Howdy People, it's been a while I know but... I figured the next update would be better aligned to my next update to Dr. Umar which is September, soooo... here it is...
During July, I had an appointment to have the biopsy and my first of three rounds of steroids. Upon arrival for my appointment the Dermatologist very kindly decline to perform the biopsy. She told me she was happy to provide the steroids which she did, but then questioned why a biopsy was required. I told her that it was required by Dr. Umar and needed in order to understand if there were any complications. After asking her if she had contacted Dr. Umar on this point (as per my phone calls and confirmed emails) she said it's nothing to do with Dr. Umar as I was now her patient and she was best qualified to advise me from this point forwards and said she felt the steroids were sufficient, but the biopsy was unnecessary. I respectfully maintained that Dr. Umar was still my Dermatologist and he needed the biopsy, this resulted in the Dr. stating I was free to seek another Dr. if I didn't want her opinion. I politely asked upon which grounds she concluded that a biopsy was not necessary and she said she would seek the opinion of one of the other partners. I agreed to have the the steroids the same say and told her I would be back in touch regarding the decision for the biopsy. A few days later, I then went on a much needed holiday.
After two fabulous weeks in the sun and well rested, I took up the challenge and asked again about the biopsy and got a very polite, thanks for asking again, but still NO! I then started contacting other consultants from the reference list I received from my local Dr. and had an appointment booked with a much more helpful Dr. (having explained the pantomime that had taken place). All was set and I was due to go the difficult Dr. again, but only for round two of my steroids and as if by magic, she had a complete change of heart, was very friendly, all smiles and said "OK, so today we first take the biopsy from the left side side, then give you steroids in the right side". Huh (I thought)? Did that just happen? Did I dream the last month's conversation with this same Dr who was adamant not to give me a biopsy? All very strange. She was extremely helpful, calm and couldn't do enough to help, perhaps I just caught her on a bad day last time?
Anyways, I got the results this week! They confirmed that there was no re-occurrence of Akne Keloidalis Nuchae which was my biggest relief. They did, however confirm that there was hypertrophy. This explains the thickening of the skin on some parts of my scar. This confirms exactly what Dr. Umar believed was the case and is what he believes is hampering the expected hair growth.
I am to wait for the progress of the final of the three phases of steroids before being clear on the next course of action. My wish is that the steroids will flatten the hypertophy sufficiently such that the hair that is still yet to come through the surface will grow and I can close this chapter. I am so close, but still not quite there, so I remain patient.
See below for my current pictures:
Notice the two blue stitches below from the biopsy (one taken with a hair follicle, one taken without):
Although not 100% flat, it is much flatter than it was even after only the first shot of steroids. I have since had a second and there is one more to go, so I anticipate the scar will become much flatter still.
As I received the biopsy one the left side, no steroids were given an the left as there would be risk of infection. I did however receive the steroids to the right hand side of the scar. These pictures were taken a week after the steroids, notice the flatness on the right compared to the left side.
More to follow after the final round of steroids is complete and I have given Dr. Umar my next progress report (December).
Until then, stay tuned.