Author Topic: Sam's diary - starting 2 days postop  (Read 5305 times)

Offline samuel2040

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Hi,

I thought I'd start a diary here to record my experience and maybe help those who are facing the same problem I was.  Forewarning: I'm currently drugged up pretty well, so this may be a bit sloppy..  :-)

I'm 29 years old and up until a few days ago, I had a 'moderate' case of asymetrical gyne.  My chest measurement was 38" and almost all of that was due to my left breast, which was pretty substantial.  I've had gyne since puberty and was, like many of you guys, just completely sick of it.  It interfered with my enjoyment of life - I wore baggy shirts and I was embarassed to go shirtless in public.  I'd avoid swimming or other activities; I was always the guy hanging out at the pool with his shirt on "cause I burn easily."  There was no particular trigger for me choosing to do the surgery; I'd just simply had enough.  I asked my doc for a reccomendation then did a lot of internet searching and reading here.  I chose Dr. Jeffords in Smyrna, GA to do my surgery based on his vast experience (he's done > 600 of these procedures and has had it done on himself) and the great vibe I got from him during our consultation.  So far I'm very very very glad I did.

I'll save you all the bitching and moaning about how life was before - I think we all are painfully familiar with that.  I'll focus instead on the preop conversations I had with the doc, the day of my surgery, and my recovery.

In my conversations with Dr. Jeffords about lipo and glandular excision, I learned that with the ultrasonic lipo he uses, he can actually remove both fat and gland via the without the need to make any nipple incisions to remove the gland, provided the gland isn't too large (in my case, it wasn't).   He said the cannula device vibrates rapidly and heats up and "melts" out the fat and gland.  He did a pretty thorough check of my breast to make sure there weren't any big "boulders" of glands which he would have to manually cut out.

After we were finished talking about my soon-to-be-gone breasts, he asked me about abdomin and love handle lipo.  I hadn't ever considered it, and told him so - but then started looking thru the photos he shot.  I guess I'm just a asymetrical guy: I had one pretty huge love handle on my left side (none on my right) and and one fairly big fat deposit on the right side of my belly.  He said he could contour both of those nicely during the same surgery, so I decided to go with the combo package: chest, trunk, and flanks lipo.  Total: ~$7K

The day of surgery, I showed up at the hospital early and played the waiting game.  A nurse started an IV on my wrist and when the appointed hour came, the doc marked me up and introduced me to the rest of the surgical team.  The anestheseologist gave me a shot of something into my IV which gave me a mild buzz, but I wanted to be completely out of it so she gave me another shot.  Boom - that's the last thing I remember before waking up.  I have no memory of being wheeled in or out of the OR, or of getting any laughing gas.  Dig it!

When I woke up, about 3.5 hours later, I was COLD and pretty sore all over.  The recovery nurses gave me some crackers and ginger ale to drink, then started plying me with pain meds.  I got a pretty nice assortment - first 10mg of oxy (percocets), then a couple blasts of Demorol.  That stuff did exactly what I was looking for: warm, painless, and off to sleep.  I woke up a couple hours later to be taken home and got another demorol + fentergin (anti-nausea) blast.   I was good to go.  I didn't even mind (much) when they removed my catheter.  I don't remember much of the hour-and-a-half car ride home.  

The doc gave me a script for percocets and said it was very hard to predict the amount of pain I'd feel: some guys think it's the worst ever, and some don't even need any pain meds.  Well, chaulk up another in the first category - I've been eating percocets for the last 40 hours or so and I think I'm starting to turn the corner on the pain.  The percs and muscle relaxers do a very nice job, although they zonk me pretty well (which is just fine by me).  I think they might be a little much for somebody who doesn't like that sort of feeling, but they were just what I needed to be comfortable.

The night of the surgery, I woke up about every 3 hours in pain and having to pee.  I managed to get myself into the bathroom and do my business, although it was pretty sucky.  The day after I slept, ate pudding, and took heavy doses of narcotics.  The 2nd night I woke up twice because I had to pee, once at 3am and once at 5am.  Getting to the bathroom was easier than on the first night.

