My scar makes me cry...

by Myrna
(Lakewood NJ)

5  months after surgery

5 months after surgery

How do I feel about my scar?

I had a double bypass open heart surgery 5 months ago... I feel soooo sad and stress about it... I want to cry or I sometimes do cry when I'm in the shower or try to wear a shirt and can't wear it cause it shows...

And watching my friends at the pool wearing bathing suits and I'm on a side sitting on a chair watching them... and me wearing a t-shirt and shorts... I feel out of the group... just don't want to be there... I wish I could remove my scar...

I'm soooooo very stressssssssss about it. :-(

Myrna 45
in Lakewood NJ

Comments for My scar makes me cry...

Click here to add your own comments

Chics dig scars. Or they're suposed to
by: Scared for life

My first heart surgery was in 1974. I had such a thick lump of a scar back then. It put a barber in tears when he saw a little boy with that scar. Now I have a new scar from another heart surgery and scars from 3 defibrillator implants. The 3 look nasty, but the new scar from the last heart surgery is nothing compared to the first. Its more like a scratch when compared.

I had a hard time seeing the scar in the picture. If people are staring, it is at your breasts. That scar is barely noticeable. Do something fun with it and have a zipper tattoo done one it.

Yes my scar bothered me. Until I was like 10 years old. Then I realized, its nothing to be bothered by.

I won't ever feel the same
by: Anonymous

Last Friday, I was hanging out with my friends, like any other Friday. My boyfriend and I were sitting next to a fire, chit chatting while my friends were inside. Suddenly, a log exploded and hit me in the chest. Now, I am 18 and am considered to be pretty. I had beautiful large breasts. Unfortunately I've felt like they were the only attractive part of me. Now, my chest and breasts are covered in second degree burns, and the Dr. at the hospital said it will undoubtedly scar. My boyfriend says I am beautiful no matter what. But I don't feel that way. I feel gross and ugly.

Know the feeling to good...
by: Anonymous

I'm a 15 years old girl. I have a 10 centimeters long scar on the stomach. It's vertical, so is just make it worse :/ is like around my navle on the left side, and then it goes down. The scar has done a weird effect to my body. So now my navle on a way streched out both ways. Up and down. And That make the 10 centimeters. People always telling me that i should not be ashamed of my scar, but proud. But is people who can't relate to what i'm feeling. i'm not stupid. Is so clearly in their faces they fell sorry for me. And there is nothing to be proud of. I can't wear bikini without people is looking scared/weird at me and asking:" Omg, what have you done to you're stomach?!"
The absolutely skinny girls from my class was one day talking about their bodys. How much they hate thiers stomach, because they think they are fat, or have a weird navle. And i'm just standing like:" seriosly? you should f*cking trying to be in my place."
i know and have respect for all girls have something on their body they doesn't like. But atleast they look "normal". i'm not trying to look like a model. Or dreaming about to have a model body. my only beauty wish, is i just wanna look normal. But I can't. The scar is 12 years old now. And it have bothered me since i was 10. I also thought in my whole life right until last summer, that the scar saved me. But it didn't. My grandmother told me, that after the opreation was actually done they haven't cut in me. i was cured. But because the doctor wanted to know 100% what there had been wrong with me, he cut me up.
In that moment i got a really bad feeling. The little accept/respect for i had for the scar disappeared. There was no reason i should have it.
Then i grow full up, i'm sure i will try to do something about my scar. I can't live or accept it. Maybe i would if i were older, but i'm pretty sure. That in the rest of my teenage/ young adult years. The scar will just make me un happy.

Insecure about my scars
by: Anonymous

I'm 15 years old and I had my spleen removed when I was 7. When I was 13 I had my gallbladder removed . These surgeries have left unsightly scarring. I've decide to get a tattoo to cover my scars from my gallbladder surgery which was done with 4 different incisions. The scar from having my spleen removed is pretty big and it makes me cry when I look at it . I'm very self conscious about them
because people don't understand that things happen and they always look at you differently. When I was younger the scar did not bother me but now that I am 15 and can't wear most swimsuit or feel comfortable changing around friends it' is hurtful. People keep saying to be proud of your scar but every time I look at mine it reminds me that I can't wear 2 piece bathing suits I can wear mid drift shirts. The scar to me is hurtful and it just reminds me of the pain I went threw. I have self image problems and nobody relates to them so I'm glad this site is up so I can get my feeling out . As soon as I turn 18 I'm going to look into plastic surgery to see if there is a way to remove scars and if not I'm going to get tattoos to cover them. Idk how to tell a boy about my surgeries that's why I rather not and I rather wait until I fix these problems I have to get serious with a boy to come to the point where he may see my stomach. I am also very pretty and I come across perfect to some so I've been told and this makes the scars even harder to deal. My scars are not my only insecurity but they are my biggest insecurities.Thanks for reading all if this

my history
by: Anonymous

I have an scar after a guy punch me and broke my lip, I have 3 surgeries and every time gets worse. I used to boy a pretty boy I guess that is the pass. It has been already 15 years and there is not a hour I think about it. What I want to tell you is be strong people are mean thats true but this life it's too short that you dont deserve to be drag down for this which was not up to you

Scar on and in mouth
by: Anonymous

The scar on and in my mouth is my downfall. I have had surgery on it twice. It gives me alot of anxiety. I feel for anyone who has anxiety or problems that stem from there scaring.

33 and Scarred
by: Tina

It's part of life and now that scar is part of you so embrace it. Wear your low cut tops and bathing suits.The sooner you do this and get used to people seeing it, the better for you. I was born with a slight facial disfigurement. I have a surgery scar on my face that will be there forever. I know its hard in a world that now expects body perfection. Even a small thing like not wearing what you want means your not living your life the way you want and to the full. Take it from someone that knows, there are worst things in life than a scar. Be grateful your alive. Now go on put on your low cut top and to hell with who has a problem with it.


12
by: Anonymous

Hi I'm, 13 now and I had 3 open heart surgeries & I'm fine with that, be strong. But I hate the fact that every shirt I wear ha to cover my scare that is really high. So now I hate swimming with my friends because of my ugly scar, and yes I've been told 'my scar is the resin I'm alive' well I get judged a lot by this ugly scare and I want a bathing suit that fits me and covers my scar ... Thank you :,(

17 and experienced.
by: Anonymous

i'm a seventeen year old girl and have had 7 heart surgeries. i also have a pacemaker and many scars. i have lived with scars all of my life. i have seen many judgmental glances, and, being a student with other closed minded kids, have been asked many questions. and yes. they hurt. all of them. but i know that i am better than that. and i can tell you that your scar looks just like my moms. very minimal and very cleaned up by your doctor. mine is very large, and goes down to the bottom of my ribcage. which is then followed by a series of 8 horizontal scars where i had tubes put in for my pacemaker, although those finally, after 6 years looks like yours. but unfortunately i have a larger scar in the middle of the bottom of my ribcage that is from my recent heart surgery 2 years ago. i have 2 scars on my stomach on my left side from my pacemaker, my first one [higher up on my stomach, just above my bellybutton] has left a deep ridge in my skin, almost like a fold. [gross sounding i know] and the newer bottom one is fortunately shorter compared to the first, but larger in terms of a scar. on my wrists i have small but visible scars from the IVs that they had sewn into my skin. on my neck i have 2 scars [some had commented that it looks like a bad spider bite or mosquito bite.] from IVs that they had put in. [scary as hell when they take them out] i also have multiple scars in the innermost part of my thighs from Cardiac Catheterization that i have had through the years, and i also have a very large, very dark, scar in the innermost part of my left thigh from my last heart surgery. if you actually read all of this, i commend you! and know that you are beautiful. no matter what. and regardless of what you think, it is a beautiful scar and it is a sign of strength. i just want to say that i'm not telling you this to make yourself feel better about yourself. i'm telling you this because i'm disappointed that such a beautiful woman, who has lived a life without such a thing for all of those years is actually saying that she is ashamed of it. when i, a 17 year old girl, who never played a game in gym, can't roughhouse with friends, had toys taken away because of the magnetic power that it produces can mess with my pacemaker, never rode a rollercoaster, and has seen people stare, pity, judge, and make fun of everything that i am. which in their eyes is this scar. but its okay. because, i am better than that. and i love that boys still flirt with me despite my scar, and that my friends look me in the eye, instead of at my chest. so i am not ashamed. i love me. people love me. so i will wear my low collar shirt, or my bikini swimsuit. and i thank God that i have the privilege to know who really cares about me.

