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Q: Minimize scars, Laparoscopic Appendectomy (keep my tight tummy nice) ( No Answer,   1 Comment )
Subject: Minimize scars, Laparoscopic Appendectomy (keep my tight tummy nice)
Category: Health > Beauty
Asked by: anonaman-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 22 May 2004 21:36 PDT
Expires: 23 May 2004 21:02 PDT
Question ID: 350597
I was surprised last night when a pain in my belly presumed to be gas
turned out to be need for a Laparoscopic Appendectomy. I happen to be
bit vain and was really attached to my washboard stomach that I had
spent so long getting (and keeping that way). You could say a bit of
my self image is attached to it. When they described the procedure
they told me that they would make a hole in the belly button but when
I woke up I had a 3-4 inch long sideways "Y" shape incision above my
belly button and right in the middle of my lower torso.
My question is what can I do to prevent scaring in this particular
area of my body (or remove scars later) and are there any pictures of
attractive stomachs that also have similar scars (minimized or not),
so I can at least have a new standard to shoot for (not so important)?
I would offer more for this question but I had no insurance and am
waiting to see the bills :(  (there may be a good tip for good
I already found this but it does not really apply to me right now
because I have stitches covered by surgical tape.

The more geared to my personal situation the better. A more accurate
answer is also better than an early answer. Pictures can be provide at
request (because from what I have read on basic searches there should
be no such incision in a Laparoscopic Appendectomy, but perhaps the
tape just makes it look this way).

Clarification of Question by anonaman-ga on 22 May 2004 21:45 PDT
I should also mention that I also have the two small holes on waist
that come along with this operation.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Minimize scars, Laparoscopic Appendectomy (keep my tight tummy nice)
From: voila-ga on 23 May 2004 10:14 PDT
Hello anonaman,

First, best of luck for a healthy recovery from your recent surgery. 
It sounds like you've done a bit of work on this question already and
a researcher is very careful about not duplicating what you've already

I did want to mention a couple things about your surgery.  This in no
way constitutes medical advice -- merely a possible suggestion to what
*may* have happened during surgery.  As a precursor to any surgical
procedure, a surgeon explains the details of the intended procedure,
but also informs patients of the need for additional surgery should
complications arise.  This is a part of the informed consent process
that is given to every surgical patient -- both verbally and in
writing --  and is a part of a patient's record.

I'm sure your surgeon hoped for the best possible outcome during the
keyhole laparoscopy; however, at some point it *may* have become
necessary to convert to an open procedure.  I don't know that this is
the case, but from your explanation it does sound like a possibility. 
You're entitled to this information, so ask your doctor or sign a
records release to receive a copy of your hospital records.  There's
no reason a patient should be left wondering the why of what happened
during your procedure and it sounds like you are.

If you haven't found this website already, you might check:

"Sometimes it is not possible for the surgeon to use the laparoscopic
technique because it may be difficult to see or handle tissue safely.
The surgeon decides to perform an open procedure either before or
during the surgery. The surgeon may decide to convert the laparoscopic
surgery to an open procedure in certain situations and for patient
safety. Though very infrequent, when conversion to an open technique
occurs, it should not be considered a failure of the procedure.
Factors that might increase the possibility of changing to an "open"
procedure are obesity, previous abdominal surgery causing dense scar
tissue, inability to see organs or bleeding during surgery."

As to the scar issue, during recovery your physician's prime focus
will no doubt be on proper wound technique to prevent any post-op
infection.  He or she may be reluctant to discuss any scar treatment
issues at this early date so as not to overwhelm a patient.  I've
worked for a few surgeons, so I'm familiar with their routine.

If you have a previous history of keloid formation, that would
certainly be worth mentioning; however, most surgeons usually (at this
point at least) adopt a wait-and-see approach.  Discussing your
worries about effecting a good cosmetic result might be better
addressed at your subsequent post-op visits.  But I do certainly
understand your concern and wouldn't want all that exercise to go to
waste either.  The horror!

There are many treatment modalities for scar therapy -- some
experimental drugs, some prescription products, some OTC -- but your
question is probably best handled in a treatment setting.  I doubt I
could provide you with the photographs you're looking for, but another
researcher might be able to help you with this further.  I'll just
leave this as a comment instead along with a few links to products and
I hope this information is helpful.

Please discuss using any of these products with your doctor as even
OTC preparations may have untoward side effects depending on your
particular skin type. (low dose topiramate)

Very best wishes for a speedy recovery!

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