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Myectomy Incision Question - One Year

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mtlieb Find out more about mtlieb
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  • Myectomy Incision Question - One Year

    Hi All,

    Just wondering what the heck this thing is supposed to look like after one year? I've read a few posts from recent myectomy patients who say that their incision is already just a thin line after only a month or two, but mine is nothing like that even after a whole year. Mine's still pinkish, and about half an inch wide. Is this normal?

    I made the mistake of doing an online search for photos of surgical scars and got a lot more than I bargained for let me tell you. Eeeek!

    Jim
    "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

  • #2
    Jim,
    If you remember, I am a keloid healer which means that I overproduce scar tissue. Sure enough, my scar keloided. Off to the dermatologist I went.
    Not only was it looking bad, but it was itchy to the point of painfull.
    She had me start wearing this steroid tape (codrum?) every day for 3 months. It actually got somewhat better. The itching is gone 98% of the time and the scar got smaller, lighter, and softer. There were parts of the scar that were worse. She said she had to use the tape to soften these bumps enough so that she could inject the steroid directly. She gave me my first injections at the beginning of May, telling me that I may need 2 or 3 treatments.
    Well, in the meantime, I changed insurance companies and she doesn't accept my new one. So I'm looking for a new dermatologist.
    So I wrote all that to simply say, get thee to a decent dermatologist.
    Fx

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Jim!

      You know I love swapping myectomy info w/ ya' so here's my verdict: I'm very fair-skinned (which is a PC way of saying, "I resemble a ghost") and my scar, after nearly 3 years is still pink and a little over a 1/4" wide in most areas. I think it must depend a great deal on how we heal, I have very few scars on me that are thin and white, nearly all of mine that I've collected over the years are still noticeable. So when I have surgery or get hurt the saying of, "that's gonna leave a mark" runs true for me.

      L
      Lynn Stewart
      HOCM 4/2002
      Cleveland Myectomy Crew 8/2002

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice to hear from you Lynn and Felix!

        It's been a while since we've swapped myectomy info amongst ourselves. Too many new myectomies going on lately to be concerned over little things like incisions.

        My scar from kidney surgery five years ago is just as long, if not longer than the myectomy scar. If I remember correctly, I recall that it started out as a thin line right after surgery, then as the outer stitches gave way it spread out a little. It ended up healing perfectly and you can barely see it at all, but this might be a different type of incision entirely so I'm not sure whether to expect the same results.

        Sorry to hear about your scar trouble Felix. Mine isn't keloid thankfully... my dermatologist would have told me that when I saw him 4 months ago. I also saw my cardio just a few days ago and when he looked at it he said it was fine. However, my cardio is a good old boy who would have told me I was fine if I had a flaming arrow sticking out of my chest (as long as it missed the heart). He doesn't like to worry his patients.

        I actually did think I was healing quite normally till I started reading the comments from others lately. LoL. That'll teach me!

        Jim
        "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

        Comment


        • #5
          Jim, not a myectomy scar, but my husband's ICD scar is still pinkish and slightly lumpy and a little wide after 5 years. The tech who interrogated him last week said that younger people seem to "overheal" when they have surgeries and that older people don't scar as badly. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but it kinda made sense. Younger people are producing more collagen than older people. Hope this helps???

          Reenie
          Reenie

          ****************
          Husband has HCM.
          3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Jim,

            As long as it is not infected or coming open & nothing is falling out, then you’re probably okay.

            My scar was just a fine line after my myectomy last August. Now it is a bit redder and a little stretched out looking. But I feel great.

            I figure it will start to fade out over the next 30 or 40 years. If not, I'm going back to Cleveland and complain.

            Stuart
            Cleveland Myectomy Club
            August 31, 2004

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks again everyone,

              @Reenie... I had to re-read your post a few times to figure out whether it was supposed to be a compliment or not (because of my age) so I just went ahead and assumed that it was!

              @Stuart... That's about what I remember too with all of my surgeries actually (even when I was a much thinner lad). The incision starts out as a thin line then gives way a little over time and gets a bit bigger. My mind's been so fuzzy though lately, I'm not always sure that what I remember is what I remember, so I'm glad that you posted.

              Nothing is falling out yet, but the bottom part below the sternum did herniate in January so I'm sure that bulge is putting some extra pressure on the outer incision. Unfortunately I'll have to be re-opened to fix that, so parts of my myectomy incision will be further along than others I guess.

