mastectomy scars

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ms_independent
ms_independent Member Posts: 214
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I have a question about mastectomy scars. I feel kind of vain for asking. I mean---the cancer is gone----who cares about the scars!!!!??? But, I guess I do. What, if anything, are you using to minimize the scarring? I know they will never look the way they did. I'd just like to get rid of the angry looking red lines sooner rather than later.
Thanks, El
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  • Dot53
    Dot53 Member Posts: 239 Member
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    Hi El
    You are not vain or alone in your thoughts.. I have already spoken to my dermatologist and he is going to do scar revision on me as soon as possible.. I realize the scars will fade somewhat with time but I also have scars from my reduction so mine are really awful... ,
    I felt weird asking about scar revision but my doctor says he does mastectomy patients all the time...

    Dot
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    scar revision?


    sorry for my ignorance but what is scar revision?


    I have been using 'Justine Oil' from South Africa, the results are brilliant, really good. It helps to reduce the scarring and scar tissue. I am using it on my scars from the mastectomy and the DIEP flap reconstruction. Here is a URL for the oil

    http://www.justineskincare.co.za/page5.htm

    It is from South Africa, my mother seems to get it. I don't know if she buys it in Vancouver or someone brings it over from South Africa. I will ask her.
  • Dot53
    Dot53 Member Posts: 239 Member
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    scar revision?


    sorry for my ignorance but what is scar revision?


    I have been using 'Justine Oil' from South Africa, the results are brilliant, really good. It helps to reduce the scarring and scar tissue. I am using it on my scars from the mastectomy and the DIEP flap reconstruction. Here is a URL for the oil

    http://www.justineskincare.co.za/page5.htm

    It is from South Africa, my mother seems to get it. I don't know if she buys it in Vancouver or someone brings it over from South Africa. I will ask her.

    Mariam
    Scar revision is a laser that smoothes out the scarred skin...
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    Thanks
    Thanks, I appreciate the link and the info on scar revision. I still have the exchange of expanders to implants coming and I hope that the plastic surgeon can improve the incisions then. I had problems healing (dead tissue) and had to have a 2nd closure of the mastectomy incisions after removing dead tissue. I have some scarring other than the incisions that look like burn scars on some of the tissue that almost died (2 kind of large areas). So, I'd like to see what I can do to improve that as well as the incisions.
    Thanks again, El
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    Dot53 said:

    Mariam
    Scar revision is a laser that smoothes out the scarred skin...

    Dot, thank-you. it is good
    Dot, thank-you. it is good to know what this is. I am getting quite an education just going through this cancer.
  • Dot53
    Dot53 Member Posts: 239 Member
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    Thanks
    Thanks, I appreciate the link and the info on scar revision. I still have the exchange of expanders to implants coming and I hope that the plastic surgeon can improve the incisions then. I had problems healing (dead tissue) and had to have a 2nd closure of the mastectomy incisions after removing dead tissue. I have some scarring other than the incisions that look like burn scars on some of the tissue that almost died (2 kind of large areas). So, I'd like to see what I can do to improve that as well as the incisions.
    Thanks again, El

    El & Mariam,
    Glad to help...

    El & Mariam,

    Glad to help... El I had the same healing problem as you. Had my second surgery 3 weeks after the first. I was really worried b/c my doc said that sometimes when too much tissue dies they cannot continue with the reconstruction. I was lucky... but now I am behind with my fills but at least I can have them.. My dematologist said they he couldn't do the scar revision until I had my final surgery so I am still a long way off from that now. In the meantime I use liquid vitamin e on them everyday but am thinking I will try Mariam's suggestion...

    Best wishes,
    Dot
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
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    Dot53 said:

    El & Mariam,
    Glad to help...

    El & Mariam,

    Glad to help... El I had the same healing problem as you. Had my second surgery 3 weeks after the first. I was really worried b/c my doc said that sometimes when too much tissue dies they cannot continue with the reconstruction. I was lucky... but now I am behind with my fills but at least I can have them.. My dematologist said they he couldn't do the scar revision until I had my final surgery so I am still a long way off from that now. In the meantime I use liquid vitamin e on them everyday but am thinking I will try Mariam's suggestion...

