2.03.2015

real talk: my thyroidectomy scar update

You may be new around here or maybe you can easily recall when I had a thyroidectomy about a year ago. I realized I never addressed much about it afterwards, but I've had some readers inquire about the progression of my scar. When I made the decision to move forward with surgery, my immediate concern was about the scar it would leave behind. Right in the smack dab center of my neck—basically one of the first things people would see when looking at me. Of course health is way more important than vanity, but I remember how comforted I felt after looking at other blogs where a scar progression had been posted. Just to show how long the healing generally takes and what I could expect with the scar. Now that it's been a year for me since surgery, I figured I would post the same.

Let me start off by saying that my skin loves scars. I scar easily and when I do, they stick around for a while on my skin. Ugh. They don't fade quickly. When I look in the mirror now, I'll be honest when I tell you that my scar is still one of the first things I notice. But when I look back at where I was a year ago, I am amazed at how much it has healed.

Oh, I'm making it to where you have to click in to see the photos. I realize the earlier photos are not the most attractive photos to look at (ok, they are kind of gross), so if you don't want to see photos of a healing scar, please don't proceed! I really wavered back and forth as to whether or not to post this, but this is real and I know so many people could benefit from knowing how long it has taken my scar to heal. So I'm putting it all out there. If you'd like to see more, just click the link to the bottom left below.


This was the day after I had my surgery. Note that the brown spot on the side of the scar is a mole (ahem, beauty mark) I've had since birth!  

A few days after surgery it started to get, um scabby. These were iPhone selfies (Sorry about the abundance of selfies in advance, y'all! But it's really the only way I have to show the progression photos.).


Then the actual healing began about three weeks later and you can see how it started to get ugly ridges and look all curvy before getting better.


About a month after surgery, the scar started to shrink in length, but it was still super raw looking and looked thicker.


This was about two months after surgery.


Selfies. Lots of selfies. AHH! I'm sorry! To me, I could get a better indication of how the scar was progressing if I took a picture of my actual face rather than an extreme close up of the scar.

About five months after surgery. This is when I started noticing bigger signs of improvement. It started getting thinner, but still had a red tone.



Up until this point, I had just been using Mederma on my scar. Just the original kind with spf in it. But can you see in the photo below that I've got a little clear circular patch on my scar? That's something called ScarAway. It was supposed to help shrink and flatten the scar. It kind of irritated my skin, but I do believe they helped. I only went through one pack of 30 and then didn't buy them again.


The photos above and below were taken mid-April, also about five months after surgery.


One thing that is so important is keeping a healing scar shielded from the sun. I was pretty diligent about applying sunblock to it religiously all summer long—I had to be since we were out on the boat almost every weekend. I wasn't seeing the improvement I had hoped for, so I buckled down and started using Mederma Intensive Overnight Cream. This definitely helped. I also started using Kate Somerville Scar Diminishing Serum, which has a rollerball applicator that I used to massage my scar. The two of these products together brought on huge results.

About five months later...

You can see the improvements in this post, but here is a picture from it below. This was taken in September, about 9 months after surgery. Look how much it faded!! 


The photo above and the photo below were taken in different lightings, but neither have been retouched. The natural lighting in the one above is much better than the one below, making the scar look a little smoother than in the photo below. But the scar was actually better in November, which is when the photo below was taken. The lighting gives a true depiction of the texture of the scar.


This photo was taken last month—one full year after surgery. It just kind of looks like shadow sometimes.


When I was going through my decision to have the thyroidectomy and the recovery that followed, I had so many readers email me words of encouragement, whether it was a similar story a family member went through or personal experience and photos of their scar progression. Y'all have no idea how much that meant to me!! I just hope this helps anyone who is worried about surgery and the scar it leaves to realize that all scars fade. It may not be overnight, but it will happen soon enough. Again, my skin scars easily and doesn't allow them to fade quickly, so I know a lot of other people had visible results much sooner than I did. But I'm happy that after one year, I don't feel insecure about my scar. It's something I've learned to embrace. Now that it has just left behind a faint line, I'm proud of that little line and the story it tells. 

Do you have a scar you're proud of because of the story it tells? 

31 comments:

  1. Girl you are beautiful! I was bitten by a dog through my lip at age 5 and still, 21 years later have the scar to prove it. But I just think it adds a little character to us all ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sweet girl! Brandon has a dog bite scar too, but on his cheek. It creates a cute little dimple!

      Delete
  2. Maybe I'm strange but I love my scars! I have a really bumpy one on the bottom of my chin from a biking accident when I was a kid. I've got one over my eyebrow from cyst that was removed when I was a child. I've got a small one on my bottom lip from a car accident... and of course my Csection scar. It's a little crooked, but I love it- it's where my baby came from :) I find scars on people mostly beautiful and definitely interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right... scars definitely tell a story! :)

      Delete
  3. I have a chickenpox scar on the inside corner of my eye and after 20+ years, it's not going anywhere. I really appreciate you sharing this. You are gorgeous no matter what!

    26 and Not Counting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jessica! Gotta love those chickenpox scars. My brother has one right in the middle of his forehead but it's so cute!

