Lap scars, are they meant to be small?

Iv just read a post about lap scars saying they are small and can be confused for chicken poc scars, mine are an inch long, thick and red with a lumpy bit at one end. I'd been told before they looked weird for lap scars but now I'm really confused? Why are mine so huge? Also a 1/4 of my stomach is numb completely. I think that's damage from an abcess I had after my lap, anyone know if I'll get feeling back? X x

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  • Mine are fairly large too but nearly three years on the only really visable one is the belly button one so they do fade. The sensation took a long time too to feel 100% normal

  • I think the numbness comes from an infection I had after. It's completely numb a oatch about the size of my had just under my belly button. Feels weird lol x

  • At least you didn't go in to a lap and come out with a 20cm and 10cm scar! Sometimes complications happen. But when I had a lap later on the scars were about 1 inch long x

  • I came out my op in immense pain. 3 days later I had a temp of 40 went back to a&e and now I have a 5 inch scar below my belly button and a funny shaped belly from the infection they gave me :-(

    My two scars as the bottom of my tummy are an once long and with a bump at one end and the one in my belly button ruptured with infection so it's about an inch wide now too x

  • That's what happened to me - in for a lap - woke up with lap holes (which I expected ) and further down a very large package of wadding (hiding the laparotomy wound) and below that a catheter and below that a sanitary towel with paper knickers below that the surgical stockings up to the tops of my thighs.

    Talk about shock !! Even though i was zonked out of it- I realised then something had defintely not awry with plan A.

  • I still have a bump on one end of my really long scar but only hubby ever sees that cos it's below bikini line.

  • I'm going to start by saying I'd assume that women's lap scars may well all be different. I'll explain my reasons for this...

    First of all, we must remember that women all over the UK (and abroad) have Endo, so we can pretty much guarantee that there are a LOT of surgeons out there, performing laps. Some will be better, and more experienced, than others. Some may use slightly different techniques. This could, in itself, result in a certain amount of variation between women's scars, depending upon which surgeon they have to do the lap.

    Furthermore, it is important to note that lap scars are caused by deep cuts not superficial ones. During a lap, incisions are made to pass an endoscope with tiny camera, as well as other surgical instruments, into the abdomen. Then, I would guess, during the surgery, these instruments are moved around - "jiggling" everything about a bit! That probably "jiggles" the edges of the incisions about a bit, too, and may traumatise them. Imagine the difference between superficially cutting your finger in one swift action, say on a tin can; or cutting your finger on a tin can and then poking about inside the cut - you can see which might do more damage. One is just a shallow cut with clean edges; the other is a deeper cut, where the edges have been poked about. I assume that lap wounds take time to heal, and do not always heal perfectly, because they are deep, and have been "jiggled" about!

    The other thing to remember is that women's bodies are all different, thus affecting our healing. Put simply, some women heal more quickly and effectively than others. Some women will have scars that fade quickly, others may end up with what are known as KELOID scars (the hard, lumpy scar tissue that you, and some other women who replied to you, have described). Healing is a very individual process for each woman, and is affected by a number of factions. These include things like whether she remains free of infections in the wound area; and the general state of health. Some people can have conditions that cause easier scarring, or mean that scars do not heal as well - these can include VITAMIN and MINERAL DEFICIENCIES (which could tie in with Endo; as B12 and Folic Acid deficiencies can be more common in women with Endo, as can Anaemia due to Iron deficiency {low haemoglobin or Ferritin levels}).

    A person's ethnic heritage can sometimes be linked with the type of scarring they experience. Studies have shown that people from Chinese, African American and South Pacific backgrounds often scar more easily, and are more prone to KELOID type scars. For a little more information, try reading...

    medicinenet.com/scars/artic...

    or...

    nhs.uk/Livewell.skin/Pages/...

    Now to the irritating scars! These are possibly KELOID scars, which are scars described as lumpy, raised, and larger than the original wound they are supposed to be healing. Sometimes they can be itchy or sore, because they can rub, or catch on clothing. Some people seem to be bothered by the fact that such scars can be unsightly/unattractive!

    Keloid scars are where the collagen that builds up to heal the wound doesn't stop growing. Sometimes it can take a while for them to form, and they may not become really noticeable until months after the original wound/cut. Though the scars are not particularly pretty, they are generally harmless, and not a sign of anything "malignant" like Cancer or cysts.

