On my seventh-month post-op day (Sept 24), I paid a visit to the very friendly folk at Dimensions Clinic, the health clinic for transgender and queer youth. I asked the wonderful Dr about my hypertrophic scars, and brought up the idea of cortisone injections, since she had already mentioned it last time. Next thing I know I’m lying on the examination table getting pricked by a sharp needle.
I love the doctor’s no-frills attitude; her main goal is to help you, and most doctors forget that. I also absolutely love the openness with which I can walk in there and take my shirt off. Just like that, no explanation necessary. As if top surgery scars were the commonest thing in the world. Well, in her world they are.
Cortisone injections are the standard treatment for hypertrophic scars. I even asked about it in a skin spa and they mentioned just that (along with some very expensive and not-so-proven-to-be-effective laser treatments). Apparently they are supposed to hurt like hell, so I was bracing for it. But I’m here to report that it didn’t. Sure, the doctor is inserting a tiny needle into your skin multiple times to cover the entire area (my guess is it was 10-15 pricks). But I can think of a number of more painful things I’ve gone through: laser hair removal or waxing, bumping your head into a pole, surgery, the dentist (by far the worst), and this headache that isn’t going away.
In short, if it works, it’ll be worth it.
It’s been 2 weeks, and I already see the changes. Remember, I’ve also been using the silicone scar strips and the silicone gel, but while those were containing the scars from getting any worse, they weren’t actually doing much to really flatten them out. Also, it usually takes 2-3 or more treatments to get the desired results. So any changes in raisedness or coloration can probably be attributed to the injections. Mostly I’ve noticed that the tenderness of the scar tissue, which used to feel tough and fibrous, is now a lot softer to the touch.
Given that I can already see a significant difference, I should probably start preparing for the next round in about 6 weeks. Yikes!