Author Topic: Surgery in Sydney shortly - Dr Ben Norris  (Read 8652 times)

Offline froob

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Great to hear it went well! 
I was under the impression that the vest would have to stay on and no showers were allowed for a few days after the surgery. Unless it was a "dry" shower?


Offline rajek

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Great to hear it went well!
I was under the impression that the vest would have to stay on and no showers were allowed for a few days after the surgery. Unless it was a "dry" shower?

I was told I could have a shower every day as long as it's quick! :) 

Offline rajek

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THE DAYS AFTER SURGERY (1 - 3)
I'm addressing these days together because they are really mostly the same.

I've had a bit of pain. Reading people's surgery experiences on here, most people say that they feel 'discomfort' more than pain... When I'm completely still, there's not much pain. But if I get up, reach for something, carry a glass of water, change clothes, go to the toilet...there's a bit of pain. That said, it's probably down at the 3/4 mark, really, and I haven't even been very diligent with taking my pain killers. There's a packet of endone here going begging if anyone wants it. ;)
So, what's it been like? Well, kinda depressing. I can't move much so all I do is watch Netflix or walk around the house getting food or cups of tea. I've walked up to the post office or the milk bar which has been fine, but the steps are slow and a little painful. I'll probably be off work all week. 

That said, I did have the amazing experience of having a shower. It was completely surreal to take off the compression vest (partially because it is just so, so, so, annoying!) and to see my new chest - completely flat. My nipples are all smooshed under the waterproof dressings and there are weird dents across my 'pecs' from where the compression vest digs in, but as it's only a couple of days in, I'm really not worried about it. It's flat, and it looks weird. Sounds normal, right guys? Right? 

That said, there's really not a lot of bruising. I'm kind of a funny colour all over my chest and the compression sort of forces everything into weird spots (it makes me look like I have a little pot belly because the compression is weakest at the zip which is in the middle). I really hate the vest. Did I mention I hate the vest?

Showers are quick and joyless affairs. I delicately scrape soap across the smelly bits and then rinse off and hop back into the vest. I know it's paranoid, but I am trying to spend as small amount of time as possible out of the vest. Once a day I check to make sure the padding under the vest and on top of my nipples is in the right spot, but I don't take the vest completely off for that. I want to be the model patient. 

Sleeping is more of a pain. I'm still not used to sleeping on my back. I woke up at 4 am this morning thinking I had stomach cramps and could do nothing but put my hands on my stomach and pray they'd go away. Then I remembered someone on here said that he got back pains from sleeping on his back. I got up, walked around, and the pains went away! Then I got back to sleep and was up a few hours later with the back pain. It's a horrible way to sleep, but it's sleep so I'm not complaining. 

I don't want to get my hopes up and I want to be realistic about the possible results, but I am quietly feeling really optimistic. Even just walking around the house in the vest I can't believe how flat my chest is. I can't wait to be able to walk freely without the vest and start living my new life. I haven't cried yet, but I know it's inevitable that I'm going to have a big emotional outburst about it.

Offline cky2k

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Hi Rajek,

Great write up, I had my surgery 2 weeks ago and have very similar experiences to you, you can see my write up in this section also.

In regards to the dents across your pecs, I had the same issue and freaked out.. I can %100 confirm it is caused by the compression vest. I noticed when I sit at a certain angle the vest creases across my chest, which caused the indents when I took the vest off.
Can I ask if Dr Norris has you massaging at all? My surgeon has stated to not massage this early on?

David

Offline rajek

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Hi Rajek,

Great write up, I had my surgery 2 weeks ago and have very similar experiences to you, you can see my write up in this section also.

In regards to the dents across your pecs, I had the same issue and freaked out.. I can %100 confirm it is caused by the compression vest. I noticed when I sit at a certain angle the vest creases across my chest, which caused the indents when I took the vest off.
Can I ask if Dr Norris has you massaging at all? My surgeon has stated to not massage this early on?

