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Old 02-01-2006, 12:12 PM   #1
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ThyroidGirl HB User
Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

I had TT surgery on 1/24. Some questions are coming up in my mind now about the proper care of my incision and the scar in general. If there are any veterans who can offer any advice in this area, I'd be grateful and I'm sure it would be helpful for the others here who had surgery recently.
1. Did you have swelling and bumps? I read in another post that massaging is helpful.
2. Did you put ointment on the incision? What works best? Is it true that some products help reduce scarring?
3. I've been doing neck stretches - twisting to the right, left, up and down. Are there other stretches or exercises that are helpful?
4. I'm getting ready to head back to work soon. While home, I've been keeping the incision open to the air, but am already feeling self-conscious about the thought of "being exposed" in the workplace. What did others here do? I could wear a turtleneck, but the thought of something around my neck doesn't appeal to me. Scarves are an option too. Any tips for hiding the scar, or should I forget about it?!
5. I was at my daughter's sporting event yesterday and I saw numerous eyes zoom in on my incision and quickly dart away. I'm sure it looks awfully nasty to others. Not my problem, but yet I hate the thought of being someone who grosses people out. Oh well. I know it will fade over time, but in the meantime, I feel kinda freakish. Have any of you felt this way?

Any advice you can give is appreciated! Thanks for your help!

Chris

 
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:53 PM   #2
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MatthewsMom HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Chris,

You know I'm a newbie like you but what I can tell you is yes, I've noticed people stare in public and then avert their eyes, but I think it's mostly because they wonder what it is. Then they avert their eyes because they don't want you to find them staring. I don't feel self-concious about it because I think scars and wrinkles tell a story, the story of me. I'm proud I've lived through this and I'm not going to hide it to please others. I also know that it will heal faster if in the open air. Do what you feel comfortable with. If you cover it up with a scarf, people who know you had the surgery will stare at your neck until they see the incision anyway, it's human nature to be curious.

By moisturizing it a lot you will also keep it from itching so much, I scratched myself yesterday without thinking and because there is some numbness, I scratched too hard and irrited my skin on one end of the incision.

My mother in law said people will think I was attacked by a madman who tried to slit my throat! She was kidding of course.

Have a good day,
Lyse

Last edited by MatthewsMom; 02-01-2006 at 02:20 PM.

 
Old 02-01-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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Jon7346 HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

I used neosporin scar bandages, they have silicone in them. They helped a lot. Plus they are flesh tone.

 
Old 02-01-2006, 02:22 PM   #4
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Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

hi thyroidgirl, my tt was a year ago and i had 15 staples put in for 10 days, now my scar has faded, i didnt put anything on it, but in time you can hide it with necklaces, but while i waited i used to wear scarves, or if i wanted to freak people out i wouldn't wear one, my husband called me zipperneck,my scar never did get rope lick or bumpy. happy healing.

 
Old 02-01-2006, 02:28 PM   #5
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Betsyp HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Hi Thyroid Girl. I had my TT on 28 December. After the surgeon removed the tape, I started massaging mederma into the incision three times a day and continue to do so even now. It is amazing how much it has faded. I even have a hard time seeing the incision now. I wore a v-neck to work for the first time today and nobody even noticed my neck! Rubbing the mederma into the incision helps to flatten the incision. I tried the curad scar strips, but did not like the way they pulled on the incision when I removed them in the morning. Yuk. The mederma works fine. Let us know what works for you! Betsy

 
Old 02-01-2006, 02:38 PM   #6
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Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

I had surgery in June and my scar is still very visible. It is red and raised (rope like). Unfortunately, I am allergic to every scar cream/treatment that I tried. The Mederma gave me the most allergic reaction--hives all over my neck. My Surgeon suggested a steroid shot but I have not had it. I was also told that not everyone's scar totally heals. My skin is super-sensitive. I am used to the scar. And I don't cover it up. It's part of me now and I am not ashamed of it. I am sure people have looked at me and wondered what it was but no one has ever said anything to me. It may fade in time, but if it doesn't I am okay with it. Hope you have a good recovery.

 
Old 02-01-2006, 03:01 PM   #7
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clueless42 HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Thnaks for the post, I was going to post about my scare!!

I had my surgery 8/5/05. My scare is below my collar bone. Most people seem to have their's right above it. It's rope like and red. I don't bother covering it and poeple stare. I don't care. I think most people imagine I was attacked!
Any way. The mederma seemed to give me a light rash but I think I'll try it again. I'm using second skin scare therapy, I think. I think some of it has gotten a little flatter. Some people have told me that it takes almost a year for the red to go away. What's weird though, is that I had a bunion corrected and that scar was never raised, so I don't know why this one is. I used a silicone patch for a little while but the tape, even paper tape, starts to irriatate my skin and I don't have a lot of options for moving it around to differet spots.
My surgeon also mentioned shots, but he said they are very painful so I think I'll wait!
Let us know what you try!

