Guest Blog: “What the Incision Shield Meant to Me” by Dennis
Years ago, I learned about a unique product designed to help patients take care of their incision after surgery. The device, called the Incision Shield, protects your incision against unwanted pressure and ensures that no materials (e.g. clothing or linens) rub up against your scar. To see what patients thought about the Incision Shield, I gave away 30 Incision Shields to the members of our community. The response was fantastic.
A few days ago, I spoke with Dennis, a patient, about his experience with the Incision Shield. Dennis was so excited about the impact of the Incision Shield on his recovery, he ordered 15 more Incision Shields to give away to other heart valve patients.
In a follow-up email, Dennis wrote to me:
First of all a huge THANK YOU for sharing the Incision Shield to me. I kept referring to it as the Scar Guard!
I read your book and saw the shield referenced in it. The shield just immediately made sense to me. A device to keep clothing OFF my newly cut up chest, while still allowing easy access for the doctors and nurses, AND proper airflow around the wound to help it heal faster, just had to be a good idea.
I ordered it right away and prayed it would arrive in time for me getting out of Surgery — which it did.
The funny thing about this cool device is that I didn’t even notice just how much it is doing for me until I would take it off for a shower and forget to put it back on.
I actually had a hard time understanding what all the other patients were suffering with when it came to pain. Simply removing the pain caused by things touching my wound, whether clothing, or worse yet bed sheets, my overall pain just went to almost nothing.
As a result, I personally was off of Narcotic Pain killers 4 days after my surgery (I truly believe as fast as you can get off the chemicals and let your body unobstructed heal itself, the better) and I was off the Tylenol regimen by day 7.
I won’t say there wasn’t sternum pain from time to time when I did something I shouldn’t do, but being off the pain killers just made me feel it was easier to know when I was doing something I shouldn’t. It was easy to stop the sternum pain. I just had to stop doing the action that was causing it!
Once I got out of the hospital, I also found it useful for another reason. I found as I walked in areas with lots of people it made me very nervous someone may bump into me. The way the Incision Shield deflects any light contact away and distributes it to the 4 points of my body the “feet” lie on, and the slight springiness of the device gave it just enough to have it not create contact in light brushes was a huge confidence boost!
EVERYBODY going to Open Heart Surgery should have these!!! I do not know how much hospitals pay for narcotic and pain killers, or the cost to deliver them to the patients, but with how many they could reduce I bet hospitals could save money GIVING these away!
The Incision Shield is the Greatest Invention EVER if you are about to be a heart patient!
Vancouver, British Columbia
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.