David

Thanks, David. I read your write up too and thought it was very interesting. I see you said you were worried you have a crater - did that resolve? It looks like genuine crater deformities are very rare... People seem to panic, post about them and then they resolve and we hear nothing more. If you went by these forums as an example, you'd assume everyone gets a crater deformity!

I think the flesh around my nipples is just soft and squishy because the skin is still tightening and it's lost a bit of fat/gland. Even after 5 minutes in the shower, the indentations seem to resolve a fair bit as the chest falls back into its 'natural place'. Plus there are pads under the vest at the moment over the nipples which mean there are sections getting greater pressure so I am not surprised. 

Dr Norris hasn't said anything about massage, actually. It seems from reading the forum that some people are told it's worthwhile and some aren't? Personally, I can't see how it could help. You can't generally move fat around your body through massage (otherwise none of us would be here!), but it might work in the case of breaking down scar tissue? 

How has your recovery gone? Are you happy with your results?

Offline cky2k

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Hi Rajek,

So far so good, my crater concerns to be honest were freaking out over nothing. It was barely a crater, more like a crease which I later found out it was from the pressure of the compression vest. Even if it was a crater I shouldn't stress so early.. I'm very happy with my results so far! they get better every day! I will post up some progress pictures again soon.
How about yourself? recovery going well? When can we expect some progress shots? :)
David

Offline rajek

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Hi Rajek,

So far so good, my crater concerns to be honest were freaking out over nothing. It was barely a crater, more like a crease which I later found out it was from the pressure of the compression vest. Even if it was a crater I shouldn't stress so early.. I'm very happy with my results so far! they get better every day! I will post up some progress pictures again soon.
How about yourself? recovery going well? When can we expect some progress shots? :)
David

Hi David - glad to hear your 'crater' resolved. Mine doesn't really look like a 'crater' in that there are no defined lines... On the left side it's like there are two smooth and relatively shallow dents vertically on either side of the nipple, on the right side it's like one slightly larger dents running horizontal with the nipple towards the flank. I am hoping they are the result of the compression vest but will ask Dr Norris about it when I see him next week. Is this what yours were like?

Recovery has been great. My first few days I had basically no range of motion, but now I'm back in the swing of things and I can do a lot more. Still can't really lift my arms all that high, but I'm starting to be able to use my pectoral muscles for things now. Can't wait until I can sit myself up in bed rather than rocking into sitting up. 

As for progress shots... I'm kind of nervous about tempting fate with being too optimistic. I'm naturally very anxious and so I am already imagining all sorts of terrible things going wrong!! 

Offline cky2k

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Hi Rajek,


This sounds exactly like my “craters” to be honest there’s been a lot of changes and all is looking pretty good at this stage. I’ve taken everyone’s advice and I am trying not to worry too much about little imperfections so early on. I am also very anxious.. I am a real worrier J I will keep you updated on my developments. Best of luck for a speedy recovery! I will be following this blog to see your updates. Don’t stress too much as I have done J

 

David

Offline rajek

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Do I have any readers? I want to hear from you if you're reading this... What do you want to know about? Is this useful? It was so useful to me to read other people's accounts, but I would be so happy to share anything extra that would help anyone else on this little journey we are all on.



FIRST WEEK POST-OP CONSULTATION

Today I went back for my one week (8 days, actually) review with Dr Norris. I have been really looking forward to my review as my surgery was the last one on Dr Norris' list last week and I didn't get to see him after the surgery. Of course, if it was anything other than a success, I would have known, but I was looking forward to hearing about it.

To begin with, I saw Dr Norris' nurse (Julie, I think), who I have to say was absolutely lovely. Everyone at Dr Norris' surgery has been absolutely exemplary in terms of professionalism and politeness. She took me through to a room I hadn't been to before and asked me to take off my shirt and vest and lie on a chair (like a dentist's chair).

She chatted away and begin taking off the dressings. It was surprisingly not very painful, really. The ones under my armpit hurt a little more because of the hair there, but she took them off very gently and then cut out the sutures from the lipo 'hole' (not sure what this is called). There were two in each arm. Then she took away the large waterproof pad that covers the nipple. This is probably about 7cm or so square. It was a very curious tickling feeling. She didn't take the stitches out (these are naturally dissolving) but she trimmed them and put some new and much smaller waterproof bandages on.

