Care and feeding of abdominal scars

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SandiaBuddy
SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,381 Member

Hi:

I am about nine months out from surgery and I have some questions about the scars.  I have four scars, three are small, (laproscopic) and one is about four inches across the upper abdomen where they removed a section of the colon.

Initially, I was pleased with the healing and pretty much had life go back to normal.  But as of late I notice a certain tightness or tugging in the scars.  Is this normal and is there anything that can be done to improve it (exercise, stretching, massage, the passage of time)?  It is not really a big deal, but I thought the depth of experience on the forum might provide some help in improving things.  Thank you.

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  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member
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    Adhesions (scar tissue) is normal

    And uncomfortable.  It may get better over time, but the pain is likely internal scarring.  I'm still in similar pain from my surgery 15 months ago.

  • PamRav
    PamRav Member Posts: 348 Member
    edited December 2017 #3
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    Abrub is right

    They are probably adhesions.  I have six scars similar to yours.  (5 small 1 large) from surgery in March.  And from time to time I feel a pinching tugging pain, it does seem to be decreasing with time.  Not sure of anything you can do.   A new normal, ugh 

     

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
    edited December 2017 #4
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    Common

    It's very common and can tug and pull when you twist and turn and even when you wouldn't think that it should bother you.  Just try not to over stretch or pick up things too heavy.  Don't worry as scar tissue can be a bugger to deal with but mine has eventually worked itself into a comfortable tug and pull Wink

    Kim

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    Vitamin E oil

    I have always used Vitamin E oil on my incisions, once they are healed, and I have eight abdominal incisions, most are small, three are large.

    I dont do it all of the time now, but at least once a week. 

    My favourite oil right now is Bert's Bees Vitamin E oil with lemon (the baby one is exactly the same as the adult one).  I have also started to use organic sweet almond oil with a drop of Tea tree or lavender.  Just something to give it a bit of moisture. 

    I hope you haven't developed keloids, as they can become uncomfortable. Here is a brief explanation of a Keloid https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/bumps-and-growths/keloids  

    I would head for the oils and keep the incision supple. 

    Tru

  • Bellen
    Bellen Member Posts: 281 Member
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    Scars

    A friend had a large squamous cell skin cancer removed from the side of his face.  It had to be cut out with clear margins.  He put Bio Oil on it as it was healing, and you can barely see the scar.  This was done by a plastic surgeon, who may have taken more care in closing the "scarred area" as it was on his face.  

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,381 Member
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    Trubrit said:

    Vitamin E oil

    I have always used Vitamin E oil on my incisions, once they are healed, and I have eight abdominal incisions, most are small, three are large.

    I dont do it all of the time now, but at least once a week. 

    My favourite oil right now is Bert's Bees Vitamin E oil with lemon (the baby one is exactly the same as the adult one).  I have also started to use organic sweet almond oil with a drop of Tea tree or lavender.  Just something to give it a bit of moisture. 

    I hope you haven't developed keloids, as they can become uncomfortable. Here is a brief explanation of a Keloid https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/bumps-and-growths/keloids  

    I would head for the oils and keep the incision supple. 

    Tru

    Thankfully not

    Tru:

     

    Thankfully, they are not keliods.  The surgeon did mention oils as helpful with the scars, she said it was more the massage that helped, but it is something I will give a try.  Thanks to everyone else for assuring me the occassional tug or mild pain is a normal part of the process.  I see the surgeon again next month, so I will pursue the issue with her.  I think I have healed up pretty well, but I guess part of me wants to be "good as new" and that is probably not realistic.  I think it is "the new normal" indeed, and I am very lucky.

    Thanks all.

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,280 Member
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    My last surgery removed all

    My last surgery removed all the prior, long scars, including my belly button and the scars that circled it. It's still early but I think she did an exceptional job of getting the mesh in and giving my abdomen a tight shape with no loose skin, and only one long vertical scar and one horizontal scar, straight and even. The cancer surgeon cut me like Jack the Ripper, so having "neat" scar lines feels liberating in the same way as not having it look like I swallowed a baby. I know that even after the healing, I'll feel the inflexibility and tugging, but that's the nature of scarring. I just keep pondering a tatoo that incorperates the missing belly button, and the right-angle long scars. Might as well get some amusement and artistic creativity from the hassles of survival and repair......................................Dave

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,280 Member
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    For SandiaBuddy, my last fix

    For SandiaBuddy, my last fix was Dec. 11th, but I got used to the feeling of the scars over time, maybe a couple years time, but I did get used to it, whether the skin or the mind adapts I couldn't say............................................................Dave

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,381 Member
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    For SandiaBuddy, my last fix

    For SandiaBuddy, my last fix was Dec. 11th, but I got used to the feeling of the scars over time, maybe a couple years time, but I did get used to it, whether the skin or the mind adapts I couldn't say............................................................Dave

    Thank, Dave

    It has been a comfort to learn from all of you that the tugging is nothing unusual.  I have started swimming a bit more and I think the stretching (as well as the comfort of knowing what I feel is normal) helps a bit.  Thank you all, once again.

    Buddy

  • Choirboy
    Choirboy Member Posts: 2
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    Scar Healing

    I had laproscopic colon resection on 1/26/2018.  Your post prompted me to add this to list of questions for the surgeon during my post op appointment on 2/13/2018.  I am curious about the healing process for the scars.   There were several "surprises" I encountered after the surgery that I was told were normal and to be expected. I prefer to be informed in advance so I can better manage my expectations.  

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
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    Choirboy said:

    Scar Healing

    I had laproscopic colon resection on 1/26/2018.  Your post prompted me to add this to list of questions for the surgeon during my post op appointment on 2/13/2018.  I am curious about the healing process for the scars.   There were several "surprises" I encountered after the surgery that I was told were normal and to be expected. I prefer to be informed in advance so I can better manage my expectations.  

    Your surgeon should go over

    Your surgeon should go over surgery risks with you well prior to surgery and where you sign the consent form acknowleding the risks. The thing is that your mind may be all over the place during  that meeting and you might not think that something is an issue when you acknowledge it.