Ten days post-op
Surgery went well! I wasn’t so nervous going in as I had expected, there were no complications, and –although the first days were rougher than I’d anticipated– I’m now feeling almost back to normal.
There’s a lot of text (and video) online about recovering from top surgery, so I won’t delay you with the whole story here, although I’m open to any questions you may have. I do want to mention a few things that my surgeon did differently from doctors in other countries, or even other surgeons I met here, besides the unusual technique:
- He didn’t leave any drains in my chest, which was great for my comfort and squeamishness (I hadn’t heard about top surgery without them, so I was wary at first, but ultimately I trusted his judgment).
- On the third day he covered my wounds with tegaderm, which is a waterproof dressing, so I could take showers (but the idea of water hitting my chest still terrifies me, so I’ve been taking tub/washcloth baths).
- He does all his wound care himself, twice a week, which is great because (1) I’m squeamish, (2) I’m sure that it’s done properly, and (3) he can control the wounds’ progress often.
I’m very happy with my chest, even though I haven’t seen it completely: my nipples/incisions are covered with gauze and I’ve decided not to look until the stitches come out. I still have a lot of swelling, but the relative flatness is nice. I thought that, at first, I’d miss the volume that I lost from my chest, seeing as I’d lived with it for so long (I’m prone to nostalgia, even for the bad things in my life). I thought that I’d have to get used to the flatness, despite having wanted it for so long; but when I looked down at my chest after surgery, it just made sense.
I think it’ll be harder to grow accustomed to my scars and the new placement of my nipples. I’d always seen myself, in my mind, as having a flat chest; and I’d even seen it in real life, thanks to binding. But it was harder to picture exactly where my nipples would be, their size, or what my scars would look like, so I expect all of that to look foreign to me at first. That’s another reason why I haven’t looked under the gauze yet: so I can get to know my chest slowly.
I feel very grateful towards my parents, who have been taking care of me during my recovery. They don’t know about this blog, but still: ¡gracias, mami y papi!