So here I am on Sunday, the 2nd full day after my surgery.  I'm bruised up pretty well, but my chest, abdomin, and lovehandle all look fantastic.  I swear, it's like looking down at another guy's body - I do not recognize my now flattened self at all.  Too cool!!!  I'm going to see the doc on Monday to have my drain removed and see if I am ready to go to the "stage 2" compression garment.  And yeah, the garment sucks - itchy + tight.  But it's a small price to pay for an optimum result, in my mind.

Now I'm going back to bed and Tivo.  I'll post some before/after pictures here a bit later.

--
Sam

Offline samuel2040

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Oh, one more detail - the doc removed a total of 4 liters of fat from me.  Mmmmm..

Offline Blitz

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Great news.  Good luck on the recovery process.  Post some pics if possible.

Offline nothingworse

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Sounds great, hope your healing/recovery process turns out best for you. Good luck you have that same problem like me with one small practically nothing there lovehandle and than one large one. My GP pointed that out to me when I saw him about my gyne. I wish when I get surgery in about 1-3 months I could also get the love-handle taken care of but, just the gyne being gone is all I really need. I can work on the love handle and diet a little more to reduce it anyways. Anyways rambling again good luck and sounds like things have turned out very well so far.


Offline Blitz

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Put some underwear on!

Just joking (kind of).  It looks like a total success.  Your gyne wasn't that bad to begin with but you can really see the difference in the before and after.  I can see why people with a mild case of gyne might be bothered with it.  

As for the lovehandle...wow!!  

Your doc did a great job.  

Offline samuel2040

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Update - day 3/4 post-op

Recovery is not fun.  I am currently enjoying a bit of skin numbness in various places and a general "run-down" feeling.  On the positive side, I finally had a nice poo this morning, which conincided with my stopping the percocet onslaught yesterday evening.

Yesterday I had my drain removed and the doc told me the next pleasure I can look forward to is the "rock-hard-skin" phase.  He says this will start within a week and last about a week or so.  He told me to go get a couple of pairs of one-size-too-small special synthetic t-shirts you wear under football pads (they are called "Underarmour") which would provide good compression for my chest - apparently the compression garments they give you do a good job for the abs and back, but not so great for the chest itself.  What we're trying to accomplish is good skin re-adherance - if I don't to achieve that, I'll have saggy skin.  Booo.  Yesterday I acquired a couple pairs of Underarmor shirts and I can definitely tell the difference: I wear them under the regular compression garment and they are doing an excellent job of squishing everything together.  

I think I'm gonna be uncomfortable and itchy at least until I get my stiches out next Monday.  In the meantime I'm trying to take it easy and get some work done from home.    

It's already WAY worth it, but I'm really looking forward to getting thru this next month or so.

sam
« Last Edit: August 18, 2005, 06:44:09 PM by samuel2040 »

Offline Blitz

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Recovery can be a bitch.  Hang in there and I'm sure within a month or two, you'll be fine.

Keep us posted and keep the pics coming.

Offline samuel2040

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Update - day 11 post-op

I got my stitches out yesterday!  I had a number of them (something like 10 different incisions) but it was mostly a non-event.  It's nice to have them out - rolling over or stretching my skin a little 'tugged' a bit with them in (especially the dreaded bellybutton stitches).  My incisions are covered with an ether-based superglue which they tell me will wear/wash off over the next couple of days.

I'm being a good boy and wearing my compression garment and the underarmour shirts 24/7 (save for showering).  My brusing is WAY down (and mostly just yellow, except for a few stubborn areas), and my swelling is only really noticable in my flanks and abdomen.  My chest is still a bit swollen on both sides, but it looks great.  

The doc says it's going to be another 2-3 weeks before I will have my activity restriction lifted (as well as getting rid of the garment), and I know THAT will be a very happy day indeed.

