First day after surgery
These pictures were taken from the day before surgery took place. My arms measured 13 inches in diameter.
Had an horrendous night after surgery as I couldn't sleep . I was originally supposed to be a day case and go home a few hours after surgery, but because my surgery was done until late in the day and I didn't feel very well - I had the shakes, was freezing cold and had a rash. The rash went, don't know what it was and the nurses warmed me up i felt a bit better but didn't feel I could cope with a 90 minute drive home so I stayed overnight.
I feel very sore and can't really move my arms much. When I am trying to get in and out of bed I have to use my stomach muscles to sit up and 'bum' walk my way to the edge of the bed.
I need to wear my compression garment night and day for 2 weeks and then overnight for a further 4 weeks. I can't wash under my arms until the staples come out in a week's time. Any hints or tips as to how to deal with this I would be very grateful.
Thanks for reading my review.
My husband has measured my arms for me today and I am a little bit disappointed to see that in one place they are actually bigger than my measurements before surgery. I am hoping that this is due to fluid/swelling build up in my arms and they will reduce down quite a bit. Ivo took photos of what he removed and has shown them to my husband and he was quite shocked, said they looked like a couple of chicken fillets. Once Ivo has emailed them to me I will upload them to this review. Probably wasn't the best time to start measuring as it is less than two days since surgery and I am a little impatient and want immediate results.
I have a little more movement in my arms today and can actually pull up my own knickers now after using the loo. Oh what it is to have a supportive husband to help you with these things. I am so lucky.
Compression garment removed
Took the compression garment off today so I could have a bit more of a wash. Can't get into my armpits though. My husband took some pictures but you can't really see anything and the dressing in my l left armpit is a bit more bloodied than on the right side. There was a bit of spotting on the sheets this morning. So my husband is washing out the garment to freshen it up and I have put on another garment that I got off of ebay. This new garment is slightly different in that it consists of two separate sleeves which are attached to each other by long Velcro straps at the back and at the front. You can have a look at the garment on triangle surgical.uk. I have the back velcro strap done up but not the front one as already feel that as it doesn't go down over my chest it is rubbing in the armpit. I will be wearing it whilst my other garment is drying.
I haven't measured my arms today, thought I should leave it a few more days before I do that again. Still taking the antibiotics, ibuprofen and paracetamol and feel quite well in myself although getting myself dressed this morning has knackered me right out.
This is a picture of compression garment provided by hospital. Much more comfortable than the one I got from ebay.
Compression garment free photos
These photos were taken when compression garment was removed (with help). There doesn't appear to be much bruising and my arms look no different than before. But my husband has seen the skin and fat that was removed so what you can see is swelling. My left armpit is very tender and there appears to have been more bleeding on the left rather than the right arm.
12 inches today
Well I couldn't help myself, I had to measure my arms again. They are now 12 inches. This is progress. After looking at before photos I can see that they are swollen, especially in the crook of my elbows.
Pain is not quite so bad and I have a little more movement. Have to sort of roll onto my side when I try to get out of bed then sort of push down with my right arm on the bed to get upright - beached whale springs to mind.
Only taking antibiottics now
Have now decided to stop taking the paracetamol and ibuprofen now. I can manage without out the paracetamol and the ibuprofen is making me constipated. Have now taken something to deal with that.
Yesterday I went out for a short walk and had to wear my husband's jacket as can't bend my arms back far enough to get my own on. Today I have been out for another walk, did about a mile and I found an old jacket of mine that I could slip on without bending my arms to far back.
Today on my compression garment there was a bit of fresh bleeding under the right arm so I must have overstretched at some point. I must be more careful.
I have a new way of measuring my arms. Yesterday I tied a shoelace round my arm, left it tied up and slipped it off and today slipped it back on s t I'll tied up and there was about half inch difference, so pleased with that.
First hairwash today
Well still not able to wash properly under my arms, have to be content with using baby wipes very carefully as I don't want to disturb anything.
Had to get my husband to wash my hair for me by leaning over the side of the bath. It is not as clean feeling as I like but better than before.
Been out for a walk today, have walked about 2 and half miles so slowly making it back up to my daily 5 miles plus. Also feeling a bit sad as this week I have been bingeing on 'downton abbey' and there is no more to watch.
Tomorrow is the big reveal day and I get to see what my arms look like under the dressings. Will still need to wear the straightjacket for a further week night and day and then at night for 4 more weeks.
Do not view new pictures if you are squeamish
I have taken my last antibiotics today and I had my staples removed yesterday (Fri). I feel a bit unsupported without them, they were like a safety blanket. My husband counted that there were 45 staples in one arm and a similar amount in the other one. I have posted some new pictures but I warn you that they aren't pretty.
Ivo very happy with how it looks, says it is going to plan. Should be able to use scar cream and silicone tape in about a week's time once there are no open wounds. Feeling very sore and tender still and in some parts my arms feel numb.
I know the latest pictures look horrendous but they are pretty much on a par with other pictures that I have seen.
I will now only be posting on a weekly basis as think it won't really show dramatic healing on a daily basis.
22 Sep 2016
8 months post
It is now eight months since my surgery and this is what my arms look like now. Not happy with the look of my arms but some of the sagginess has gone so they look better from that point of view.
On my last appointment in July with my surgeon Ivo he has said that he will do a revision on the scar on my right arm but not the lumpy bit at the elbow end. I will see if he can improve on that.
12 Oct 2016
9 months post
I saw my surgeon Ivo on Monday 10 October and he is going to do a scar revision on my right arm. The scar is very rigid and stands out. The photo doesn't really show it that well but is about 6 cm long from my armpit. That will happen on 30 Nov. So fingers crossed that it will improve the look of my scar. It does mean more scarring but as it is on the inside of my arm it won't be visible unless I lift my arm up.