Had vertical sleeve surgery 12/15/15. I have lost...
Had vertical sleeve surgery 12/15/15. I have lost 97 lbs to date, down from 294 pounds. My first stop on the magical plastic surgery tour is a much-needed arm lift. Because I will need several procedues, I am doing the arms first alone. Once I heal and have the time, I will move to the next procedure.
Day of Surgery
After some rescheduling, I finally had my surgery today around 11:30am. I don't remember anything past being wheeled into the OR and then waking up. I had warned them that I was extremely nauseous after surgery, so they gave me a patch to go behind my ear and also said they wouls give me extra nausea meds in my IV, and thank God I have not had any nausea or vomiting. Was able to get dressed with help and get home and up the stairs and into bed with no problem. And then I slept for several hours. Woke up not in pain, just mainly uncomfortable and sore, especially under arms in my pits. Husband fixed me some soup and got me a Slurpee as my throat was sore after the procedure from the tube. Took some Tylenol for pain management and will probably take some pain meds before bed just to help me sleep. Started taking Bromelain post surgery, and I read in another persons post that they were told to take Bromelaim on an empty stomach to reduce swelling. Continued taking Arnica under the tongue-started taking daily about a week ago to hopefully help with bruising and swelling. I am gauze bandaged from wrist to shoulder and have taped pads in my pits. I have been able to get up and walk around a little. Even in the gauze and pads, I see a stunning difference in the size and shape of my arms which is awesome. I will take and post pics once the bandages come off.
Day 3 (Two days post op)
The day after surgery I felt pretty great and didn't need pain meds. Took daughter to her dr. appt via Uber, and by the time we got home I was exhausted and napped. Today I had first follow up visit with dr. When the nurse unwrapped me, everything looked pretty good overall except for my inner left elbow which was very, very swollen and seeping blood. Dr was not concerned. They changed my dressing and wrapped me back up in Ace bandages. Today is Wednesday and he said I could shower Friday. I started working today as I work from home and it seemed mostly manageable. My biggest problem today was intestional discomfort and evacuation and cold chills. I think maybe all the literal crap in my system from surgery was working it's way out of me. Very unpleasant, especially considering that pulling down and up my underwear and pants is tough. I also habe not been able to put my arms down at my side since surgery, so I walk around like C3PO. My compression garment was measured for and ordered today and I hope to have it Friday. Arm circumfrence pre surgery was 16" and now with swelling and gauze it measured at 12"! Ordered some Medihoney which should be here tomorrow to hopefully help with wound healing.
Day 4 with pics (beware)
Let me preface these pics by saying that all my life I have bruised extremely easily, yet I am not anemic. So please keep this in mind when looking at the gruesomeness below. Took my bandages off this morning to change the dressing. Left inner elbow is still swollen and oozing, but there is no pain, no heat, no infection. Received my compression garment from Make Me Heal, and it already feels better on than the gauze and Ace bandages. I am planning have husband drive me to CVS tonight to stock up on gauze and manuka honey. Still having intestinal upset, and I think the Bromelain is the culprit. I don't remember if I mentioned this in my previous posts, but despite losing almost 100 lbs, I only lost an inch from each arm. My arms prior to surgery measured 16" and immediately post surgery with gauze and tape, I measured 12".
Finally was able to shower, and there was no pain, just range of motion is still pretty limited as the stitches are very tight. I knew going in that the stitches would be tight, but until you experience it you have no idea. The worst of the tightness is in the incision in my arm pit. Day 5 was overall fine. No pain, just discomfort. Need help getting dressed as I cannot hook or unhook my bra. I would recommend buying a few front closure bras to anyone getting this surgery. Brusing and swelling look much improved, and using the manuka honey has already made a difference in the closing of the wounds. I am going to get my hair washed and blown out today as I don't think my range of motion is there yet to wash and dry and style my hair. Was able to work all day at my home desk job and was able to do a few additional very light chores today like putting the dishes away and loading the dishwasher slowly and gently.
Two weeks post arm lift
Had my two week follow up today and things are going well. Doctor seemed please with the progress. The nasty elbow from two weeks ago is gone, and the only noticeable swelling I have left is at both elbows, and a little under the arm pits. Week 1 was pretty rough with soreness, uncomfortableness and not being able to do anything for myself in regards to dressing or washing my hair. Range of motion started steadily improving aftet a week, and by the end of week 2 I can do most any task within reason. Started back with my almost daily walking routine yesterday, and doctor cleared me to do other exercise, even weight bearing, but I think I will give myself a little mote time...I just don't feel ready. The large manuka honey pads at CVS have been worth every penny in helping to heal my incisions. I am going to switch over to a combo of Embrace scar solutions for the incision ony forearm and biocorneum for the rest of my incisions. Doctor will see me back in the office in a month.