heart operation
by: Anonymous

i have had 3 heart ops i have one chest scar and one thats front to bk i used to hate them and always wear polo knecks even in the summer it will get better i promise xx

feel proud
by: Anonymous

Im so sorry you feel that you are unable to wear low tops or swimming costume.
I had open heart surgery December 2012. It was a complete shock to me.!
I cried for quite a while after that and felt ashamed of my scar! I had regular visits from friends and family and would make sure i was covered up completely! Until one day i overheard my daughter saying to my mum..."why does mum cover herself up? If that was me, id feel sooo proud!"
my mum asked "why would she feel proud?"
my daughter said..."Mums been through the toughest time anyone could imagine, a battle for her life!...so, if i were mum, i would wear my scar with pride!"
You can imagine.....i was yet another blubbering wreck!!
Now i wear my clothes (and my cozzie) with pride!
Julie.c.xx

Wow
by: Anonymous

I can't believe some of the comments on here. I have no idea how old this thread is but let me tell you. Anytime you experience this it is loss. It is loss and their is a grieving period. The thing about loss is you should be able to talk about it. It is not weakness, it is part of the normal grieving process we all experience. I was in my 30's when I lost my teeth, half a toenail and just today I got scarred up again, I am grateful to be alive..it does not denote the loss of what I had. Everyone experiences this, and anyone of you have as well or you wouldn't be on this thread. Do talk about it, it's healthy and rational. It's a part of going through the normal grieving process. If you find you cannot cope with it, find someone who can help. Be good to yourself, because as people like us know, it isn't what others see. For me, its never being able to bite an apple again. It's not being able to wear clothes that make me feel good about myself. But I can tell you you will learn to accept these things in time. Don't let other people steal your grieving time, it is yours to experience. But if you find yourself unable to cope do talk to a person who can. You deserve to feel good about yourself. Hugs =)

Can barely see it
by: Alex

Hi,
You can barely see it. You really shouldn't worry so much about it. Have you ever seen the Show Sons of Anarchy? One of the main character has one, and although I realize it's fictional it doesn't stop her from being quite a sex symbol.

So cheer up ;0)

We are lucky to be here guys xxxx
by: Leah x

hi, i too have had open heart surgery and have struggled all my life to be open about it.
I had my surgery when i was only a couple months old and thought i would have been use to it by now.
As a young child i wasn't really bothered about it, but growing up as a teenager i struggled to come to terms with it and started to only wear tops with a high neck. I am 22 years old now and i am still doing the same thing. i wear t-shirts when on holiday and in the summer because i am scared of what people might say or think.
I have a twin sister and she wears whatever she likes (she doesn't have a scar)i just wish i could do the same.
I have worn low tops a couple of times in the past but got a lot of stares which made me feel really uncomfortable.
I am generally a happy person but sometimes my scar does get me down.
I have to remember that i wouldn't be here if i didn't have the operation and i have to be thankful that i am here living a happy life.
Some people don't survive, we are the lucky ones, we are survivors with a story to tell. xxx



Hang in there
by: Jessica

I feel for you, believe me. I had open heart surgery a little over a year ago and I too am ashamed of my scar. I wear camisoles or those little snap on things that look like camisoles all the time, but they often slip and the scar frequently invites comments from rude people. On one occasion I was at a BBQ and a young man felt the need to come over and tell me how unattractive he found scars on women. As if I had a choice! To top it off I have to wear thick compression stockings all the time, which means I can't wear skirts or shorts anymore. I am a young woman and this is hard for me, especially living in Arizona. I feel different, conspicuous. I feel left out. I wear a one piece with a ruffle at the top to hide it at the pool. People always ask me why I don't wear a bikini. It may sound shallow, but its hard when something like a scar forces you to deviate from your personal style. Its hard to feel pretty when you feel like everyone is staring at you. Fortunately I have met a wonderful man who loves me for me and doesn't give a damn about my scar and we are getting married in September. Now I find myself agonizing about how I can wear a wedding dress without it showing. I don't want it in my pictures. I hate that people see it and feel pity or disgust or that it says something about me. I don't want to feel that way on my wedding day.

Suck it up!
by: Anonymous

I have a huge scar across my neck. It looks like someone tried to kill me by cutting it open. When I first woke up 2weeks after surgery my neck was completely open. I could see everything inside. Thank god for the neck rap! Anyways, I don't have anything to cover up my scar and personally I don't need anything. I don't care that it is there. What I care about is the fact that I can't feel half my neck or move it around like I use to. Be regretful you are alive. Scars show that you made it through something whether it was small or large. How can that possibly make you week? How in the world does surviving make someone week? Call it mother natures permanent purple heart to you. BE PROUD TO LIVE! BE PROUD TO SURVIVE!

To everyone who has the scar problem
by: Anonymous

I had a heart surgery when I was like 8 or 9
and back then I didn't really care about it I mean I wasn't scare of the surgery and it didn't bother me at all..But as a teenage girl now, it is quite hard to hide it but it's not impossible :)I still go to the beach and wear bikini ,just the ones with ribbon and I tie it differently and actually looks pretty cool and no-one could ever notice that something is there :D
for the t-shirts/tops or dresses ,there are all sorts of necklaces you can wear and every piece of clothing looks better with a jewelry on it :)
And about "telling your boyfriends" thing
you don't really have to (If you don't want to I mean xD)...If you're more "exposing" xD you can wear those primary(transitory-or how ever you call them) tattoos (if you're not a fan of permanent once)..So as you have seen,there are lots of ways you could hide it from others but you can never hide it from your self (which SUCKS!) 'cause it will always be there as a reminding of what you gone through(stupid scar >.<)...but well what can you do .. :)
...And to Nayy :D I would really like to chat with you ,so if you see this reply or smth and we could arrange that lolz :D

Scars are beautiful
by: Zipper Club

Anyone that lets your scars scare them away isn't worth knowing. Your scars show a determination to life and wanting to live. Go for it.

All my life
by: Anonymous

I had a small heart surgery when I was 1-1/2 months old and open heart surgery when I was 4. I was never ashamed of my scars and I love to wear bikinis.

The doctor recently discovered the patch in my heart has a hole in it and I will require open heart surgery again. All I'm worried about is to wake up after the surgery, not what the scar will look like.

I wear any top I want and I don't even think twice about it. The scar is part of me and there's nothing I can do about it.

Smile and enjoy life :o)

What's the alternative? Death? You are blessed to have that scar.
by: Anonymous

I am a 22 year old girl and have had 2 open heart surgeries. Had I not had that first one at 2 years old and second at 8 I wouldn't be here. Be thankful God has gave man the ability to open you up and save your life. I was embarrassed as a young girl growing up on the beach I wore t shirts. but not anymore. Now I am grateful and would take 10 more scars to keep this life I am blessed to have.

smh
by: Anonymous

be happy youre alive! my mother died from that surgery and youre worrying about a scar? smh!

being told to be proud of the scar is condisending
by: Anonymous

to the people who are 40+ telling the young people to be proud:

It is difficult when people tell you "OH YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF YOUR SCAR"

because

1. being 21 and not being able to wear pretty clothes makes me sad
2. people seeing it on holiday and feeling awkward and not knowing what to say makes me sad
3. remembering my body before the scar makes me sad
4. being ashamed of my scar because i feel it shows i am weak makes me sad
5. if i showed my scar my people would judge me differently, either take pity or feel repulsion (people dont admit it but its true)

so i have found the key is to just stay busy and think about it as little as possible. there is nothing you can do so just fill your life with whatever makes you happy.

but, i think everyone deals with it differently
i do wish i had the confidence to have it out in the open
but i just feel too awkward

everyone on here is looking for someone to tell them the solution. well, at least we are not alone in our lack of solution

xxx

scar is ugly
by: Aloysius

I have a scar on my elbow which is about 6 cm . And i am 16 . I need to wear uniform and everyone will see it . I am very strrss about it . I have to wear a jacket every day to school i dont know how . Sigh .

My job needs me to wear skirt!
by: Anonymous

And i hate it. Only a month here, though only with management team, doing accounts, im at need to wear uniform (skirt)

My right knee with a 6cm scar from ACL recon back when i was 18.

My left knee (lower right of patella) with a 2cm diameter keloid which i got when i fell down during b-boy-ing back when i was 19

It both remain there, and i have never wore shorts/skirt ever since.

I dont really bother abt both of it, im pretty cool with them TBH. But when i came to my new office, i feel really2 bad.

Im so demotivated right now. Though i"ll be wearing pantyhose, the keloid scar will be obviously visible!

How am i gonna hide it??!

Now waiting patiently to get a new job as fast as i could!

I would just resign today if i have enough penny to cover my bills, rent, etc.

:(

Burning scar and skin graft
by: Lulu

I was 12 years old when I burned half of my upper arm and shoulder. I'm now 18years old and never wears short sleeves!I'm also depressed and sad when I see my friends wear short sleeves and nice tops. When its hot I stay indoors. I hate my scar because its really ugly (skin graft). I also thought of a tattoo to cover my scar. I wish I can accept it but I just can't.

