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Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!

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Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« on: November 23, 2012, 09:55:24 AM »
Let the healing begin!

Day 1: Post OP

I arrived at the Doctor's office a bit early today. I figured, the earlier the better on an important day like this.
I waited a few minutes in the Doctor's office as I paid off the final balance to the procedure (Total: $5150.00 USD this figure included everything from A to Z )
I was brought into the room where the nurse prepped me for surgery.
She asked my caretaker (who would be my sister and mother in this case ) to join us, as she explained everything to us.
I was lucky enough to get a sheet of paper with instructions of post-op procedures as far as the important steps.
I can't stress how VERY important it is to listen to your Nurse or Doctor's orders and do NOT do what you think is the proper procedure.
Surgery ended at 4pm, where my ride had arrived. I am woozy from the sedation method, but slowly coming back into the swing of things.
No nausea as of right now, but then again, I was fortunate enough to be given anti-nausea medication pre-post surgery.
The drive home is bearable, as I'm still feeling the invulnerability effects of the pain numbing methods administered during the procedure.
Upon arriving, I take no chances and follow the Doctor's orders as to when and what medication to take. Pain killers are not fun at all do to the way they make me feel.
I always feel 'drugged up' when on them, and never myself. However, this is Day 1 post op recovery, so I take no chances as to drop the pain meds right away.
A lot of icing is done through a 24 hour period at this moment. This has reduced the swelling, although it is completely normal to have swelling at this stage.
The first and hopefully last "scary" moment occurs. It has felt like I have torn something, as I feel warm, wet liquid seeping down to my stomach.
I am met with a very alert caretaker that places the ice packs to my cheeks, forehead, and the back of my neck.
What felt like an unavoidable black out due to the fear of ripping something and bleeding out is quickly averted as I am snapped back into reality.
(Do NOT be afraid if you feel wetness, leaking, or warm liquids dripping/draining from the wounds as long as you didn't do anything extreme to cause it. This is normal, it's just the fluids that were trapped beneath the skin making their way out. )
It's time for bed rest, the long road ahead will require me to rest and recovery to get back into the swing of things.

Day 2: Post OP

The soreness is now very detectable, as I figure the numbing medication(s) have worn off from the Doctor's office. I am taking my pain killers on the hour, every hour since the pain can now be felt. It is bearable, but still not enjoyable.
The Doctor's office has already made more than a few calls just to check up on me, see how I am doing and coming along. I am thus far extremely pleased with how everything has gone. Yesterday's surgery a success, and the care and attention they pay to their patients is wonderful!
The icing process is only a 24 hour period, so I am making sure to ice down as often as I can without causing any discomfort to my body due to over icing the area.
Swelling is obviously visible, my left side had more gland removed. This side is much more swollen than the right.
It is expected that the two sides will heal differently. I'm told to get up and be active, to make sure not to start swinging my arms like I'm 100% recovered.
I go out for a walk just to get some fresh air, and complete a brisk paced 30 minute walk.
The pain medication makes me feel a bit wonky so I don't push it. After my timer chimes, the 30 minutes is up. Back home I go!
I am avoiding greasy foods, keeping it light. Oatmeal- Fruit Cocktails- Orange Juice- Water- Crackers-
Now more alert and aware that if I feel any fluids leaking, not to be alarmed. The vest and the Ace bandage around the area is becoming uncomfortable.
Power through it! This is a procedure that I have wanted done for years. So a few days of discomfort will not dishearten me.
Having someone around to help out with simple things can make the world of difference.
My arm mobility is very limited, I have noticed that my arms have swelled actually. This was due to me keeping them pinned to my side and not moving them.
I very lightly raise them, keeping my elbows in place. Just high enough, to squeeze my fists and get the blood back flowing.
The arm/hand swelling is gone in moments of recirculating the blood back into motion.

