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  • Orchiectomy Incision - How Long to Heal Properly?

    My latest orchiectomy was on March 27th of this year and, as of today, I'm not quite satisfied with how the incision is healing. I had insisted on stitches, as opposed to staples, this time as I remember how the staples from my TC1 experience back in 1996 snagged on my clothing and were very unpleasant. So here I am, almost six weeks later, and while the incision doesn't hurt much, unless I press on or rub it, the skin immediately along it is still red and the incision itself (now that the stitches have dissolved) is very dark. There isn't much swelling although I can certainly feel some subcutaneous hardness (bruising? scar tissue forming?). My urologist had told me I could go back to weightlifting two weeks after surgery but I gave myself three weeks and have been able to lift without any pain. Two weeks after surgery, he checked and told me to be patient. Yet, for some reason, I just get the sense that this orchiectomy incision, six weeks out from surgery, is taking longer to return to "normal" than the one I had twelve years ago. Maybe my memory is a little dim so I wanted to ask you guys with recent experiences how long your incisions took to heal to the point of not being painful to the touch and skin tone returned to normal. Thanks!
    TC1: 1996, right orchiectomy, seminoma stage I 3.5 cm mass, radiation therapy (peri-aortic & pelvic 27.3 Gy)
    TC2: 2008, left orchiectomy, seminoma stage IA 5 cm mass, left & right prostheses, AndroGel TRT, surveillance at MSKCC

  • #2
    My incision took little time to "heal" but I had neither staples nor visible stitches. Instead, there was this transparent "glue" that covered the area which allowed me to take a shower the next morning without complications. The insicion itself was red and bruised for about 10 days or so. Today (8 months later) it's hardly noticeable and I only remember it's there on rainy days
    "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see". Heb 11:1

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    • #3
      My experience is similar to Charlie's. I had a "transparent" glue on my incision. I believe there were self-dissolving stitches underneath the glue but they did not hamper me after a few weeks. I was fully active after 4 - 5 weeks.
      Manoj
      09.29.07 - visit to ER with severe pain
      10.08.07 - Dx with TC
      10.10.07 - Rt I/O. Dx - 90% EC, 10 % yolk sac tumor, less than 1% immature teratoma & choriocarcinoma
      11.21.07 - (day before Thanksgiving) NS RPLND @ MSKCC
      11.28.07 - Return back home, recieve lab report. 86 lymph nodes removed - all clear. Begin Surveillance
      04.10.08 - 2 cm nodule detected in lungs
      04.28.08 - Starting 4XEP
      07.03.08 - 4XEP complete
      end-Sept - CT Scan scheduled

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Manny
        My experience is similar to Charlie's. I had a "transparent" glue on my incision. I believe there were self-dissolving stitches underneath the glue but they did not hamper me after a few weeks. I was fully active after 4 - 5 weeks.
        I had the transparent film over the stitches, the film dissolving after a couple of weeks and the stitches are no longer visible. Instead, I just have an angry-looking scar with what looks like some blood still trapped under the skin, six weeks after surgery. There's no significant swelling, just a lot of redness around the incision and a very dark scar and even some slight scabbing. Sorry to be so graphic. I just don't remember the other incision (it's so nice to have a matched pair!) healing like this. Am I just being impatient?
        TC1: 1996, right orchiectomy, seminoma stage I 3.5 cm mass, radiation therapy (peri-aortic & pelvic 27.3 Gy)
        TC2: 2008, left orchiectomy, seminoma stage IA 5 cm mass, left & right prostheses, AndroGel TRT, surveillance at MSKCC

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a little bleeding from the incision today, nothing major, but enough to reinforce the fact that this time I'm healing much more slowly than back in '96. Perhaps I went back to weightlifting a little too soon. I just want to go back to something resembling normal as soon as possible. I won't even mention how much my scrotal incision (for one of the implants) hurts.
          TC1: 1996, right orchiectomy, seminoma stage I 3.5 cm mass, radiation therapy (peri-aortic & pelvic 27.3 Gy)
          TC2: 2008, left orchiectomy, seminoma stage IA 5 cm mass, left & right prostheses, AndroGel TRT, surveillance at MSKCC

          Comment


          • #6
            At ~8 weeks out, although I was pain free (unless poked in the area by some ass on the subway), there was still a little residual swelling along the incision line. After a particularly vigorous post-shower toweling, I must have caught a scab or something as there was a sharp pain and some bleeding. I was shocked that after 2 months, it could still happen. Factor in any sort of weight lifting and I can see why it would take it's sweet time to heal. (Luckily for me, the only weights I lift these days are a beer to my lips and then the toilet seat...)

            Have you considered some sort of topical treatment (i.e. Vitamin E cream)? That might help speed things along more quickly.
            Let's Go Mets! sigh...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NYC Russ
              (...)Have you considered some sort of topical treatment (i.e. Vitamin E cream)? That might help speed things along more quickly.
              Well, at least it's not so bad that it's still healing, judging from your own experience. I've been treating the area (and my other incision) with vitamin E cream like you mentioned, as well as arnica, a homeopathic topical anti-bruising cream. They're messy, though, but I guess I better stick with it. Maybe at the age of 42, I just don't heal as fast as used to when I was 30.
              TC1: 1996, right orchiectomy, seminoma stage I 3.5 cm mass, radiation therapy (peri-aortic & pelvic 27.3 Gy)
              TC2: 2008, left orchiectomy, seminoma stage IA 5 cm mass, left & right prostheses, AndroGel TRT, surveillance at MSKCC

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul54
                42. The good old days. I'd GMRN to be 42 again. Oh, wait, I already GMRN! Nevermind.
                LOL - until recently I might say I'd give my remaining nut for something or other. Oh well, can't even say that anymore!
                TC1: 1996, right orchiectomy, seminoma stage I 3.5 cm mass, radiation therapy (peri-aortic & pelvic 27.3 Gy)
                TC2: 2008, left orchiectomy, seminoma stage IA 5 cm mass, left & right prostheses, AndroGel TRT, surveillance at MSKCC

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