We drove to the hospital and checked in around 1pm, paid and was shown to my private room. Soon after a nurse did the pre-op checks; height, weight, blood pressure, medication, checked I hadn’t eaten from 10pm the night before, allergies etc. The anaesthetist came to explain the process (I’ve had anaesthetic many times before so it wasn’t anything new), the operation was to take around 3 hours and I’d be going to the operating theatre an hour later, eeek!
Mr Quaba, the surgeon, then visited to take photos, make markings and ensure I was comfortable with the surgery and expected outcomes. He decided that it would be best if I had implants under the muscle as I had well developed pecs. He again explained that as I was having a lift I’d have internal stitches as well as the external ones.
Around half an hour later a nurse came and gave me a pre-op relaxer and I put on my rather attractive DVT socks. I started getting pretty nervous, it was really happening, the op I’d waited so long for! What if it went wrong? What if I had wonky boobs? What if they lost blood supply to the nipple? None of these things had worried me that much before but now it was close, all these things were running through my head. I just had to take deep breaths and before I knew I was walking to the anaesthetic room. I lay on the bed and the nurse joked about me having brand new slippers for going to hospital – everyone buys new slippers for hospital right?? A needle was inserted into my arm, along with the liquid, an intense euphoric feeling filled my body and I was asleep.
I woke up later in my hospital room, I don’t remember being in the recovery room so can’t comment on how that was. On waking up I had an incredible amount of pain. I had to get my boyfriend to press the buzzer for the nurse as I couldn’t manage, she assessed my pain and gave me some OxyContin. I noticed the time at that point and asked if I had been asleep long? No, the operation had taken 4 and a half hours instead of 3 as my chest muscle had gone into spasm and they couldn’t place the implant until it was sorted. I hadn’t actually been warned that could be an issue, the length of time I was taking worried my boyfriend some what!
I had the DVT air thing around my legs, it sort of pumps up and deflates every now and then, SO annoying when you try to sleep! The hospital are really keen for you to eat after surgery but the thought of it made me want to be sick, thankfully we brought chocolate supplies and they were happy enough for me to eat that instead of a meal. I couldn’t move my arms because of the chest pain so when I needed a drink it was through a straw with the cup on the bed tray pulled right up to me – something I had totally not expected.
The first night was pretty horrendous with pain, they are supposed to medicate with painkillers every 4 hours, I was only down for paracetamol and ibuprofen but it wasn’t enough. I asked for more OxyContin, which they gave me, it’s a bit of a faff though as they need 2 nurses as it’s a controlled drug in the UK. It certainly helped with the pain but there was no sleeping to be had the first night. I couldn’t get to the loo on my own as I couldn’t undo the DVT things, or lower or raise myself from the toiler. You really don’t realise how much you use your chest area for basic tasks! Anyone considering this surgery – work on your core- you’ll need it so much after surgery!
Anyway, eventually got through the first night, with no sleep, I was keen to go home. I ate/got fed breakfast and then the surgeon came to see me. He was happy enough with how things looked, I did have some post surgery bleeding on one side so the bandages were changed on that side. Then I practically begged to go home! He wasn’t keen to let me as I’d had pretty invasive surgery but eventually agreed I could leave early evening, woohoo! I did also eventually get round to asking what size of implants he’d put in -both sides were 325cc, silicone, moderate profiles. The looked a good size after the surgery but I didn’t really care how they looked anyway as I was in so much pain.
Below is a photograph showing how I looked after surgery. Quite a bit of bruising and bleeding and absolutely rock hard boobs. Don’t worry, they do get much better after this!
So roll on 5pm and I was desperate to get home so I could get some sleep. They discharged me, with instructions that I couldn’t shower until I had come back to get my bandages changed in 10 days time, I could have a sort of sink wash and someone could do my hair. I was given co-caramel and ibuprofen for pain relief and swelling. Just the 125 mile journey home to do….that was an experience! Even though I was strapped up and it was all tight, I felt every single bump in the road, there are a lot more bumps in the road than I had ever realised!
Finally home! You have to sleep as upright as possible so we decided it would be best for me to sleep on the sofa. I also bought a Dream Genii pregnancy pillow before the op, having read many other surgery posts and i’d definitely recommend it, it’s pretty expensive but totally worth it for a good nights sleep. I managed to sleep a lot better once I was home, getting up to the loo was still really difficult, I sort of shuffled to the edge of the sofa and then used my quads like they’d never been used before to get myself up to standing!
As the days went on the pain lessened and I was able to dress myself so long as I wore clothes that could be pulled up over my hips rather than over my head. Around the 5 day mark I started to notice quite a lot of bruising on my right boob, assumed it was normal though. I’d gone back to work after 8 days, I have an office job and had told my line manager i’d had surgery so needed to take things easy. On day 8 post op i’d started to feel fever-ish could I have an infection? On day 10 the bruising had covered my whole boob and it was even harder to touch than it was straight after the op. Thankfully though, I had my check up appointment that day.
At the appointment the nurse removed the bandages, had everything been fine she would have just replaced them and i’d be on my merry way. Everything was not fine. The surgeon was called , he came in and assessed me and said i’d had a haematoma (bleed) and suspected I had an infection. I got antibiotics for the infection. He decided the best way to deal with the haematoma was to aspirate there and then. By aspirate, they mean take a needle, insert into the nipple and draw out the blood. Holy hell did it hurt. I’d gone to the appointment on my own and so wish I hadn’t, I really needed someone to hold my hand. How I didn’t faint i’ll never know! After he’d finished I got re-bandaged, only this time I was completely bandaged up, much more so than initially after the op. The nurse explained there was a high chance of the stitches rupturing because of the aspirating, I should head straight to A&E if that happened.
I felt absolutely awful leaving the hospital, totally regretting going through with the surgery and cried almost the whole 3 hours home on the train!
Thankfully that was the last of the issues though, I had 2 more check up appointments after that before the stitches came out. More photos to come on the next post….