Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Scars From Heart Surgery

Don't Miss

Care Of Your Incisions

Preparing for Heart Surgery: My Scar (6/9)

As you heal, your incision will look better and the soreness will go away. Changes in the weather, too much or too little activity and sleeping in one position too long may cause increased soreness. You may also feel numbness or itching or see redness or swelling, which will also stop with time. To care for your incisions, we suggest:

  • Wash gently with mild soap during your daily shower. Dry carefully with a towel. Pat it dry Do not rub the incision.
  • If you have small pieces of white tape over your incision, you must remove them after you have been home for seven days. If the strips come off on their own, you may leave them off.
  • If your incisions are puffy, have areas of redness, are oozing, or begin to open slightly, call your surgeon.
  • Women should wear a bra. A good support bra will reduce the tension placed on the incision. If the bra bothers you, you may put a small piece of gauze under the bra for added comfort.
  • For discomfort or soreness, you may use a heating pad. Apply it four or five times per day on the low setting for about 20 minutes each time. If needed, take pain medication prescribed by your doctor.

Sizes And Types Of Open Heart Surgery Scars

The size of your open heart surgery scar depends on the type of procedure that was performed. According to, if you have a minimally invasive procedure , the scar size may only be three inches. However, if your procedure requires the sternum to be broken, the incision is typically much larger. The scar can be up to 8 inches long for women, and up to 10 inches long for men.

While many scars will remain flat and may fade over time, there is a possibility for scars, especially those on the chest area, to develop poorly. Raised, discolored scars can result if the body produces too much collagen during the wound healing process. The result can either be a hypertrophic scar or a keloid. Both are raised and red, but the feature that distinguishes keloids from hypertrophic scars is their growth past the original scar boundary. These scars are raised, turn from red to brown, and often have a lumpy appearance. Left untreated, keloid scars can continue to thicken and grow indefinitely. Skin with darker pigmentation is more prone to keloid formation.

On the other hand, clinical studies have shown that silicone gel and sheeting are considered the first-line therapy to manage and minimize scarring, including scars after open heart surgery. In fact, silicone gel products are the only topical treatments recommended by the scar experts who create scar treatment guidelines for other doctors.

I Wear My Open Heart Surgery Scar Like A Piece Of New Jewelry

I was a regular at yoga and Pilates classes. Then my doctors pronounced me at “high risk for sudden death.”

Early last year, at about the time I should have been planning my 50th birthday celebration making reservations at a fancy restaurant or booking a flight to an exotic locale I was prepping for heart surgery.

I needed the operation to address a deadly genetic heart condition that had gone undetected until age 41, when cardiologists pronounced me high risk for sudden death. The diagnosis was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, which is the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes. A problematic gene had caused the wall of my left ventricle to grow to three times larger than a normal size, which prevented it from filling properly. The obstruction was blocking adequate blood flow and wreaking havoc in my chest.

When I received the initial diagnosis, it was a startling and abrupt turn in the road for someone who had previously enjoyed vibrantly good health, with frequent yoga classes and plenty of green juices. I later learned that heart disease, which kills more women than all cancers combined,

More From Woman’s Day

Cardiology appointments began to pepper my weeks the way Pilates classes used to. Instead of working up a sweat, I could be found flipping through magazines in a waiting room filled with the silver-haired set.

Don’t Miss: Congestive Heart Failure Prevention

Colopharyngoplasty For Intractable Pharyngoesophageal Strictures

Surgical management of caustic strictures of the upper digestive tract poses difficult challenges because reconstruction above the cricopharyngeal junction interferes with the mechanisms of swallowing and respiration. We recently reported our experience and surgical technique of colopharyngeal reconstruction of the challenging subset of patients with severe diffuse pharyngoesophageal caustic strictures accompanied by upper airway obstruction . We showed good results with the establishment of digestive tract continuity using a suprahyoid anastomotic technique. Rehabilitative training for deglutition was a universal requirement in the postoperative period to establish near-normal swallowing.

What Scaring Will There Be

Open Heart Surgery

The type of scars that will develop after heart surgery depends upon a number of factors. Most important among these is the type of heart surgery being performed.

Open-Heart Surgery is highly invasive and typically requires large incisions be made within the chest and sternum. Heart transplants, valve repairs or replacements, and a number of other procedures are often performed using open heart surgery.

There are other forms surgery, which are similarly invasive but do not require cutting open the chest. One such surgery includes the repair of an aneurysm. An aneurysm occurs whenever there is a bulging blood vessel within the body. Thus, this type of heart surgery may occur in areas of the body far away from the heart. At the same time, some aneurysm repairs may be minimally invasive.

Other forms of minimally invasive heart surgeries include:

  • Certain forms of heart valve replacements or repairs
  • Transmyocardial laser revascularization , which requires a small incision be made within the chest so that the heart muscle can be exposed to a high-energy laser. This relieves angina by helping the heart to grow new blood vessels. Angina is experienced as pressure or tightness within the chest caused by reduced blood flow to the heart
  • Installing a pacemaker
  • Angioplasty, which involves removing obstructions from within arteries or veins using a small balloon

You May Like: What Is Normal Resting Heart Rate

How Do You Reduce An Open Heart Surgery Scar

A risky and challenging surgical procedure in your lungs, liver, heart, nose, and brain may require careful postoperative health care. Scars from these surgeries are usually distinguished, which leads to keloids, hypertrophic, or contractures. Many clinics today, like Refine Clinic, can offer cosmetic removal of scars or wounds. A patient may visit their website to know which treatment can reduce a scar.