    I have Endo, and I've had 4 laps so far (I guess I'm one of the unfortunate people whose Endo recurs fairly rapidly!), each time leaving scarring. My scars are all easily @ an inch; the one above my pubic bone area is actually slightly longer. My belly-button scar was the worst, and took longest to heal - possibly due to some infection, but also because I just think it is in the most awkward position with regard to clothing. I seem to be prone to KELOID scarring, and all of my scars are now slightly raised, shiny and more pinky-red than the rest of my skin. They did catch on clothes a bit at first, but I am less bothered now. I tend always to moisturise after showering and bathing - I can't say if this has helped reduce the scars, but they do feel a little more smooth and less "angry". Perhaps moisturising may have benefits?

    With regard to YOUR scars, there may be a few things you could try. First of all, DO check to make sure you do not have an infection. This can definitely cause pain and irritation around wound healing areas. You say you had an infection previously - you could perhaps see your Doctor to make sure it is fully cleared. Any signs such as oozing, discharge, itchiness or bad smell should REALLY be taken seriously, as they can be indications of infection. Talk to your Doctor about this.

    If infection is NOT an issue, then it may just be that you are prone to KELOID type scarring. This IS something you can just learn to live with. Moisturising regularly may help, as it could keep your skin more supple (but be careful what products you use, as some may cause more skin irritation). If the scars are catching on clothes whilst healing, covering them with light dressings may help. Avoid things that can make the skin sweaty, or seal in moisture, as dampness may actually prevent effective healing, and can lead to granulation of the skin (causing even more unsightly scarring, or failure of wounds to properly heal). perhaps you could just cover the scars when necessary (say, in certain clothes that they may rub/catch on) but leave them uncovered the rest of the time, until they are fully healed?

    If, once they are fully healed, they remain large, lumpy scars, you still have options. Option one is what I now do - IGNORE them! Most people's bodies are NOT perfect - far from it. YOU may think the scars are not pretty, but truthfully, lots of people will not even notice. Just think about it! I bet you've gone on holiday, and seen all sorts of different women's bodies on the beach! Fat, thin, old, young, tall, short... I bet you've seen women with big bellies, and even stretchmarks wearing swimming costumes and bikinis. At the end of the day, many people JUST DO NOT CARE! Instead, you can learn to focus on other things that you prefer about yourself; the things that make you attractive - pretty eyes, attractive hair, slim ankles, a good-looking face - concentrate on, and "play up" the things you DO like, to draw attention away from less-than-perfect areas. (Personally, I think my scars are somewhat "minging", but I've also accepted that there are women with worse bellies than me. My husband isn't fussed, so what!). Find clothes that flatter, treat your body and skin well, moisturise, avoid sunbathing and sunbeds (skin cancer is NOT attractive, plus sun damage can make KELOID scars more obvious)... and just get on with life.

    Or, if the scars are REALLY ugly and remain painful, you can seek medical advice. Some people have plastic surgery, or laser treatments, to help diminish really severe KELOID scarring. If this is an option you want to consider, DO make sure you are aware of the pros and cons, and the risks of further surgical procedures. Talk with a reputable medical practitioner who specialises in such things, to get a full assessment of your suitability for such treatments.

    Whatever you choose to do, just remember that YOUR scars are NOT "abnormal". There are plenty of us in the "same boat". Allow time for full healing, take care of your skin, and get yourself checked out for infection. AND remind yourself regularly that scars or no scars, YOU are still attractive to the people that count, and are loved by the people that count. THAT is most important of all!

    Take care & best wishes,

    Elaine. x

  • Hi, My scars do look like chicken pox scars, pinky-red dots 1 yr old, the only one that looks slightly different is the one through tummy button, that one has faded quite a lot, is about 1 inch long and looks like part of the tummy button now, camoflagued v.well.!! If 1/2 of your your tummy is numb that does not sound quite right to me, sounds as though there may be some nerve damage? I would go and get it checked out asap, it may take longer for the abscess area to heal properly and get sensations back, nerves can take anywhere from 6-12 months to heal properly and maybe even longer. I used castor oil packs which helped me after my op and still now occasionally, chk with your dr and see if it is ok to try them?, they may help, take care.

  • Hi. My lap was 4 weeks ago and I have to say, my lap scars are small. I have 3 of them and they still have dissolvable stitches in them which seem to be disappearing. I think it's all down to the surgeon you have. Xx

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