Day 3: Post OP

The morning begins. Last night's sleep was just as restless as day 1's. Simply because you are forced to sleep on your back, elevated to a 40-50 degree angle. This helps the liquids to drain downwards.
Using the restroom is becoming a bit easier.
Bend the knees, do not strain your arms. Do not lift your arms. Keep them at a low level, do not be afraid to request help with putting on a buttoned down shirt or removing it to use the rest room from your caretaker.
Be kind to your caretaker. This means, if they are eating or doing something that seems fairly important and you are not in dire need of attention, wait.
Trust me, those moments of being serviced 24/7 will start to drain them and you do not want an unhappy caretaker.
As it has been suggested on these forums, a back-scratcher will definitely be worth the investment.
The pain medication has stopped, however I still take my daily multi-vitamin right after my treadmill walk shortly after waking up.
The nurse suggested a gradual build up in the walk times. Starting with 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes, then finally building up to a daily 60 minute walk just to keep the body active and not in a stationary state.
Keeping myself busy with the little things that I can do. Just to keep my sanity I suppose as well as remaining active.

Day 4: Post OP

The wait is finally over! It has been 72 hours after the procedure, this means I am allowed to shower.
I couldn't be anymore excited, as today is Thanksgiving here in the States.
Prepare yourself, this part can get ugly.
I personally prepared for the absolute worst. I pictured blood, bruises, swelling, and even cracker crumbs under that tight vest when I was able to undo it for the first time to step into the shower.
I am assisted into the shower just to be sure, I keep my shorts on for a respectful/private feel to the situation.
There is dried up blood that is keeping the gauze in place. The nurse suggested simply to allow the warm water to run over it, and it shall naturally slide off on it's own. It works like a charm.
The scent is one that is not kind, dear friends. You have not bathed in 72 hours!
I wash myself to the best of my abilities. The hair, the chest being EXTREMELY careful as I soap my palms with Dial's antibacterial soap and run it gently over my chest. I had removed the shower head and let it dangle the morning of surgery just to prep for this day.
The water is set to warm, the shower head's pressure is set to the lightest possible setting.
Having the vest off for that 10 minute window is a blessing. I can breath properly, and the sight of the 'aftermath' doesn't look bad at all.
That is why I suggest you prep yourself for the worst looking scene. Honestly, it wasn't all that bad.
Bruises still remain after the shower, obviously. The skin is washed, however, at 72 hours your swelling peaks. Do NOT gauge the results with this first sight.
You are at your 'worst' so to speak, as far as swelling and bruising goes. They say after the first 72 hours the real healing beings.
The arm mobility is much better today. So I am able to dry up, but having those second pair of hands sure comes in handy.
I am able to wash my lower regions in the shower on my own and slip a fresh pair of shorts on as I am dried up in the shower.
The tricky or annoying part comes when it's time to put on the fresh vest.
Swelling at it's peak, pain killer usage stopped, and it's time to re-compress back into the vest. Fun fun! :)
Gut through it is the best thing I can recommend, and having that caretaker help is another blessing.

For those of you still reading at this point, please know that I won't keep a daily journal going as I displayed above.
The first 72 hours are the most crucial in the healing process, which is why I have logged them.

The next post will be for Monday November 26th when my first post-op check up will occur.
Until then!

Sarge~

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=26693.0

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 02:24:34 PM »
Very interesting read. I've had surgery on the 19th as well and I did everything on my own. I underwent skin reduction and I never felt sick or had any pain. This proves every case is different. As for me, I am still quite swollen and I hope my chest will flatten out during the weeks. Doctor's appointment this Tuesday.

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2012, 07:38:54 PM »
Well, everyone's recovery process is never alike.
Some heal quicker than others, bodies respond differently than others to different situations.

Good job doing everything on your own, I am very lucky to have a helping hand in the recovery process making things go as smooth as possible.

I didn't have skin reduction surgery, just to make things clear though.
Mine was gynecomastia surgery consisting of: Gland removal/Lipo of the chest.

