Saturday, 4 July 2009

A scar scare

It started off as a tiny chicken pox scar but as time passed I noticed it growing. Five-six years later it was the size of a large bubblegum which had been chewed & rolled into a uneven round/ovalish shape. Luckily it was not visible to others so I didn’t get any awkward questions. It felt hard to the touch & didn’t pain when pinched….just like some hard tissue.

I was not unduly worried[or rather I pretended not to be..anything to avoid going to the doctors] but the better-half was not very happy with its existence. Time & again he would remind me to get it checked but I would stall saying I’d rather we get it checked in India.

So the next time we went to India I got it checked by a gynecologist who immediately suggested surgery & a biopsy. It was a 20-25 minutes procedure under anesthesia & went off without incident. I was so scared but went through it at my husband's insistence. The doctor prescribed antibiotics & a steroid cream to apply. I followed her instructions faithfully.

The biopsy didn’t show anything out of the ordinary & declared it a mass of dead cells accumulated together. The doc didn’t look surprised at all as she skimmed through the report. Again she just stressed that I apply the steroid cream regularly.

I came back to Dubai & started going to work & everything went on as usual except that the wound was not healing as fast as I expected. I called the doctor up to find out. She said there was absolutely nothing to worry & I should give the area atleast a month to heal since the lump scooped out went more than an inch inside the flesh. It was really irritating as it kept rubbing against the clothes & making it sore.

Round about the same time I happened to chance on Sayesha’s post which mentioned an interesting term called Keloid & the description sounded very familiar. I googled it immediately.

The description goes like this “A Keloid, sometimes referred to as a keloid scar, is a tough heaped-up scar that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin. They are irregularly shaped and tend to enlarge progressively. Unlike scars, keloids do not subside over time.”

I knew I hit gold. This keloid thingie was exactly what I had on me….so I read up everything I could on it. In short a keloid was an ugly looking mark which grew in size but was not dangerous at all. There was no point removing it because it grows back & worse, might become bigger. The only way to avoid it is to not let it happen…as in be very careful about piercings & such stuff.

Then it hit me. If a person like me who is totally ignorant about the medical field could get this much information, don’t you think the doctor would have known about it. At first I thought she must have made a genuine mistake but the more I thought about it & discussed with the better-half it became quite clear to us that there was no way the doctor did not know……the way she stressed about applying the steroid cream[to supress the growth] & other telling factors made it quite clear she knew. I got this keloid removed a few years back & it had cost me Rs.6000/- then & I remember the doctor got around Rs.3,500/- as fees. She is a well-known & busy gynecologist in our side of town, a consultant in 3 hospitals & has a full waiting room at her clinic every evening. I wonder what her need was, to put me through a useless surgical procedure. Even today I find it hard to believe that she did it just for the money.

Incase you are wondering, yes the keloid grew back…it grew back to the same size. Now that I know what it is I’ve grown quite fond of it. I pretend it is my kaala teeka*….all my childhood & teenage years I wanted the elders to put that kaala teeka on me but the prettier ones in the friends circle always got preference & ours being a Christian family my mum didnt believe in them. I firmly believe my body got fed of waiting & produced its own:-).

I no longer give it much thought but when I read A’s post 2 weeks back, for a moment there I was reminded of my own needless fears. And another reason I put this up is that I realize there will be many others like me who may have these distensions on them & panic into thinking the worst. Relax guys, it’s just a keloid.

To know more about keloids, go here

* Kala teeka: A black dot usually put by doting parents to avoid the 'evil eye'


  1. Awww ! Its scary. Even I underwent a similar experience, except that it was really a mass of dead cells. And Thank God, it has not given any probs after removing it surgically.

    I absolutely agree with you in the way these doctors commercialise the whole treatment process. Its a very sad state of affairs.

  2. Umas: Glad urs went off well. Yes I was quite disappointed with the doctor when I realised....she was actually very nice to talk & deal with.

  3. So nice of u to have shared abt this Nancy. And these doctors doing things for money is not surprising at all isn't it :( We have all heard cases where they have put people on life support just for paisa n all also held dead bodies for the want of the same.

    Glad its nothing harmful. Take care brave lady :)

  4. Swaram: Actually we hear all these stories abt doctors but this woman was a well to do doctor & her bedside manners were really good. I guess I got taken in by all tht:-).
    And putting almost lifeless people on life support just to make money is so disgusting.

  5. Madam this comes from a former Medical Representatives...

    Doctors are professionals who are looking to earn... !!


    dont treat them like humble human beings or angels... treat them as you would treat any business goers...

  6. Hitchwriter: U r so right!!!
    ...but still we expect some ethics from dedicated professionals like them. But on the other hand, if one can earn Rs.3,500/- in 20 minutes, why not huh;-/!!!

