Belly button / navel scar?

Hi Ladies ,

I have my surgery planned for Wednesday and am trying to come to terms with all the aspects of the surgery... As you are all familiar, it's traumatic and really worrying thinking about how different my body will be.

The surgeon im dealing with is quite evasive and ive now had 3 separate conversations with him and not felt any more assured or better about it as he doesn't ever say anything encouraging.

He tends to admit there are risks and wont provide stats... lymphedema, or he doesn't explain related issues... Ive given up on trying to get any more information and i feel quite sad about it. I don't feel confident or ready for the surgery as a result..

One of the questions i had was about the belly button scar. I explained that my previous surgeron that did a laparoscopy did a great job of stitching my belly button and it still looks very natural.

The surgeon explained that he will not be doing it in the same way, instead he will make the incision vertically and he also advised that it will create a large scar and he cannot guarantee that it will look normal, but recommended seeing a plastic surgeon afterwards.

This really upset me. I feel bad about caring for such things , i know there are bigger issues but I wanted to know how bug is your scar and was it larger than the belly button or was it concealed within the belly button?

Did anyone else have a similar issue , and have to see a plastic surgeon?

Thanks

12 Replies

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  • Hi Lollie. I had a vertical incision which went from just above my pubic bone and round my tummy button (if that makes sense), stopping at the top of my tummy button and so whilst I have a scar it's faded over time and looks fine. It's my battle scar! I suppose it all depends on how body conscious you are. I have never worn a bikini - didn't want anyone throwing up! I would imagine you will be pleasantly surprised at how neat the scar is. The operation itself won't be as bad as you are imagining, take it from the world's number 1 wimp!. Wishing you well, Kathy xxx

  • I have very large scar it's not pretty stretched from my pubic bone round my. Belly button and towards my chest .... the incision didn't geek too well at first so some of the scar is quite wide...prior to my surgery I did not care about the scar I just wanted the tumour out and now I'm just glad I'm alive .... my scar will fade it's part of my life story not a good part but it's where cancer exited lol 😂 We are all different and heal differently too .... all the best for your op 🤗

  • My scar goes from my pubic bone up and around my belly button and upwards for about another three inches or so. I had 38 staples. I maybe a bit strange but I like my scar. I feel proud of it. I'm going to wear a bikini in the summer on holiday. Need to diet a bit first. Some people have advised bio oil to rub on it but I've not used anything my scar is healing really well. The surgeons do a great job xxx

  • Hi

    My scar is from pubic area running vertical to about 2 inches above my belly button, with a little kink as it goes around my belly button. I suppose it depends on where the cancer is and where the surgeon has to get to. The cancer had spread within my abdomen from rectum to tucked underneath the liver. So the surgeon had to be able to get to the whole of the abdomen as best she could. I was told prior to surgery that it was all in an 'awkward' place to get to because of how the tumours had grown. So I think they did quite well at managing my expectations in such a way that I was relieved with the scar I ended up with.

    I went on holiday about 3 months after surgery and happily wore a bikini. My scar is part of me and I was intrigued as to whether anyone would stare at me or comment to me. I think there was only one occasion when I walked around the pool and someone looked at me, looked away then looked at me again for a bit longer. When they saw me looking at them they just looked away.

    I had never really notice other people's bodies or outfits before then and I did spot a couple of other people with surgery scars on display. It was one of those things where I just happened to notice because I happened to be looking in that direction. Then I looked away again. When I realised that's all I was doing (happening to notice because someone just happened to be in my eyeline) I realised that other people were probably similarly not paying my scar any real attention either.

    I've also sat in a sauna in a bikini a few times and only ever had one person lower their eyes to my scar for a moment before looking back to my face whilst they were talking to me. They never asked about it, though I'd have been ok if they had.

    I can't deny that it's a change to your body from how it is now. It would be wrong of me to say not to worry about it as how you deal with these things differs from person to person. I don't worry about it really, but that's just me. I'm sure there are other aspects of having cancer that bother me that would not bother other people, including yourself, in the same way. It's just how we all process things.

