- Username: zzroged
- Location: Du, United Arab Emirates
- Member Since: 2/11/2010
- BMI: 25.1
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: VSG (03/09/10)
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Nip & Tuck - Things I found useful for recovery on June 30, 2011 1:54 am
So I'm still healing from my surgeries, and find myself with lots of thinking time on my hands. So here goes a post on things I've found useful to have to support my recovery. Not all of these are essential, or necessary - but are things that I found useful.
NOTE : I had a breast lift & tummy tuck with muscle repair followed by an inner thigh lift & arm lift 7 weeks later - so all items were used at some stage of my recovery - I needed more support/gadgets etc with the thigh and arm lift.
Small computer table with wheels - holds laptop, coffee etc within my reach and I can easily move it from room to room without having to lift anything
Small tray and/or box - to hold all my essentials together - pills, remote control, eye shades, lipsalve, iPhone, pen & pad - easy to move around rather than individual items
Pillows - lots of different sizes to support various limbs and body positions required after surgery - I didn't have a recliner so this worked well
Dictation Software - I found an app on apple called Dragon dictation (free) - which allows you to dictate emails, messages etc and converts words into text - very useful for the first couple of weeks to keep in touch particularly if you've had an arm lift and are restricted in movement - sure it's not perfect - but it reduced the amount of time I need to spend typing. I used it a lot to help post my blogs and keep in touch with my family in the UK
Small box - to hold all of your dressings, gauze, tape, creams, gloves in one place
Panty Liners - useful to help stop wounds oozing through to your clothes and/or compression garments - buy the unscented ones !
Breast Feeding Pads - yup you read right ! - I used these for additional cushioning of my wounds when I needed extra padding - eg under arms after breast lift, around crotch of compression garment after thigh surgery to reduce pressure on the sensitive areas etc
Eyeshades - useful in hospital and at home when you gotta catch a few zzz's during the day
Pill Box - helps to keep on track of your daily medication and vitamins. I used this in conjunction a pill reminder software programme which reminded me when to take the pills (Pill Reminders - a free app on the apple store)
Panadol Night -
(paracetamol and diphenhydramine) - basically a painkiller with a light sedative which causes drowsiness. Helped me sleep. NOTE : I checked with my surgeon that this was ok to take and he was fine with this as I was discharged with panadol (paracetamol) painkillers only
A Shewee ( www.shewee.com) or equivalent - which helps when using the bathroom - saves on getting dressings/compression garment wet and saves you having to sit down on the loo - which was extremely painful after my inner thigh lift.
Moist toilet tissue - again - useful in the bathroom to help with cleanliness. I also had medicated handwashes/antiseptic wash and gauze etc set up in the bathroom to maximise on hygiene - particularly for the thigh lift
A picker upper thingy - to pick up everything that you drop on the floor and just can't reach down to get - I didn't get one of these - instead poor hubby had to follow a trail of everything I had dropped in the day (lots) when he got home from work every night !
A small step - useful to reach things in the kitchen when you can't reach, useful to rest feet up on whilst using the loo after thigh surgery so you can get comfortable (some people invest in a raised toilet seat)
Plastic Stool - used in the shower as a seat for first few showers after surgery, used as something to lean on when sitting on the loo after surgery, used as a small portable table - lots of different uses
CLOTHES TO WEAR AFTER SURGERY :
I didn't buy anything specially for surgery, but here are the things I found useful to wear (Note : I wasn't discharged with any drains so didn't have to deal with drain issues)
Loose yoga pants and loose T-Shirts - hide a multitude of dressings/compression garments
Long flowly maxi dresses or sundresses - as above
Cotton Body or cami top - useful to wear under compression garment (if your surgeon allows) - makes it more comfortable
Wrap around cardigans/shrugs or a wrap - covers up compression garments or post-surgery bra when wearing sundress
UV arm sleeves - can be worn with your regular T-Shirts to hide compression garments - particuarly useful when wearing arm compression garments - which are just plain ugly !
Leggings - worn with sundress - hides surgical stockings and/or compression leggings
Loose PJ's - worn most of the time when at home - COMFORT, COMFORT, COMFORT !
OTHER HINTS AND TIPS
Stock up the fridge/freezer/pantry with items you will want to eat after surgery
Be prepared to increase your protein intake if you can - eg shakes/Isopure Clear etc
You won't be able to reach everything in your cupboards - so either re-arrange them or leave things on the counter top so they are close to hand
You'll probably be bored, so get some books/magazines/DVD's in
Recognise that your standards of tidiness/cleanliness in the house - are probably not the same as your boyfriend/husbands/friend/family etc - so be prepared to overlook this for a while whilst you are recovering - take a deep breath and relax!
