Like many others on here I am beginning the...
Like many others on here I am beginning the journey of removing excess skin that has been the baine of my life for the last 5 years. I feel like it is a constant reminder of the person I used to be and I can't wait to get rid of it.
At my heaviest I was almost 24 stone and had a gastric band fitted to help.me on my weight loss journey. I managed to lose 10 stone with the band and unfortunately the tube became disconnected from the port and I needed a reversal op. With a small weight increase, I was determined to get back on track and joined slimming world to remove the last stubborn pounds. Today I weight 11 stone with approximately a stone of excess skin, so the way I see it without it I would be my ideal weight.
My surgery plans are to remove my arms excess skin first, I meads this decision for two reasons. Firstly I wish to have children so a tummy tuck was out of the question for now and secondly because I want to swim and play tennis and the excess skin is painful when it hits the water. Next on my skin removal will be my tummy and at this time I will have breast implants before then having an uplift to remove skin- my surgeon wants to do it this way so the implants have had a year to settle as he refuses to operate on multiple areas and with less than a year recovery. Finally will be my thigh lift and all being well I will have a nice contoured body all be it a bit covered in scars.
So it's the day before my operation and I am feeling extremely nervous but excited at the same time. I've read so many mixed reviews on arm lifts and although I know what to expect I don't think anything prepares you for it.
Day 1 post op
Right Ladies it's time to update over a cuppa. I went down for surgery around 4 30pm and was still out of the land of living at 9pm despite having a special anaestetic where sickness is minimised and you come around quicker.
So I awoke at 4 in a lot of pain and was given a second dose of liquid morphine. I've had this and codeine on and off. I have had iv antibiotics and saline and my canola has just come out. I now have blow up dvt devices on my legs to prevent hear.
I'm sat up in bed with my arms propped up and although it's bloody uncomfortable the pain is manageable. The compression sleeve is ridiculously tight and the bra closing tides up my back.
All being well? I should be going home after dinner.
Ouch someone please help me.
So as the day has been wearing on I picked up about lunchtime and felt quite good. Morphine every two hours was helping but now I'm due to go home qnd don't feel ready. My arms are really swllen and my garment is cutting in really bad but the nurses don't have a spare one which is fair enough as they are made to measure. I've been give meds to go home which is codeine and ibruprofen. The problem at the moment is the more my arms swell, the less movement I have and more blood that is appearing. I feel like it's cutting off the circulation. Is this normal?
I am convinced this is the wrong dressing as when pre op took my measurements they asked for my bra size which isn't the span of your back and rather than having a bra type one, I have the three quarter length sleeve one with the bra clip fastenings which are high up my back and neck. As it goes around into my armpit it is extremely tight and I don't know what to do. I've asked and they have agreed it looks tight. Do the arms swell even more or by day 3 is it easing? Is there anything I can take for this?
It's day three and so far things are okay. My incision is itchy but I guess that's everything knitting back together. I have limited movement and some swelling in my left armpit which extends into my bust but I'm taking antibiotics so hopefully that will sort it out. My pain killers are working and the pain is bearable and niggling. Hopefully I will have a shower tomorrow and have a look at everything, at the moment I'm too tired to do anything other than read in bed but is only day three. It's now the perfect opportunity for popcorn, cup of tea and Bridget jones' diary.
Day 5 post op
It's been a rollercoaster few days. I felt a little rough on Sunday night which was 3 days post op. I contacted the surgeons secretary and was told I could go into the hospital to get wounds checked if I wanted. This was much to my relief as I was concerned there was a funny smell from the one armpit. They checked the wound and removed some very thick blue wadding. It turns out that when moaning about my garment being too tight and them being changed from the large into the double xl, the latter is a little too lose and wasn't compressing my arms enough. I have changed back into the large and now I am incredibly uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. Up until putting this back on recovery was great. I've now got the garment digging into the wounds in my armpits cutting through the skin and it's all very painful. I've contacted my surgeon to see if I can get the next size up but between this and the one that's too big, so ideally an xl as I can't cope with this and need to wear it for 6 weeks. The arm pit incisions are job aggravated, hot and painful so I'm just sat by the fan. Disapointed by this as recovery was going so well, a little too well and easier than I thought.
I've tried packing the garment out, bra extenders, more padding on my wound. Repositioning it but it all comes back to the fact that the back span is too tight even on the lowest setting.
Day 9 and my first full shower
Wow, that clean feeling was immense, I literally felt the dirt wash off me. It was all quite sureal to be honest, I took the dressings off my underarms and the compression garment, leaving behind the surgical tape and got into the shower. I had a gentle wash and there was no discomfort from the wounds at all to be honest. I patted it dry and then request dressed the wounds, putting the garment back on was quite difficult as my arms had swollen a little. This shower took me all of an hour from start to finish and I was only in there 10 minutes.
I've had a look at my arms and they look much smaller but I thought a little more may have been taken off but my husband assures me he could feel the swelling in the arm
What works to bring down the swelling?
I'm due to see the cosmetic nurse this week nd she will have a good look at the wounds etc. I've had a really tight feeling nine my right arm which stretches into my armpit- it kind of feels like the armpit has been pulled to tight creating a flank of skin that sticks out more than the other Hut again my husband assures me it is due to the taping pattern they have used. All in all I am recovering well, all be it a little slower than I would have liked. Every day I get stronger and can see an improvement in my arm mobility.
Post op day 12 calling everyone who's had an armlift
Today I went back to the hospital as I was concerned I had an infection in the armpit. The surgeon has had a look and explained that it's where the skin has puckered a little and releasing some of the fluid, but there is no hole of infection in there. He strapped it with steri strips and told me to keep it clean and dry. I'm now starting to smell in the armpits and feeling sweaty and irritable. I'm due to have the surgical tape removed day 14 and am anxious about scar placement and what's been going in under the tape.
I'm qondering when everyone else had the surgical tape removed?
What happened next with your recovery etc, what did your surgeon suggest to do to look after them?
Post op day 20...infection and gutted
I was doing so well. My left arm has healed perfectly and when I changed my compression garment on Sunday I noticed a yellow discharge from the right arm wound. It had a peculiar smell and I started to feel a little unwell. I have been seen in clinic and placed on antibiotics.
Can someone tell me if they think this will heal okay...will I still have a nice white scar pr will it always be red around it now? Just not sure how it will heal following the infection. I'm so upset as I've followed all the advice and my left arm is amazing.