Advise from Consultant Surgeon James Kirkby-Bott
Above is a picture of the one small scar in middle of 70 year old patient's neck 6 weeks post parathyroid surgery with Mr Kirkby-Bott.
The following advice is designed to make your scar and neck feel as invisible and normal as before surgery as your body will allow. If you don’t want to follow this advice it will all heal well. But following this advice will maximise the final outcome you have.
The wound is covered in a plaster and under this are small strips of plaster (called steristrips) that are positioned to take tension off your wound edges. This helps neat healing and a neat scar. Leave these on for 10 days. Underneath the skin is closed with an absorbable stitch that doesn’t need removing. It is OK to shower from the morning after surgery. Just keep the dressing in place for 10 days and pat it dry when wet. No need to feel grungy or stinky! Make yourself comfortable. If the dressing starts to come off please replace it with a fresh one.
You will have a bruise and maybe a mild swelling. This happens to everyone. Leave it alone and don’t worry about it. It will disappear as a bruise usually does and the swelling will go down with the bruise disappearing.
From day 1 perform regular neck stretches to the point of slight discomfort and continue at least daily noting how the range of movement changes each day.
After 10 days remove any dressings that are still on the wound including plaster strips. It will have healed by now and normally is dry. To help the scar heal as neatly as possible continue the neck stretches and start to apply a moisturizer (any that you would happily put on your face is fine) twice day to the whole of the front of your neck and rub firmly (to the point it is slightly uncomfortable after a few more days) and stretch your neck gently with exercises. This will help keep tissue layers free and ensure the neck feels comfortable to move in the long term.
Above is the same patient's neck with one scar in middle of neck 10 days post Mr Kirkby-Botts's parathyroid surgery
Below is the same patient's neck with a slight trace of a scar in middle of neck 3 and a half months post Mr Kirkby-Botts's parathyroid surgery
It takes a good 12 months for scars to fully heal and the tissues to remodel. During this time don’t be surprised if the scar becomes raised, or coloured. Just perform the exercises above and wait. It will subside and become less apparent as the remodeling continues.