To queen of hearts
by: Nayy

I am also young and find it hard to wear bikinis and other item of clothing due to my scar. And I find it very hard to tell boyfriends that I have it. Can you please give me your number or something so I can have a chat with you? Thankyou

You should be proud! I am. :)
by: Andy K

Ive had three open heart surgeries, and my scar is very noticeable, but I love it. I'm a guy, so at the pool everyone stares at my scar and it just makes me laugh at the facial expressions they give me. It's nothing to be ashamed of, it's proof of how tough a person you are. You should be proud! I am. :)

Proud
by: Anonymous

I had an ASD surgery 10 years ago. I personally love my scar don't mind who sees it. Don't worry because it does fade and it is also an interesting to tell people.

hurt
by: Anonymous

my scar hurts when i wear a shirt

Badge of Honor
by: Anonymous

I am pretty darn proud of my scar. I am still living. Dang happy about that.

It's a shame...
by: Anonymous

It's a shame a scar would make you stressed out. Kinda ridiculous actually. You should be thankful and thank god for a second chance at life. There are hundreds of people that die every day that need a new heart and don't get one. I bet they wouldn't be crying and whining about a scar, they would be blessed to be alive. My scar is 3 times the size of yours, turned into a keloid and is painful. I have so much nerve damage form my keloid scar i will have pain for the rest of my life. I don't whine or bitch because of the scar, you know why? Because my kids get to keep their mommy for a little longer.

Try living your life the best way you can and enjoy every day you have been given instead of whining about a cosmetic scar.

DON'T WORRY
by: I feel your pain

Yolk bro. Lol no don't worry I have scars from heart surgery and girls find them sexy. And it's a good story so don't worry about it :D

perspective
by: Anonymous

1. I look at my scar and think about how my avr improved my life.

2. It's WAY smaller than the original from my surgery when I was 10.

3. As a man, looking at your picture, I honestly hardly see your minimal scar compared to your VERY pleasant-to-look-at attributes. Yes breasts, but also beautiful, feminine skin. Honestly, my reaction to your picture is far from negative. If I knew you personally, I would ask you to please wear bikinis more often.

Please don't deprive us of the sight of your beautiful self, and don't deprive yourself of the freedom to be yourself and live your life over a little scar. Anyone who has a problem with that doesn't deserve your time or attention.

scar face
by: Anonymous

I have a large scar on my left cheek from when I was 6 months old. I fell through a glass door, and I know its different but I'm not confident because its there. It's bright red even after 13 and a half years, and you can still see where the stitches were and everything. I get pointed at and laughed at, I get called scar face and the joker a lot. But, I learnt this from someone I met, who was in a fire when she was a baby, and she is now 76 and has never been married because of her facial and bodily scars, and they are all over her face and body, so I consider myself lucky that I only have one scar on my face, unlike my friend who had to have skin transplants.

scar for life
by: Anonymous

I am a 55 year old female...I don't know life with out my scar. I've considered many times to talk to someone about plastic surgery to remove it. I've also considered a tattoo to cover it up. Fact is its part of me,. I was born with a bad heart. I count myself lucky to be alive. My scar is my reminder.

don't be sad
by: Anonymous

honestly it looks so cool, i genuinely wish i had a scar like that so so so badly.

Scar Treatment
by: Dr. Dock

Go online and look up CicaCare silicone gel sheeting. Order it and use it on your scars just as the directions tell you. In about one month you will be pleased with the improvement of most all scars, even old ones. It will show improvement in the thickness, symptoms, color, etc. Dr. Dock

Scars ;(
by: Anonymous

I had leg surgey. I broke both of my bones in my left leg. I had screws put it. I wanna cry sometimes. My scars I just want it to disappear :( I feel ugly with these scars on my leg. What am I going to wear for graduation? I don't wanna wear a dress and let my scars show :( man if the lord can help me with the scars and holes I have in my leg I'll be good.

Facial scar and hearing impairment
by: Angelina

I too have had a scar but from a MVA when I was 5 years old. It is on the left side of my face from the temple to the upper lip. I have had at least 9 procedures/surgeries to make it better and less noticeable.

Also, I am a hearing impaired female. I was hit by another car while walking at the age of 53 (I am 59 years old now). Even though with the above I did become an registered nurse. But even into adulthood I have been brutally teased, used, physically abused and not honored at all by what I had accomplished even with the disabilities. I lasted on night shift 13 years with the hearing world...but paid a heavy price...it has never gotten any easier. I don't think I ever felt pretty or good enough. Just wanted to be accepted and "normal." People still say such mean and cruel things and I feel so alone and not loveable. I try to tell myself - give myself positive affirmations, but I am just kidding myself...in the world we are the "looking glass self" (how others see us). Still cry....

valve replacement
by: Anonymous

I suffered from Acute Endocanditis in 2003 and I had a heart valve repLacement the same year, which left me with a big scar. I do not have any friends due to this, I lost myself confidence and I wish I could go back to were I was before. It is so hard but at the same time, I should appreciate that I am still alive.

Too many scars to count
by: Anonymous

I know how you feel, I have been ill most of my life and I think I may have about 15 large body altering scares, mostly on my stomach and chest. I have a scar that runs from just under my neck to down past my belly button, one of which was from my heart transplant. Some of my scars make my stomach funny shaped and hard to find clothes to hide it, I have been called pregant on too many occations to count. Whenever I see a new doctor they have to make a map of my scars, its very humiliating. To this day I will never wear a bikini. But I am still alive and am starting to be more confortable showing off more of my scars.

Can relate to yo.
by: Anonymous

Hi...i can relate i have the same scar...and since i will have to get another heart surgery(in years to come) it will be bigger. Like someone else said i think your scar is pretty. I ha my surgery when i was a baby so mine is all healed. But i used to be self concious about it too. I still am sometimes, but my friends even tell me that they kinda like my scar. Soo dont worry about your scar,after a while you wont even notice :)

time is a healer
by: UK girl 35yrs old

I think your scar is pretty. Its very neat. You also have a lovely body.
I have a really bad scar and deformation on my leg following an RTA in 2003 , i know what you mean about feeling ugly and self conscious, as the years pass I'm coming to terms with my scar. I also had counselling and that helped, i learned that most people just look because its different and mostly people aren't thinking yuk they are thinking oh theres a pretty girl who has a scar. Most people are just curious.
I wouldn't try to hide it, slowly learn to show it, start first at home when you're alone, then with close friends and family and eventually in public, this helped me

Bless you

Mom & Me
by: Anonymous

My mom just had open heart surgery at the age of 67. Now I tease her by saying we belong to the same "zipper" club (I had open heart surgery when I was 4). Had she not had the surgery, she would be dead today.

This kind of scar is something to be proud of and show it off !

Be proud
by: Claire

Hi i have had 3 open heart ops. My first one was at 9!!! I used to hide it and wear polar neck jumpers & high t shirts... Im now 39 and even go sunbathing topless. A scar is something to b proud of it shows u r a fighter...

To all those that dont go swimming life is too short- get a high cut costume if ur that paranoid! I wear a bi kini & yes people ask about it & i tell them..... Im proud i survived...

Good luck xxx

Soldiers
by: Michael Blair

You Guys Are All Amazingly Awesome.

I'm having quad bypass 06/11/12. Put it off for 17 years and God has kept me here. Sadly enough one of the biggest reasons for putting it off at the age of 35 was that I did not want a scar. Listening to you just make me want to come out alive, and be able to give thanks! Don't have a scar yet, but you have all helped me understand you're pretty lucky to have a proof of survival.

*michael

BYPASS OR DEATH
by: Anonymous

I HAD A DOUBLE BYPASS IN 1997 -MY SCAR IS ALMOST NONEXISTENT IF I HADN’T HAD IT DONE I’D BE DEAD -NO SCARS
JUST DEAD

My heart
by: Anonymous

When I was 18 months me and my twin brother had to have open heart surgery and as I grew up the scar grew with me also it's about 6 inches long and very noticeable with low cut shirts I have lived with the scar my whole life I am now 17 and it is hard for me to have friends and boyfriends having to tell them how I got the scar I'm proud because I am living so it's like a battle wound, but I know that it does not matter scar or no scar it has made me the person I am today so we should be proud of over com ing what ever way we got it

Remember me?
by: Barbara

Hi, remember me? I first wrote to you before I had my surgery about how I was dreading the scar and how it was making me feel. I am now 10 weeks post surgery and can report that the scar is not an issue at all. It's much shorter than expected and not nearly as obvious as I'd thought. Even now I am able to wear v-neck tops so long as they are not too low and can tell that it will continue to fade over the coming months.

