Aloha! Now, Sunblock Your Chest Scar Incision!
One of my readers / friends, Taylor Browning, is traveling to Hawaii for a vacation with his wife Michelle. (If you want to learn about an amazing recovery from aortic valve & root replacement, click to read Taylor’s inspiring heart surgery recovery.)
That said, Taylor just asked me about taking care of his chest incision in the hot, sunny and tropical weather of Hawaii after heart surgery. Specifically, Taylor noted in his email, “I plan on applying some heavy-duty sunscreen to the incision scar itself but wanted to see what you did given your proximity to the beach!”
First off, I’m jealous. I need a vacation!!! “CAN I COME TAYLOR?” 🙂
Second, here’s a picture of me ten months after my double heart valve replacement surgery.
Robyn (my wife) and I were lucky to celebrate my challenged heart valve surgery recovery in Hawaii as well.
If you want to see how well a chest scar can heal, here is a picture of me one week after surgery. Can you believe how much my median sternotomy (broken sternum incision) scar healed in just ten months?
Anyways… Back to Taylor’s question.
So you know, I did exactly what Taylor suggested. I used a very, very, very, very strong sunblock on my chest scar – it was an SPF of 45.
But… Please, please, please use sunblock all over your body, not just your incision.
The Hawaiian sun is dangerous – both for the short- and long-term.
I hope this helps with taking care of your chest scar after heart surgery.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.