However, you may have to look for an alternative way to reduce an open heart surgery scar since the operation is risky. Here are our tips for a safe and effective way to minimize scars after your open-heart surgery.

What Is The Healing Process Like

The scar healing process for a surgical wound goes through 3 main phases.The first phase begins immediately after surgery and lasts around 2 weeks. The skin cells multiply and synthesize the main components of the dermis . The scar is generally neat and slightly visible.

Then, over the first few months following the surgery, the scar changes, a sign of deep-down remodeling. The scar becomes inflammatory, which means redder, sometimes harder, more raised and is often itchy. The scar will be slightly higher than the surrounding skin. During the scar healing process, the color of the scar will fade and its volume will decrease. This stage lasts for an average of 3 to 6 months.

The scar then enters its final phase when it begins to become paler and softer . At the end of this process, which varies in duration and can take up to 2 years, the scar will take on its final appearance: paler, softer and insensitive.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Measure Heart Rate

How Can Keyhole Heart Surgery Help Me

Discovering that you have a heart condition or that you need open-heart surgery is an unnerving experience. Mr Birdi and the team at the Keyhole Heart Clinic can offer professional advice at every step of your journey. If you have been diagnosed with a heart condition and have been told that you need open heart surgery, we can provide a complete overview of your options.

To know more about how our service works .

Our specialist team can also offer advice for those who have yet to receive a diagnosis but are worried about their heart health. If youre experiencing symptoms or you have a family history of heart conditions, we can provide an insight into your current help and the next steps to be taken, if necessary. We can also offer a second opinion on your heart condition and treatment. Receiving news about your heart health will understandably leave you with a lot of questions. Our specialist team will help you understand the full scope of your condition and the options you have available.

Dad Gets Tattoo Of Daughters Heart Surgery Scar So She Doesnt Feel Alone

Heart Surgery Left Painful Scars

Lauren Backe was 33 weeks into her pregnancy when an ultrasound tech noticed something unusual about the babys heart measurements.

After a fetal echocardiogram revealed more details, a doctor sat Backe down and said, Your baby is not going to be able to go home until she has an open heart surgery, she recalled.

Everly Backe was born in suburban Chicago in August 2017 with a complex congenital heart defect that required surgeons to operate three times before she was 1 year old. The first open-heart surgery took place three days after Everlys birth, when her heart was the size of a walnut. Her chest had to be opened a fourth time to clear out an infection.

The operations have left a visible mark on her chest that the now 4-year-old girl is becoming more aware of.

She can tell you, I got this scar because the doctors fixed my heart. I have this zipper line here, her mom, 37, told TODAY.

Sometimes shell ask why she has it and other people dont, and then shell remind herself, I have a special heart. We try to use the word special instead of sick so it frames it a little more positively for her.

Don’t Miss: Fast Heart Beat Rate

Standing Up To Surgical Scars

Kristin VanSingel is proud of her scars, the result of several critical heart surgeries since infancy that have kept her alive.

Kristin VanSingel is no stranger to surgery or to keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity. The 36-year-old wears her surgical scars with pride as a reminder of what shes overcome.

Born with a serious heart condition, VanSingel had her first cardiac surgery at just one day old.

LISTEN UP: Add the new Michigan Medicine News Break to your Alexa-enabled device, or subscribe to our daily audio updates on iTunes, and Stitcher.

My parents were concerned when I was born because I was gray in color, says the real estate agent and blog contributor.

How Can I Book An Appointment To Discuss The Keyhole Approach

Booking an appointment with our expert team to discuss your heart condition and the minimally invasive surgery benefits is simple. Head to our main London Heart Clinic page and fill in the make an appointment box with the relevant details. Someone from our team will be in touch to arrange an appointment in the next available day. We also offer clinics in Essex and Nottingham so we are accessible across the whole of the UK.

We offer face-to-face consultations and video consultations, so no matter where you are, you can have access to expert advice. To book a video consultation you can either fill in the online form, send us an email, or give us a call. Whether its in person or via video call, our consultations will help you understand your current condition and what the next steps should be. If you would like to learn more about our services before arranging an appointment, please browse our website or download a copy of our knowledge centre.

Don’t Miss: How Does Dehydration Affect Blood Pressure And Heart Rate

Treating The Scars Of Heart Surgery

Web posted at: 1:55 PM EDT

In this story:

— When Gloria Thompson arrived at the hospital three years ago complaining of shortness of breath, the last thing on her mind was the scar that would result from her quadruple coronary-bypass surgery. A year later, however, the 10-inch scar down the center of her chest is still very evident and prevents her from buying dresses and shirts that allow the scar to peep through.