              Such is life! If that's the only surgery I need this year I'll be a pretty happy camper.

              Jim
              "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

              Comment


              • #8
                (even when I was a much thinner lad)?????

                Jim,

                Your myectomy was only about a year ago.

                You had a ham sandwich, or was it a pepperoni pizza, served to you during surgery. You stopped to eat on the way home. Are you saying that you've put on a pound or two?
                Cleveland Myectomy Club
                August 31, 2004

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stuart Schwartz
                  Jim... Your myectomy was only about a year ago... Are you saying that you've put on a pound or two?
                  LoL... yes Stuart, I certainly did! But fortunately I'm on the downswing here and am back to what I weighed before surgery.

                  However, what I was referring to is the fact that scars from previous surgeries (such as the nephrectomy 5 years ago) seemed to heal much the same way as this one is healing, so I don't believe weight is necessarily a factor. I think there's some natural stretching of the incision that takes place during healing.

                  That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it!

                  Jim

                  P.S. It was a pepperoni pizza but I didn't get to eat any of it. All that was left when I woke up was a few scattered crumbs across my tummy. Messy docs!
                  "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jim,

                    As you know I've not had a myectomy but several other battle marks. When my AICD was put in I had a huge pink lump and it itched like mad for almost two years. Only recently did the lump go down and now it is a very stretched scar I'd say about two inches wide now. About a year and a half ago I had a medi-port put in but due to complications the incision re-opened not once but twice! (Any one ever hear of this) That left a nasty scar because it could not be stitched back up it had to heal from the inside out (misery). In Janurary 04 I had an inguinal hernia repair that was so large that they had to make an incision along with the laproscopic work. This incision is about six inches long and about an inch and a half wide and raised. Whenever I have pressure in that area I still get a good amount of pain. It makes "certain" positions next to impossible sometimes.

                    I never even thought about going to a dermatologist with all of my scar issues maybe that is what I should do right after I get this AICD replaced. I'm so scared of that incision re-opening too! I'd be rather scared if they told me I could not have the AICD replanted like they did with the mediport!

                    Mary S

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mtlieb

                      @Reenie... I had to re-read your post a few times to figure out whether it was supposed to be a compliment or not (because of my age) so I just went ahead and assumed that it was!

                      Jim
                      Of course it was a compliment!

                      Reenie
                      Reenie

                      ****************
                      Husband has HCM.
                      3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Jim,

                        Mine is so covered with hair that if I want to see it I need a comb and brush. I dug thru to have a look, it is pretty much white and about 3/8 inch wide. But like Stuart said as long as nothing is falling out I'm not going to worry...


                        Tigger1
                        " Real Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling-Up Anyway "

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jim-
                          Thin white line? Not mine! Next month will be 2 years & my scar is pink (actually I have 2 scars 1 next to the other, from the bypass 8 months after myectomy), as a woman I think it's more noticeable, but I don't care! I don't try to cover it (other than with sunscreen)-it's my badge of courage & Life!
                          My only suggestion, if you don't like the looks of it: if you had Breast Augmentation, it could look like cleavage! I'm fairly boosoomy (word?) & I think it blends in!
                          RONNIE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm sorry Ronnie. But, I can just see Jim getting a Breast Augmentation! and I am rolling on the floor laughing!

                            You know I love ya Jim!

                            Mary S.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              as a woman I think it's more noticeable
                              Oh yeah, mine is noticeable. But it is not really that bad. It looks like someone took a redish-brown thin marker and drew a line down my chest.

                              But I have been swimming and I have tanned the first half of it. I know I'm being bad.

                              For now I have don't wear any shirts or blouses that show cleavage because the scar goes up a little too high. (And I had a large breast augmentation done, I've got big fake ones.)
                              49 yrs. old
                              Diagnosed at 31.
                              Cardiac Arrest 2003, RF Ablation in AZ, no positive result -
                              First ICD 2003 - In 2006 lead went bad, abandoned lead, threaded new one & new generator
                              Myectomy 5-5-05 at The Cleveland Clinic - Dr. Lever & Dr. Smedira -heart surgeon.
                              Currently have Grade 2 Diastolic Dysfunction with pulmonary hypertension & pulmonary edema.
                              My brother passed away suddenly at 34 yrs old from HCM.
                              2 teenage children, ages 17 and 15.

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