I'm not 100% sure on how the recovery goes for skin reduction surgery, so I can't say that anyone can do it on their own or not after surgery. ;)

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 08:57:19 AM »
Oh I had gyno as well. My case was rather severe, I required skin reduction as well because of extra skin.

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 07:41:57 PM »
Day 7: Post Op

Today I had my first post op appointment with my doctor.

He was very pleased with how well I am doing so far. The brushing, swelling, and soreness were all common signs after a surgery of this fashion.

I was given the green light to raise my arms up, wear t-shirts, drive, and start to do more activities that I was limited to the first week.

I'm still supposed to gradually get back to being more mobile, and I plan on keeping up with the hour treadmill, but after another week, I am going to put some light upper body routine together.

I'm able to bathe myself a lot easier now, and allowed to wash the chest area more and more. The stitches are set to dissolve on their own.

I was also given the option to wear a shirt beneath the vest to prevent its arm sleeves from digging into my flesh. Which is a very nice feeling.

I'm glad that all was well. Next follow up is set for three weeks from now on Dec. 18th. I will keep you guys informed!
Sarge~

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Offline cduub

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Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 01:53:26 AM »
Thanks for the updates! Keep em coming im very interested in your story to see how the out come is down the road. Good Luck Mate!!!

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 06:52:24 AM »
Keep us informed. Mostly at this early time it is healing, later would like to hear more about your feelings of the results. There seems to be very few postings on experiences with Chicago area docs.

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 07:18:48 PM »
Day 11: Post OP

The road to recovery is still a long ways away, but I'm taking it one step at a time.
The last visit with my doctor gave me the green light to engage in much more activities without having to be so extremely cautious with what I can do, and how much of it I can actually do.

A little bump in the road, literally.
It seems that the LEFT side was going to be the one that would heal slower due to having more glandular tissue removed.  However, it seems that it may have gotten even worse as the bruising and swelling peaked.
I am not 100% sure just yet, but it looks like it may be a 'hematoma' due to the swelling, the firm/hard feel of it, not to mention the tightness of the area.
Again, I'm not 100% sure. The doctor saw the discoloration as well as the swelling and just told me to let it heal on it's own.

Aside from that little snag, all is well.
I have gained much more mobility in my arms. My energy levels are starting to slowly rise, allowing me to drive without discomfort, do daily activities (nothing too extreme) a lot easier.

The vest isn't bothering me at all now thanks to wearing basic t-shirt type undershirts beneath them.
I'm still struggling to get a good night's rest because I am someone that falls asleep on his sides, but I can't complain. Lying flat on my back is good enough for now.

Today's weather was nice enough to allow me to enjoy a casual bike ride. I didn't push it at all, just a nice 20 minute casual paced ride for a few miles.
It was nice to get some fresh air, as well as feel my legs regaining their strength throughout the ride. I made sure not to really put much pressure down on the bars to bother the chest area at all.
I am still waiting until Jan. 1st or even later to re-activate my gym membership. Just to make sure my body is back to normal, and I don't push too hard to slow down the recovery process even further.

I will do my very best to keep you guys updated if anything new/interesting comes about. The swelling is still there, but it's to be expected. So I can't really comment on my personal feelings on what the results look like.

Again, I have an appt. on December 18th which I will post about and keep you guys informed with how the healing is going!
Sarge~

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Offline cduub

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Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 01:04:28 AM »
Keep the posts coming mate!!!!

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 08:27:43 PM »
Great posts, Sarge51! And welcome to the ex-moob club ;D

Here's to your continued recovery!

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 06:02:55 PM »
Day 16: Post OP

The healing is continues!

I have decided to take a self-portrait every other day to monitor the swelling/bruising of my chest area.
So far, this is what I've noticed:

The left side seems to have A LOT more swelling to the point where it looks as my chest did pre-op. The bruising seems to be losing it's color day by day, however, seems to be gradually growing in size against  the chest area.
The right side seems to have flattened out a lot better, with a mere yellowish shade of bruises as the darker ones are practically gone.