According to the American Heart Association, 759,000 open-heart surgeries are performed every year in the country. However, the scars left by the incision are not often discussed. Many people learn to deal with them over time, although some remain self-conscious and have trouble coping with these permanent reminders of their operations.

A heart-surgery incision is a 7-inch to 10-inch vertical cut down the middle of the chest, which extends along the length of the breastbone, says Dr. Niloo Edwards, director of heart transplants at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. This allows surgeons to open the ribcage and expose the heart.

Edwards added that pain from the incision is typically not severe, although patients may feel discomfort in the form of numbness, deep itchiness, tightness or burning. The long-term discomfort is minimal, although the area will be prone to numbness. Scars vary in size and appearance, depending on how the patient heals.

We Love Out Of Town Patients


Our doctors have treated patients with keloids, not only from the U.S. mainland but from all over the world.

There are many hotels and restaurants around Mt. Sinai Medical Center that you may consider to make your stay while getting treated. Internationally known and respected, Dr. Mendez and Dr. Salloum are experts in keloids. Their professionalism and passion to meet your needs are second to none.

Also Check: Heart Congestion Symptoms

Ventricular Restoration Surgery Treatment Candidates

Congestive heart failure, a common and serious heart disorder, is the result of the heart not being able to keep up the workload of pumping blood to the lungs and the rest of the body. The hearts left ventricle works harder than normal to compensate for this deficit, and it becomes enlarged and inefficient. Symptoms of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath, fluid retention, and loss of strength and stamina. When symptoms worsen, you may need hospitalization. About 35 percent of patients die within a year of their first hospital admission for congestive heart failure.

Traditionally, the treatments for symptoms of congestive heart failure have been medications high-risk coronary bypass surgery, often requiring valve repair or replacement ventricular assist devices for severe cases and, rarely, heart transplant. These therapies do not treat the congestive heart failure — they treat only the symptoms.

If your symptoms of congestive heart failure are so severe that you cannot walk short distances or up a flight of stairs without becoming short of breath, or you have problems with fluid retention in your legs or lungs and your cardiologist does not think that medical therapy is working, you may be a candidate for more aggressive surgical management.

What You Need To Know About Open Heart Surgery Scars

Open heart surgery is an operation that requires opening the chest wall to repair a fault in or damage to the heart muscle, its arteries or valves. These surgeries treat complications of ischemic heart disease via bypass surgery of blocked arteries, correct congenital heart disease, or treat other heart diseases such as endocarditis, mitral valve prolapse, and many more. Its clear that open heart surgery is a major operation, which increases the risk of significant scarring. It may seem daunting to have to recover from such a major surgery and worry about how to manage scars afterwards. Which is why were explaining exactly what to do about open heart surgery scars so that you can focus on a safe and healthy recovery.

You May Like: Why Is Target Heart Rate Important

Years Ago She Had Pioneering Open

Susan Mangini, now 67, was one of the first children ever to undergo open-heart surgery to fix a pair of congenital heart defects.

At Susan Mangini’s checkup at age 2, the doctor subbing for her pediatrician asked about the girl’s heart murmur.

Mangini’s mother was stunned. No one had ever mentioned a problem with her daughter’s heart.

Doctors ultimately found the little girl had pulmonary stenosis, or a narrowing of the valve between her lower right heart chamber and the artery that carries blood to the lungs. She also had a large hole in her heart’s lower chamber.

This explained why Mangini’s skin sometimes had a slight blue tinge to it.

Referred to as a “blue baby,” the color was a sign that she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. That made her a candidate for what was an experimental surgery at that time in the 1950s. However, her lack of oxygen contributed to her growing very slowly. So, first, she had to gain weight.

Two years later, in 1959 when Mangini was 4, she was one of the first children ever to undergo open-heart surgery to correct her pair of congenital heart defects.

During the five-hour surgery attended by 10 doctors and using what was then a fairly new heart-lung machine, Dr. Alvin Merendino of Seattle, a pioneering cardiac surgeon, repaired the valve and the hole in her heart. Mangini vividly recalls time spent in the hospital.

Instead, Mangini came home just in time to enjoy a happy Christmas.

“They always said, ‘Don’t worry about it,'” Hatfield said.

What Is The Best Thing To Put On Scars After Surgery

Metro Detroit mom embraces her heart surgery scars

Silicone products have been clinically proven to be one of the most effective at-home scar treatments available for a variety of scar types, including hypertrophic, keloid, acne, and burn scars, as well as surgical scars, including those from a cesarean delivery.

Do chest surgery scars go away?

Scars from invasive heart procedures like open-heart surgery are highly noticeable and will remain with an individual for life. While they will become less pronounced over time, such scars will not simply disappear. Nonetheless, secondary procedures can be used to help remove or reduce the appearance of the scar.

When can I put lotion on a surgery scar?

Dont rush into scar treatment right after your injury. Take good care of your wound first and wait until the skin has completely healed before starting to apply any topical products such as Mederma® Scar treatment.

How can I make my scars heal faster?

Keep the wound moist. Apply petroleum jelly to the wound and cover it with a non-stick bandage. This can speed healing and minimize scarring, says Krant.

Don’t Miss: How To Increase Heart Rate Variability

More articles

Popular Articles