October 11, 2020 scarwoundcentre

Caring for Thyroid Surgery Scars

Undergoing surgery for the removal of a thyroid tumour is not only a major procedure but also a life-saving one. This, sadly, often leaves a nasty and noticeable scar on the front of the neck where the thyroid gland is located. However, there are now a variety of ways to minimize the visibility of the scars caused by thyroid surgeries starting from the day of the procedure. 

Immediate Care for wound After Thyroid Surgery

After the surgery, ensure the head of your bed is up and try to stay relaxed and comfortable. Often the surgical incision is covered by gauze and medical tape. Depending on the surgery, a drainage tube may be present in the incision. Nurses will be the ones attending to your wound while you are still at the hospital. For your part, keeping your head still as much as possible will help lessen the pressure on the incision, this, in turn, eases the pain you may feel. 

First Day Care on Wound after Thyroid Surgery

In most cases after thyroid surgery, the doctor will advise the patient to spend at least one night in the hospital in order for them to monitor any sudden problems. After this, often patients are discharged from the hospital and you will care for your wound at home. Depending on the surgeon’s recommendation, you will be allowed to bathe and shower immediately so it is essential to know how to care for your incisions and bandages properly. Where possible, take a shower (don’t bathe) and ensure to keep the area with the wound as dry as possible. When drying, don’t rub the towel as this will irritate it. Dry it properly by gently dabbing the area.

One way to protect your incision or wound when showering is by using sterile gauze and HyTape to cover it. HyTape is perfect to use for surgical wounds as not only is it waterproof but also it can be removed easily on the skin. Just like a gauze when it comes to sizes, Hytape is available in precut strips for faster application.

Wound Care During the First Week of Thyroid Surgery

A week after your surgery, the physician will advise you to return to their clinic for a checkup. During your consultation, the doctor will give you a postsurgical evaluation. They will also remove the Steri-Strips and stitches that may still remain on your wound. You can continue to take a shower just make sure not to take a bath or submerge in water. Naturally, the Steri-Strips on your wound will fall off once the glue weakens. You don’t need to worry about it when this happens. Just don’t remove it on your own.

An important thing to keep in mind after a week of surgery is covering your wound or scar to protect it from the sun’s rays. This is because newly formed skin is delicate and very sensitive to  UV radiation. Make sure to minimize sun exposure and light on your wound as this will affect the appearance of your thyroid scar when it heals. In short, less sunlight exposure on your incision, the better your thyroid scar will look.  You can do this by using a gauze while framing it with HyTape. Ensure that you use enough of it to cover it securely from UV radiation, You are using the right amount if the skin cannot be seen through the gauze. Usually, using one to two squares is enough.

Though it is uncommon for it to occur, there is a risk of infection when you undergo surgery.  This can affect the healing of your wound and can exacerbate the scarring. This is why it is important to examine your wound for signs of infection regularly especially during the first week of your thyroid surgery. Some indications of infection include redness, warmth, swollen, and pus or fluid that leaks from the wound. Lastly, if you have a fever during the first week of operation, call your doctor immediately.

Care After First Year of Thyroid Surgery

Once the wound on your skin has closed, the surgeon will now remove the stitches. It is important to care for your thyroid surgery scar by protecting it from exposure to UV Radiation. Johns Hopkins experts recommend protecting it by using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30+. Ensuring you cover your scar will also help to improve the scars appearance when it heals. If you are going to spend time outdoors and in direct sunlight, you can effectively cover the incision with HyTape. This is because HyTape is able to block UV Radiation better than regular clothing. Just using a single strip of HyTape allows it to be protected from UV Rays.

What to Do If a Scar Remains?

Scars that are due from surgery undergo a healing process. Even months after a procedure, the incision or scars can still be firm and red while also having raised borders. Most patients dislike the appearance of raised borders around a scar but this actually aids the skin to heal. The raised area around the scars will eventually flatten after some time. 

You can also consider using silicone sheets or gels if you are not happy with the look of your thyroid surgery scars. It will cover and keep them from being visible. Make sure to avoid using creams with steroids as this will make the scar look a lot worse and can interfere with the healing. 

If all else fails and you are still unhappy with the way the look of scars turn out then you can seek advice from a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for help. Using steroid injections can treat Scars such as Hypertrophic and keloids while dermal fillers can help treat atrophic scars. Finally, various procedures such as chemical peels, medical lasers, or scar revision surgery can help treat dark flat scars

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