Author Topic: Changing scar tissue after surgery / possible recurrence  (Read 829 times)


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Changing scar tissue after surgery / possible recurrence
« on: February 01, 2023, 09:02:28 pm »
Hi everyone,

I haven't posted on here since I had a successful retrosigmoid surgery for a ~3cm AN back in 2017, where the tumour was supposed to have been fully removed. 

On my first post surgery MRI, about 6 months later, there was an obvious area of enhancement with contrast, sort of a triangle-shape at the tip of the ear canal measuring roughly 5mm in length.  The radiologist and surgeon agreed this was likely scar tissue from the surgery, so I thought all was good.  On my next MRI a year later, the enhancement area had almost entirely disappeared, so this was good news again.

The surprise came on the following MRI 2 years later in 2020, when once again there was an area of strong enhancement, of similar size and shape to the first post-surgery MRI.  The radiologist report said it was tumour regrowth, and it came as a shock.  I did another scan in 2021, which showed the enhancement again, but no obvious change in size compared to 2020.  I spoke to my surgeon, and he thinks it's either a regrowth of the tumour (apparently sometimes residual tumour can shrink initially and then grow), or for some reason that one MRI back in 2018 didn't show the scar issue, but he can't give me odds for which one it is.

As I'm now nervously waiting for another follow up scan this year, I'm wondering if anyone has experienced a similar situation of scar tissue disappearing and re-appearing again, and whether it turned out to be recurrence of the tumour?       


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Re: Changing scar tissue after surgery / possible recurrence
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2023, 08:57:48 am »
Is it possible the same MRI slices were not being viewed when comparing the MRIs (or something similar)? I've discussed this issue with the neurosurgeon in my case. Comparing MRIs isn't really an apples to apples comparison, but that is what they are trying for when reviewing them.

4.5 cm Right AN.
Sub-occip. Surgery 2011 @ Wash. Hosp. Center
Gamma Knife 2012 @ Wash. Hosp. Center
Translabrythine Surgery 2017 @ Johns Hopkins
Cyber Knife 2022 @ Johns Hopkins
Sub-occip. Surgery 2023 @ Johns Hopkins