Hello there! I have waited years and years to...
At this point I am scheduled for surgery on August 27 at noon. I have to be there at 10am. This could change. I am to call his office the day before to double check. Nothing by mouth after midnight. This might be a little rough with my surgery not being til noon but oh well. My reduction should take 3.5-4 hours. I will have drains in place for about a week. I will be spending the night in the hospital and go home the next day. I will have a post-op dressing and no bra. He does not have any particular bra he wants me in. In fact, the PA told me to go without a bra to help air out my incisions. I can wear a bra if I want, though, just as long as it doesn’t have an underwire. I think I may try buying 1-2 bras in different sizes so I at least have an option of something to wear when I leave the house for my post-op appts. and also in case I am more comfortable with some support. The PA also showed me the ABD pads they use for post-op, so I can go out and buy a few if I want or just use whatever I’m comfortable with. What did you all use? I can take a shower whenever I want. They just don’t want me soaking in water. I scheduled my first post-op appt. for POD 9.
Now I will try to add some pre-op photos! Hm...they are coming out upside down. Not sure how to fix that on here as they are not upside down on my computer!
My surgery is a week from tomorrow and I’m really starting to get excited! I keep going over various schedule things with my husband. Ugh. That is going to be hard for him. The kids started school this week and dance starts back up next week. We have quite the busy schedule this year! I’ve asked my mom to come the day of my surgery, just to help shuttle the kids around. I’m spending so much of my energy trying to work out these schedule details that I’m not really focusing on myself or the surgery. Maybe that’s a good thing. Oh, I did buy a couple of bras for post-op. They were super cheap from Walmart and may or may not fit, but they were exactly what I was looking for- comfy... not that I’ve tried them on. I also bought a couple extra pillows to have on hand.
Hm...what else do I need?
Today’s the day!
I’m sure I will get nervous when I get to the hospital...eek! Can’t believe the day is finally here!! YEARS in the planning!!! I have a lot of people praying for me and excited for me!
On the other side
Now let me try to post pics from my phone.
1 week post op
Now for a bra... I don’t even know where to start looking for one, what size to try (not like I can try them on and return them with blood/drainage going on), etc. I guess it would be good to find a front fastening one for now. The two I bought before my surgery are the kind you just slip over your head. I haven’t been brave enough to try to get one of those on just yet, especially with the drains and bandages in the way.
I will take new pics after I get a shower tonight.
Now I need to get these incisions healed, and I have a feeling it is going to take a lot of work! It’s ok! I knew I was higher risk for healing difficulties going into this (due to my large breast size). I’m eager to see my surgeon for my first post op appointment, tomorrow morning. I wonder what he’s going to say about the skin irritation, etc. I do hope they change out my tape. I have tried really hard to keep it on as instructed. I have only taken 3 showers (with my back to the shower head), changed my dressings each day, etc. I have draining coming out multiple places under each breast, so that does make it harder for the tape to stay on.
I feel like I have more soreness now that I’m getting more feeling back. It’s still less than what I thought it would be. I’m eager to get back to sleeping in my bed but don’t want to try to do that with these drains still in.
My husband has been a champ! He is getting the kids off to school by himself while I continue sleeping each morning. I spend most of my day on the couch watching TV, reading a book or checking email from my phone. When the kids get home from school, I have them bring me their papers and help them get going on their homework if needed. I do have to be up on my feet here and there to help them. My husband has been coming home from work early to help get the kids to their various activities (mostly the dance studio). We have been very blessed with some wonderful friends bringing us meals almost every night for the past 8 nights! And then my husband cleans up the kitchen and usually puts the kids to bed by himself. I am trying hard to do lots of laying around/resting to help with my incision healing.
POD 9- dr appt
My big goal now is to get rid of this rash. He wants me to use an OTC anti fungal cream and leave the area open to air as much as possible. The problem is that I still have skin on skin, even after the reduction. So I am working on coming up with a way to keep it as dry as possible with all the drainage I still have and normal sweat. He wants me to use a bra to keep an ABD pad on the area when I need to leave the house- no tape! He gave me a couple of ABD pads so I could see what he is wanting me to use and also gave me some extra tape in case the areas that are taped start to come off. I will go back in 2 weeks.
Now I need a bra! When I got home, I tried on the bra I had bought before surgery and it is ok but not great. It just isn’t strong enough to hold up my breasts and I think the straps are too long (not adjustable). I need to find something. Any suggestions? I think I need a DD or maybe DDD cup right now and either a 38 or 40 chest size.
My PS told me I could start driving as long as I am not taking any of the pain medication but reminded me of my lifting restrictions. He told me my incisions are only about 10% healed right now, so I know I need to be very careful not to do too much. I plan to continue mostly laying around the house for another week. Our kids have a couple of appointments next Wednesday, so I need to decide whether I am (or should be) up to driving them to those or whether my husband should take time off work to do it. I know once I start driving, I will start doing too much.
