Tifphanie has been struggling to hide four large keloid scars on her chest and shoulders for more than 15 years. She often avoids people so she doesn’t have to hear the inevitable questions: “What’s that?” and “What’s wrong with you?”
“It lowers the self-esteem a bit,” she says. “You just don’t feel normal. You don’t feel like other people.”
Tifphanie says the scar tissue is sometimes painful and itchy. She had the keloids removed once, but she says they grew back larger than they previously had been. Tifphanie had given up hope, but a relative encouraged her to reach out to The Doctors for help.
The Doctors send Tifphanie for a consultation with Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, who is called “Dr. Disgusting” because he offers a safe zone for talking about embarrassing medical conditions.
Dr. Rodriguez explains that a keloid is an abnormal growth of collagen tissue, which usually forms where the skin is trying to heal from an injury. The tissue grows beyond the origins of the scar and never regresses. Dr. Rodriguez refers Tifphanie to dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra for treatment.
Dr. Batra examines Tifphanie and suggests treating the keloids with liquid nitrogen to freeze the tissue from the inside out.
“It causes frostbite in those cells that are producing all this scar tissue,” she says, further explaining that the keloid eventually will turn black and fall off, leaving a flat scar.
As Dr. Batra freezes the growth, she finds more circulation in the tissue than she expected, which she says might explain why the keloids have been so resistant to treatment.
“I feel very hopeful, and I feel like it is going to work,” Tifphanie says a few weeks after the treatment.
The Doctors surprise Tifphanie, telling her that plastic surgeon Dr. Miles Graivier, who practices near her home, has a plan to continue aggressively treating the keloids. Dr. Graivier offers to perform the procedure for free and says CryoShape also has agreed to donate its probes for the treatment.
Tifphanie says she finally can begin to imagine living her life without the disfiguring scars.
“My favorite segments we do are when the segment starts with tears of sorrow and end with tears of joy,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork exclaims.