I think it's common to feel a sense of 'buyers remorse' at some stage in your healing process - use OH forums to seek support/help etc
YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT RECOVERY - SO FOLLOW YOUR SURGEON's INSTRUCTIONS AND BE COMPLIANT !
That's enough from me, off to catch some more zzzz's
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Thigh Lift Hematoma - Update on June 28, 2011 11:59 pm
Here's a progress report - I'm 2 weeks and 2 days post surgery for an inner thigh lift and an arm lift following a tummy tuck and breast lift 2 months ago (7 weeks between surgeries) after a loss of 140lbs.
I developed a hematoma in my right thigh about 10 days after surgery despite being fully compliant with my surgeons instructions.
So after having my hematoma manually 'massaged & drained' on Sunday I returned to the surgeon yesterday for a follow up appointment and a change of dressing - although I'd had to change it 3 times myself as it leaked out really badly in between appts - to be fair the surgeon offered for his staff to change the dressing - but I didn't feel up to the journey so did it myself - it wasn't too bad.
So the update is that my thigh is still very swollen and I still have quite a hard lump along the incision line - but it's not as big as it was and I'm slightly less bruised - so overall the surgeon is pleased and I am too as I half expected him to want to do more manipulation on it to extract some more gunk (though on the positive side I would have had another 4 handed massage from Dr Hottie and his assistant - a 'perk' of the hematoma - as the surgeon is somewhat of a Greek 'hottie'!)
However, as a result of the swelling and pulling - my incision is not looking as good as it was a some of the stitches on the inner thigh had to be released to reduce the hematoma. Also I'm not happy with the way in which the wound opened in my groin due to the weight of the hematoma - but the surgeon has said he will revise this when sufficient healing has happened. I'm fairly sure the inner thigh scar will right itself once the swelling and brusing goes down as previous scars are healing beatifully.
On a positive front my left thigh looks fab as do my arms - so I am reassured that this is a local issue which I think is just 'one of those things' and not an overall one to do with poor healing and/or nutrition or as a result of having Phase 1 and Phase 2 of my surgeries so close together.
All in all, I'm still pleased I had this surgery - I was warned about the potential complications, and whilst it's not nice to have to deal with - this was an elective surgery and was one where I was prepared to deal with scars excessive saggy skin. I'm very pleased with the way in which the surgeon and his staff are dealing with this - it certainly makes me glad I chose to use this surgeon and to have surgery local to me rather than travel abroad.
Here are a few pics to show progress and also you can see the difference the swelling makes on my right thigh.
WARNING : The pics are a bit graphic if you don't like pictures of open wounds etc.
Right Thigh Left Thigh
This is where the hematoma was This is how the right was before
drained and you can see the the hematoma (now have allergy
wound separation in groin and inner thigh to micropore tape !)
and fairly extensive bruising
Comparison show showing difference in size between L and R thigh
(note this is taken in the mirror so is in reverse)
I'm still very swollen !!
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2 week follow up thigh & arm lift - hematoma ! on June 26, 2011 8:58 pm
A few days ago I posted about my experiences of a lymphatic drainage massage following my inner thigh lift and arm lift. A day or so after the massage my thigh started going a deep purple colour and inside I could feel a very hard lump which was about 6 inches by 2inches, plus the stitches in my leg seemed to be under a lot of extra tension due to swelling. I thought that the massage had worked and was drawing out the deep brusing so no biggie. I posted about this on the plastic surgery forum and received some useful advice from others about elevating my legs, wearing compression etc and the fact that possibly I had a seroma (collection of fluid).
Over the weekend, a few stiches in my groin area opened up (yuk - particularly as I've now become super squeamish at changing my own dressings - wimp or what ?) which I explained to my surgeon, he advised just to keep cleaning and dressing the wound and he would check up with me at my appt yesterday at my 2 week review.
So at my follow up yesterday the surgeon explained that I had a hematoma (a collection/pocket of old blood from the surgery) which had settled along the incision line on my inner thigh - this was what was putting the extra pressure on my stitches and causing the swelling in my leg (and hence the additional discomfort).
After giving me a quick leg massage (well - really he kept pushing hard on the hematoma ! ) SIDE NOTE : (surely a girl can dream - after all he is a 'hottie' !) he explained that the hematoma would need immediate treatment to try and reduce the pressure on my stitches and hopefully reduce my discomfort and swelling - WARNING - stop reading here if you are at all squeamish !
He didn't really explain how he was going to do this, though I did a few clues when he put on his dr's jacket and sent out the nurse for sterile supplies of lots of stuff and the other nurse started covering me in betadine (despite the fact that I was now wearing my best undies !) and they put those padded 'leak' sheets under me !.
Anyway, he cut a few stitches and after a lot of hard massaging and pushing for about 30 minutes or so by him and his assistant (not quite the four handed massage I've had in a spa!) - they removed lots of old blood and stuff from my thigh (it was quite gross and I had to keep lying back down as I felt faint !). Mostly I was numb so didn't feel too much, however towards the end as the hematoma emptied it became uncomfortable and then painful - I must admit I slapped the surgeons arm away from me once - which doesn't seem like good patient behavour when I look back on it !