My problem now is that I still feel dreadful - I have no energy, still get breathless with very little exertion,feel light-headed when I walk and nothing tastes as it should. I'm still having constant blood tests done and my GP says my kidneys are not working properly so I'm wait for an appointment with a nephrologist! By the way, my AVR also necessitated me having a permanent pacemaker inserted, something else I hadn't bargained for.

Has anyone else had similar problems and were they eventually overcome?

wow
by: Anonymous

alright, im sorry but im 13 and my wardrobe is so limited. i'd rather be 45 and having the surgery instead of now. im at the pool all the time, and when your 13 your suppose to show off some, but im so self conscious. i think you would be fine and grown adults will understand. try dealing with stupid, mean teenagers. i think i should be the one crying. I would love to have had this open heart surgery when i was 45, and i wouldn't complain then. why dont you talk to a family member or something instead of putting this online, i get so frustrated with people like you thinking you have it hard...

Scar appreciation
by: Henry Effron

Hi my name is Henry Effron and my scar is a signe of exstented life. Where would I be if it weren't for the results,an the victory of the scar? When I see that scar every morning I see victory. I see life, I see my wife, children and grand children. I don't see regret or depression, because thoses things are like some people they are jealous of your victory. So don't feel cut short because you have a scar of extended life and victory, because victories result in battle scars sometimes and I thank GOD for the VICTORY!!! 916-920-3082 yaaaaaa

Open Heart Surgery Scars
by: Anonymous

I have 2 scars from my heart surgeries, one when I was less than 2 months old, and the big operation when I was 4.

Having my scars never bothered me and I actually prefer when people ask me about them, rather than stare.

Be proud of your scar, you had major surgery and survived ! That is AWESOME !

I never worry about getting clothing to hide my scar and I still wear a 2 piece when swimming.

Keep your chin up...

scars are awesome
by: Anonymous

i had my first open heart at 5! ive had my scar all my life and am having my second next week! i am now 28. suck it up! be proud u went to ur grave with proof ur life was worth living and fighting for! there are people missing limbs and that have brain damage and are confined to a wheelchair or bed ridden or have cancer or aids! be proud of ur scar and what you went thru! not everyone can say ive had open heart surgery and survived and am healthy and happy! say it to urself everyday!! my friends always remind me scars are awesome! and my husband still thinks im sexy and desirable! its just a scar!
i work as a makeup artist and hear superficial b.s all day! trust me these people make me love my scars! they are a part of u forever u cant change it! be proud and wear a bathing suit or a revealing dress! ur still sexy!!

I cover my scar with...
by: Lorie

I use jewelry...the ones that are round or hang down...I was tickled when someone told me that. So now i love to look for jewelry that will work!I use a adjustable extender to get the necklace to hang down over it.I dont like it either and mine is really ugly cause i got a staff infection in it but at least i didnt die from it and I am blessed to be here to watch my girls grow up!

really not that important
by: Anonymous

I also have a scar on my chest. It's red, shinny and I can't help it to not look at it and press it many times a day. I feel uncomfortable to wear any clothing that reveals my chest (many women clothings do reveal chest areas)

I know it's hard to forget about it, and probably I will never ignore my scar (I am 24), when I think about all those pretty clothes I could have worn, I feel frustrated.

Surprisingly, when I ask my friends and my boyfriend about how they think about my scar, guess what, they reply me that they really don't care!

The main reason why am I ashamed of my scar is because I don't want to look ugly in front of other human beings. But if they don't care at all, then why am I still worried about this physical flaw?

One lesson learned from having a scar in the middle of my chest that looks almost like a third eye: we tend to put too much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we tend to focus much more on our flaws than on our good sides. We tend to get stucked with worrying about our flaws.

Life is not perfect, you and I are not perfect, physical perfection does not exist and our society overrate it too much.

You should stop focusing on your scar and use your limited energy on something else. Do not put too many mirrors at your disposition and do not look down your chest like 10 hours a day.

Go do other things you have never done before!

sympathetic for somebody else who is scarred.
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain but you need to get on with life and try not to let it get the better of you(I know it is hard!)

I have a scar which runs from the front of my head and runs right across and down the back, almost to the nape of my neck, it is also about 5mm in width and hair does not grow anywhere where my scar is. I have had this all my life(pretty much); I fell over and smashed my head on a concrete slab when I was a toddler. I also have a horrible mishapen head to go with it due to the above.

I went through hell as a child, as you can imagine with bullying. I still have days when I feel upset now but I have tried to make the best of life as I possibly can. I am currently 21 and studying at University :)

When you get older, generally people are less worried about your appearance and those that are, can go to hell!

I love my zipper and my life is blessed and I what to help others!
by: Kimberley

Hi there, my name is Kimberley Brown- Smith I had open heart surgery in feb 22, 1974, on that day I was reborn!! I was born naturally on January 27, 1967 that is my first birthday I celebrate on both days, Feb 22nd is my rebirth day I have a big! Celebration of life called the" Red Dress Ball"give to others and use my life ! Because I have been given life . My scar I just simply love it because its my proof of life! I am 45 years old And was 7 years old at the time of surgery. I have never covered my zipper and men find it very sexy. I wear it proud.! When I meet people young and old with a zipper we embrace because we are special people and have reason to be happy and live life to the fullest, ride life til the wheels fall off is my slogan! I am a vocalist, a hairstylist and a freelance makeup artist, and a mother of beautiful children and I love god! I feel really sad for those of you who are miserable because of your scar, but try and think about where you were before your scar and how you can be so helpful and blessing to someone new to the zipper club and let your beauty shine inside and out and remember god didn't say we would not have life with out suffering. So be happy that you have life and you can use your life and live life in a big way! Travel, meet people, experience great things and most of all love and love yourself!!!!

Covering up my scar
by: Jamie

I had a tumor the size of a big Mac hiding in my chest. It was pushing on my heart and lungs. And now I have the large scar that looks like I had open heart surgery. My scar is very tinder. I have to wear low cut shirts beacause if the shirt touches my scar it hurt. I was wondering if any boby with this problem has had a tatoo or something to either cover it up or to make the chest area look better. This is the only thing I can think of to help. If anyone has any ideas I would love to have their input. Thanks

two x two
by: thomas bibik

I am recovering from a double bypass and double valve replacement. Its been 7 weeks I feel great.
I have read the above comments. Let your feelings flow, negative or positive they're your feelings, no one can deny your feeling. I went through many layers of thought on the whole operation. I truly understand the feelings of the female since time the female body has been elevated to be the one object that make men chase after you,that is if you're shallow, materialistic. It's what is inside that is what is important. You can't love others until you love yourself. I am proud to be a member of the zipper club, great t-shirts on the web. I am 64 male my feelings abound with a great deal of thanking the man above for each minute I am here on earth. Love your children, husband, parents and friends. It sure beats the alternative.

Thomas Bibik

be proud
by: Anonymous

having a scar due to a serious health issue. we should ware signs on how proud and happy we are to be alive. probably alot of people in there lifetime will suffer some type of misfortune like a scar. life is a gift from god a scar who cares they fade alot in time i'm sure your a beautiful women its just superficial it doesn't define you. wear it proudly jenna hospice rn il. lol

TO BARBARA
by: Anonymous

YOUR STORY IS THE SAME AS MINE
except i am 20,
imagine if you were 20
imagine how much worse that would be
to have your body ruined by the scar at 20
instead of 59
to have no symptoms but to have to have the scar for no reason.

i felt SO SO BLEAK, desolate, i cried all day and all night for months. but now it is done, i deal with it. it is hard sometimes, but humans are more capable than you think

what are your thoughts on it now time has passed?

hmm
by: Anonymous

i've found its easier to tell people, like, WHEN they see it. if i told them first they'd build it up really bad in their heads. so i keep it completely secret until the last possibly second and casually drop it in and it forces them to have to quickly adjust and just be okay with it.

this is not advice. this is probably not the correct way of going around this. but i just think a lot of the advice on this sight is too idealistic; its like what would work in a really moral and sensible society but actually applying it to real life doesn't work

it isn't a badge of bravery its a horrible scar, and people who say you should be proud are unhelpful, because if you are not proud then it is useless advice

you just have to deal with it the best you can. i'm 19 and i had heart surgery 6 months ago. i'm finally coming to terms with the fact it actually happened and instead of ignoring it i'm starting to want to seek out other people my age this happened to and hear how they cope and just talk to anyone that relates

How can I tell my 16 year old boyfriend?
by: Anonymous

Well hello im 14 and I have a 16 year old boyfriend and I had cancer when I was 10 years old. I want to tell my boyfriend I have a scar across my chest before he sees it. But if you have an answer plz comment.

to the girl who is 18 and having surgery in 4 days
by: Anonymous

how did it go? how are you coping?

