Day of surgery. Greeted by nurse & then doctor...
30 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
Day of surgery. Greeted by nurse & then doctor who marked me up & made adjustments.
Surgery was performed by two doctors, I wore headphones which was a great distraction from the unusual experience. I was conscious enough to remember turning over and asking questions but out of it enough to be able to close my eyes and drift away. Surgery lasted 4 hours but seemed to fly by. No real pain, occasional discomfort which extra has fixed up.
Recover was fine, 2 hours on a drip, no nausea, napped a bit & still felt wasted.
Dr adjaka had also done lipo on my George Michael double chin at no extra charge.
Received blue pads for bed & ride home as well as contact info, instructors & appointments for follow ups and massages.
Friend drove me home and we hung out watching TV. I was mobile and lucid but sleepy. Going to bed now my armpits are starting to ache so taking first painkiller.
1st follow up tomorrow midday then a 3 days until my next appointment ( New Year's Eve tomorrow.
Will post before & after pics once I've had a chance to shower.
Overnight & next morning
30 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
So I woke up at 3am needing to pee (have been peeing heaps since the procedure). I have blue mats and an old beach towel on the bed as well as. A large old cushion to keep my top half elevated. Reasonable amount of seepage on the towel but nothing major.
Forgot to mention yesterday that the doc took 4 litres out which is the upper range & I'm v. Pleased with that.
Been keeping my fluids up with coconut water, Gatorade and tea. Tummy feels like I've done crunches after months doing no exercise, not too bad. The chin is swollen and tender and armpits are tender also.
Took another painkiller & snoozed watching soothing nature documentaries on my iPhone.
Woke up at 7 feeling fine and pottered around making breakfast (fresh veg juice, eggs & toast) and morning antibiotics etc.
Definitely more seepage from the incisions on my groin, been blotting them with kitchen paper. Fluid looks more brown than blood like, kind of like iodine.
A strong coffee worked against the pain killers and I became much more intimate with the crotch flap on the body suit shortly after. As a guy I can pull the flap aside to pee like with y-front briefs but pooping required a much more acrobatic process to keep the body suit out of range of the business at hand.
Day after procedure
30 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
So I just went in to get my 1st massage & a once over from the doctors. As I mentioned in my original review it's New Year Eve today & Sydney basically shuts down for a few days so it was reassuring to have a chance to check in at the clinic and discuss my experience so far & get reminders on all the post-care.
Feeling much more on the ball today, I think I must have been a bit of a space cadet yesterday after the op with the meds etc. Apparently, I was singing George Michael songs during the procedure, I have no recollection & claim plausible deniability LOL
This first massage was extremely gentle and it was a good chance to familiarise myself with my bellys new shape. The rear view is still a bit of a shocker but I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses as the swelling comes and goes in the upcoming weeks.
Still marked up from the surgery & haven't taken off the compression garment fully yet. Hanging out for the first shower when I can switch into the fresh CG & then a day later when I can go without the chin support for a while & get out and about for a walk in the park.
New Years Day, new CG
Slept fine last night, was dozing off when the midnight fireworks went off, watched from my bedroom window & toasted in the new year with a glass of Gatorade and went back to sleep... Party!
Slept well apart from some discomfort when I repositioned myself during the night. Kind of like a mixture between muscle soreness and mild sunburn but not quite.
Got up at 7:30 and made veg juice for breakfast, not super hungry but I have all day to snack if my appetite returns. The wrap around corset bandage is looking and smelling rank from the seepage, gave it a clean and hung it out to dry in preparation for my 1st post surgery shower and change into the2nd compression garment.
Really looking forward to the shower and change as I have been wearing this CG since the op and as you can imagine it's less than fresh... much less. Will try and take it off lying down as advised in the post op app & print-outs. Hopefully I'll be fine but my neighbour is popping around just in case I get faint.
In the meantime I'm enjoying looking out the window and watching all the dirty stop-outs making their way home :)
Shower #1 done and dusted
That went better than expected, I started off lying down when I took the CG off but had to stand to get it past my hips. It's a strange sensation as the skin moves around but not really painful.
Had a warm shower with using 'Gaia' organic baby wash I got from Coles. It's super mild and didn't sting the incisions. Speaking of which they are mostly closed up, there's a few on my flanks and abdomen that are seeping still though. I was extra careful soaping up as there are a fair few numb bits which I'm wary of going too hard on.
Kept finding incisions hidden in books and crannies as I towelled off, which I think is a good sign that any scarring will be discreet. My armpits look like they have had a fair bit of fat removed which I'm pleased about, it always bugged me that I'd managed to get fat armpits... who gets chubby arm pits FFS?
