April 24, 2008

Surgical Seething

I'm beginning to think that my surgeon wasn't overly concerned with the neatness of his work. I know, I know. He is a general surgeon after all; his education is not in cosmetic surgery. But you would think that he'd try to minimize the appearance of the scars. You'd think.

There are 4 incisions -- 1 at my belly button, 1 just under my sternum and 2 that "stair-step" down long the contour of my right rib cage. All incisions have internal, dissolvable stitches and were externally covered with dermabond (skin adhesive). The dermabond has completely fallen off and I'm able to get a better look at the wounds.

What upsets me the most right now is the incision at my belly button. When the surgeon sutured the site, the two skin flaps were NOT pulled together well. The bottom edge of skin -- bottom as in closer to my belly button -- sits between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch higher than the upper edge. It creates this nice little ridge. I was told that it might even itself over time, but not likely. There's not a doubt in my mind that this body will never see a bikini in public again. That was decided long before this surgery. I know that very few people will ever see it. But it's just the whole idea that now the scar will be even worse.

The other gripe is more of an "ewwwwww" issue than anything else. Last night I was looking at the middle incision up along my ribcage. It had been bothering me yesterday. Periodically it felt as though a scab from the incision was catching on my t-shirt. Closer inspection (yes, I was pulling on it) revealed that it was not a scab at all. It was part of the internal suture, poking it's tail up through the incision. Yuck, yuck, yuck. That realization made me immediately weak in the knees and somewhat nauseous. Yuck. I went squealing out to the living room, clad in very little, to demand C come take a look. My dear husband became squeamish IMMEDIATELY when he realized what was going on but gallantly offered and proceeded to clip the suture end off with cuticle scissors. It hurts today and has become red and angry where that suture is. Perhaps one of these days I will learn a valuable lesson about picking at things that should not be picked at.


Overall, healing is going well. The sites are tender to the touch and there are good sized "knots" under each one. The surgeon said that these "areas of healing" will take a couple of months to reduce in size. No biggy. But they are aggravated nicely when a certain toddler jabs her feet/knees/elbows into them.

My sister, the middle one who got married when I was hugely pregnant with KT, surprised me and flew out to help for a week. It was heaven having an extra set of hands to help when C went back to work. Especially since my daughter listened to Aunt K much more than either Mom or Dad during her visit. Although I had told people over and over again that we didn't need any help, it was incredibly nice (and helpful!) to have someone here.


Thoughtful said...

Sorry to hear about the scars. Glad to hear that you are healing nicely (mostly, anyway). I am sure you will be back to 100% in no time!

Anonymous said...

Over time that scar at your belly button will flatten out and blend in better with the natural folds in that area. Mine looked like that after surgery and now you can't even see it. I'm sure yours will do the same!

Andrea said...

*shuddering* Icky icky icky! I couldn't even look at my incisions from my lap without wanting to hurl! I'm glad you're healing up, though, and it was nice that your sis flew out.

~*Vanessa*~ said...

Surgery sucks. End of story... but it pisses me off when after the surgery, the scar crap has to be dealt with. My belly button scar from my lap is HIDEOUS. WTF? You'd think that they'd perfect that ver time. UGH. I feel your pain.

Danielle said...

I just literally stumbled onto your blog from expectingababy.blogspot.com.

A few hopefully helpful notes on Gallbladder surgery: even though your symptoms weren't brought on by what you ate, your ability to metabolize and break down fat has changed and your body will go through a transitional phase. In other words, watch your fats and keep a box of wipes near the toilet until your body catches up with the sudden change to its digestive process. This was the best tip I received when I had my gallbladder removed!

The second is one I stumbled onto myself after some experience as a gallbladderless individual. The fat that would normally be broken down by the gallbladder (by way of the bile produced there), will now settle into your small intestine thanks to gravity and the absence of the gallbladder. Therefore, increasing your daily SOLUBLE fiber intake is essential because it will slow the digestive process long enough so that you can get all the nutrients you should from the food you eat.

Too little soluble fiber and what you ingest will make a beeline for that lovely fat puddle in your small intestine, and then things will hurry along faster than you would like! Remember the Slip 'n' Slide? It'll be just like that, except in your bowels. This is particularly true with salads. ;)

Personally, I take a probiotic to get the keep the good bacteria in my intestines, as well as a glass of Benefiber every morning. The new formula is tasteless and colorless and you could literally drop it into any beverage you want and not taste it! I promise!

I also researched ways to increase my soluble fiber and found that I not only lost weight, but that my cholesterol improved greatly, my energy increased and my digestive process returned to normal!

So yeah, bathroom wipes and a good balance of soluble and insoluble fiber and you should transition nicely into a healthy, gallbladderless goddess!


PS - the scars really to fade very well. Some Aloe, Neosporin or Vitamin E oil on the wound wouldn't hurt.