Kiss
by: Anonymous

I'm 19 years old, I had heart surgery at the age of 1 and then another 1 this september gone... I hate my scar too darlin, but we should be glad and proud of it. JuS think without this scar we wouldn't be alive. In time it will fade. My 1st scar has faded now I jus gotta wait for this 1 to fade abit

High neckline cami
by: Cindy Fowler

I have recently opened an online store with all high neckline clothing for those who are modest, breast cancer survivors or those with heart scars.
Go to http://www.modesty4me.com

Scar and swimsuits
by: Anonymous

To Wanda,
Were did you find the high-neck swimsuit. I would feel so much more comfortable in a swimsuit that hid the thick scar on my chest.

I have a scar sort of like that :)
by: Anonymous

Hi my names Karly and I'm 16 I had one open heart surgery when I was 11months old and another one this past summer. The scar is really hard to get passed..considering I now have 6 and people ask me about it all the time. There's other people out there just like you. You could try Mederma cream and I'm going to try that when the doc gives me the ok. Also you should try to wear your scar proudly.. not going to lie it's really hard, but it shows you are a fighter and you made it.

18 and scared
by: Yarrow

I'm an 18 year old girl, and i just found out I have a birth defect in my aorta and need part of it replaced. My surgery is in 4 days. I feel fine. I am so terrified and sad about having a scar. Im not sure that any one will find me beautiful. In fact, i'm pretty sure they won't. No one seems to understand my fear. They tell me scars are cool. At this point, I feel like I disagree.

I know exactly how you feel.
by: Barbara

I am 59 years old and recently found out I need an aortic valve replacement. My reaction has been one of utter panic and despair. Initially, I refused the op as the thought of suddenly dropping down dead was much less scary and the thought of that scar makes me feel physically sick. I still feel the same but my husband and children won't let me consider not having the op which will be very soon after Christmas. I know a lot of my fears are illogical and vain but I can't help the way I feel. It does not help saying I will feel so much better after because I have no symptoms and I feel as If the doctors may as well be telling me they are going to cut off my right arm. I spend much of my time alone crying and am finding it impossible to find any positives in what lies ahead.

positive thoughts
by: Maja

Hi!
I had an open heart surgery when I was 6 (now 26).

When I was a kid I used to love showing my scar because kids thought it was sooooo cool and dangerous :)

Nowadays I have absolutely no problem with my cleavage or wearing clothes that would show it.

In my experience, if you don't mind it, no one else will.

Oh, and btw. I also noticed that a scar across your chest gives guys a great excuse to stare at your boobs ;)

Please cheer up and go to that positive place in your mind and you'll be great!

:*

Chest
by: Lenny

Hi. I had a double bypass in december 2006. My chest still hurts after 5 years. Sometimes it makes me feel a little panicky. I do follow up with my cardio every 3 months and there is nothing he could do for the bone. Is there anyone out there that feel the same I do

as a teenage female
by: Anonymous

i found out
out of the blue that i had a heart defect at 18 and at 19 i had heart surgery and now i have just turned 20.

for me, my scar did not "save my life" because i felt fine before i had it done, it was just preventative of things getting worse 10 to 15 years down to line

for this reason my feelings are irrationally angry, and my scar is so much worse then the one above; it is bumpy and red and keyloidy and im fine and not upset aslong as i dont think about it
(its been about 6 months)

but ever so often when i all my favourite clothes which suit my body shape but I CANT WEAR because of the horrible bumpy scar i get upset. right now i am very very upset.

and im so jealous of you only having to have surgery at your stage of life; im 20 and i should be beautiful and having fun wearing clothes and enjoying looking great but i CANT

part of my brain is accepting of it in the mirror and ive never had any problems with guys rejecting me because of it; its just the clothes issue

i just dont want to make people feel awkward by looking at it when im out. who on earth would talk to/flirt with me if my scar was on show

like if there was a choice between a pretty girl with a scar and a pretty girl without a scar then there is an obvious choice

so im not depressed; im very happy, but as you can probably tell from my rambly comment im so confused of what i think about it all. im ashamed of it and i dont like people knowing. i dont know what to do i want it to disappear

are there any surgical remouvals of like keyloid scars and stuff?

Myrna -scar
by: Bobbie

This is my 3rd comment on this and yes, I will always use my real name, to hide behind 'anonymous' basically tells me that you want to comment, yet are concerned about owning it. It seems that it's a fairly even split. I still hate mine and it's been 4 months now...that opinion will not change. I always turn off the monitor--just to see if they check--and they have not yet--how can a (Merlin) monitor be unplugged and disconnected from the phone line for 3 months and never a call? And it costs how much?

To the 19 year old (Betheny?) pretty name--married, pretty girl--I totally get it and do not blame you one bit.

Keloids
by: Anonymous

After 3 years of a very painful, red, raised scar that my cardiologist didn't seem to car about, I finally saw a dermatologist. She diagnosed it as having keloids. She injected steroids into the scar in about 10 places...which was very painful. But within a few days the pain and itching went away. Soon after that my scar began sink back into my chest. I also faded somewhat. It was such a relief to be rid of the pain! I am not at all ashamed of my scar. I wear it proudly.

I hope you are doing well..
by: Anonymous

I know how you feel. I'm 19 and it will be a year in a week since my first open heart surgery. At times I do cry about what I see in the mirror or when I go to scratch my chest and feel my scar. I'm thankful that I had my surgery done it gave me life. Gave all of us life that had to go through it. You do however get used to it being there, it becomes a part of you. Its always been apart of you except now you can see it. Be proud of yourself. To go through what we've had to shows how strong we are. Your a strong women. Be thankful and know that you are beautiful :)

Julia's Comment
by: Bobbie

It's comments like Julia's...."give me a break" are the very comments that hurt--you are made to feel that you are just being a baby and it's time for the big girl panties....that is so very mean, I too, have been treated and talked to that way and it began the very next day after surgery --by the surgeon of all people. I felt horrible, sore, heart felt weird-I could feel every beat like a drum inside me. The day before I had a 7 hour surgery, no pain meds, no food, no sleep, no movement. He came in (with his daughters age 5 and 3--so unprofessional, I felt that I could not openly discuss in front of them)but I did ask for pain meds -he said "no, usually people are up jogging the next day" then with regards to my heart feeling weird, he said-yeah,it'll go away, you'll get used to it" I said "which one--it will go away and stop doing that or will it continue and I get used to it? b/c you are saying two different things and I want an accurate answer"
he says-"you'll get used to it."
"so, it won't go away--and I don't believe I will get used to it-I would like the settings checked please" then he basically said I was just being over sensitive and I would be fine--I said no, you don't know how I feel-do YOU have one? NO!
SO-WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT and we all process things differently and on our own terms. Nobody can tell me what I feel, why I feel it and what I should feel. Just b/c someone feels it is a 'badge of courage' doesn't mean I think that...personally, I feel violated, I feel ugly, I am constantly being told what I CANNOT do--my life HAS changed forever. I am embarrassed when people 'see' the lump or scar--you can see their mind working--and then they have the nerve to ask--that is personal. I always answer with, I'm sorry, I prefer to not discuss that topic. thanks for your concern though. My family does not/will not know--they don't know anything -not the ef rate, not the tests after tests, not the surgery--nothing at all since this began over 2 years ago. It's MY business and I choose to keep it that way--so, I'm not looking for sympathy--I don't want anyone knowing--I even drove myself to hospital and drove home the next day-I wasn't supposed to drive, but I had no choice--tell or be quiet. I would rather have someone very mad at me b/c I 'didn't come home last night" I figure they will get over it--or maybe they won't--but if I want share my condition then I will, but not like this.

Scar makes me self concious
by: Anonymous

I am a 55 year old woman and even though my bypass surgery was over a year ago, I do not feel comfortable sharing my scar with others. I only went to the swimming pool once this summer and felt very self conscious about my chest scar. I have always been proud of my body and especially my legs and breasts. The grafting scars I have are also ugly. I am very thankful my clogged arteries were found in time to not suffer a heart attack and I am very thankful I am healthy again. However, it is not shallow to feel self conscious about scars.

Men can hide their chest incision with the hair on their chest, women cannot. I wish I felt comfortable wearing a scoop neckline but I do not leave my home with my scar showing at all. During my exercise class I always t-shirts. I used to wear workout clothing with a razor back and scoop neck. I simply don't feel comfortable doing so now that my scar is so apparent. Does the scarring fade or will it always show up as it does now. My surgery was in July 2010.

