manner (about 20 minutes of low-intensity heat) you will increase blood flow to the skin and the surface muscles, but I wouldn't think it would heat things up enough to increase blood flow in the pelvic cavity. Deep heating methods (such as therapeutic ultrasound--not to be confused with ultrasounds used for imaging) are generally considered to be a no-no if there is a cancer concern.

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Unread 01-19-2003, 06:02 AM
heating pad/hot water bottle

Thanks for your responses. It's really not the incision that needs the "comfort" of heat. It's
basically my tummy area all feels "tight", although a little more tightness under the incision.

I have also found that if I have this discomfort, sometimes I am helped by some backward
easy stretching (backbend) or just laying perfectly flat.

I have talked to the nurse at the doctor's office since my original post. What I asked her if I could
use some heat, she said I could, but very low heat. She OK'd me using a "hot stone" massage
set that my sister in law gave me for Xmas. Hot stone massage is really popular now and my
sil thougt it would be great just to help me relax. She said she hadn't heard about heat making
cancer grow. Actually, the hot stone set said to consult a Dr is cancer or tumors were involved.
It was nice to see that noted on the box!

Also, in checking this out on another board, a person told me to look up a treatment being done
where heat was applied to increase the effectiveness of chemo. I believe it's called

The nurse also said if these heat "treatments" don't seem to help my discomfort than maybe
I should come in a little early for my check up. I will let all know!

Thanks for all your support! This board is great!

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