The mostly annoying thing I'm dealing with at the moment is the onset of the "hard skin" phase.  It has started on my flanks and is working its way around my abdomen; my chest has also started to harden up over the last day or so.  They tell me this is caused by scar tissue being laid down and the skin reattaching, and that it'll go away within a week or two.  As this is happening, I am starting to regain a little nerve sensation at my hips and lower back.  Sensation seems to comes back as itching first, so I know I'll get to enjoy that for a few weeks.

Incidentially, I've been reading more about lipo recovery lately - apparently weeks 2-3 are the most uncomfortable for many folks, for the reasons I describe.  Rock on - I can't wait!   ;D

Sam

Offline Pferdestärken

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Sam

have you got any links on the lipo recovery info? I'm two months in now and just getting some large areas of hard tissue, which hurt. This is the most uncomfortable I've been since the op. Maybe at 45 my healing process is a lot slower?
Pics | Op 3/6/05 Mr Paul Levick

Offline samuel2040

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Just a quick photo update - sorry for the quality (or lack thereof) here; I took these today (the others are from the doc).

Day 13 chest front:
http://photobucket.com/albums/b148/samuel2040/?action=view&current=lipo_day_13_front_chest.jpg

Day 13 chest left side:
http://photobucket.com/albums/b148/samuel2040/?action=view&current=lipo_day_13_left_chest.jpg

As for recovery - no particularly useful links I can give; I've been googling all manner of things around "liposuction recovery" and ran across a couple message boards where folks have talked about lipo recovery (and specifically the tight/hard skin and numbness).

YMMV, of course, but my doc said that massage after the 3rd or 4th week can help break up the scar tissue (and a course of massages are included in his treatment fee).

I'm out for now - more later.

sam

Offline samuel2040

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Another brief update - the 'hard skin' continues to spread across areas which it had not been through yet (mostly my chest).  I'm still a tad bit tender to the touch pretty much all over, and I still have a pretty decent amount of swelling on my back and lovehandles.  Still some swelling on my chest as well.

The areas of my lower back and sides which hardened up the quickest are still numb and tight, but I have started to recover a bit more skin sensation.

All in all, recovery seems to be going well.  I took some pictures but they are pretty much identical to those from 5 days ago, so I'll skip them for now.   More later.


Offline samuel2040

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I saw the doc late last week and he told me I'm recovering phenomenally; he said I'm in the top 5% of all his lipo patients in terms of recovery and appearance.  I'm glad he's very happy, as that makes me feel good about how it's been going and what my final results will be.  He pulled a big syringe's worth of fluid from my hip at the this visit, which was an enjoyable experience.

Swelling seems to have turned a corner here - my chest, abs, and flanks are all markedly less swollen than they were a week or a week and a half ago.  I still have tight bands of scar tissue around my back and abs, but it seems to be gradually getting better.  The itching has stopped which was welcome.

Getting down to the wire here - my last week wearing the compression garment.  I'll post some pics early next week after I've abandoned it and gotten rid of those garment-lines.

sam


Offline samuel2040

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Hurray!! I have finally ditched the compression garments.

Here are some fresh chest photos I took today.  I still have some swelling, but I think they're looking better and better.  I have vitamin E spooge on my scars, so they may be a little shiny.

Almost all of my sensation has returned; some places are still tender to the touch (especially my back), but the numbness is gone.  One minor irritation is my nipples.  They have gotten "hard" like the rest of my skin did, and they chaffe pretty mercilessly.  Doc said this will pass in a week or two; I figure I'm about half way thru.  Word is that after this phase, they should lie pretty flat.  Dig it!

Chest front:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b148/samuel2040/day_28_front.jpg

Chest left-side:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b148/samuel2040/day_28_left.jpg

Chest right-side:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b148/samuel2040/day_28_right.jpg

Sam

Offline nothingworse

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Sam, those are great results. I have a slight problem with my lovehandles that I might take care of later in a few years. But, those are some of the best results I have seen. Everything looked good. Best of luck to you on healing. If I had those results I would be extremely pleased as well besides the pain. Good luck


 

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