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the big scar

Posted Dec 21 2005 12:00am
My surgery was 2 months ago. It's weird to think that it was only 2 months, it feels like a lifetime ago. My scar's looking really terrific:

Here are the previous views: scary photo (immediately post-op) and not-so-scary photo(3 weeks post-op).

Now, to put things in better perspective, here's a new picture of me -- do you notice the scar much?

And here's the picture I took 3 months after last year's much less invasive surgery. Wow, my hair was dreadful last year! But this new scar at 2 months out looks about the same as my old scar was at 3 months out. The most interesting thing to me is that this surgery re-opened the old scar, and if anything, it has healed even better than it did last time.

After my first surgery, I didn't get any particular instructions on caring for the scar once the steri-strips were removed. This time, with such a long scar, I was instructed to massage the scar using vitamin E oil. However, as a veteran of multiple skin biopsies and excisions, I went with Aquaphor healing lotion instead. It's what my dermatologist recommends, after all, and it's a lot more manageable.

I massage all along the incision once or twice a day. Both my surgeon and physical therapist stressed the importance of the massage, to prevent adhesions from forming underneath the scar which could limit mobility and cause pain down the line. After 2 months of more or less diligent care (I've been slacking lately), the skin along the scarline is quite mobile and flexible.

This experience has converted me to the school of active scar management, so to speak. I have a 2-inch scar on my left leg that could've benefited from massage while healing. It's in a place where you'd think that mobility wouldn't be an issue, but every now and then, it pulls. Plus, it's rather hideous, and if I wonder if, had it been massaged, it would look any different.

Can't change the past, but the main thing is, if I ever go under the knife again, I'll make sure to take better care of my scars as they heal.

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