Surgical Wound Diary ***Trigger warning*** pictures of surgical wounds
I wanted to put pictures of my surgical wound online for those interested all in one place, but also so people who might feel a bit sensitive to photos like these so they don't have to encounter them unexpectedly in other posts. (I actually think they are quite nice though.)
Disclaimer: nothing written in this post should be taken as medical advice, everything is based on my own personal experience and each persons experience will vary.
This photo below is unfortunately a bit blurry, but this was taken either the day after surgery or 2 days after surgery, there is significant swelling of my neck, back and head. There are 2 tubes below the wound draining it.
My surgery was on the 9th May, the photo below was taken on the 11th May when Dr Gilete removed the two drains from underneath the wound and made a stitch on either side. I hardly remember this as I was still on a lot of pain relief and sedation but Oscar filled in the blanks. There was still significant swelling of my whole upper body, but particularly my neck at this point. The yellow colour is from the chemical they use to clean the wound.
The photo below was taken on the 15th May there was still swelling and bigger risks of infection at this point.
The photo below was taken on the 17th May after the first time they washed my hair and got the wound wet, it was cleaned and redressed. As you can see the swelling has reduced almost entirely at this point, although it was still extremely tender and as my meds were significantly reduced (with my permission and consultation) I could feel the surgical staples, although they were more swore and for me at least not as painful as I would have expected. The top of my head was far more tender than the wound. Also most people do not have this much hair shaved, I chose to have more shaved before the surgery to help me keep the wound clean in the coming months.
The photo below was taken on the 19th May, so 10 days since surgery and the second time my hair was washed. Although it's still fairly tender the wound is healing really well, far better than expected considering I was a higher risk of infection because I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and we used cadaver bone instead of my own ribs. Although they usually use the persons own rib for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, my surgical team and I decided to use cadaver as I have such severe instability in my entire rib cage and spine already. Knowing that I am healing well with no signs of infection or rejection I know this was the right choice for me but it will be different for everyone and should be carefully considered in each surgical case. There is also a slower rate of bone growth in cadaver donor bone, however this is apparently marginal.
My neck had been fused from my skull done each Cervical Vertebrae, which have screws at each level, I will put a scan up of this at some point. Eventually the donor bone is meant to grow around the hardware. For more info go to: https://drgilete.com/craniocervical-instability-ehler-danlos/
Everyone's scar is different, some zig zag, some curve, some are fairly straight. Hope you enjoyed my surgical wound diary.