Sunday, February 12, 2012

Post-Colectomy/Laparotomy Scars


Looking back at my most popular blogs, I noticed that my most popular post was the one I wrote about my scars nearly eight months ago. I realized that I had promised to update on the progression, or healing, of these scars at certain intervals, so here we go. As a fairly vain twenty-something year old, I know I was curious enough to know what my body would look like post-total colectomy. In fact, my surgeon confessed that many women will not use him for this particular surgery because he refuses to perform it laparoscopically. He sees it as simply too dangerous to perform such a major surgery without full view of the abdominal cavity. After having almost lost my father to a robotic surgery gone very wrong for this very reason (the surgeon, one of the "world's best" accidentally, and unknowingly, perforated his bowel while removing his prostate. This went undiagnosed for several days while my father was suffering from peritonitis), I opted for the safer option and the uglier abdomen. A small price to pay if you ask me. 

Now, keep in mind these scars are fairly fresh. I was re-opened in November of 2011 due to a high-grade small bowel obstruction. You will notice a small and very faint scar on the left side of my abdomen from the sump (healing VERY nicely). The ileostomy scar on the right is also healing well and is approximately eight months old. I had a fairly persistent issue with abscesses following my takedown surgery so, unfortunately, that scar has been through hell and back. Though still raw and purple, the main incision is still healing very well and is really fairly thin. The scar continues down a few inches further.


I will be sure to update again with more scar pictures in a few months. For those of you who think you'll die without your bikini next summer, all I can say is I still had a pretty grand time in Bora Bora in a one-piece. 


7 comments:

  1. wow Katie your scars look great! they really are healing well, can't believe they're only a couple of months old. you are a true warrior!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for posting your story and not being ashamed of the scars! I am having a colectomy tomorrow, not because of UC, but chronic IBS and familial colon cancer. You gave me the courage to start my own blog and share my journey instead of going this alone. And you look fabulous in the one-piece! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Katie, thank u for this post. I'm 32 years old and still vain enough to worry about the scars! I am reaching the end of my journey w UC (and my sanity!), and I will probably be having my first surgery in November. I met w my surgeon today, and while he does do it laproscopically, I was still concerned about scarring (second only to a complication that makes me have the bag for the rest of my life!). You look great and I love your one piece bathing suit! Where did u get it? Covered everything perfectly but was NOT a mom-suit!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Christine!

    First of all, best of luck with your surgeries. You will be happy you went through with them. I would not worry about the scars. You can always have plastic surgery to have them repaired if they bother you, but after going through your surgeries you will come to think of them as battle scars that you might not be so quick to get rid of! But trust me, you'll just be happy to be healthy. Plus, your laparoscopic scars will be hardly noticeable.

    And thanks for the compliments! I bought that bathing suit on shopbob.com, but it was probably about 18 months ago so I doubt they carry it anymore. They do have a lot of very cool one-piece options though! In fact, there are a lot of sexy/cool one piece looks around now, you won't be pigeon-holed into any mommy or competitive swimmer-type bathing suits!

    Thanks again for writing and best of luck!

    Katie

    ReplyDelete
  6. You look great! I also opted for the full open surgery and have a vertical scar pelvic bone to belly button. My surgeon said the same thing, plus I wanted him to look at my small bowel to triple check for signs of Crohns before pulling that rotten colon out! My colectomy was In May and I had my reversal October 3rd! I've been blogging too if you want to check it out... 1broad.blogspot.com
    =)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aw, thanks mizlisa! And thanks for writing. Glad to hear that you are all done with your colectomy and takedown and sounds like you are recovering well. I will definitely be checking out your blog.

    To Health and J-Pouches,

    Katie

    ReplyDelete