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Old 09-02-2006, 01:05 PM   #1
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Some tips for incision care after thyroid surgery.

I have been reading about people having problems, especially with itching, of their incision after thyroid surgery. I have had no problems, but believe I prevented some of them by NOT listening to my surgeon's nurse! She told me to leave the bandage on for a week, and that I would have a scab form, and some itching, which was normal. (I had self-dissolving stitches). Instead, after 2 days, I pulled the bandages off (I am very sensitive to the adhesive in most bandages, which causes me a lot of discomfort) using alcohol to soften the adhesive. Then, I kept the wound clean by wiping it gently with sterile gauze pads and hydrogen peroxide. After it air-dried, (Only a minute or so), I rubbed it gently with antibacterial cream (Neosporin) the first week, then, the second week, I began using vitamin E oil.

The main objective was to keep the wound clean, and lubricated. I cleaned the wound 2 times a day, and then kept it lubricated at all times with the cream/oil, so there was no itching, and no scab formation. Vitamin E has been shown to be great at helping wounds to heal - even my surgeon, after inspecting the incision a week after the surgery, said that would be the best thing to use. Each day when I would wake up and look in the mirror, the wound looked better and better, and today, less than 2 weeks after the surgery, it is no longer even very red or swollen. It is hardly noticeable. I hope this helps people who are getting ready for surgery. I have had numerous surgeries, and this has worked the best for me. No itching, no scabs, and nearly invisible scars!

Blessings!

Ora

 
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Some tips for incision care after thyroid surgery.

My instructions were to use no bandages, keep it dry for the first day at home, then shower/bathe as normal. He specificly told me not to use any creams or ointments as they can contribute to a more prominent scar. I followed his instructions and today, 7 1/2 months post-op, the scar disappears into a natural wrinkle and is only visible if I tilt my head back; it shows as a white semi-circular line when I do that.

The external stitching was the non-dissolving type and was taken out at a two-week follow-up appointment. I swear my surgeon was an expert seamstress in another life. The visible stitches were tiny, even in size, and perfectly spaced, as if they were put there by a sewing machine!

I wasn't so lucky with the site of the rib section. Those stitches looked like a kid's crude attempt to sew up his baseball glove.

Last edited by Archie343; 09-03-2006 at 12:05 PM.

 
Old 09-03-2006, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: Some tips for incision care after thyroid surgery.

Archie - Wow, that's interesting about the creams making the scar more prominent. Thank you for sharing this with us. I received no instructions, other than to keep the bandage on for a week and to keep the area dry for the entire time. (And, as I stated, the surgeon told me after a week to put Vitamin E oil on it). But, the bandage was really bothering me, and was getting dirty and loose at the edges, so I pulled it. I have always had luck with neosporin on wounds - they heal with no problem.

I fear that I won't be so lucky with this incision, though. While my surgeon was an expert surgeon, he did a terrible job with suturing. I have at both ends of the incision an ugly bulge (don't know what else to call it), and even though he told me he was going to follow my natural crease, he deviated from the crease in so many places that it looks really goofy. So, even though the incision is healing nicely, I will always have those bulges and deviations from the natural crease (which only makes the whole think MORE noticeable). I also have a hole just under the incision, where the drainage tube was exiting - that is healing nicely, and I'll probably have only a tiny dot left, but overall, I am not happy with the way the incision was sutured.

But, as I told the surgeon when he was looking at it last week - I don't care how bad it looks, as long as I don't FEEL bad anymore. So far, I haven't noticed any improvement in how I feel, either.

Thanks again, Archie. It's odd how different the wound care instructions can be.

Blessings!

Ora

 
Old 09-03-2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: Some tips for incision care after thyroid surgery.

We learn everyday. My sutures were bad also with ridges and that bulge where the drain was and as I stated many times before I still feel the scar from end to end.

So glad everything went well with yours and this is good information for others to follow.

 
Old 09-03-2006, 04:22 PM   #5
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MATYA HB User
Re: Some tips for incision care after thyroid surgery.

We learn everyday. My sutures were bad also with ridges and that bulge where the drain was and as I stated many times before I still feel the scar from end to end.

So glad everything went well with yours and this is good information for others to follow.

 
Old 09-03-2006, 06:47 PM   #6
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Archie343 HB User
Re: Some tips for incision care after thyroid surgery.

It's interesting that you both had drain tubes. I had none in the neck, but did have a very large one near the rib surgery. When the doc yanked that out in the hospital it was quite painful, and the scar from the tube is still very apparent.

 
Old 09-03-2006, 07:31 PM   #7
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Re: Some tips for incision care after thyroid surgery.

I think I was very lucky to find the surgeon that took my thyroid out. He was highly recommended but when I saw the stitches I was still amazed.

I had several skin cancers removed a couple years ago, by a plastic surgeon. I expected a P.S. to provide a better cosmetic result than a dermatologist might. I was wrong. His suturing had that bulge at each end on the two sites that had to be sewed up. Those sites still look 200% worse than my more recent thyroid surgery.

I had read on here about the advantages of more modern methods of closing but, as a 58 yo male, I figured I needn't be overly concerned about visible scaring so when he told me he closed with regular stitches I didn't object or ask any questions. In my case I can say without a doubt that letting a surgeon work with what he knows best certainly paid off.

If anyone contemplating a thyroidectomy in the southeast needs a recommendation, I can highly recommend Dr. (Philip?) Flexon, here in Savannah. Not only is he a great surgeon he's a very nice guy with no tendencies toward a Prima Donna syndrome.

 
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