  7. I am glad you are okay *putting kala teeka on Nancy*! :-)

    My dad has been a doc for 40 over years now. He always laments the commercialization of hospitals. Big time corporate hospitals have got "targets" - the doctors are pressured by the administrators to get more people admitted/or for surgery. In one place where he was supposed to start a ICU, where my dad did not want more than 2 patients (to prevent riskk of infection), the admin were pressuiring him into making it accomodate 10!! It is then that he realised its a lost case. He ceased to associate himself with that hospital and now he's with a more patient centered hospital.

    I always joke with Sachin, soon medical school will tie up business school so that the doc can really suck all their patients dry! ;-)

    PS: - Sorry for taking up too much space but this is an issue that I worry about a lot.

  8. My wife has one on her arm as well and the doctor prescribed a surgery. Haven't yet got it done but am not sure whether it is a Keloid or a mass of dead cells... You a doctor? take a look??? he he...

  9. And what is 'bedside manners'??? :D

  10. yeah right keloid regrows every time u remove it...try intra-lesional steriod really works!!...:)

  11. Such docs r so mean! I hate them :| I prefer not going to doc.. incase i can avoid.. around last year same time.. I had this weird thing happening to me.. In the night my legs would swell.. and swell so badly that I cant fit my legs into the shoe ( i worked nights) in the morning.. at first i thought its diabeties.. I simply got scared!
    And the doc I went to.. made me take 3-4 tests and then in the end said its nothing really serious.. just due to shoe bite or something.. I spent 1000 bucks on test and nearly 2-3 days in worry as he said it could be anything.. from heart issue to hormonal imbalance.. ( I even went breathless after listening to that ;) ) Ah well!

  12. T3: No, not at all, take all the space u want...u r giving us all an inside view of the workings of a hospital. Interesting really & perfectly co-relates with what Hitchwriter was written above ur comment.

    Rakesh: U must definitely take a second opinion if the 1st is suggesting a surgery:-/.
    And why dont u ask Broca[comment below urs]...ask both abt the scar & bedside manners...u see, he is a doctor;-D

    Brocasarea: Really...hey thts gr8 news...will definitely chk out the option.
    Hah..whoever said doctors are businessmen...look everybody Doctor Broca's given me free consultation;-D.

    Winnie: Sheesh really;-D...LOL I'm sorry I'm laughing...I'm such a meanie;-D...its just tht the word shoebite sets me off...the creep, u know what u shd have done with atleast 1 shoe, right;-/
    [hint: Iraqi journalist did it to George Bush].

  13. Don't get me started on doctors.... I know there are some good ones, but still...
    I am glad there's nothing to worry about, Nancy.

  14. Agnes: Ofcourse there r good ones but its always the bad ones who get all the publicity;-D

  15. Cant believe such a well established doctor would resort to such a cheap trick !!!
    Glad that its nothing serious !!

  16. Glad that you are recovered and the scar isn't anything to worry about....

    Now that you have brought up this topic, I wish to relate to another blog:, read the post on "unethical practice by lifeline hospital". I recently got another mail from a friend of mine, whose friend lost his wife, yes, LOST HIS WIFE (she had a 8months old daughter then), to a surgical procedure for hernia, in the same lifeline hospital in 2007....(the mail is too long, else would have copy/pasted the contents)
    Sad, Nancy at the attitude of such doctors, but I must also agree that there are also a few 'humane' doctors,here, in the same country...

  17. Uffff Nancy... I was scared. Everything and anything that has to do with lumps scares me nowadays. I'm happy it's nothing to be worried about too in your case. Knowing what it is makes so much of a difference nay? And everyday I am so thankful to all the blogs I read. One learns so much from them always. You take care now even though you know it's nothing to be worried about

  18. Prashanti: It took me also quite a while to believe tht she was not like what she seemed:-(.
    So am I, so am I!!!!!!

    Athivas: I did go to the page which u said. And am so sorry to hear abt ur friend's wife......unbelievable. Really sad state of affairs everywhere:-(.

    A: "And everyday I am so thankful to all the blogs I read."
    Seriously..there r so many things I find out thru blogs & learn something new everyday:-).
    Thank U, I will & u too!!!!!

  19. Nancy, That was scary and as long as it is benign you are fine.

    I started reading it with a scare.

  20. Keloids run in my family and they say its hereditary. Its quite a pain actually because for me if i accidently scrape any part of my body anywhere, it usually turns out to be a keloid and i hate it. But the funny part it, it sometimes scars, sometimes doesnt. I have pierced my ears and nose but its perfectly fine. I however couldnt get a tattoo done cos of keloid tendencies. My mom has one and her entire family has it in the same place (yeah weird) and it keeps growing and itchy. There are creams to suppress it but i havent tried any because i don have any that prominent except a chicken pox mark which turned to a small keloid.

