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#194309 - 04/29/17 10:35 PM Post care Reconstruciton of forarm  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 6
MrsZiggy Offline
Member
MrsZiggy  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 6
Hello, I am 6 weeks post op for forearm reconstruction and thankfully my arm is healing nicely. At home I put lotion on and expose my arm to the air. I do not want to expose arm to the sun for awhile and since it is still healing it is best to be covered up in public. Are there any wraps/dressing people recommend? Is an ACE bandage good? How long did you cover up your arm in public?
Thanks for your input, Meryl : )


31 years old, SCC, happy and healthy!
03/10/17: Diagnosis of Tongue Cancer
03/20/17: 9 hour surgery, Hemi-glossectomy, radial forearm free flap, femur skin graft
05/01/17: Radiation 6 weeks
#194314 - 04/30/17 01:57 AM Re: Post care Reconstruciton of forarm [Re: MrsZiggy]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,541
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
ChristineB  Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,541
PA
I wore a strip of stretchy gauze over my arm free flap site for about 2, maybe 3 years after I had surgery in 2009. I had 40 staples in that site to help connect the new tissue. Boy oh boy was that uncomfortable to put it mildly! At the pharmacy thats in my hospital, they have a section for durable medical supply equipment and other specialized patient items. I would go ask for a couple pieces of the gauze sleeve cover up at a time. They would cut them as patients asked for them. Im not sure why but I stopped covering it up a few years ago and I never looked back. It does kinda resemble a shark bite. Im almost 8 years after the big surgery and my scar has greatly faded where its not as noticeable as back when I had recently had it done.



PS... Ive sent you an important private message (PM) that I send all new members. In the PM is a link that goes over the most common things for new members. Please take some time and click on the tiny flashing envelope next to your My Stuff tab near the top center of your page. How to make and add your signature is included in that link too. Having a signature is very important. Please review the PM when you have time and add your signature. Im hoping you do this prior to starting your treatments. Thank you smile


Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
#194454 - 05/16/17 03:41 PM Re: Post care Reconstruciton of forarm [Re: ChristineB]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 6
MrsZiggy Offline
Member
MrsZiggy  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 6
Thank you Christine for you reply on this! 2-3 years seems like such a long time to cover up an arm but I can see why. The most important aspect for me is covering up the scar from the sun. I will check your PM next and create a signature : ) Thank you!


31 years old, SCC, happy and healthy!
03/10/17: Diagnosis of Tongue Cancer
03/20/17: 9 hour surgery, Hemi-glossectomy, radial forearm free flap, femur skin graft
05/01/17: Radiation 6 weeks
#194456 - 05/16/17 05:01 PM Re: Post care Reconstruciton of forarm [Re: MrsZiggy]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,541
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
ChristineB  Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,541
PA
You're welcome!

I dont know why I kept my arm covered for so long or why I stopped covering it. My arm hurt quite a bit when the free flap was first done. In the beginning I kept it covered to protect it from everything, even being accidentally bumped. I guess time really does heal all wounds smile

PS.. Thanks for adding you signature!!!


Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
#194457 - 05/16/17 06:12 PM Re: Post care Reconstruciton of forarm [Re: MrsZiggy]  
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 82
Vanpaddler Offline
Supporting Member (50+ posts)
Vanpaddler  Offline
Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 82
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
I didn't keep mine covered for nearly as long as Christine. Once the scabs healed and it looked mostly like normal skin again, I stopped with the total gauze wrap and moved on to smaller and smaller bandages as it healed more completely. I found that occasionally the new skin would crack open somewhat so I'd have to put some more antibiotic ointment on it and cover with the bandages. I used the 2" x 3" rectangular gauze and cloth tape for a few months, then the spot that would most often burst open occasionally healed well enough that a regular Band-Aid would often do the trick.

When I had the larger gauze bandages on, so many people asked me to see my new tattoo, assuming that's what it was, but I had to explain to them what had happened. Some people thought it was pretty neat (what the doctors could do), while a few others were horrified and embarrassed that they asked such a question and felt bad until I reassured them that it was ok. If on one particular day you're just mad at the world and you don't want to have to deal with that, wear longsleeves.


Dx 2014Jan29 (42 yr old otherwise fit nonsmoker)
SCC tongue stage III T3N0M0
subtotal glossectomy, partial neck dissection, RFFF, trach, NG tube 2014Feb25 16 days in hospital
RAD 25 zaps 2014May5-2014Jun9
Back to work, paddling & hiking shortly afterwards

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