Hi, so at one week post surgery my neck scar has healed enough to seal at surface level but is still some swelling around scar.
I think I saw someone mention that massaging the scar can help it flatten. Not sure when or how to do that? Any tips on how to help wound healing and scars based on experience of others much appreciated. Thanks. D
Continuing the discussion from Surgery with Mr Hughes London this Friday:
If you use the search function to look up massaging the scar it comes up with quite a few mentions, but you’re probably not feeling like spending ages on a computer to read up on it right now, so a summary seems to be using vitamin E, Avocado, or Coconut oil or Bio oil, from about 4 weeks onwards gently…Quite a few members have used silicone patches, from 4 weeks, but not sure if we can get those in the UK?
I use Bio oil, have done since surgery even 7 years ago as the incision was behind the ear where the skin’s quite tight anyway- you can’t see the scars now but the area does still get tight.
Hope this helps!
In addition to what Jules said, use your finger tips to gently massage the area. I would stay away from vibrating massage tools for several months after surgery at least.
Many thanks for advice. Much appreciated
After surgery last time they recommended me to look for cervical lymphatic drainage self massaging videos on YouTube and do that. I found this one helpful:
In US I also discovered Mederma scar gel that they are widely using there. Here in Germany I can only get that in the internet e.g. over Amazon. I found that is also helping, less for swelling then for a smoother appearance.
I purchased the Cica-Care silicone gel sheet recommended in another thread. At what point to do you start applying it to the scar after surgery?
Thank you for all the advice. I looked at the lymph drainage video, it looked very comprehensive & helpful, so I will try to start doing that.
My internet search on scar healing highlighted Cica silicone gel dressings too, so I have asked my surgeon when I can start to use them. I May try one on old scar tissue now, just to check no reactions.
Thanks for suggestions on products for scars, I have asked my surgeon about this also.
Be really helpful if they just gave you aftercare instructions in first place! But I am lucky as I have all of you to help me figure things out. D
I think the consensus has been 3-4 weeks post op or at whatever point the incision is fully closed on its own. If you had stitch removal, I would wait a week or two beyond that just to make sure the skin has sealed to itself before applying something that could cause the wound to reopen. I didn’t use silicone patches so am not sure how tightly they stick or how often you change them.
Thanks for all the post op advice.
Mr hughes confirmed when saw him at Day 9/10 that as wound had healed at surface I should start moisturising scar area. He said bio oil is fine. I asked him about Cica silicone gel dressings and Moderma advanced scar cream. He was ok with me using those. But in UK it has taken me a while to get these on order/delivered so maybe worth ordering them in before surgery ready for use.
I have been struggling with swelling fluid around the scar area and in head,neck & shoulder areas. I went to see a lymphatic massage expert who used electro lymphatic drainage on me that really helped start things moving. It works deeper than manual lymph drainage can. But I doing manual drainage myself now too each day. In uK the MLD Association oversees the profession and their website has a therapist search function that allows you to find experienced practitioners near you. As cosmetic liposuction procedures now use lymph type drainage techniques it’s important to find a qualified person and not just end up in a beauty salon. My therapist does lots of work with cancer patients after lymph node removal. Mr Hughes agreed lots of swelling but did not think mLD/ELD was necessary. I may not agree with him on that point as it is helping me a lot with my recovery. It may be I am worse as had JV decompression & spinal fusion ops this year too so this is a cumulative process for me.
Sharing in case helpful info to others post surgery. d
So good to hear you’ve done what’s best for you @PatientD. Most doctors have not had to recover from the surgeries they perform so I don’t know how they so confidently give recovery advice especially since recovery rates are pretty unique to each individual.
Thanks Isaac I’d have loved it if medics had given me quick & accurate diagnosis & help but in the absence of that I have learnt to figure things out for myself & try out things that may help me. I’d encourage others to do the same. No reflection on Mr Hughes, he has been great & really tried to help me. But Most medics just don’t understand true impacts of VES, instability or JV compression in my experience. Hopefully they will learn soon. D
That’s helpful info @PatientD , thanks for that. I’m glad the massage is helping, thinking of you
Thanks Jules🙂 feels like have lead stuck in my brain today. Been for long walk to try & clear head. Still tough recovery at week 2 but trying to stay optimistic things will get better with time & healing. D
Photobiomodulation - for post op recovery
Hi, I wanted to share how photobiomodulation can be used to accelerate your post op recovery. I am about to try this again myself now 2 weeks post op.
I was asked to use this treatment first by my jaw surgeon in London in 2017 after he had to cut down in front of right ear during surgery. Location is similar to VES scar images I have seen from other members. It really helped with reducing jaw stiffness & pain.
In my case I mostly used Thor practitioners (they have HQ in Chesham, Bucks) but export to practitioners worldwide (esp USA/Canada). . Is map on Thor website to find locations near you. I know Thor provide treatment protocols to practitioners but as always the skill of your practitioner is important.
It works at a cellular level. Thor site has research/other explanations on how it works. There are other companies (including for home use) but be careful get right frequencies/usage guidance). Medics told me about Helios & Jooov for home use.
It’s non invasive & can be easily stopped if needed, so only real risk is to your wallet.
On jaw stiffness topic you get told to do exercise work on jaw opening post surgery to ease muscle guarding/restrictions. They made me use Therabite device to ensure open straight down but think jaw opening by mirror is same. Aim is to increase jaw opening back to normal.
Sharing in case helps. I am really looking forward to using Novothor again to get better (like lying in sunbed but for healing - not tanning!). Just waiting bit longer for my head & neck swelling to settle down more first. D
I hope that it helps when you’re able to start!
Thank you. I know for sure it will help
Please do let us know how your healing progresses once you start the light therapy. Someone recently recommended the Joovv red light therapy to me for a back problem, but as you noted, if I pursue it, it will be hard on my wallet. There are other companies that make similar products that cost less. I tried to find some solid research backing red light therapy to justify spending the $ but couldn’t find anything substantial except some testimonials from people who’d successfully used it for self treatment.
Hi Jules. It is difficult for patients that everything medical costs so much. I do have a small Helios device I use at home. It cost me c£175 on Amazon but I use it nearly every day (near infra red setting only for now as find that better for inflammation & pain). I do use it on my spine (& other areas). It’s a hard rectangle & you have to keep fan areas at back & sides open to air so not 100% easy to use,i lie on side & put it against spinal areas. It’s cost effective compared to clinic & having something to use all the time as needed helps. This unit was recommended to me by James Carroll team who is a world leading authority on photobiomodulation. If you go on Thor website he has talks & research papers you can look at. I think joovv has got similar panels but not used them. Maybe just trying it out at clinic once or twice at clinic to test if helps makes sense? Then get home unit if does? But using it for right amount of time (not too long or short) is needed to get full benefits. In Novothor machine max treatment time is 20 mins. As you say there are cheaper units & Chinese cos offer units but need to make sure unit is right frequencies & are safe (CE mark/FDA approval etc). I’d love to find a mat for this therapy to lie on but been too unwell to try & find if it exists yet. Take care. D
Ps. On home use I started at low levels/timings to check reactions & built up as needed. My Viatom ring shows it does change my oxygen levels & pulse rates, so such gentle healing light on our bodies has more powerful affects than you might think.