  21. Aww she should just explaind the whole thing to u instead of surgery...humm but i do feel it was good to hav done the tests anyway to be on the safe side...
    i hate docs and all medical procedures and try to keep away from the that i'm preg with my first child, i do have to say i'm worried as i have been takin so many medications on the instructions of my doc...
    ahh hospitals r same everywhere, they do as much tests, scans and all to make money

  22. These days, it is the norm for these doctors to suggest a whole array of tests for the silliest things. And the whole scandal about doctors prescribing certain medicines to get freebies and holidays from pharmacy's makes it all the more scarier especially when it comes to kids.

  23. im glad u shared this. just in case......


  24. This is really good info. There are so many things that we never know about. Good to know that your grew back the same size and not bigger.

  25. You know what,Nancy as I began reading your post A's post is what came to my mind. And I was literally dreading thinking what you had to offer.Thank God its nothing to worry about.
    But I'm surprised at your Gynec's shrewdness.

  26. I can just imagine what you must have felt during the initial days. You've no idea how paranoid I'm about these lumps - though I control my thoughts and do the next best thing and get myself examined once a while.

    I'm so glad everything is fine and it's nothing. Praise God!
    I'd still say that you go and just take a 2nd medical opinion. Just show it to a gyneac in Dubai if you wish,

  27. Solilo: As long as it is a keloid it's not supposed to be dangerous;-). But I'm quite irritated tht it came back;-P

    An Open Book: sometimes scars & sometimes doesnt;-/. Did u see wht Broca's written for a solution above...he is a doctor:-)).
    And thanks for telling me about helps to hear abt the same from others:-)).

    Enigma: I dont understand why u shd be taking so many medicines if u dont have any problems as far as I remember there's calcium, there's iron & some folic acid;-D

    Butterfly: Seriously??? They suggest certain medicine to get freebies...ohmigosh...I didnt know this:-o. This has to be reported really:-|.

    limenlemons: Thts exactly why I put it up in a never knows who it will help:-))!!!

    Memyhubbynbaby: Exactly, there are so many things we are unaware abt & tend to panic thru ignorance.

    Deeps: Oh it happened a few years back:-)). Hitchwriter suggests, we have to start treating them like any other businessmen;-S

    Still Thinking: In the beginning I never thot too much abt it but as 1 grows older there is a tendency to dwell on the aches & pains;-P.
    And U are right...a 2nd opinion is a good idea.

  28. That was scary.. Thank goodness it was nothing.. I had a similar experience with my caesarian scar.. It is scary that doctors do not know as much as they should know.. Thank god that you are fine!

  29. Thank you - learnt a new term today. I too hate doctors - they scare you for the smallest of things; some of them act like God too!!

    Trust you to come up with the kaala teeka!!! explanation.

  30. Smitha: Yes thank God really!!!
    U r so right.....have u noticed some docs who examine u & then take out a medical journal or something, read it up before prescibing medicines...they sure dont radiate much confidence;-/

    JP Joshi: Exactly why I put this post up....there will so many among us who may have it but wont know what it is & end up spending uselessly on it.... I was so mad when I found out...especially when there was no need;-S
    Yeah everytime I see it...I have a smug look on my face;-D.

  31. (((((((((((((hugs)))))))))
    I am happy its benign and nothing to be scared about...

    docs even the best of them can be very greedy....and I can very well believe that the doc did this(the creep!)

    God Bless:)))

  32. Relieved and thankful that you are fine and its a pity that the noblest profession is also in the grip of greed :(

  33. Oh Nancy, even as I was reading through, I kept thinking I`ll mention a 'keloid' in the comment. Of course, you took that pleasure away from me! :):)
    But yes, it does look like you`ve got a keloid. Its a mass of hypertrophic scar tissue. Absolutely nothing to worry about. I`m surpried the doctor suggested a sgy though. Because it almost always grows back.
    Anyway, thank god you`re feeling comfortable now. Hugs

  34. Must have been scary initially before you were enlightened about keloids!!

    But it is this GREED in doctors which have led me to absloutely disrespect this noble profession!
    My f-i-l, last year was subjected to a similar unnecessary operation and he still hasnt recovered fully from it....and that particular doctor was the best in town and the head of his department in one of the most prestigious & posh nursing homes of the city..

  35. thank you for sharing Nancy, know of many women with that problem.. my friend infcat got it operated and it grew to 4 times its size, she was very upset that the doctor hadnt informed her about it
    first A and now you, thank god it was harmless

  36. Interesting and informative. I think most of us have had a bad experience with the doctors so far as extending the treatment and carrying out un neccessary proceadures for merely fleecing the patient is concerned. I have experienced it a number of times. I will write about that in my blog some time.