Putting the new CG on was tricky as it's a humid day and the moisture made the sleeves roll up, a bit of cornstarch baby powder fixed that up. I lay back down & readjusted the skin on my abdomen as I did up the garment & put the washed corset back on top. Can't describe how much better it feels now.
Out and about
I'm normally quite active so hanging about at home for a few days was wearing thin by yesterday evening. I took a short 20 minute walk to Rushcutters bay park and back. It felt really good to get some fresh air but I was busting for a pee by the time I got back. Not sure if it's all the compression, extra fluids or a combination of both but I made a mental note to plan ahead next time.
This morning (3rd day after surgery) I went for a walk with an old mate who has had the same kind of procedure a year or so ago. It was good to have someone to chat with about the post surgery 'sensations' and experiences.
If you have done any research an abdominal vaser lipo you may have read that bruising can travel down towards the groin. The day after the procedure I noticed a bruise on one side of my penis which as the days passed has ummm expanded. I'm not going to give you any more detail other than "????" (eggplant emoji) you can figure the rest out.
The walk into the city and a good chat really helped today, wore me out though and I'm ready for a snooze.
Oh, forgot to mention, I bumped into my neighbour on the way out who I have known for years and she immediately noticed & commented on the change in my shape Yessss!!!
I went in for my second massage today, it started off with an inspection of the swelling and a check for any seromas. All good although there was a mark on one side which she suspected was from sitting too much. I have been really careful to remain as flat and straight as possible when resting so hopefully it was just a result of suiting in the waiting room for longer than expected while the client before me had their massage.
The corset binder that I was given after the procedure had begun to split apart along the seams after day 2 and this worsened after I hand washed it which affected the level of compression achieved. The receptionist replaced it for me and will be returning the garment to the supplier. It feels much more comfortable to be bound up tightly again.
During the massage Dr. Ajaka popped into the room a few times and checked on my progress, he has been consistently available so far and the team at the clinic have managed to make what I expected to be an embarrassing and uncomfortable experience to be much less unpleasant than I had imagined.
It's early days still though & there's going to be a few ups and downs over the next few weeks. My mantra is "be kind to yourself" (especially when you look in the mirror with no compression garment on).
Bruises on the move
This day seems to be going on forever. I woke up feeling noticeably more puffy than yesterday. The swelling in my groin below the corset has gone up a lot. I'm have been for a few short walks around the park to break up the tedium but the groin swelling is hurting so I'm taking it easy.
During the massage yesterday she noticed a mark on my left side that she thought was caused by sitting too much. So I've been really careful to avoid sitting where possible, it's either standing or lying flat out to avoid getting kinks in my abdomen.
I just took off the CG for a wash and can see why my groin is sore, a lot of bruising has appeared to have migrated down there & there are some new marks on my side where the corset is tight too. The lady at the clinic made a point about keeping the corset tight so I'll check with her about the bruises in my appointment 1st thing tomorrow morning.
I was pleasantly surprised how flat my tummy was without the CG on, the flanks have retracted a little bit too. I can't wait until I'm healed enough to get back into running again. I'm going to work my butt off to get it into proportion with my torso.
I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that my man boobs are gone & I have a flat chest again. So bloody happy :)
At my massage yesterday they decided that the wrap-around binder/corset that goes over the compression garment could be making a mark. So they switched me over to a larger padded black corset. It definitely gives me more support and is more comfortable to sleep in, however it's padded... and I live in Sydney... and it's summer. It's so hot to wear I have kept mostly inside my apartment with the air-con cranked right up.
I did go out for an early morning walk and got more than a few strange looks, it's hard to disguise the fact I'm wearing a big padded corset under my t-shirt. Oh well it's only going to be a few weeks and the end result is going to be worth it. Kind of bummed my new slimline belly is hidden away under a comedy fat suit but I'm trying to find the humour in the situation.
1 week photos
I just had my massage at Cosmos Clinic at Fernanda took some photos for me to check out my progress. Considering it's only a week since my procedure I'm really pleased with how quickly I have healed already. Dr Ajaka said that the swelling I have now will probably be the worst it gets.
Fernanda thinks it's almost time to switch to a smaller compression garment too :)
Hottest day of the year
It's 39oC in Sydney today and while I was washing my compression garments I took the opportunity to have a quick walk around the neighbourhood.
Getting dressed I quickly realised that I'd be able to delve very deep into my drawers... way down below the XL tops that I'd been hiding under for years and eventually went out in a pair of non-descript medium shorts, singlet (vest) & thongs (flip-flops). I can honestly say that I haven't felt so good just going to the supermarket ever before. Got a few looks on the way too.