Anyway, after pushing the stuff out they then flushed the inside of the hematoma with saline and antiseptic which then needed pushing out - mostly over me and my now not so best undies ! - and then finally they dressed it with extra thick layers of gauze dressings.
Anyway, after all of that - he removed all of the stiches in my armpits and as I could feel pain when he removed them he was pleased that he'd not cut any nerves - I told him he should have done !! My arms are healing great - although maybe the distraction of the thigh is distorting this - not really - I am pleased with them - they are still swollen but are looking good.
My appt took 90 minutes in total and although I'm quite sore as a result of the pushing/pulling etc but am expecting it to get better soon - it kinda feels like I had to take one step backwards in order to move forwards - certainly today my thigh feels very tender - but as you know I keep saying "no pain, no gain" and yesterday the pain was most certainly 'weakness leaving my body !
Anyway, I said I would be honest in my blog and this is what happened to me, I don't think hematoma's are that common after thigh surgery, so whilst it happened to me, it's not a side effect for everyone and I hope I haven't put anyone off of their coffee/meal and/or surgery.
Am back to the surgeon tomorrow for a check up and possibly today for a dressing change depending on how it's doing later.
WARNING - don't scroll down past this point if you are at all squeamish.
You have been warned !
Here's a picture of my inner thigh with the hematoma before being treated.
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2 months post TT and breast lift on June 26, 2011 1:07 am
WOW - doesn't time fly ! I was quite surprised when a reminder popped onto my mac this morning to say that Phase 1 of my plastic surgery - Tummy Tuck with muscle repair and breast lift - was 2 months ago.
I've kind of lost track of time in some ways - partly I guess because I've been distracted recently with Phase 2 of my plastic transformation with an arm and inner thigh lift which took place 2 weeks ago - not working also means that I don't keep track of dates/days so much - all I know is that we are at the beginning of 3 months of pure HOT, HOT and HOTTER weather here in Dubai. We're heading into 3 months of 50C plus weather with high humidity and no chance of rain - not that that's an issue - it hasn't really rained here all year so far - unless you count 7 spots of rain on the windscreen that I saw in March (course that could have been a splash from someone cleaning their windscreen - but I classed it as rain - oh joy !) On a positive front - it's too hot for guests - so we get the place to ourselves til late Sept/early Oct !
The thigh and arm lift, mean that in someways I forget that I had the other surgery. My tummy is now lovely and flat - and my waist is now 30/31 inches - down from 35. My breasts look great - no bra required - if I wanted to - and I think I've settled at a nice 38C (down from a 38 D after I'd folded in my boobs origami style !) which is great - not enough to bounce terribly when I'm cleared for running, enough to have a cute cleavage and a handful when required !! - hubby thinks they are gorgeous which is all that counts ! The scars are nice and flat, albeit quite red - I'm using silicon strips and some gel which the plastic surgeon recommended - to be honest I'm not sure if it's helping or not - but I'll carry on and follow his regime and see what happens over time. Previous scars have all but disappeared to very fine white lines overtime - so I'm sure this is what will happen to me - I can't even find my VSG scars from just over 15 months ago - mind you I think they have migrated south after my TT !
On the weight front - I'm still losing weight - I'm just 1lb away from my revised goal of 159lbs which takes me into the normal BMI range. You'r probably wondering why I'm not jumping up and down about this - well I should be - but in a way - I don't want to lose anymore weight whilst I'm healing from plastics. I'm supposed to be eating for healing and not for weight loss. I've lost 3lbs so far this week - which means that I'm not quite getting my balance right - despite upping my protein intake, my carb intake and my cals - must try harder to eat a bit more ! (now would have have thought I would be saying that ??). As I'm still swollen I suspect there is more weight to come off - so I'll have to keep on working on increasing my intake a bit more - there's plenty of time to lose a bit more weight - if I want to - once I'm fully healed and exercising again (but that's almost 2 months away).
Anyway, I'm off to the surgeon for a 2 week check up of Phase 2. I'll post about that tomorrow.
Will post pics of 2 month progress soon too - when I can get some nice pics taken - all I can say is I'm pleased with the results.
Bye for now !
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Pics - Thigh & Arm Lift - 10 Days Post Surgery on June 22, 2011 4:25 am
Here are some progress pics I took earlier - 10 days post op Inner Thigh Lift & Arm Lift and 8 1/2 weeks post TT with muscle repair and breast lift.
I still have extensive bruising and swelling on the thighs and arms, but can already see a big difference.
Can't believe what a difference 10 days makes !
PS - you can see I'm loving my compression garments !
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