    Must take a second opinion before undergoing surgery.

    Thanks for sharing.

  37. I could also rant and rant about greedy doctors & hospitals. Recently I had a wisdom tooth problem and in Apollo Hospital, they told me it would cost Rs. 5000/- for extraction!! At the end, I got it done from a reliable family dentist for just Rs. 1,500/- Can u believe it! Doctors!!! I empathize with you.

    Thank God you're fine and thanks for sharing this info - didn't even know about keloid ..


  38. It's great to hear that it's not serious Nancy...but what that doc did is very serious. I would have whined about this for the rest of my life and how had I invested that money in the stock market I could have taken a Mediterranean Cruise by now. I admire you for being so mature about it. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Very scary!
    Thanks for sharing and dispelling some myths.

  40. I am happy that it was nothing.
    A doctor friend of mine who works for a private hospital was saying how they are forced to prescribe tests and scans just to meet each month's target. To get back, they sometimes do these and do not charge the patients :-)
    Have done the tag, by the way. Thank you so much, it is my first ever tag.

  41. Thanks God you posted this! And whatever happened to Hippocrates's oath :S

  42. This is so sad! And I always thought going to the doctor was the safest :(

  43. Sigh am glad I am doctorphobic!!! I know its not always a great idea but I tend to fake wellness if my better half even drops the word DOCTOR!

    After reading your post it reminds me of all the needless C sections done in hospitals just to earn money...and how they petrify the relatives at the last moment saying the child and mother is in grave danger!!

  44. phew! that mustve been a relief!

    ya, am basking in the land of sun and breeze - a la Trichy!! :) And so after so much prodding from fella bloggers like you, did manage to put up a post! Did it!! Thanks again for prodding! Means a lot!

    No touring this vacation?

  45. Indyeah: Yep even I believe tht now;-P & tht creep was a woman;-D

    Sara: Exactly, u'll think tht atleast they have some kind of conscience. But I guess everybody is human;-(.

    Piper: Aaah yes, almost forgot u were a doctor...see wht I mean, just reading abt it u knew it was a keloid, so a doc who saw it cd have definitely made out for wht it was;-(.

    SGD: Yes it is seriously shocking....did u read athivas & thoughtfultrain wrote in their comment;-o

    Ish: Ohmigosh thts I'm worried if mine also will go the same way:-(

    Balvinder Singh: Exactly...a second opinion is a must & mayb also read up on it on the net so tht atleast we have some basic information at our fingertips.

    Rohitha: Oh yes densists are out there just to fleece us...dont get me started on it;-|. Thank u for the wishes:-))!!!!

    Shades of grey: Luckily for me it was just 6k but recently I read an article where a woman went thru a painful delivery in Wokhardt, lost the baby after 4 days & then had to pay up 2 lakhs in hospital bills.

    Preethi Shenoy: I hope I did:-))!!!!!

    Wanderlust: Will be over to chk it out soon.
    Actually am on gimme a few days:-)).

    Amrita: Exactly, I want to ask the same thing...whatever happened to Hippocrates's oath;-S

    Meira: So did a lot of us;-S

    Sakshi: Yes even another friend was saying...the minute they see tht u r a bit well off...they start hinting BP is high, baby's head not set properly, etc, etc & in the end when they suggest caesarian we are actually glad;-/

    Brocasarea: ;-D

    Onlooker: tht where u were;-D.
    Actually am on vacation B'lore now;-D

  46. Thank God it is harmless...Take care, took some time to read it...

  47. Thats quite scary!!! When my mum had the heart problem, we went to a doctor, who had more than 300 ppl waiting and he took exactly 1 min and 15 seconds to examine my mum, and then told us to get some tests done, ONLY from the clinics prescribed by him, which were approximately 20thousand bucks. Few mins later I noticed he recommended the same tests to 5 more ppl. Fortunately we were told by people not to visit him again. and we didn't. And the worst part, this doc has been the doctor of some of our ex -Presidents of India.

  48. This is so true for most of the doctors in India. We dont mind paying hafty fees so much if it is required, but they shouldnt misguide the patients or give them unnecessary medicines, tests, or surgeries. Dont know how to make sure that requirements are genuine.

  49. Hey...LOVED it :)
    new to ur blog..i love the way u narrate..
    and this post..the end left me all amused :)

  50. Thank U, Welcome to my space S:-)!!!

  51. hey i read so many of ur posts..
    i put wrong "comment" at the wrong post :P
    well anyways, i like wat u write :)

  52. did occur to me to ask u whether u might have put the comment in the wrong post but in the end decided to take it at face value;-D.


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