      Delete
  4. Honestly, over the past year I hand not noticed your scar in pictures at all. I am the same way where I scar so easily and they take forever to heal. Thanks for the recommendation on what works for you and I will keep it in mind for the next scar!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. you can't even tell anything is there!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have childbirth scars, a scar from a surgery, a car accident and a scar from falling off playground equipment. I have a scar on my cheek, scars from chicken pox ...and now, as I currently work with doctors regarding similar thyroid issues, I feel these are the illustrations in my life's story. Thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the way you put that—illustrations in your life's story. Thank you, Bri!

      Delete
  7. The scar looks great! Out of curiosity how has your weight been - that sounds awkward - but I have a friend that has been told she needs the surgery but she is scared to death she will struggle with her weight more than now if it's taken out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's another thing I was worried about before surgery—my weight. They only removed half of my thyroid and I knew there was a small chance that the part that was left would produce enough hormones to keep my levels stable. Luckily, it has (knock on wood), so I haven't had to take any medications, etc. and my weight has stayed just the same. All in all, the whole procedure and aftermath was way better than I could have ever imagined. My aunt takes thyroid medication because she had hers totally removed and she is teeny tiny! I've heard that it's all about getting the medication levels right. Prayers for your friend!

      Delete
  8. You've convinced me to try Mederma PM. All the reviews are pretty raving, too. I had minor surgery that left a nasty scar on my chest and I'm hoping it fades before my wedding in June! Yours looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great! I definitely noticed more results with the PM than the original Mederma. I'm sure you will be good before June! Congrats, by the way, on your upcoming wedding!

      Delete
  9. Really happy that you are health and healing properly. I do have now 2 long scars on both feet from a double buniontecmy last October. It take times to heal. I'm using Cicaplast from La Roche Posay. Love that you post this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard amazing things about Cicaplast! Thank you for your sweet comment.

      Delete
  10. I have a scar on my face, right smack on my chin from knocking my teeth out at age 13 (great timing for a prepubescent girl!). It never really worried me and I opted out of the the skin surgery to cover it up. It's a part of me, as our "battle wounds" should be! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, bless you!! I actually have a scar on my chin from knocking someone ELSE'S teeth out at age 13! (Her teeth went through my chin.) Just a little cheerleading stunt gone wrong, ha!

      Delete
  11. I am so glad you're healthy and that all is well. I hope the bloodwork and meds are all leveled off at this point finally. I am amazed at what a change has occurred in a year! A scar is obviously an unwanted reminder but as a prior poster mentioned, it's a "battle wound" of what you've been through and how far you've come. SO glad all is well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, it's amazing what all can change in a year. Thanks for your sweet comment!

      Delete
  12. As someone who also deals with thyroid issues, you are one brave girl! I admire you for sharing this!
    ~Lucy
    East Meets South

    ReplyDelete
  13. I had the same procedure in december and I keep on thinking the scar is looking worse so I am glad to see this progression. my Dr has me keep tape on it for 3 moths though. Im so over having a large piece of tape on my neck..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's totally normal to look worse before getting better. In fact, I believe my doctor told me to expect it to get worse until about the 6-8 week mark, then expect the positive changes to start happening. I was told not to keep any tape on mine... not even the day after surgery! Makes you wonder which doctors are right and which ones are wrong, I suppose it's just matter of preference. Prayers for you and your recovery! Let me know if you have any questions about anything...

      Delete
  14. You are stunning and a total inspiration in personal strength. XO

    ReplyDelete
  15. You are stunningly beautiful, Megan, and no measly little scar could ruin that for you. I was hit by a car when I was 8 and thankfully had no real permanent injuries from it, but I do have one yucky scar on my elbow that crinkles up like old skin when my arm is extended...but I try not to ever really think about it and never really do. I actually get more worried about little tiny stretchmarks I got after having babies...they fade so well on my skin and I don't have many - just a few - but man, I'd love not to have those! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! Thanks for posting this! I needed a recommendation as I have 4 scars on my stomach since having a laparoscopic hysteroscopy in Nov and they are still extremely red and the appearance of them really bother me! I am going to have to try the 2 products you recommended using together and hope for the same results!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for your post and photos to show the progress. Just over 4 weeks ago I had a partial Thyroidectomy to remove a large benign nodule, and I now have a neat scar across my neck, just above my collarbone. I just started applying Kellocote twice a day, so hopefully that will help, it is SPF 30 too, a definite must, as I live in Cape Town, South Africa and the sun is harsh here. I have a large scar across my chest, just above my bust, from open heart surgery at aged 13 (to repair a hole in my heart-congenital defect) Thankfully my heart surgeon was female and she wanted me to be able to not be self-concious when i wore a bikini. I love my scars and have this saying; "Scars are the tattoos of life" :-)

    ReplyDelete

 
Code line 7 9 is for loading jQuery library. Remove this line if you’ve already loaded it somewhere else in your blog. Hint: If your blog has an image slider, carousel or something with fading effect running, chances are it is powered by jQuery. If this widget doesn’t work, the first thing you want to do is comment out or remove this line. To use your own button, replace the URL in line 3 with the direct link URL to the image. Make sure to keep the quotes. To reposition the button, replace