Tips for post-surgery healing

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton discusses painful scars and shares tips for post-surgery healing.
2:40 | 09/20/23

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Transcript for Tips for post-surgery healing
♪ LOVELY DAY ♪ >> Eva: AMERICA'S FAVORITE >> Eva: AMERICA'S FAVORITE DOCTOR IS BACK ON THE COUCH WITH DOCTOR IS BACK ON THE COUCH WITH A SUBJECT OUR VIEWERS ARE A SUBJECT OUR VIEWERS ARE CURIOUS ABOUT. CURIOUS ABOUT. MY C-SECTION SCAR STILL HURTS MY C-SECTION SCAR STILL HURTS YEARS LATER. YEARS LATER. WHAT COULD BE CAUSING THE PAIN? WHAT COULD BE CAUSING THE PAIN? >> Dr. Jen: OB/GYNs, WE'RE >> Dr. Jen: OB/GYNs, WE'RE SURGEONS. SURGEONS. WHY? WHY? WE DO MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY WE DO MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY LIKE C-SECTIONS, HYSTERECTOMIES. LIKE C-SECTIONS, HYSTERECTOMIES. THE MOST COMMON C-SECTION SCAR THE MOST COMMON C-SECTION SCAR IS THE BIKINI CUT. IS THE BIKINI CUT. WE CUT THROUGH NERVES. WE CUT THROUGH NERVES. PAIN, RESIDUAL PAIN, FROM A SCAR PAIN, RESIDUAL PAIN, FROM A SCAR ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY COULD BE ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY COULD BE SUPERFICIAL OR DEEP. SUPERFICIAL OR DEEP. TYPICALLY THINK OF SUPERFICIAL TYPICALLY THINK OF SUPERFICIAL PAIN AS INVOLVING THE NERVES ON PAIN AS INVOLVING THE NERVES ON THE SURFACE OF THE SKIN WHICH THE SURFACE OF THE SKIN WHICH TEND TO HEAL THE VAST MAJORITY TEND TO HEAL THE VAST MAJORITY OF TIME. OF TIME. DEEP PAIN AFTER ANY SURGICAL DEEP PAIN AFTER ANY SURGICAL PROCEDURE COULD BE DUE TO PROCEDURE COULD BE DUE TO INTERNAL SCAR TISSUE WHICH WE INTERNAL SCAR TISSUE WHICH WE CALL ADHESIONS, WHICH IS MORE CALL ADHESIONS, WHICH IS MORE DIFFICULT TO TEST FOR. DIFFICULT TO TEST FOR. THERE'S NOT A SIMPLE WAY TO TEST THERE'S NOT A SIMPLE WAY TO TEST FOR IT. FOR IT. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ANY THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ANY OB/GYN OR SURGEON IS FAMILIAR OB/GYN OR SURGEON IS FAMILIAR ARE. ARE. IT'S RARE. IT'S RARE. FORTUNATELY IT'S RARE. FORTUNATELY IT'S RARE. IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU -- IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU -- >> DeMarco: HOW CAN YOU BREAK >> DeMarco: HOW CAN YOU BREAK THE PAIN? THE PAIN? >> Dr. Jen: IT'S DIFFICULT. >> Dr. Jen: IT'S DIFFICULT. IF YOU TRY TO FIND THE ROOT IF YOU TRY TO FIND THE ROOT CAUSE OF IT, YOU DEAL WITH THAT. CAUSE OF IT, YOU DEAL WITH THAT. IF IT'S VERY SUPERFICIAL, IF IT'S VERY SUPERFICIAL, THERE'S WAYS TO NUMB THAT AREA. THERE'S WAYS TO NUMB THAT AREA. YOU WANT TO GO AWAY FROM YOU WANT TO GO AWAY FROM SOMETHING LONG TERM LIKE A PAIN SOMETHING LONG TERM LIKE A PAIN KILLING MEDICATION. KILLING MEDICATION. >> Eva: THAT'S A HARD AREA TO >> Eva: THAT'S A HARD AREA TO HAVE CONSTANT PAIN IN. HAVE CONSTANT PAIN IN. >> Dr. Jen: YES, IT IS. >> Dr. Jen: YES, IT IS. >> DeMarco: YOUR PRESCRIPTION >> DeMarco: YOUR PRESCRIPTION FOR WELLNESS. FOR WELLNESS. >> Dr. Jen: JUST SOME TIPS ON >> Dr. Jen: JUST SOME TIPS ON HOW TO HEAL WELL IN TERMS OF HOW TO HEAL WELL IN TERMS OF SKIN INCISIONS AFTER SURGERY AND SKIN INCISIONS AFTER SURGERY AND AFTER HAVING DONE HUNDREDS OF AFTER HAVING DONE HUNDREDS OF OPERATIONS THIS WAS MY TIPS AS OPERATIONS THIS WAS MY TIPS AS WELL. WELL. YOU WANT TO WASH YOUR HANDS YOU WANT TO WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE AND AFTER TOUCHING YOUR BEFORE AND AFTER TOUCHING YOUR INCISION EVEN THOUGH THERE'S INCISION EVEN THOUGH THERE'S ALWAYS BACTERIA ON THE SURFACE ALWAYS BACTERIA ON THE SURFACE OF YOUR SKIN. OF YOUR SKIN. KEEP THAT AREA CLEAN AND DRY. KEEP THAT AREA CLEAN AND DRY. AFTER YOU SHOWER, USE A HAIR AFTER YOU SHOWER, USE A HAIR DRIER FROM A FAR DISTANCE. DRIER FROM A FAR DISTANCE. YOU WANT TO MONITOR FOR UNUSUAL YOU WANT TO MONITOR FOR UNUSUAL REDNESS, WARMTH OR SWELLING IN REDNESS, WARMTH OR SWELLING IN THE AREA. THE AREA. IF YOU NOTICE THAT, CALL YOUR IF YOU NOTICE THAT, CALL YOUR SURGEON RIGHT AWAY. SURGEON RIGHT AWAY. I USED TO LITERALLY TAKE A PEN I USED TO LITERALLY TAKE A PEN AND MARK THAT AREA OF REDNESS SO AND MARK THAT AREA OF REDNESS SO YOU CAN SEE IF IT EXPAND. YOU CAN SEE IF IT EXPAND. ALWAYS ASK WHEN THOSE STITCHES ALWAYS ASK WHEN THOSE STITCHES OR STRIPS OR TAPES CAN BE OR STRIPS OR TAPES CAN BE REMOVED. REMOVED. IF YOU HAVE TAPES ON YOUR SKIN, IF YOU HAVE TAPES ON YOUR SKIN, WE NORMALLY SAY LEAVE THEM ON WE NORMALLY SAY LEAVE THEM ON UNTIL THE EDGES START TO ROLL UNTIL THE EDGES START TO ROLL OFF. OFF. THEN PEEL THEM OFF. THEN PEEL THEM OFF. >> DeMarco: DOC, THANK YOU. >> DeMarco: DOC, THANK YOU. WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM

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