I know what you mean everyone should read
by: queen of hearts

I am a 19 year old female who has had three open heart surgeries since i was a year old. Everyone who is on the outside looking in tells me to be proud, but they dont know. In this day and age where most of society is superficial one would wish to be scar free. A heart surgery scar is the worse kind of scar to have. I feel so self concious and i feel it is unfair. Everyone says I could have been dead but they are not the ones walking around with the ten inch "battle wound". What makes things worse is that i am an attractive girl!!! My face is beautiful i have hazel eyes long thick black hair thats real and very nices boobs. I have a husband who is in love with my body and he is very attractive. I have never had a problem with guys but i feel its because i am an overall beauty. Still the scar poses a problem to me! I am 19 i want to go to a beach in a bikini, low cut shirts and dresses without people gauwking at my chest! Like i said i never had a problem with men even the ones who did ask about my scar still fought over my attention, i was a model, and people every day tell me im pretty. I know i sound shallow but i am not on here to seem that way. I just wrote this to show that you can have it all physically and still feel hurt by your surgery scar. Its not just the scar its the thought of why ky heart! I have two healthy parents and 6 healthy siblings i am the first amd only in my family to have jad a heart surgery. So for all the people whose had heart surgery and resent the scar just know you are not alone. I dont know any other females with heart surgery so if anyone would like to contact me just leave a comment saying you do and i will be happy to give you my number. Only females please, even though i am 19 i am married lol. If any women need some support, advice on men and the scar, or just another heart surgery survivor with a story to share just let me know :)

Coming to Acceptance
by: Scared to Death

Thanks, anonymous for your comments. Now that I told them at work about the surgery, a lot of stress is off of me. They seemed to be really understanding (I am a teacher) and they offered methods for me to transition back into the job with the permanent substitute while convalescing at home.

I have been doing a lot of research on post-op and feeling better about the surgery scheduled for later this month. While I wish I wan't chosen in life for this problem, I have come to terms with things, prayed for strength, and have gotten busy with holiday shopping for my family. I want them to have a special holiday in spite of my expected long recovery period.

As far as the scar, the current preferred method are silicon sheets. I plan to discuss this with my surgeon next week. If all else fails, I will buy beautiful jewelry and make that my signature. I just thank God that the year is 2011 and that my problem is repairable. I Also sent an email to mendedhearts.org, a national support group for heart patients. I figured talking to real people who survived this odessey good for me, and I hope to be a volunteer for them next year to help others, too.

I hope this post helps many of you who are sad. Please know that you are not alone, and that if you focus on positive things, you will live a fuller, richer life.

God Bless you

to scared
by: Anonymous

I had to have triple bypass surgery last July and didn't get the chance to think about it. I was 54 then. I am your age now. I too am slender and tall. I've never been over my weight guidelines. My mother had a valve replacement at 64.

Modern medicine is amazing. However, I wish I would have researched alternatives. I was scared and the doctors told me I needed the surgery right away. I didn't get to think about it. I am doing well, but I took myself off the statin medicine due to severe joint and muscle pain. I am scared about doing that as again it was doctor recommended. My cholesterol was / is fine, but the prescription is standard protocol after heart surgery.

You will be fine, but take this time to make sure you are confident with your choice to have the surgery. I didn't get that opportunity. The scars have been had for me. As a woman I am embarrassed by them.

Very sad
by: Ms. Anon

I think you look great. I have a scar there myself due to a valve repair last May. It's red and actually looks like a keloid. It's hard for me because I'm a teenager and at the age where I'm supposed to be going out on dates, having fun, and dressing up in the latest trends.

It sucks, huh?

wow
by: Anonymous

girl the last thing i see is that scar.

Scared to death
by: Anonymous

I am 55 and scared as hell. I will need a valve repair and a bypass. I am tall and thin and I have always watched what I eat. I am afraid of the surgery, the pain, losing my job, etc. I can't sleep anymore and all I do when I am alone is cry. I don't know how to tell my kids and I hate the fact that my husband is worried, too. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I don't want to live the life of an invalid.

I just want this all to go away...

scars
by: Amy

I understand. Believe me, I do. I'm a nineteen-year old and I'm now 10 wks post op and there are times when I just suddenly burst out crying.
It's very depressing and I know I shouldn't be over a scar but it's very hard.
My closet is full of dresses and other clothes which I can't wear now because they show so much of my scar. I hate it when friends and relatives stare at it when it shows.

How are you now? Because right now I am going through that phase and I wonder what you did or how long it took for you to finally accept it and be proud of it. (I don't think I'll be going to that stage yet though)

your scar gave you life.
by: 16 year old girl

Your scar is a reminder that you have your whole life ahead of you, that scar gave you life. you should love it whether other people hate or like it it shouldn't matter.

Funny
by: Anonymous

I was a fat guy at 39 when I had my HA and quad bypass. Now at 41 I am a bodybuilder, I have always lifted weights but now my muscles show because of the better diet. I love my scar it's my motivation, I look around the gym at the people who work out everyday but never change, they don't know what it is like to have a second chance. You lived through heart surgery, you already won, life is short enjoy it and don't sweat the little things. Good luck

Some of these comments are just MEAN!
by: Bobbie

I too, am a new recipient of a 'Unify' CRT-D--AND I don't know why, I have never been sick or had any symptoms. I have trained 12-24 weeks for each marathon and I have completed all attempted. You name it, I have done it-biking, yoga, zumba, kick boxing, tae-bo, dancing, rock walls, boot camps, trek up tower, etc. So, why do I have an ef of 35? I met with my cardiologist on a thursday, the surgeon on the following thursday and the next morning (6/10/11) I was in surgery. Came home next day--I DO NOT SEE THIS AS A BADGE OF HONOR or any kind of crap like that--I am not depressed, I am not vain--I have pain in my chest NOW due to incision (now at 6 wks-yes, still pain) I HATE the look of it--the scar is red, ugly and hurts, the lump in upper part of chest is visible as well- I hate it when people ask about it, I hate that I can't do yoga and raise my arm or pretty much anything. I too, have openly questioned this and been told the same thing--'your are looking at this wrong and feeling sorry for yourself' To that I say--I am entitled to MY FEELINGS as is everyone else. But it is not fair to make those of us who feel differently that there is 'something wrong with us" that we are 'depressed' that we should 'see someone about being vain'
We are all different and allowed to have different feelings. My surgeon said to get a bracelet -soon- and wear it 24/7--as this is for life. I said to him--I'm thinking about getting a tattoo of the medic alert instead--it's always with me, I never forget or lose it. His answer "tattoos are stupid, they cause hep c and nobody should have one" I said "I have 8 already, I think I'm good with them and go to a reputable artist, so that's my plan" fact is-he didn't know anything about me, had met me the day before and seen me as just another patient, he was judgmental and rude. Nobody deserves to be judged and told what to feel and why. All of the mean comments on here remind me of that surgeon and I know exactly how these people feel--maybe it's a age thing--I am 48, yet felt/acted/looked like 30-35, but now I am forever 'this person' and I DON"T LIKE IT EITHER. Thank you, my intentions are not to be hurtful--rather to point out that your comments are hurtful.

Our scars
by: Roz Cryer

Hi Myrna
You have the most beautiful cleavage. Thank you for putting this picture out there for us to see. I am 45 too and had open heart surgery just under 4 months ago. The scar's a 21cm wopper running from my clavicles to below my breats with those two blumin small scars where the drainage tubes came out. I live in a seaside town in South Africa and spend my summers on the beach. It's winter here at the moment so I haven't yet worn my bikini... But I will. I know the scar will get stared at but I'm not going to let that put me off. It helps that my gorgeous husband doesn't mind it at all. He calls it my badge of honour and says it doesn't detract from my boobs. You have a beautiful cleavage and don't be ashamed about the scar or try and hide it. I found a silver angel wing pendant the other day that sits just where my heart is. It also makes me cry. We've been through a hell of a lot and for my part I am just so grateful to be alive and feeling well. We have a story to tell and our scars show that.
Thank you again.
Roz Cryer

Proud of my scar
by: Wanda

I am so sorry that you feel the way you do about your scar. Actually it looks fantastic! I just had triple bypass surgery after a sudden heart attack a month ago yesterday. I am so glad to be happy that I wear my scar proudly. I don't hide it and if someone should ask about it I will tell them that it is my survivor badge. Wear it proudly and don't let it make you sad or keep you from doing anything you want to do. You are beautiful from the inside out. I get more embarrased from my age showing in my hands that I am my scar.

It wasn't our time to go. We got a second chance to do all the things we wished we had and haven't. Shake it off and just enjoy being alive.

Best Wishes,

Wanda Santiago

Give me a break.
by: Julia

I had open heart surgery in 2000 and the scar was the least of my concern, I was 39 when I had this. I am now 50 The scar will fade in time, it has not been long enough since yours for it to be any better, my scar never embarassed me I survived, it was hell, but I lived, you are young, give it time. If you wore a baithing suit before wear it...you had the surgery for a reason, yes the scar is a reminder but get over it, in time it will be a lot better. If someone laughs or says something to you about the scar they are not your friend anyway.
Be glad you are alive and doing well enough to be able to go swiming.
If you are that vain about a scar, you should see a dr for that problem because you are not putting your priorities in the right place. Perhaps you need an anti-depressant if you are crying about a scar.

