Yesterday I asked you how many scars you think I was left with after my 2016 heart surgery.
Today I will tell you!
Where are the scars?
Of course, there are scars on my chest, because that is where the “heart” of the operation took place… on my heart.
There are also scars in other places from this surgery, though.
- Both legs
I was left with one large scar on my chest. During this type of surgery, they make an opening in your skin about 12 to 14 inches long. After opening your skin and muscle they cut through your sternum (breastbone). They then use a tool to spread the two pieces of the breastbone apart to expose the heart.
This procedure left one very large scar on my chest.
Many people might not believe or understand why you would have scars on your legs from having surgery on your heart, but I do have the scars to prove it!
In fact, I have two rather large scars on each leg, for a total of 4 scars on my legs.
The reason that you have scars on your legs from a heart bypass is that they harvest veins from your legs to replace your coronary arteries. The arteries going to your heart are clogged with plaque, so they go elsewhere to get “replacement arteries”. This is why I have 4 scars on my legs, from harvesting veins there.
Each of my leg scars is 5 to 6 inches long.
Well, I have one small scar on my neck.
You end up with a scar on your neck because they open that up so they can insert a tube in your neck. This tube is a line directly into your artery. The reason for this is in case of emergency if they need to get some type of medication quickly directly into your heart muscle, they can inject the medication into this tube and it will enter your heart almost immediately.
So, I have one small scar on my neck.
Yep, more scars in your abdomen.
Typically, most heart bypass patients would have 4 scars in their upper abdomen, just below the rib cage. I have more than that, though.
I have 5 scars in my upper abdomen.
The reason for these scars is for drainage tubes to help the sounds drain liquid, and also for some monitoring equipment leads.
The reason I have 5 scars instead of 4 is that of a few days after the surgery when they were removing the tubes, a small piece of one of the tubes came off inside of my body. So, the next day they opened me up again to “fish it out”. That was a very quick second operation, but it did leave me with an additional scar.
All in all
So, all in all, I have a total of 11 scars on my body from having a quadruple heart bypass.
Thankfully, many of the scars are barely visible now. My leg scars and chest and abdomen scars are the worse and still very visible, though.