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@Scott F posted:

One very big scar, straight down the middle for my J-pouch surgery. I have other scars from other surgeries, but nothing else quite so monumental.

I have the same, the result of old fashioned style surgery in which I was cut open like a suckling pig from bottom of rib cage to about 1 inch above the base of penis and the wound was closed with around 50 metal staples.  It's faded tremendously over the years and is now barely noticeable.  I also have the concave scar from the temporary ileo which was allowed to heal by granulation.  I also have my thyroid cancer surgery scar on my neck, which is barely noticeable. After looking at the pics of scars posted on the thyroid cancer support board, I would say I am in the top 10% on thyroid surgery scars, but maybe the bottom 25% on colectomy scars and the bottom 10% on ileostomy granulation scars.  My ENT surgeon did a very good job with that neck scar. Based on my colectomy scar I was expecting it to be worse, but it's a much smaller incision. 

I took a deposition of a woman years ago who had a cervical fusion surgery after a car accident caused by my client.  They go through the front of the neck on that surgery.  Her scar was hideous, reminded me of Clint Eastwoo'd neck in "Hang Em High" when he walked around the movie with a scar from being hanged, but not to death- see the 1:30 mark of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUB_uqOaR8Q 

When I walked into the conference room for the deposition and looked at her exposed scar, and saw she was a good looking woman around 40, I said to myself, "we are paying the policy limit on this one", and we did.

When I had the postsurgical ileus and was vomiting almost non-stop for 8 hours before getting the NG tube, they kept telling me that the vomiting was putting pressure on the staples and the wound could burst open and get infected.  In fact, that is what happened.  If I did not have that ileus complication I suspect my colectomy scar would be a lot better.  The violent wretches from all the vomiting stretched it out, I suspect.  In retrospect probably should have used the morphine pump less, but it was a live and learn situation at that time.

Last edited by CTBarrister

 Closed suction drains are/were routinely used in a non laparoscopic colectomy and I had them. I had multiple of them inserted and they hurt when removed. No scars though, from those tubes.

As for the question of why you need them, it's because your body produces the fluid that needs to be removed lest you get infected. The reason why NG tubes have to be inserted is because your body doesn't decide to stop producing bile or gastric juices just because you have had surgery. You find that out in a big way when you get an NG tube and it's a biology lesson one doesn't soon forget. However I think it's also fairly natural for the body to produce these collected fluids after the trauma of Abdominal surgery. Those tubes aren't put in reactively, you wake up from surgery and they are already in your body. They are 100% preemptive rather than reactive. And it's because your body will produce the fluid.

They hurt a bit when removed, although it's over with quickly. A bit more painful is the removal of the urinary catheter. Which is also inserted during surgery as with the other tubes.

Last edited by CTBarrister

I did not realize they use them for laparoscopic surgery as well, but it makes sense.  There is still a trauma to your abdomen due to the colon being cut out of your body. All of the same conditions exist that would precipitate the fluid buildup.

I remember being startled by the pain when they took it out.  You don't expect it to hurt as much as it does, even though the removal is fairly quick.  I seem to remember having 3 of those closed suction drains.  They called them J Tubes, or something like that.

@CTBarrister posted:

 Closed suction drains are/were routinely used in a non laparoscopic colectomy and I had them. I had multiple of them inserted and they hurt when removed. No scars though, from those tubes.

As for the question of why you need them, it's because your body produces the fluid that needs to be removed lest you get infected. The reason why NG tubes have to be inserted is because your body doesn't decide to stop producing bile or gastric juices just because you have had surgery. You find that out in a big way when you get an NG tube and it's a biology lesson one doesn't soon forget. However I think it's also fairly natural for the body to produce these collected fluids after the trauma of Abdominal surgery. Those tubes aren't put in reactively, you wake up from surgery and they are already in your body. They are 100% preemptive rather than reactive. And it's because your body will produce the fluid.

They hurt a bit when removed, although it's over with quickly. A bit more painful is the removal of the urinary catheter. Which is also inserted during surgery as with the other tubes.

Oh wow, I learned a handful information. The drain looks pretty serious! And yeah I had a NG tube before due to blockages- it was horrifying! And why I had my urinary catheter removed, it did not hurt me at all for some reason, it actually felt good to me. 

I have three battle scars: a long scar starting above my belly button, down toward my lower regions. An oval shaped scar on my right side where my temporary stoma was, and a round scar where the drain was to help release surgical fluid. For those heading into surgery, the drain is shaped like a bulb and is called a JP pouch -- Jackson Pratt pouch, and is inserted into your abdomen during surgery. It kind of hangs from your body, filling with fluid and some blood, to keep you healthy. You can ask the nurse to pin it to your robe so it doesn't bang against you when you walk the hallways. You'll wake up from surgery with a JP drain, an ostomy bag, IV fluids in your arm, catheter, and, for me, an epidural in my spine. I don't remember the drain or epidural hurting when it was removed. I do remember the catheter stinging a tiny bit on removal. 

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