How are you now?
by: Anonymous

Hi Myrna - how is your scar now - it is a while since you posted. I am now 20 months past surgery and currently receiving steroid injections which are having SOME effect on the 5 earthworms parading up my chest! I still don't like showing my scar - even with makeup on to hide the redness.. Whenever I have worn clothes that showed it - people ask what it is and I feel I have to explain - sometimes people judge you for having to have bypass surgery as if you haven't looked after yourself. I have always lived as healthily as I could! I'd like tnot to have to justify mysekf all the time - so I hide the scar.

I have had open heart surgery 6 times
by: Anonymous

Hi my name is Bethany I am 16 years old

and i have had open heart surgery when i was born up until a couple of years ago and i will be having another one soon.

For the longest time i didn't go to school because of my in and out hospital trips, i just realized i should tell you what went wrong :) i was born with only one heart valve in my heart. when i went to school in 4th grade i got asked a lot of question one was could i catch what you have? i didn't know it was abnormal to have scares all over your chest your stomach, and arms. i cried every once in a while wishing i could make them go way but you cant.

now i am 16 years old and my scares hurt me that's how i came across this trying to find things to make my scares stop hurting. i just wanted to tell you my story and tell you i wish my scares looked as good as yours.

Everything happens for a reason and its good to let things pass through you and not be fazed. be strong and happy :) always

bethy <3

SMALL
by: Anonymous

THE SCAR YOU HAVE IS SMALL GET OVER IT

Nervous about wearing a bathing suit
by: Anonymous

In a couple weeks, I will be wearing a bathing suit for the first time after triple bypass surgery in July 2010. It has been four months since I had my surgery. I am really nervous about wearing a bathing suit. Most of my family will see my scars on my chest and inner side of both legs for the first time. I know I shouldn't care that much about my appearance but I do.

The comments noted were good to read even though some were a bit harsh. Yes, I feel very fortunate to be alive. However, I am very self conscious about my scars. I am 54 years old and a grandmother of a soon to be three-year-old. The pool party is for his third birthday party.

I am sad but i glad i am alive
by: Novea

Hi, I am deaf

I Had the same surgery 3 year ago mine worse than your my neck scar to down chest and my stomach too

I am glad I am alive same thing I feel sad and disappointed, crying on the bed same thing I wear shirt and I do love pool now I can't pool because I feel bother me them look at me like that I not comfortable myself.

I want do something to fix remove my scar on my chest...

I am glad u are alive god bless you. :)

your's looks way better than mine!
by: Anonymous

I had the same surgery as you did 5 months ago ... mine looks so much worse than yours as mine is still raised, purple and red. Yours looks wonderful and is healing nicely. Be thankful for that and be thankful you are alive.

I'm 17 and recently had a heart surgery + my friend (18) has had 5 and wasn't expected to live past 5years old
by: Denise

Mam, I'm 17 I had a heart surgery on July 21. My family and I missed the flight to our 8 day Hawaii trip because I was hospitalized... And I'm sorry to say this but hearing what you had to say disturbed me.

To start off thank God for letting you live! You should be thankful for that. I definately am, I could have died from what I had. I had a very rare (especially for my age) non-cancerous tumor called atrial myxoma in my left artrium, it was about 2 inches big. When I got there they were surprised that nothing big had happened to me. And before my heart surgery I was suffering from really bad pain. I couldn't even walk beacause it hurt like heck to even stand. I was a really athletic person but my pains were triggered by pressure, so I couldn't run, jump,etc... but thank God, because now I'm back to normal and almost done recovering!

Don't be ashamed of your scar, I'm not going to be. When it's alright for me too, I'm still going to wear tank tops, a cute bathing suit, dresses, ect. Even for my senior picture which is in 2 days I'm going to wear a beautiful dress that I'd wear with or without my scar. And people from my class will see my picture in the future and I don't care what they think. Because I am not less beautiful with my scar and this scar is a reminder to me that God gave me a second chance to live and I'm so thankful for that. So you don't be ashamed of your scar, you're not less beautiful.

And you know, I also have a friend I grew up with she's 18 and she's had 5 open heart surgerys and a liver or lung(don't know which one)removed so it's harder for her to breathe, she wasn't even suppose to live this long because of her heart problem. But I'm so glad she is, she's one of my best friends so it'd hurt to lose her. And she's not ashamed of her scars(she has a lot) either.

So I hope you read my message and it inspired you to not be ashamed of your scar. And you know, eventually you can wear what you use to wear you just need to use sunblock, that's what I'm going to do. And on occasions you can cover it with makeup. =]

.
by: Anonymous

grow up mahn, i got the scar down my whole chest. have done since i was 4 years old.
its just a scar. dosn't make you any different, you just gotta live with it. i went through primery school getting laughed at cozz of it. you dont look that young to me :/ Ohh and i gotta have another opperation in the same place.making an even bigger scar. i aint posted a picture on the internet looking for simpathy, grr people like you make me mad.
get help.

My Scar
by: Stephanie

I understand how you feel. I actually have a scar there also. I cry every time i go shopping because whenever i look at girls getting low cut shirts i always wish i could do that to. I also look at pretty shirts and they are always low and i never get to buy them. My Scar had changed my life it was my asthemia gravis. I know it saved my life and i shouldn't be ashamed of that, but it still makes me cry.When i wear low cut shirts i wear necklaces. So that's how i also feel about my scar and how i know how you feel.

Hope this helps
by: Anonymous

For the rest of us who don't like our scar there is a makeup called Dermablend that is made for people with scars, stretch marks, birth marks and so on. It covers so well you could cover up tattoos with it. Also it is waterproof so you can wear it to the beach. It looks like your scar is healing well remember to apply SPF to prevent it from further damage.

Best wishes.

I understand
by: Bryan B.

I completely understand. I had problems with my scars when I was a child. See I had heart surgery at age 2. I can just tell you the scar will slowly disappear with time and that there are products that help in making the scars less noticeable.

You also might want to sit down and think is what is making you cry the scar or perhaps what you went through that gave you that scar? It can be quite traumatic and upsetting and the scar could just be what is reminding you of it.

Scar makes U cry
by: Ernie

Come on! enough is enough..you are beautiful woman..get the suntan and it will be less noticeable. And what the heck, you are ALIVE! I don't care about my scar..please do the same. 53 yr old male that had bypass surgery 10 weeks ago..on 2/2/2010 and heart attack on 9/1/2009... still alive and kicking.

my scar
by: michelle

I had heart surgery back in July, I felt the same way you do for a long time. Now i don't mind showing my scar, actually i feel kinda proud of it, ya know, like hey I made it through all that crap and here's the proof.

Being Proud of having a scar
by: Anonymous

Am sorry, but you should be proud of your scar. If that scar wasn't there then you may be dead (harsh but true).

No one should feel ashamed of their scar.

Yes, it takes a while to get used to it but then again I've had 37 years to get used to mine: I was born with a heart defect. I love flaunting my scar, I love showing it off as well as the many other scars I have from my heart operation.

I flaunt it as much as possible just to make the people who stare uncomfortable. I know they are staring but it is them who has the problem with the scar not me.

I have a great set of breasts too, which I show off :)I have had a lot of teenagers, adults come to me through congenital heart defects who were ashamed of their scars and I said if that scar was not there would you right now be talking to me. That scar is there to say hey look at me, I got a chance of a second life.

If I had no scar I would be dead and so would a lot of other people.

Be proud of your scar - it's there because it saved your life.

I am sorry if I have come across badly but believe me you will get kind people asking what is that scar from because they are interesting in knowing. You will meet a lot of people through your scar.

Be proud of your scar.

My Opinion.
by: Anonymous

WOw. I am 17 years old and a girl. I had open heart surgery 2 years ago. I don't care about my scar and neither should you. It doesn't matter. It's kind of pathetic that you care that much about it. I wear v-necks and low tops a lot. No one cares that much about it.

The Scar Fades
by: Anonymous

I had a quad bypass in 2001 and the scar has faded and is now the color of the skin surrounding it. There is a guy at my gym who noticed mine and told me had had one too but his scar is completely gone, so you might be lucky like him.

My scar bothers me some times but hey I get flirted with a lot so I guess it's worse to me than to others so just remember, we are all alive thanks to the operation that left the scar.

Note: two months after I had my quad bypass I went to a baseball game and saw Darryl Kile play. He died the next weekend from a 90% blockage of his arteries (which is what I had plus two more blockages). He was 34. I'd rather have the scar and I bet if he had known of the heart trouble (it appears he did not), I bet he and his loved ones would prefer the scar too.

i know the feeling
by: Anonymous

I know the feeling, i have had two open heart surgery's and two other ones on my heart, that left two huge scars on my back, that looks like i had wings that were cut off (one of my friends said it's like i use to be an angel). I use to cry about this all the time.

i had my first three surgery in my first three years of life and i used to be proud when i was little, and flash people and tell them i had a broken heart. Now that I'm 19 i advisory don't do that, and having a "broken heart" isn't cute any more, i have felt embarrassment, and have gotten really sad because of it.

i had my last surgery when i was about to be 16 and the scar is a keloid, it grew so much bigger then the last ones, and its almost a purple color.

