Author Topic: What to expect after surgery  (Read 3979 times)

Offline Chadg56

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After a lot of research I decided to use Dr. Dr. Wilcox in Dallas, Texas to do the surgery.  He uses a surgery that goes in through the armpits instead of incisions around the nipple.  There are a number of benefits to this method but those could be best explained by a surgeon.  Each person’s surgery is different but the below information is to give others an idea of what to expect.

Surgery Day:

I was scheduled for surgery around 11 in the morning but was required to be there an hour before my appointment.  I met with the doctor and he drew lines on my chest with a sharpie to prepare for surgery.  About 15 minutes before surgery the anesthesiologist came in and put an IV line in my arm.  I was then given a cocktail and about a minute later everything goes dark.  I awoke pain free although extremely groggy and incoherent.  After about an hour of being awake I was rolled out to my vehicle so that I could be driven home.  I had not eaten since dinner the night before and by this point was extremely hungry.  I was told to eat light as my stomach could get upset due to the anesthesia.  However, I ate a full sized meal and never felt nauseous nor did I take the anti-nauseous medication.  My chest was very numb and never encountered any pain but I was in and out of sleep the remainder of the day.

Day 1-2:

The first two days after surgery I felt stiff but still was not in much pain.  I took Tylenol but never needed any more medication.  I also began taking an antibiotic that I would continue to take for the following seven days.  I continued to rest comfortably and very little can be said about the first couple days as I was comfortable.

Day 3:

The third day I was slightly sore but Tylenol was enough to take care of the pain.  The padding in my vest began to chafe my skin and cause uncomfortableness.  This was only made worse by the fact that I felt sweaty and dirty and unable to shower or remove the vest.

Day 4:

On day 4 I quit taking Tylenol and while slightly sore was no worse than after a hard workout.  By this time the vest was beginning to aggravate me.  Surprisingly, the annoyance of the vest was worse than any pain from the surgery.

Day 5:

I was finally able to shower and while I thought it would be refreshing I was actually ready to put my compression garment back on.  It is similar to the first time air hits your arm after a cast is removed.  It is not a painful feeling but creepy nonetheless.  Two things that concerned me at first were that my nipples were inverted and my chest was so flat that I had no shape whatsoever.  I would later find out that it is swelling around the outside edges of the nipple that make it appear that it is inverted and this will go away with time.  Also, you will notice black spots on your nipple which is nothing more than bruising.  Regarding the flat chest, much of this is due to being restricted by the vest for 120 straight hours.  Later on you will see that about an hour after removing the vest your chest will drop to a normal appearance.

Day 6-9:

I began feeling much better.  By this point I was fighting the urge to be active.  I had to fight the urge to pick things up and not lift my arms (don’t want to tear the stitches under the armpits).  The vest got worse and worse by the day.  The strange feeling when the vest was removed to shower continued but got better day by day.

Day 10:

On day ten I went to the doctor and had my stitches removed.  The doctor examined my chest and said everything looked very good and the remaining swelling was normal.  I was now able to raise my hands above my head (which doesn’t seem like much until you realize you can’t even get a cup out of the cabinet).  I was also instructed that I could remove the pads from the vest.  This was the turning point of the entire surgery.  After the pads were removed my level of comfort increased more than I could ever explain.  I was still slightly swollen but things looked much better now.  If you can make it through day 10, everything is downhill from here.

Day 11:

Day 11 was pretty easy.  My chest remained slightly numb but was really in no pain.  I was still swollen but this has continued to get better by the day.  The vest isn’t something I would want to wear for the rest of my life but isn’t bad at all once the pads are removed.

I still have to wear the vest for 10 more days but was given clearance to begin full body workouts (including chest) at that point.  All in all, I am very happy with the results and the treatment the clinic I went to has provided.

Offline Chadg56

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An update the the above information.  After the end of week 3 I was able to remove my compression garment.  In the beginning it felt strange not having the garment on and the chest felt vulnerable.  After two days of having it removed this went away although there is still a tingling feeling from the damaged nerves (normal).  Half way through week 3 began to work out again, including chest.  Could do all normal workouts other than shoulder presses.  When reaching above the head with weights the chest is tight and does not allow a complete lockout of the arms.  I would not expect this to last for long at the current rate of improvement.  Minor swelling remains but for the most part results look great.  As swelling decreases, this should improve.


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