    Best wishes,
    Dot

    El, Mariam and Dot53 .. I am in the same boat .. Not vain,
    just curious ... bi-lateral performed on 1/12/10 .. it took about 2 weeks for me to look at my concurved breasts with expanders - what a site. Now 1 month after surgery, I find them interesting to look at. liquid vitamin E is my choice, besides slathering on any time of cream - 20 times a day - as every 3 weeks I am given 160 cc of fluid to get to my desired size, before my implants are ordered (Werido - rama -- who would of thought ???)

    Thank you for the website ..

    VickiSam
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    VickiSam said:

    El, Mariam and Dot53 .. I am in the same boat .. Not vain,
    just curious ... bi-lateral performed on 1/12/10 .. it took about 2 weeks for me to look at my concurved breasts with expanders - what a site. Now 1 month after surgery, I find them interesting to look at. liquid vitamin E is my choice, besides slathering on any time of cream - 20 times a day - as every 3 weeks I am given 160 cc of fluid to get to my desired size, before my implants are ordered (Werido - rama -- who would of thought ???)

    Thank you for the website ..

    VickiSam

    weird, you bet
    Did you know they have catalogs for tissue expanders and implants? On my plastic surgeon visit before the bilateral he pulled out a catalog and he and the nurse practioner talked about which ones to order....."well, she's kind of round so, I think this one". I thought I got nearly every catalog made---wrong, I never got a 'booby catalog' :)
    I think I'll try the vit. E and see what happens.
    Thanks, El
  • NYGMom
    NYGMom Member Posts: 34
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    Vitamin E all the way!! I
    Vitamin E all the way!! I had bilateral mastectomy January 2009 and can barely see my scars. I have used vitamin E oil every night and vitamin E cream every day since surgery.
  • Mama G
    Mama G Member Posts: 762
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    NYGMom said:

    Vitamin E all the way!! I
    Vitamin E all the way!! I had bilateral mastectomy January 2009 and can barely see my scars. I have used vitamin E oil every night and vitamin E cream every day since surgery.

    I see my surgeon on Tuesday...
    to remove my port, but I want to ask if my scars are "normal" as they are still so disgusting to me. I guess I expected to have a flat chest, like a man on one side and a boob on the other, but this ugly scar and tissue is gross and disgusting. I'll try the Vitamin E and ask him about it. Wish I had been using it since surgery (July 14th).
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    scars
    The scars from the bilateral mastectomy were just fading when I had the reconstruction DIEP procedure done. Now instead of one 2 lines across the front, I have 2 footbal-shaped ovals and a long line on the abdomen. I know what you mean about the scar looking line a burn scar. I had several infections in the abdominal scar and have a thick, wide line of red scar tissue there. I have a surgery date in March to have revisions of the breast tissue and abdominal scar. I look forward to being done with surgeries and having the "new Me" finished. By the way, I do not think it is vain at all to want the scars to vanish sooner rather than later. I had C-sections with my 2 daughters (teenagers now), and it took over 2 years for the scars to fade completely.

    Live as well as you can for as long as you can! seof
  • In_the_Pink
    In_the_Pink Member Posts: 1
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    Mastecomy Sacars
    BioOil, Vit E and Neosporin. I kept my scar well moisturized and it faded beautifully, that was 10 years ago after mastecomy and radiation. 6 years ago I had an expander put in and then a silicone implant and my scar still looks not too bad.

    Near the arm pit, my scar is a little on the purple side. When I wear an outfit which is revealing through the arm pit, I use Cover F/X that I apply with a large makeup base brush and then set it with powder. I tend to dance with my arms over my head and people have never noticed. I also use the same coverup above my reconstructed breast to minimize the appearance of the hollow of the removed breast. I decrease the shadow by using a lighter powder then distract the eye with good jewellery. I have quizzed random folks with the words "are you able to notice anything?". They search me head to toe trying to "see" what is out of place and miss it every time. Of course, these are folks that do not know my health history.

    So, good skin care, some makeup, a good bra, a good neckline and jewellery and you will look fabulous EVERY time...
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    I saw the Plastic Surgeon a

    I saw the Plastic Surgeon a couple of weeks ago and he commented on how good my scars were looking with little scar tissue. I had surgery 1/5/10.