Last edited by clueless42; 02-01-2006 at 03:02 PM.

 
Old 02-01-2006, 03:43 PM   #8
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MatthewsMom HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Hey I just thought of something while looking in the mirror, my incision sure looks like a smile, if I draw two eyes I could have a happy face on my throat! Like this or this or even this

Teehee!
Lyse

 
Old 02-01-2006, 04:33 PM   #9
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Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

lol mathewsmom i thaught of that too how funny

 
Old 02-01-2006, 05:47 PM   #10
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merrillin HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Lyse..............too funny!

I put vitamin E oil on one time but it itched me to death so I just let nature take it's course. It has been almost 6 months and it is pretty invisible. I also didn't hide mine.....it was my badge of courage for the awful 5 years I lived! haha

My surgeon said to "let it breath" to avoid any bumps or coloration to it.........so I did theat and let them stare.

You feel well enough to go to work?

Best of luck and let us know how you make out.
Karen

 
Old 02-01-2006, 07:19 PM   #11
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Gardener24 HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

My surgeon said to massage in vigorously cocoa butter & vitamin E cream often. After about a month, I started using Mederma a couple of times a day also if I could take it. I find the Mederma quite itchy and smelly (it has onion extract in it), and who knows if it really is fading the scar any faster. I'm at four months since my TT, but with my rather pale skin, it still is a bit noticeable. But as my incision was only an inch, I too haven't been worrying about covering it up.

 
Old 02-01-2006, 08:43 PM   #12
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Judy K HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Hi! My surgeon had me put Vitamine E Oil on mine, and it healed really fast!
Good Luck!
Judy K

 
Old 02-01-2006, 09:19 PM   #13
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Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

The red raised scars are called hypertrophic (like what I have). People are just proned to get them. Its almost like a keloid, not as aggressive. The body keeps making scar tissue, insteading of stopping like normal people it keeps going and make it hard, red, raised, etc. All the massaging and stretching in the world won't make it go away. It could eventually - in years start to fade. The steroid injections are supposed to help it flatten out. I haven't done that yet but plan to. My scar gets itchy and the doc said no scratching it could make matters worse. Also, those of us who are prone to it- its common to get them in taught places. Typically people of color have keloids and hypertrophic scars, I am white as a lily! who knows. I have a hypertrophic scar where I had my tubes tied too! I didn't realize it til I figured out what was up with my TT scar.
Dermatologists also recommend trying silicone scar therapy to flatten it. Which worked on the ends, but the middle is still staying the same. They make me itchy too. I keep them on as long as I can tolerate.

 
Old 02-02-2006, 07:32 AM   #14
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Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Thanks for all of the helpful info. Marissamm and MatthewsMom -- LOVE your sense of humor -- especially the "zipperneck" comment. Thank you for giving me a good laugh! That felt really good.

Yes, Karen, I'm heading back to work today -- just this afternoon to go through my mail, e-mail, etc. I have felt much stronger the past couple of days and I think it will feel good to get out a wee bit. I'm feeling rather restless here at home.

Thanks again for all the support on this board. You are a great group of people!

Last edited by ThyroidGirl; 02-02-2006 at 07:36 AM.

 
Old 02-02-2006, 09:02 AM   #15
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illmakeit HB User
Re: Thyroidectomy incision/scar questions

Hello all!

My surgeon suggested any lotion or cream I wanted. He also suggested onions! I THINK he was joking. His residents and I laughed and made faces - talked about going around smelling like onions!
I am using aloe vera right now but may buy Vitamen E cream today - I guess it can't hurt unless I'm allergic to it. My scar is barely there - hard to see and it has only been 1 week today!

My doctor from a previous breast surgery told me to use Vitamin E Cream although there is no medical evidence to suggest that it has an effect (found that on a web site about scars). I can't tell if it did or not since it was so small and hidden right by the darker part. She was VERY good!

They also said that scars can take up to twenty four months to fade. However, if it grows bigger, stays red and dark and doesn't fade, causes discomfort, itching or pain, or restricts the movement of a joint or causes you distress because of its appearance.....................

CALL YOUR DOCTOR!

If it causes you distress because of its appearance - call your doctor. There may be something a plastic surgeon can do - I have no experience there. I won't even get my ears pierced!
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