So, I have been wearing a bra during the day now. I am actually using the one I bought before my surgery. At first I thought it wasn’t going to work, but it actually works quite well for what I need right now- something to hold my ABD pads in place. I am still getting drainage out the bottom incision on both sides. In fact, my left side has an area that has started to bleed a little- that T junction. I think I can see that my incision has split open a tad there on both sides. I am still struggling with my rash. I think today it finally started looking a little better- not quite as red hot. It is kinda gross as I have skin peeling off. I am still applying anti fungal cream twice a day when I change my ABD pads. I am also using some essential oils very sparingly on some of the rash areas but not directly on my incisions (that will come later when I am more healed).
I have an area in my right armpit that has a couple little, hard lumps. It is sore. My side bruising is almost all gone. In fact, my all over bruising is looking so much better! The flap under my arm on my left side has gotten kind of hard. I am assuming this is swelling. I do not have my full range of motion, yet. I have a feeling it will take a few more weeks for that. I started driving again, yesterday- just drove both my daughters to their piano lessons. It felt a little ouchy but not too bad. I don’t feel like I should do any dishes, cleaning or laundry yet. Well, actually, I feel like I can fold some laundry but not put it into the washer/dryer or carry to my bedroom. My husband has done really well with all of that and I’m going to keep having him do it for as long as I can to give my incisions the best chance at healing faster. Not sure when I will start cooking again. We are still eating leftovers from all the meals our family and friends brought us. I think we will run out in the next 2-3 days.
Well, here are the pics from this morning... Oh, I also weighed myself this morning. I am down about 13 pounds since the day before my surgery.
My rash is so much better! I cheated a little. I was using the OTC anti fungal cream and felt like progress was going so slowly. I have some prescription strength stuff from before my surgery as I have battled yeast rashes between/under my breasts for YEARS. I had run out of the OTC stuff so I started using some of my prescription and it has helped lot! I still have some peeling skin but it looks and feels a lot better!
I am still having to use the ABD pads under my breasts to catch the drainage and keep the open areas covered. The drainage has slowed down quite a bit, tho. Some of it is kind of a nasty yellow, but from what I’ve read, that is most likely fat necrosis coming out.
My sensation continues to get better and better. I still have none in my left nipple, but my sides/armpits (lipo areas) are starting to come back. I have some zingers here and there but not much yet. And I still have that weird zing/discomfort when I swallow liquids.
I think I still have quite a bit of swelling in some areas that are hard to the touch- the most in my left side where lipo was done. It is like rock hard. I am super eager to see how my sides look over the next few months. My PS says the skin will tighten up. I sure hope so!
I have begun to do more activity the past few days. I am not doing any dishes, cooking, cleaning or heavy lifting for sure. But I am driving and getting out of the house some. Tomorrow, I am going to help my husband fold the laundry after he takes care of washing/drying it. I do feel like I could be doing more, but I have decided to hold myself back until I see my PS on Friday. I want to make sure I don’t do anything to make my incisions worse. My mother keeps getting on my case about making sure I am resting and doing NOTHING. Well, that’s hard to do when you have 3 kids. My husband has been wonderful thru this, but I know he is looking forward to the day when I can resume my normal activity level!
Wanted to add one more thing. I am still sleeping in my recliner. I keep trying to lay flat in bed and it is not comfortable. It feels like I have a ton of weight on my chest. I keep thinking it should feel like LESS weight but it feels tight. I could not even tolerate lying flat on my back for my 30 minute massage on Friday. She had to prop me up a bit because my chest felt too heavy/tight.
Do I need to call my PS?
Went to the doctor
He said to go ahead and keep my appt for Friday as well. It will probably look about the same but it will be good for him to keep an eye on it. I’m super happy I called and they had me come in! I guess I should have called last week!
Also, I asked about the hard areas on my sides and he confirmed that it is swelling from the liposuction. He said it will take a couple months for that swelling to start going down and then it will flatten out. I will be THRILLED if my sides flatten out!!
6 weeks- doc appt
1) use one hand to hold up breast and keep it up the entire time
2) dry off with towel
3) apply melaluca (tea tree oil) to skin underneath bottom incision ward off yeast rashes
4) apply helichrysm right on and around opening(s) in incision
5) use blow dryer on low setting to fully dry skin on and around that bottom incision
6) apply nystatin ointment to opening(s)
7) apply ABD pad
8) pull bra down into place
Then I repeat for the other side. Also, some days I’ve had to use moisturizer around my areolas as the skin was getting too dry (PS told me to do this). I will also show you a pic of what it looks like to have my bra holding my ABD pads in place. I think this was the last day I used the 8x10 size pads. After that, I switched to the 5x9 pads. I wish they made these even smaller. I really prefer the feel and function of the ABD pads over gauze pads, etc. I know some people like using menstrual pads, too.
At night I just use the melaluca, new ABD pads and an athletic wrap to keep them on so I can go without my bra (I really needed a break from the bra at the end of the day earlier on) and no tape. Took me a few weeks to figure this one out. I should prob take a pic so you can see what I mean.
I have been happy with Dr. Elwood. He isn’t super touchy-feely (more on the scientific side). He showed me before/after photos of some of his patients, talked about risks/benefits, and answered all of my questions at my first consultation. His office is nice, and I do not feel rushed. I think he really cares about his work. He came in to check on me in my hospital room the evening of my surgery, before he went home, which meant a later night for him. I will add more to this review as I receive follow-up from him.