    As I mentioned above I use Justin Oil from South Africa. I spoke to my mother (who is in Vancouver, BC) and she usually asks someone to bring back a few bottles when they go to SA to visit. Justine Skincare don't have an export license so you can't buy their products it outside of SA in stores. However she did contact Justin Skincare and has gotten them to send her several bottles. With the Rand (SA currency) Dollar exchange rate it turns out to be quite reasonable including the shipping. Really worth it. The URL again is:

    http://www.justineskincare.co.za/page5.htm

    In addition to the Justine oil which I only put on the scars I also use 'Apricot oil' on the rest of my breasts and stomach when I am in the shower to moisturise. Vit E. oil is also very good for scars as is wheat germ oil. Apparently massaging oil into the scars helps with the scar tissue.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143 Member
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    Why would this be vain?
    My goodness. Of course you would want to minimize scars. Nothing wrong with that. I, too, want to minimize my lumpectomy scars. But I've been lazy and haven't moisturized. I actually hate touching or looking at them. I wonder if using Vitamin E or similar on them now would help at this point. Thanks for all the info, guys.

    Mimi
  • Ritzy
    Ritzy Member Posts: 4,381 Member
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    mimivac said:

    Why would this be vain?
    My goodness. Of course you would want to minimize scars. Nothing wrong with that. I, too, want to minimize my lumpectomy scars. But I've been lazy and haven't moisturized. I actually hate touching or looking at them. I wonder if using Vitamin E or similar on them now would help at this point. Thanks for all the info, guys.

    Mimi

    I agree with Mimi..this is
    I agree with Mimi..this is not vain at all. Good luck in trying to make them better.

    Let us know if you find something that works.

    Sue :)
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    Thanks
    Thanks everybody for the input. For now I am trying Bio oil. It's probably kind of silly to be doing that now because I'm having the expanders removed and inplants placed on the 18th. But, I'm hoping that if the skin is in better shape it will heal faster this time.
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    Mastecomy Sacars
    BioOil, Vit E and Neosporin. I kept my scar well moisturized and it faded beautifully, that was 10 years ago after mastecomy and radiation. 6 years ago I had an expander put in and then a silicone implant and my scar still looks not too bad.

    Near the arm pit, my scar is a little on the purple side. When I wear an outfit which is revealing through the arm pit, I use Cover F/X that I apply with a large makeup base brush and then set it with powder. I tend to dance with my arms over my head and people have never noticed. I also use the same coverup above my reconstructed breast to minimize the appearance of the hollow of the removed breast. I decrease the shadow by using a lighter powder then distract the eye with good jewellery. I have quizzed random folks with the words "are you able to notice anything?". They search me head to toe trying to "see" what is out of place and miss it every time. Of course, these are folks that do not know my health history.

    So, good skin care, some makeup, a good bra, a good neckline and jewellery and you will look fabulous EVERY time...

    great idea
    Thanks so much for the tip on using makeup to minimize the look of the hollowed out areas beside my sternum. I didn't think I could do anything about that.

    El
  • Thanks
    Thanks everybody for the input. For now I am trying Bio oil. It's probably kind of silly to be doing that now because I'm having the expanders removed and inplants placed on the 18th. But, I'm hoping that if the skin is in better shape it will heal faster this time.

    This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    unknown said:

    This comment has been removed by the Moderator

    bio oil
    I wouldn't put anything on the scars until they finish healing. It might cause an infection or delay healing of the wound edges. Ask your surgeon on Thursday when you can start.
    I can't believe that getting the skin super moisurized before expansion would do anything but help. And if the scars are healed it surely can't hurt.
    Best of luck,
    El
  • CarrWilson
    CarrWilson Member Posts: 111
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    bio oil
    I wouldn't put anything on the scars until they finish healing. It might cause an infection or delay healing of the wound edges. Ask your surgeon on Thursday when you can start.
    I can't believe that getting the skin super moisurized before expansion would do anything but help. And if the scars are healed it surely can't hurt.
    Best of luck,
    El

    Bio-oil
    As soon as the sutures were out, I started using Bio-oil. I asked my surgeon and PS, they told me to use "whatever" I wanted, but nothing really worked. (Thanks for the vote of confidence).

    I am very fair, and do not scar too bad. I am still using the Bio-oil, I don't know if it will work, but makes me feel as if I am doing something to help. The scar is still a bit red and a little lumpy, but soft as a baby's bottom. :-)

    Best of luck - Carrie