Renee’s Summary Of Her Life Changing Surgery
Here is the short summation: I am ten days post-op on my breast reduction surgery, and all is healing well. I am feeling fine. There you go, you are up to date.
For those who have asked for more details, here you go. I had some worries, and I know you want some facts and suggestions to go this route for yourself. Let's start with concerns.
My worries were two-fold.
The surgery and the body image.
I have had this build since I was a teenager, and now I am, in a blink of an eye, changing it. I know how it was to lose the 60 pounds and how my mind had to catch up with that change, and that took months to do. By comparison, this change is instant. Will I look at myself and go, "what have I done"?
I was altering what many view as such a part of being female, this obvious sign of the female form. I have not had any emotional issues post-surgery. I do not see myself in that way. I am just me….with a B cup or E cup. Anyone who would have said anything to deter me because "bigger boobs are better boobs" would be history. No one has said anything like that, but if they did, they clearly are not a person I want in my life.
This lifelong pain I have suffered from this…every time I have become tired of it…and worked to address the pain in so many ways. This surgery is just the next step in this journey, but it was always me advocating for me.
I learned a LONG time ago with medical issues; you have to be your own advocate. You have to set the appointments, be honest, ask questions, you have to listen, you have to trust your gut, and sometimes you just have to ask for a second opinion or referral to get what you need.
Has it worked? I don't know yet. The body is still healing, and I would guess it would take more than ten days to undo decades of having the more prominent breasts.
The second fear with the actual surgery. I never really had surgery before, so I was nervous. All I can say is, for me, it has been easier than I would have imagined. I have felt fine most of the time and never in pain…some discomfort, yes, but no pain. That gang at CMMC and CMMC Plastic Surgery have been great to me.
Now for some details.
I went into the hospital at 5:30 am and being put back in the car to head home at 12:30 pm. It was day surgery, and honestly, I was shocked with how good I felt and have felt the last week and a half. I had to keep reminding myself to not reach for things or not lift things. I have had to remind myself that I am still healing and to ask for help on some tasks. I still have to remind myself to be cautious and not do too much. The Doc asked that I not drive for two to three weeks.
TWO WEEKS? Yes…and I made 11 days, and I am not going very far when I drive. But thank you to Matt and Kristi at work for getting to and from the office, my friend John for helping me around the house, and my friend Pat for taking ShadowDog.
I had to take a shower 48 hours after surgery and let the warm water get on the incisions. They look like they are covered in some sort of glue-like substance. Since they have caused me no issues, I have really not paid much attention to them.
They are dry, pain-free, and no redness, so other than washing them as required, the incisions are not an issue.
I had nothing I would call pain. Itching has been more of an issue and general discomfort. All of this has involved everything except the actual stitches. The itching has been healing from the inside and had been a big issue on my upper chest. This area had no stitches. It was just from the disturbance in the general region. I also reacted to the tape I bought to keep the dressing on the wounds. I used panty liners as my dressing. I would craft a sort of 'U' shaped pad and used a few bit of bandage tape to keep it in place until I could get my sports bra back on to keep compression on the area. As a result of that, I have many little itchy, painful sites on my upper chest. Ten days out, I do not need to wear a dressing on the incisions at this point, just the sports bra, so these areas are finally healing.
I also had a bruise on my elbow that was painful. It is a square bruise, so I think it happened when the nurses took the protective covering off the IV site. NO big deal, but it was just a surprise when I got home, and my elbow hurt more than my chest. There is some bruising along the incision site, and that is normal. A little shocking the first time I noticed it but normal.
It was no fun at all …but served a purpose was the drains I had for eight days. The drain has a bulb that will collect fluids that come down a tube that is inserted under the skin near the incision site. While necessary to keep down the swelling and to encourage healing and a bit gross having to drain them daily, they did cause some tenderness and discomfort where they attached to my chest. Since the drains came out, that mild pain and discomfort are gone.
I have an increase in swelling as my body had to deal naturally with any extra fluid. No big deal. I am thrilled to have the drains out.
I had the surgery on January 14, and today is January 25. I am still recovering, and I will be for weeks and months as the incisions heal, the breast tissue settles into place. My breast area is starting to feel like to belongs to me again. It has felt weird for the last week like I had a breastplate attached to my chest. But this is slowly going away.
I will need to wear sports bras 24-7 for a few months, and in two weeks, I can start to work to minimize the scaring by massaging the incisions with Vit E oil.
Now for some tips, I have learned.
You should not be reaching for anything after your surgery. Put all the stuff you need or regularly use out on your counter: coffee cups, plates, foods, clothes, things like that. You are not to be reaching for items in your cabinets or closets.
Before surgery, I was practicing doing things. I would stick my elbows to my side and see what I could or could not do. I know it sounds still, but it did help. And you will need your legs a lot to get up since you can't push yourself up with your arms. Start doing swats a few weeks out. I also have one of those grabby things to pick up little things from the floor. As admit and accept you will need a bit of help in the first few weeks or even months.
There is it...all my current thoughts and updates from the breast reduction surgery. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I am happy to help.
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