How are the scars healing???

One of the things I have heard others say is that they are worried about scars on the neck, if the nodes are removed from there, to use in the transfer. I must say when the doctor first told me this I too was a bit concerned and started to grow my hair before the procedure!! However seven months down the track the scar is just a fine line along my collar-bone. There is a slight hollow behind the collar-bone where the tissue was removed but probably only noticeable to me! This is the latest photo taken before I go for a swim.. Yesterday in Australia it was 39C in October, which is crazy weather for this time of year. Heat is always a challenge for those with Lymphedema so this summer could be very difficult if yesterday was anything to go by… The hotter it gets the more Lymph our body produces and the more our Lymphatics are put under stress… So swimming can be a great help as it cools the body as well as allowing exercise without over heating and the water is a natural compression.

Neck scar  7 months after Lymph node transfer

Neck scar 7 months after Lymph node transfer

The scar on my knee is not quite so pretty, but I do not think many people will be bending down to check out the inside of my knee!! What I have noticed over the last few weeks is the swelling has gone down and the scar sits flat against my knee. I thought after surgery I had added a lump at the side of the knee as well as LE!! It shows how patient you have to be as it takes a long time for the body to heal and settle and then for the nodes to grow.

Knee scar 7 months after Lymph node transfer

Knee scar 7 months after Lymph node transfer

Knee scar 7 months after Lymph node transfer

Knee scar 7 months after Lymph node transfer

The overall results at this stage are difficult to calculate due to a loss of pre surgery data. I am to see the doctor again on 25th October so will be able to compare results from three months after surgery. I feel my lower leg responds better but I don’t see much improvement in the thigh at this stage. A plus is that I have had no infections since surgery, which was one of the main reasons for the LNT. Many of you who experience Cellulitus know how debilitating this is, it would entail me having IV antibiotics on a regular basis either in hospital or at home. The main down side since surgery is the numbness I am still experiencing from the inside of the knee down to the foot. This affects my balance and the leg is weaker, so I have to be careful especially going up and down stairs or walking on bumpy ground. However I am told this will improve in time… I sure hope so!! I am wearing a 30-40 compression stocking during the day but no compression at night, just elevate the bottom of bed a little. After surgery I used the Ready Wraps from Solaris instead of bandaging and I have them if needed, which has been very little of late. I have MLD at least once a fortnight with Lisa Higgins in Balgowlah who also uses a hand-held laser on the knee area to help the scaring and to stimulate the cells in the newly transferred nodes. If you live in the Sydney area she is a qualified Vodder Therapist and worth a visit.

Left leg 7 months after Lymph node Transfer..

Left leg 7 months after Lymph node Transfer..

I will post another update after the 25th October when I see the doctor.

I also wish to send a get well message to Kimber who is recovering after her major surgery in New York.. Hope you start to feel better soon.. Remember slow and steady wins the race!! Also a friend who had liposuction here in Sydney.. Get well soon girls…

22 thoughts on “How are the scars healing???

  1. Helen, your leg looks amazing! I met Dr Becker once, even had the surgery planned but I could never take the plunge! Now, I would feel more confident, it was 4 years ago… Keep us posted! I love hearing from you! Clarisse

    • Every year brings more experience.. It is a big step to take when it is so new.. I think that the arm surgery has the most success at this time as there seems to be more of these surgeries… Legs seem to be harder to see results due to the larger area needing to be treated and gravity!! There seems to be more a combination of LNT and liposuction or maybe second LNT.. Over the next few years we will be able to monitor results and work out what is best…. I am part of a research program here in Sydney…

  2. i dont remember how your leg looked before the surgery ,but i have to say it is hard to recognize the effected leg which means there is a progress ,i see good results and your leg looking very good
    i am happy for you Helen πŸ™‚

    • My leg was never been very big and I too have forgotten what it was like before!!! I should have taken pictures before I started but my dr does have photos from before and each step of the way … Will have to ask him for some before photos.. The thing I notice is my lower leg stays much better even when weather is hot or I have been standing or sitting for long periods.. Before my ankle would have puffed out.. I still need to wear a stocking however the leg does seem to be responding better to treatment and compression….time will tell if it improves more but I am happy with this even if there is no more improvement.. Hugs back to you xx

  3. WoW! If you had just posted snap shots of before and after (all the advertisers use this) I would naturally go for the after. I would’ve not known the difference. You look marvelous simply marvelous. Take care, I have sent this link to my prayer warriors here because a picture is worth a thousand words (prayers included)! Way to go…

  4. You are looking fabulous Helen. I could hardly see any scarring. I have two little puckers on my belly. Not sure what radiation will leave as a calling card but hey, still here! All the best to you. The numbness that I’ve had from chemo is weird so I do sympathize. I’ve been taking the Vitamin B Complex solutions to offset the numbness and it does help the condition improve overall. Cheers!

  5. Your leg is looking pretty darn good I’d say. I sort of relate to the leg/knee issues since I just had knee surgery due to other reasons that I won’t go into here, but I have been hobbling around and worrying about swelling among other things, but overall doing fine. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with your upcoming appointment.

    • Yes I kept asking people who had knee surgery how long before the swelling went down etc to get a bit of an idea for myself.. One does not realise how important knees are till you have something like this done and you find yourself hobbling!!

  6. Aww, thank you so much, Helen!!! I think about you every day and still feel so grateful and blessed that you started this website. Much love and big hugs to you. I will be doing an update very soon πŸ™‚

    • No rush for an update you just focus on getting well and feeling better. Healing takes time … I can’t believe it took 7 months for the swelling to go down at the side of my knee!! Writing this blog and connecting to others has been a huge help to me too I would have felt so isolated and I have been able to “meet” some wonderful people.. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

  7. I am glad for you that your ankle is responding to compression. My daughter has just been diagnosed with primary lymphoedema and issued with a compression stocking for her leg. We have noticed that her foot is not so swollen after a few days of wearing the compression stocking. It has given us an incentive to fight to get the compression stocking on each day and wash the stocking every day. Please persevere and continue to share your experience.

      • @christianasmith…
        sorry to hear about the diagnose of your daughter. i do not know what age she has but if you or her ever want to talk with someone with similar -primary le lower limbs- diagnose , please feel free to contact me (helen has my email). i found it very helpfull to talk with someone with similar diagnosis. i always felt quite lonely and i still found myself checking out legs all the time -yes i know neurotic πŸ˜‰ – just cus it is so hard to deal with a rare diagnose that has such an impact on both physical and mental level. on the internet i found out that it is not that rare after all, we are just good at hiding an adapting to this new situation. (which of course is better then thinking all the time of how it was before -but this is a difficult test in flexibillity…
        It helped me a lot so don hesitate if i can so something.
        Looking good Helen. The scar is really not so big. When i would have lnt they would place them in my lower calf back of lower limb. I guess there everybody will notice much more then inner knee….x

  8. Hi Helen,
    I returned home from my cruise two days ago and have just read your news and seen your recent photo. It’s fantastic progress! You must be thrilled with the results. Would you dare to hope that one day the ghastly compression garments could be thrown out? We all know what a joy that would be for you and everyone who follows this brilliant blog.
    There is no change my end but am keeping well and still hope for some improvement-touch wood.

    God bless and warmest best wishes,

    • I would love to get rid of the compression stocking but no chance of that yet!! I do however believe my leg is responding better but still get those tinglings and strange feelings that remind you that you have LE.!!! .. Still early days… Hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you were able to enjoy yourself.. Helen xx

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