After the thrill of 45 minutes of freedom It was back home to the air-con & 15 minutes of massage and stretching. The scar tissue is already forming and I'm being vigilant with the routine that Fernanda gave me to make sure I get the best results possible.
Something to be aware of is that the procedure is just the beginning, make sure whoever you end up going with has a comprehensive aftercare included in the price. The team at Cosmos are professionals and worth every dollar.
BTW - I have been using this massage oil and have had virtually zero bruising.... Wlelda Arnica oil
Ok it's been a freaking heatwave here in Sydney and wearing the CG has really been something to get used to, but that is what change is about.
The repeated follow-up appointments at Cosmos clinic have been very helpful in adjusting during the healing process. Dr Ajaka has made himself available and Fernanda has been consistently professional and encouraging.
Truth be told I can't wait to get out, exercise and get some sun on my skin but after all the research I did reading reviews on RealSelf I'm prepared for this healing process.... BORED but prepared and healing.
My best suggestion is to find friends, actual RL friends who have done this before who you can talk about it with honesty, it makes a huge difference.
Yes it's still a heatwave, the lowest it got last night was 28oC. Forecast was for it to be 32oC for the walk to Double Bay for my massage at Cosmos. When I woke up at 7 & looked in the mirror I was puffy as Bridget Jones on a Monday (Still wearing the chin support overnight).
I thought thrice about cancelling my massage at 10 am and then remembered that the team at Cosmos have seen me flab-out, marked-up and leaking through my compression garment and were always kind and knew what to to. So I soldiered on and was glad I did.
Insider tip, if you sit three chairs from the left in the reception you are exactly under the air-con outlet.
I arrived a bit early and a guy who looked like he'd had all the same procedures as me but was on day 1 arrived a few minutes later. The receptionist immediately checked in on how he was feeling and offered him a room to rest comfortably in. As he passed we had a quick "thumbs up" moment.
I'm back to work next week and I had a good chat with Fernanda about the challenges of wearing a compression garment and stomach plate in a desk job (It's the plastic oval that sits in front of the compression garment between the binder to ensure correct posture and protect your skin as it retracts). She gave some great advice which I think could be different for everyone so it's best to ask yourself.
Dr. Ajaka checked in during the massage and addressed the concern I had about some scarring on an incision. He gave me the choice of immediate treatment (PRP) or waiting a few more weeks for the swelling to settle. I have had PRP on my face before and think it would make sense to leave it until my body has adjusted more.
Every time I take off the compression garment to shower or massage there's always something different. Sometimes it's all brilliant and sometimes I'm puffed up like I've been floating in space all night. I think a lot of this has to do with my quality of sleep, my level of activity & consistent compression.
After checking with the clinic today I went for a swim in the pool in the roof of my apartment. It was midweek and empty when I got up there (phew). Even though the pool is 2 floors away I haven't used it for a few years because it's small and I was BIG and it made me very self conscious. So today I got to experience the pleasure of swimming gentle laps on my own for a good 20 minutes.
Then a group of younger people arrived and said 'hi'. I kept my shoulders down under the water still unsure what it would be like to expose myself. After a five minutes or so they started talking about how they had been to see one of them performing at the 'Nude' exhibit at the art gallery of NSW yesterday.
As I listened to them talk about how their experience I realised that I would be ok to get out of the pool, healing body, scars and all and not be worried. It felt really good, liberating even.
Then back I went downstairs into a new, tighter compression garment and on with my day a bit more determined to heal than ever.
6 Week Follow-up appointment
10 Feb 2017
2 months post
I had my six-week follow-up appointment with Dr. Ajaka today to review my progress and I'm really pleased with the results so far. I have a few areas of scar tissue one of which causes my left nipple to indent down when I flex my chest. This and the other scar was treated today with PRP and Dr. Ajaka advised me to come back in 4 weeks for an additional treatment if required. The PRP, like all of the follow-up appointments & MLD massages were included in the cost of my treatment.
I have uploaded side by side comparison photos from my initial consultation & the ones taken today at my six-week appointment. There's a significant improvement & now I am able to start exercising properly again I'm looking forward to an ongoing improvement.
I'm back at work now & have had several people mention how much better I am looking. What they can't see is how much better I am feeling inside. I'm not worrying about my man boobs jiggling as I go down steps or how much my gut is sticking out when I'm sitting down in meetings.
I'm going to the beach with a friend tomorrow morning.... Me on a beach again after years of being too shy to wear anything but baggy clothes all summer. I can't wait to stretch out on the sand with the sun on my skin and get in the ocean after what seems like forever.