Thursday, March 1, 2012

Healing Slowly from Biopsy (with photos)

WARNING: If you scroll down, you will see an actual photo of the biopsy site.  It is stitched closed, but if medical images upset or disturb you, don't look!

The healing process has been slow, and it's frustrating not being able to use my arm normally.  A day or two after the surgery, I kept experiencing what felt like electric shocks or a tearing sensation at the biopsy site.  The doctor explained that sometimes nerve endings are cut and exposed during the procedure and can cause those sensations.  They are not pleasant!  On the upside, the zapping sensations have decreased significantly since then.

Also, right after the surgery, my hand was a bit swollen, so I couldn't wear my wedding ring for several days.  The swelling had gone down quite a bit, which is nice. 

I've been developing a slow-forming bruise a few inches away from my biopsy site.  The doctor said this can happen sometimes as fluids leak within the body from the areas of incision.  Here are photos of the bruising.

The first photo was taken a day or so after the surgery, and the second photo was taken today (about a week later).  Sorry that the lighting is so different!  I put a penny on my arm for scale.  The bandage you see at the top of the photo is the area just above my elbow and is the site of my biopsy.

Here's a photo of the biopsy area.  The doctor used internal stitches, so you can't really see them.  This technique is supposed to minimize the scarring.  The stitches are supposed to dissolve after about two weeks.  The tape is holding the sutures and skin together to help the area heal better.  I'm supposed to keep my wound covered for two weeks, changing the gauze bandage at least once a day.  I also wrap the area with an ace bandage for support and protection. 

On the downside, I'm mildly allergic to adhesives, so the medical tape I use irritates my skin and makes me itchy.  It really doesn't matter what kind of adhesives I use; I'm allergic to all of them.  I've tried regular medical tape, paper tape, waterproof tape, and various other medical tapes (including those for sensitive skin and products labeled "hypoallergenic") to no avail.  I'm even allergic to band-aids.  On an even bigger downside, I'm developing an allergy to gauze!  The entire area under the gauze is pink and itchy.  Bleh.

I can't wait until my arm is back to normal.  Please keep sending me healthy thoughts!


upnorth said...

Ouch, that looks so painful!!! I'm taking it you haven't heard anything yet?
Hang in there Alyson....sending good healing thoughts your way.

alyson said...

Hi upnorth -- No news yet. Thanks for the healing thoughts!