Please keep in mind that I am not obsessing about the results so early in the journey, simply keeping an eye on how the bruises are healing.
Soreness and tightness are still very present in both areas, although the left side is a lot more tight due to it's swelling.

I had bruises on the insides of my arms (near my armpits) from the lipo which are completely gone, as well as the holes made for the tool to slide in through. Those are healing very well.

I want to say that from the bottom of my heart, for those reading my posts and those leaving encourage responses... Thank you, brothers. :)

Taking the first step to correct this problem, as well as the many steps ahead isn't easy. You guys make it so much more bearable though in knowing that I don't walk down this journey alone, and for that I truly thank you!
Sarge~

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Offline cduub

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Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 10:39:29 PM »
Anytime my brotha! I will be sailing in the same boat soon,im getting quite nervous.

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 02:54:52 AM »
Day 30: Post OP

Just had my one month follow-up appointment earlier today.

The doctor was pleased with my progress so far.
He told me to continue to wear the vest, but not on a 24/7 basis. Simply a few hours, usually when I go to sleep. So it's not bad at all.

The bruising has practically disappeared now that it's been four weeks down the road.
Swelling however is still visible. My body is going to have to absorb that to get a better visual on how the results will look.

The skin is start to retract well, and not really drooping as it looked like it might have in the first view I had of the chest area.
I plan on reactivating my gym membership in Jan. That will be six weeks from the first day of surgery. My belief is that, that will be enough time for my body to really have had a chance to recover and I will be able to do cardio workouts as well as light upper body weight training, and solid lower body weight training.

I have to say, I truly do miss the gym. That's where I feel most comfortable and my best source of losing weight. I'm not a big fan of diets, so I would always add a strong cardio program to my schedule to help me shed weight when needed.

So aside from the positive healing results, there isn't much to report.
I will go see the Dr. again in a month from now. I will document that visit as well on here.

Again, I want to thank the people that took the time to read/respond to my thread(s).
I wish you all a very happy holiday, and speedy recovery to those in the healing process, and well wishes for those about to take the first few steps on their road to a new life!

Sarge~

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 02:10:41 PM »
Day 31: Post OP

I was going to hold off on posting until I had my 3rd follow up with my Dr. However, I ended up reactivating my gym membership today.

I obviously didn't strain myself there today, worked mostly on lower body and cycling as my cardio.

I have to admit, it felt great!
I did some extremely light chest presses (10 lbs dumbbells) and only 3 sets at that.

Being active at the gym again not only showed me that I was ready for normal activity, but also ready to speed up the healing process.

I still have my Left side swollen and scared up, but it felt good looking in the mirror and knowing I'm on my way to becoming much, much flatter (as the right side is).
That is such a difference from a few months ago, looking in the mirror and seeing an obvious defect with my chest no matter how hard I trained.

Even though I'm not 100% recovered, I still have a boost in self-esteem and I do NOT regret having the surgery to cure me of this flaw that I was never comfortable with.

To those that are comfortable in their own skin living with gynecomastia, I salute you! For those that are/were like me, uncomfortable and self-conscious about the obvious "problem" I suggest you do your research and look into fixing it as soon as possible. You will have a new outlook at life.

Happy Holidays, folks!
Sarge~

Re: Surgery Completed (Nov 19th)!
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 02:12:34 PM »
Sarge51,

thanks for the updates. I had a hemotoma on my left side, with significant bruising. It happens to all doctors at some point. Funny thing is my left side healed nicely and I am happy with it. It was the right side, which looked flat with no bruising after surgery that actually swelled back up later, and I am getting it revised in a month.

The point being the healing process can be tricky and you do have to wait. Hang in there, it sounds like your generally happy with the results so far. Good to hear about Chicago area procedures.


xx
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