With my condition every ten years i need to get my valve and conduit replaced, so i will constantly have a new scar. i feel so out of place with my friends who are all very pretty girls, and i absolutely hate pools or beaches,but i keep going because i don't want to be left out, even tho i still feel awkward around them. i know my scar is the first thing people look at. most , if not all had my friends have said that to me at some point or another. i had had boyfriends tell me id look better without it, i have had people tell me i couldn't work at certain jobs because of it.

But in the end, i love who i am, i love that i have an extra scanner of peoples personalities that other people don't have, i think it is ridiculous for someone to judge anyone because of the way skin tissue heels when someone had a life saving surgery. i know how you feel, but to the people who count in your life, the ones that mean anything, they will think the same way!

I know exactly what u're talking about
by: Anonymous

I got the same scar since i was 15. It made me cry for so long. i always hoped that i would wake up one day and find it gone but i guess it's not happening. at the end, i lost hope. I just hide it.

Career
by: Anonymous

That depends on the career you want to have, of course but I am over 50, have been unemployed for a year and had my heart surgery during that time. I work in IT and I thought that I would have great difficulty getting back into work. However, I have just been offered and accepted a much better job than I was made redundant from a year ago. It almost just seems that it was meant to be.

If you have the surgery you will be in a much better position to get the career you want. When you are 15 it is difficult to appreciate time and that you really have to give yourself time to have the surgery and get better. Life will go on around you but in a few years you will look back and realise that in a lifetime this is not long and you will be able to pick up your life and make the very best of it.

As for the scar - I don't know what to say - you may be lucky and have a scar that heals really well. If not, you may be able to get a revision. You should talk about it to your doctors, I was too embarrased to mention it initially as I felt I was being vain until I realised that I was not alone in how I felt and I should be past worrying about it at my age - you are young.

Whatever else happens - you will come out of this much stronger as a person and able to cope better with whatever comes to you in life. Any man who really loves you will not mind the scar.

I wish you all the best.

You look great to me!
by: Anonymous

First off I am 29 year old man and you look great to me, looking at the picture, I notice the scar, but, it does not take way from your beauty. Besides you have other nice qualities around that area, a lot of woman would love to have your boobs woman! Take care!

.
by: Anonymous

I'm fifteen and I'm about to have Aortic route surgery. I am petrified about having a scar, at only fifteen I feel that I will be judged harder and not be able to do the career I want.

NOT superficial
by: Anonymous

I too had a double bypass 4 months ago only slightly older than you at 53. The scar is only part of what bothers me - mine looks worse than yours - redder and more raised. I too feel isolated - bypass in females our age is unusual - I have to overcome the feeling that I am in the wrong place twice a week when I go to rehab - full of older men- and I'm MUCH fitter than any of them. This makes me feel uncomfortable. My husband tells me to wear it as a badge of pride as well but unless you have it you DO NOT know how it feels. It adds to that feeling of isolation and I can fully understand how you feel. I am really surprised at how upset I am about it as it should be something superficial. What I am trying to say is that it is just part of that overall feeling that there is something odd about you because you have had to have this surgery.

I just keep telling myself that these feelings will subside as I get fitter and get back to a normal life - I was made redundant from work 3 months before I discovered I needed this surgery and am still unemployed - too much time to think - but I've always been determined not to give in to feeling sorry for myself as I have been given a second chance and do feel better than I did before the surgery.

My feelings, and I'm sure yours, are complex - please don't anybody say it is superficial - anything to do with heart surgery is not superficial.

I wish you all the best - the scars - mental and physical will fade.

Scared but Optimistic
by: Brian

Hello Myrna,

I just found out that I have to have Aortic Valve replacement and I too feared the scar. I am 37 years old and already suffer low self esteem, but everyone tells me that this is your battle scar, this is your story, this is your second chance at life. The people who love and care about you do not care that you have a scar. Those strangers on the street may look but remember, you are here because you were given a new life. You were given the chance to stay here with those you love. I think your scar is beautiful. And I am glad there are others out there that felt the way I do right now. I will soon have my own battle scar and I am hoping mine looks as great as yours after only 5 months.

Brian 37
Seattle, WA

Alive
by: patti

A scar makes you cry? Come on; a scar is so superficial! Like what colour of lipstick do I want to wear tonight. Be brave, bold, and go out there and tell the world that you have conquered this event in your life and you are still alive! Wear that scar as a badge of courage and honour not something to cover up. Hey...it could be a great conversation piece!...good luck.

I know how you feel
by: jeny

I had open heart surgery on June 1 2008 I am 25 years old now. I had an atrial septal defect and the hole was too big for the non-invasive catheterization procedure.

Now when I first got out of surgery, the scar was a thin line... now it is just so big and ugly and makes me cry too. It is hard being a woman with a scar like this. It is so superficial but it still effects me when I go to the beach... wear certain tops and try to be sexy for my husband. I usually put makeup over it... but it is still obvious.

BTW your scar is really nice... it is barely noticeable!

Don't ever let your scar upset you.
by: Joey

I was 3 when I had open heart surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, and I have never been ashamed of my scar. In fact, I'm glad its still here after 14 years. My scar is a reminder of the determination, hope, perseverance, and strength that makes the human race so incredible. That we are capable of fixing these types of problems is truly inspiring, and the scars you and I wear are proof that these problems CAN be fixed and will NOT constrain our freedom in ANY way, whether it be it the freedom to try on that beautiful necklace in the jewelry store or the freedom to put on a bathing suit and have some fun at the pool with your friends.

Embrace your scar. Embrace yourself. Be free.

A reminder that you're alive !
by: Tony

I had surgery 4 months ago (May 2009). At first
I was negative about it, now I show it off. You're a
survivor and an angel, your scar tells a story. Maybe you have a message for people. Most people have one chance, we have 2 chances lucky.


re: scar
by: susan

Hello Myrna!

Your scar is your badge of survival! My scar on my chest and my left arm(radial artery was harvested for one of my grafts, I had 4 bypasses) used to bother me so much for the first six months and even had revision done to them. After my open heart surgery, my chest and my arm were healing fine until a few months after that they went hypertrophic. Similar to kelloid but not as bumpy. When I went for plastic surgery I had high hopes and then after the revision my scars went back to how it was before. My plastic surgeon said it is the way I heal. So after that, I just accepted it. I healed better physically and psychology.

That is all I can say! I feel normal as anybody else. What is important is that you and I are alive and be with our love ones.

Your scar is your badge of honor
by: Sandra

Hi Myrna,

For five months in, I think your scar, judging by the photo, looks really minimal.

I don't have a scar, although I face having one in the future as I am going to have my aortic valve replaced.

I can tell you I've thought a lot about it and I found some comfort in Kathy Kastan's book From the Heart where she has a photo of her own scar. She sees it as her badge of honor.

My mother had a scar that was pretty angry looking at first but over the years it faded so much I don't recall noticing it at all.

The truth is you are alive and you are beautiful. The important thing is you are here today and you have a second chance at life. Over time your scar (and your reaction to it) will fade away. It will become fainter and fainter.

You are still in the early days...Wanda offers some great advice. Keep in touch. We care.

Your scar will fade - don't let it keep you down
by: Wanda

I understand about your scar - I had double bypass 8 months ago and have the same scar. The top part is fading well now, along with the scars from the chest tubes, though they're still noticeable on my fair skin. The bottom part is thicker and will take a long time to fade completely . My husband says I should be proud of my "battle scars" because they're the reason I'm still here to live a good life with him.

I wear a swimsuit, but I found a beautiful high-necked one that protects the sensitive area from too much sun when I swim or kayak. Maybe you could try that - many places sell them. I wear tank tops and scoop neck tees - if anyone notices the scar, they don't mention it.

The most important thing is to concentrate on getting healthy. If you're crying over your scar and feeling depressed a lot, you should consult your doctors -- you may be depressed or you may be having side effects from medications. Depression can get in the way of recovery - it saps your strength and will to do healthy things. Please don't let it win. Reach out to friends, exercise and eat right. Try to focus on the joy in life rather than the bypass scar. You are much more than your scar!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Share your story.


Everyone has a story to tell...
What's yours?


Share your story on Smart Heart Living. Not only will it do you a lot of good to express your feelings, but sharing your experience could be a turning point for someone who reads about it.

Click Here
to write your own or to comment on someone else's.