    I think I cope with it by knowing that the surgery saved my life. This was not just the fact that it literally saved my life at that point, but also I had felt so ill for so long that I'd forgotten what it was like to feel fairly well, or even to wake up on a morning and not wish that I hadn't!!! I woke up from surgery and immediately knew I felt better. It was remarkable really as I had to recover from surgery. So the fact that I felt so much better so immediately has left me in no doubt that the surgeon did a really good job.

    To me the scar is a positive thing. It appeared in my life at the same time that I got a second chance in life to live for today. If the price of having that chance is the scar on my abdomen then I embrace it.

    I wish you luck for your upcoming surgery. I also hated the few days before surgery, but you'll be through it soon.

    X

  • Hi Lollie

    I shall wait for some of the other ladies who've been through it.

    I just wanted to say that I am having my surgery on Thursday (day after you). I agree that it's all very scary, and some of these surgeons can be very evasive and brusque. I will be thinking of you while we are laid up afterwards. We can do this !! Big hugs, Marian xx

  • Thanks ladies. Im having a laparoscopy

  • My scar is similar, a line from the pubic bone up to the belly button and then around the belly button to continue the line for about an inch and a quarter upwards. Although it's long, it's very narrow. It's almost nine months now and is fading all the time.

    Good luck for Wednesday and it is sad your surgeon isn't fully addressing your concerns about the scar but people skills do not always go hand in hand with great surgical skills.

    We'll be thinking of you on Wednesday. All the best!

  • My scar goes from just under my breast to my pubic bone and the surgeon just by passed my belly button. Eighteen months on the scar has faded a lot, I am not likely to wear a bikini again, but other than that apart from tenderness from time to time it causes no problems. Good Luck.

  • Hello

    Mine's a long scar which wiggles round when it gets to my navel so it avoids it. It was unsightly at first but gradually faded and is now just a pink line after a few years. Don't worry if it's obvious at first, it will fade a lot though it'll never go completely. I think they don't always known what will happen until during the op so can't always say exactly what will happen. I find mine always tell me the worst aide effects, I worry, and then it's not so bad as I'd feared.

  • Hi Lollie- I had 2 ops last year, both laprascopic. The first op my surgeon made 3 small holes, one right inside my belly button and 2 small ones either side and slightly further down. The incision on my bikini line was horizontal and about an inch or so long. The second op (performed by a different surgeon) was similar but the incision along my bikini line was about 12cm long (again horizontal & followed the same line as previous one). So I was left with the slightly longer scar (which sits just below my knicker line plus 2 small scars either side (& slightly below) my belly button. The holes twice made in my belly button don't show. I hope that helps.

    It sounds like you don't feel your surgeon is really listening to your concerns no matter what those are and that wouldn't fill anyone with confidence before any procedure. Like others above have already said, I don't mind my scars at all and feel proud in a way. But more importantly for you is your ability to feel like you're being listened to. Is there a way you can perhaps speak to the hospital or nursing team ahead of time to relay some of your concerns? This might help as well as reaffirming your feelings on the morning of your op.

    Try not to worry about scarring in general. I honestly believe surgeons would try and minimise any unecessary scarring where possible. What's important is that you mentally prepare yourself so you can concentrate on your recovery once you're home.

    Thinking of you and hoping it all goes well. Jemima xx

  • I think you are worrying too much about the outside scar. What matters is that the cancer is removed and you heal well, Scar fade in time and you can after a few months rub bio oil into it. Yes my scar would be similar to yours but the bigger picture is I am alive and doing okay

  • Hi Lollie. My scar is a "boob to pube". My surgeon told me all that he was gonna do. Thing was, he did really none of that. It was totally different. Bits he said he'd remove, he didn't. Then he sewed me up & I had to go back again in 3 months to be opened up again for the job to be completed. I wasn't too impressed at having to go back but to be honest, I put my faith in his knowledge to do what was best, depending on what he found once he got into the dark depths that ain't been exposed to light before ! I have no belly button - all part of the scar now. BUT - it's now just over 5 years since then. I'm in my 2nd remission. I'm still on my feet ! I don't care about the scar. You adjust to it. I was bewildered by the whole affair at the time but my view was and is that my surgeon's done an awful lot of training, whilst I know nothing. Our lives in their hands - I was and still am content to put my trust in their training. I have no regrets. Hope it all went well for you - I'm sure it did. Also good luck to Marian. Best wishes. Pauline

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