I was terrified about this. My inner anxieties told me that as soon as the waterproof seals came off I would have horrible deformed nipples, that they'd be puffy and weird or that something, somehow, would otherwise be horribly wrong.

Of course, it was all great. I was really impressed with how much my nipples have shrunk. I'm used to having large nipples because of my gyne, but mine are now already well-and-truly within the 'average' range. And, of course, they sit perfectly on my absolutely flat chest.

Then Dr Norris came in and got me to stand up and perform a bunch of range of motion exercises to check on my mobility and also to look at how my chest looked. He was very happy with the result.

I also asked Dr Norris to show (and send) me a picture of my glands. They were huge - and revolting. One of them was over 7cm in size. I couldn't believe I had been carrying around something of that size in my chest for all these years. For me, it completely affirmed and justified my surgery. What's the key message from this?

Quote
Gynaecomastia is pathological. It is a medical problem that affects men and nothing you can do, diet or exercise, can reduce it. Surgery by an experienced and accredited specialist plastic surgeon is the only safe option for treating gynaecomastia.  

Perhaps the biggest relief was that Dr Norris told me I can take out those stupid pads! I know they were necessary, but man did they ever bug me! Now I can see my flat chest every day through the compression garment.

I am also beginning massage which I will probably write about later... But in case I don't, it's five minutes of light pressure surgical motion every night with the nipple in the centre of the palm. Bit of a pain, but it has to be done.

About those dents I was worried about...

The question burning on my mind was: what are these dents on the outside of my nipples? Well, the answer was so embarrassing. Dr Norris said, in a rather matter-of-fact way: that's the outline of your pectoral muscle.

Well, you can imagine my embarrassment and surprise. It never occurred to me that I HAD a pectoral muscle! I had boobs! The majority of the swelling is on my sides - I can feel the painful lumps on the side of my ribs, and this is making my torso wider than it usually is and, combined with the new contour of my pectoral muscle, giving the illusion of the dent. Dr Norris said it would go away and, looking at my chest tonight without the pads in - I have to agree with him!

The whole consultation was over in about 20 minutes and I was off for the day.

Then on the way home...

I plan to keep this up-to-date with my experiences up to and including my surgery, but I just wanted to share a mini success story (again, not wanting to tempt fate...).
As I was walking up the street towards the train station I suddenly felt this cheeky smile creep across my face. I didn't notice it in my mouth, I noticed it in my eyes. They drifted towards the sky and I felt kind of cheerful for no reason. Then I realised it was because I was happy with my body.

I'm still swollen and bruised. I have sutures in my chest, my sides are lumpy and painful, I can't feel my nipples and I'm wearing this horrible vest. But for the first time in my life and for absolutely no reason at all, my mind just sent a little free smile and jolt of cheer because I felt happy with my body.


Offline cky2k

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"I suddenly felt this cheeky smile creep across my face. I didn't notice it in my mouth, I noticed it in my eyes. They drifted towards the sky and I felt kind of cheerful for no reason. Then I realised it was because I was happy with my body"

This pretty much puts it all into perspective doesn't it Rajek!
I had the same feeling. In particular The time I noticed I was happy in life was in one of my progress photographs I noticed a full smile across my face, eyes wide and filled with joy, chest out and proud of it. Something I honestly have never been able to do.
To be honest I didn't even know I was smiling until I looked at the photo.The look on my face is real, not a smile hiding disappointment behind it.  Its a great feeling! I am a changed man because of my surgery.  
Loving the updates, keep them coming :)  

Offline cky2k

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Hi Rajek,

How's everything coming along mate?

Offline vulcan

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So I had revision surgery with Dr Norris, he left me with crater deformity on both sides. 
I am now 9 days post or from a 3rd procedure (liposuction with fat transfer) and my results look really promising. 


 

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