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Has anyone seen my waistline?

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

Nope, me either. LOL

I'm nearly 7 months post-op. Will this beautiful, huge bulge on my side ever go away? I'm thinking no. Oh well, I'll consider it my battle scar if it doesn't. From a vanity point of view, I look a little lopsided now. I didn't plan on doing any Sports Illustrated swimsuit covers anytime soon, though, so I guess I can live with it. :oD

I've never gotten a tatoo in my life, but if I thought I could stand the pain, I think sometimes about getting a kidney cancer survivor ribbon tatooed over my bulge and scar. Just in case it ever thought about coming back, that might discourage it. ;o)

Also, if I'm on my feet for more then an hour which is pretty much all the time, my side bulges out more and I have this sensation like someone has their fist in their, trying to push from the inside out. Does anyone else have this? It also happens after I eat. Very strange feeling.

Blessings,
Lisa

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1477
Joined: Jan 2010

Lisa,

There are 2 ways to look at the buldge. First it takes about a year to return to normal. At least mine did. Second look at it as a fish story, it gets bigger each year.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

If the last time you saw it was 7 months ago Lisa, it may have gone for good. I'm 2 months from op and asked my surgeon recently if I will have 'the bulge' forever (I had an open with a main cut very similar to Flatlander's). He said it might improve a little but probably not. I like your imaginative idea of some tasteful artwork. For the feeling, I fear Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver in Alien) is no longer with us. However, unlike the bulge, the feeling will doubtless subside as time goes by.

Michael6701
Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2011

Lisa,

We must have had our surgeries about the same time. I had mine 6/27/11 and they told me that was a "healing ridge" that was necessary and they would be concerned if it was not present. But they also said it should disappear in a couple of months ... it hasn't, but it has significantly improved. It bulges a little more with that same sensation you describe if I play too much golf.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Michael6701, could you please clarify your terminology? I do not understand your phrase "too much golf" :-)

Michael6701
Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2011

Good catch Tex; there really is no such thing. Now that I think about it, that surgical artifact can be looked at as a nice reminder. The surgery that produced it likely afforded me the opportunity to continue playing even more golf.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Michael, I'm just hoping that my Wife accepts that playing at least 4 rounds a week is essential for reducing the "healing ridge" and that even more will eventually lead to my looking like Michaelangelo's David. Got to give the schedule a fair trial though, over an adequately extended period!

newenglandguy
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2011

Lisa - my bulge started shrinking at about 8 months. Just make sure it's not a hernia. Mine was caused due to the nerve being severed, and I guess that's pretty common. Some of it went away, just due to the swelling going down. I did have to do a little toning, as due to the nerve being affected, I had to tighten up and strengthen the muscles in that area. I didn't do it by crunches, but rather by working with an exercise ball and doing exercises focused on toning up the core muscles.
Hopefully not a hernia, as your doctor should have picked that up on a follow-up exam.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1873
Joined: Oct 2011

I think it's sexy. Beauty marks. Bikers have a saying with a similar theme. "If you don't limp, you ain't ****." Sounds really stupid now that I've said it...But anyway, These are our battle scars.

lawmanmike's picture
lawmanmike
Posts: 29
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks for another interesting thread Lisa! I have been describing this bulge to family members and they look at me like I'm nuts. I was a little worried that it shouldn't be there and was on my list of questions for my doctor at this week's follow up appointment. I feel a little better knowing it is a normal occurence - and I guess I will have to live with it for a while. I've been joking that I didn't really need an extra "love handle" on that side - maybe I should give it a name!

lbinmsp's picture
lbinmsp
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

The 'bulge' does improve but it takes way longer than anyone thinks. I'm 11 years out from an open radical nephrectomy and there is still a little 'bump' across the incision. Now, I lost my waistline years ago and have no idea WHERE it went! Sometimes I think it and my metabolism retired to Figi and left no forwarding address!

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

I've got a couple, anybody else?

Saw an interesting one recently, that applies, of a small train running on a long surgical scar...then there was the bald guy with a little lawn mower along his receding hair line.

lbinmsp's picture
lbinmsp
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

Too funny - that's what my brother suggested for me - although mine would be running from the Atlantic to the Pacific (geographically speaking). You see, I had gallbladder surgery some 40 years ago - when they cut you wide open - 8 " incision. When I had the open radical nephrectomy, the surgeon STARTED at the end of the gallbladder scar - and went the other way. So I've got this train track running literally half way around my body! A friend laughed and said I looked like a survivor of the Texas Chain Saw movie! EEEWWW!

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

I vaguely remember a doctor, from my doc's practice, making the rounds while I was still in a drug induced fog the next morning. He said something like, "you will have a large bulge on the side and everyone thinks it's a hernia, but it's not. It's normal and will probably not go away". Well, I was in happy land, so I really didn't process that or care. LOL It doesn't bother me much, except when I get that swelling feeling like someone is pushing from the inside out. I sure hope that feeling goes away some day. It's really annoying.

Blessings,
Lisa

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

It's good to be reminded that some of the effects of major abdominal surgery persist for a while and such feelings don't necessarily indicate something new going amiss.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1873
Joined: Oct 2011

We are not teenagers. We are standing the test of time. We are not going to look like our high school yearbook pictures. To me scars are beauty marks. Proof of living. ( but I'm a biker). Some place growing up, I found indications of living to be part of maturity. Someone who cares for themselves, but with proof of child bearing, surgery,accident or trauma, to me is as beautiful as it gets. It's real. I exercise hard to look good and stay in shape. But, guess what, the only perfect ones are in magazines or movies. Superficial. The important thing is to take care of yourself. Let the chips fall where they may. Don't obsess on the unimportant. If looking perfect is so important, then go back to high school. Otherwise, take care of yourself, and be proud.

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