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Abdominal scar

Posted by Patrice, on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:16 pm
It has been a year since my colostomy reversal and I am doing well. I just have a concern about the scar. It runs from above and through my belly button - which is now off center - and down to the pubic area. It is indented (concave) and results in one side of my abdomen protruding more than the other. It's the same incision line from my initial surgery but looks worse after the second surgery. I realize that I will never wear a bikini again - not that I would have if I hadn't had surgery - and that no one sees this but my husband and me but it is still bothersome. Is this "cosmetic" outcome pretty typical or not? I don't think I would be willing to pay for a revision, but just wanted to know if the appearance is normal. My surgeon is not concerned, but then he's not into plastics. Thanks for any insight into this.
Reply by Xerxes, on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:55 pm

No surgeon is ever concerned. But of course it doesn't affect them so why should they care. I have a similar situation resulting from my ileostomy. Yes, it is normal. Some have it more pronounced than others. Mine resulted from emergency surgery and the concern was more for my life than my looks. I could have gone back to have it 'cleaned up' so to speak, but I felt I got away with one and didn't want to push it.

Reply by latina63, on Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:02 pm
It has been 3 months since my ileostomy reversal and yes I have a lopsided tummy now. But I look at it as my battle scar (I won) and wear girdles to tighten up a bit. My hubby does not care and says life if more precious than scars Smile good luck
Reply by Beaner, on Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:01 pm
Hi there, I had a reversal a year ago. I was so thankful to having it done, I didn't care. I don't think any doctor could really get it totally aligned, because they can't tell when they have you opened up and sewing the sides together. I call mine a life line, definitely not a laugh line!
Reply by vikinga, on Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:34 pm
Hi Patrice,
I haven't had a reversal yet but had to have 2 emergency surgeries because the first ileostomy got blocked and perforated. My scar is deeper as well because of the second operation and yes my abdomen has gotten larger on one side. Doctor says that is ok. I don't have a navel anymore Sad or I guess I could look at the whole scar as one heck of a navel! It also left me with the look of a couple of "rolls" when I have NO fat except for the wierd poochie abdomen behind the bag.
But as everyone has said. I can only be grateful that I am alive!

p.s. My boyfriend recently referred to those "rolls " as my ABS....hahahaha . He is priceless!

Last edited by vikinga on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
Reply by cee, on Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:49 pm
Yes, to chime in...I also have a stomach that is bigger on one side than the other with the scar running the same way.  I work out like a dog but nothing seems to alter that.  i am glad to know other people have the same issue as I don't think I ever saw it mentioned before. I would ask my doctor, kiddingly, to do a tummy tuck every time he cut into me.  Not sure if it is possible or not?
Reply by violet-hummingbird, on Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:41 pm
Hi Patrice,

I had both surgeries (hartmanns procedure and then a colostomy reversal) done laparoscopically and my belly is also now lopsided! I have a big hernia at the colostomy site , a bulge of intestine that has escaped through scarred abdominal muscles, but all things considered I am not going back for surgery again by choice .

Ive decided that a I dont have a partner now so am not worried about looking cosmetically better b each time they operate on us they create more weakness and more adhesions c I dont want to put myself at risk of hospital acquired infections (C.Diff and MRSA) or worse.

So, I enjoy my gut being better than for years and wear supportive spanx type underwear to keep me together!! If I need emergency surgery again for adhesions then I'll rise to the challenge as necessary. I had several episodes of life threatening infection before the Hartmanns procedure so am thankful now to be here and in pretty good condition (plus new hernia !)
I hope that makes sense
Reply by CAW, on Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:26 am
Patrice,  it doesn't matter if the surgery is a reversal or a revision to the original surgery or whatever the case is, our bodies scar and add character to us that have outlived the reaches of cancer or other disease.  We have to accept these scars and know it is part of what makes us individuals.  

Since my original colostomy surgery in 2007, i have had two surgeries for hernia repairs both ended up being through the midline.  On the second one of these the surgeon poked a hole in my colon and had to reattach it in addition to the rest of the work.  Then Later on, i had two more surgeries to revamp my stoma itself which we're done through the stoma itself.  Then I was so full of scar tissue and adhesions they were trying to revamp my stoma and clean up where the mesh had entertwined around my colon and not allowing me to go potty.  When thy tried going in though the stoma to do all of this it was too much for doing through the stoma alone so once again I was cut from my pelvis up around my belly button (if you can call it that) upward toward my breastbone.  So through 4 surgeries of being cut from nearly breastbone to pelvic bone through close to the same incision and 3 through my stoma itself, I am just as full of scars on the outside as I am on the inside.

In addition to all that, I had so much radiation damage at my tailbone area I ended up getting a morphine pump implanted on the right side opposite of my stoma.  It is a round circle about the circumference of a cd or DVD only close to an unch thick.  So my entire stomach is a real mess.  I do wear a to piece swimsuit that coves as much of that up as it can because it is much easier to change my flange/ pouch if necessary.  Do I get strange looks?  Yes!  But if anyone ever has enough nerve to ask, I would be proud to tell them how I am a two time stage 3 anal cancer survivor and all of these scars are daily reminders that I never give up & I am thankful for just being alive and as healthy as I can be given the alternative.

I hope you can find some pride in your imperfections just knowing they are in part the reason you are still alive!  Don't let body image or vanity remove the joy knowing our physical body is just temporary and when we go to heaven, the good Lord will give us a perfect body!  Amen!
Reply by Patrice, on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:48 pm
Amen to your last statement, CAW. Thank you all for replying.  This was unchartered territory for me as I have been extremely healthy all my life - for which I am very thankful and do not take for granted. I realize that others have had a much more difficult time of it.  It is great having the support of the folks on this forum and to know that you are not alone.
Reply by vikinga, on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:31 pm
You go CAW!!! We have a different kind of beauty to share with the world.
Reply by latina63, on Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:44 pm
I love it! CAW!!!!
Reply by christiesdad, on Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:49 pm
I am a guy and as such not as concerned with the esthetics as you ladies, (not putting you down at all,  you are entitled to and should have attractive bellies!)  But I had a colostomy that went pretty bad and had a reversal one year later.  When I say it went pretty bad, I mean I was in the hospital for 3 months.  I came home almost an invalid.  But due to a heaven sent therapist I learned how to walk again with a very intense therapy program, (  Let me interject here that My belly was larger on one side and kinda puffy as well.)  My therapist was determined that he would get me on my feet again.  He became almost a slave driver.  But I WALKED!,  after ward I maintained a very streneous routine and after about another year of exercise and physical work.  Lifting and straining,  my abdomen slowly relaxed to the point that there is no puffyness at all.  The scar has all but disappeared.  I believe that was due to the continuing exercising.
In short I think that if you continue a therapy program  with some somewhat vigoreous routine,  you will see good results.
Good luck ladies
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