Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Checkin' Those Nipples! Two Week Post-op Visit


This afternoon was my two week post-op visit with my Plastic Surgery Nurse, C.  It was a quick appointment and easy.  C started by just asking about how my recovery had been going and if there were any issues.  Then, the good part....she took off all of that surgical tape from my incisions and removed those annoying little sutures in my chest!!

Remember, I had five of these little holes where he did the fat grafting?  Each one had sutures that were sticking out.  They were a little sore, they scratched if you rubbed past them, and you could see them sticking out through my clothes.  So happy she removed those sutures!  I was instructed to start massaging them this week with Cocoa Butter w/Vitamin E or scar cream to soften and flatten them.
There are a total of 5 "holes" from the fat grafting on my breasts.

Close-up of one of the fat-grafting sites
She also removed all of the sticky surgical tape from my breast incisions.  Again, she was impressed with the healing progress and I can start putting cream on those incisions by the weekend.  
Right abdomen at two weeks post-op Phase 2

Left abdomen at two weeks post-op Phase 2

Abdomen at two weeks post Phase 2 Revision Surgery

The nipples still have the dissolving sutures, so I am to avoid putting anything on them for now.  Hoping those dissolve over the next couple of weeks.  There are a couple of spots on my breast "lollipop" incisions that are thick and raised but I know with time and massage they will go down.  The cool thing is that I see the potential!  They look like breasts with real nipples and once the color tattoos are there....it's going to be something!
Right breast at two weeks post-nipple reconstruction

Left breast at two weeks post-nipple reconstruction
Until then, I must continue to wear the nursing pads (with holes cut out of the center) in my bra.
Each side of my bra has to have 3-4 nursing pads
with a hole cut out of the center in order to keep my
new nipples from being "smushed" down by my bra/clothing.
If you look at the above pics and the one below, you can see that the right breast doesn't really have any bruising, but the left is bruised all over.  It is a green-ish hue so that usually means its healing; however, C wants me to start massaging them both but focusing on the left breast.  She told me to keep an eye on it and let her know if it changes or gets firm....don't want it to turn into a hematoma!
My new breasts and nipples....
5 months post Bilateral Mastectomy w/Immediate DIEP Flap Reconstruction
and 2 weeks post-Nipple Reconstruction and Fat Grafting
Btw, they look huge in this pic but they really aren't that crazy looking in real life!  My nurse told me today that I am most assuredly a "full C" or even a "small D" now!!  That's crazy.  Before I had my son (and then got fat), I was a small B.  Prior to surgery, I was a big B....a C was loose.  I'm actually excited to go bra shopping when this heals!

C said that the liposuction areas will continue to be a little tender for awhile even though the bruising has faded.  The compression garment still needs to be worn 24/7 for another month.  C also commented on how nice the one I purchased was...and it is a lot more comfy than the one they gave me!  I highly recommend it if you are still looking. Since I have to wear it for another month, I stopped at Walmart and picked up another one on my way home for $19.98.

I can start sleeping on my sides again next week...woohoo!  I hate sleeping on my back.  And, being able to massage and put on the cream will make things softer and more comfy too.

Next up will be to get my tattoo session with my nurse scheduled for this Fall!  Insurance requires it to be three months from the last surgery so I'm hoping for end of October or early November!

I head back to work tomorrow and on that note....
My Tip for this Phase:
Those of you who have been following my Facebook updates know that I originally intended to return to work last week at 9 days post-op.  The truth was that I was NOT READY!  Physically, I was still tired by afternoon, still feeling queasy with too much exertion, and my brain was foggy.  As a NICU nurse, I felt unsafe returning to work in a fog.  Thankfully, I have an awesome workplace and understanding boss who had already sensed it and I was cleared to wait to return until tomorrow...which will be 15 days.  So, as a note to those of you making this decision now, go ahead and plan for two weeks!  Honestly, I was stressing myself out about it and was not sleeping.  As soon as I spoke with my boss and she said not to come in, I took a two hour nap!! And, I slept almost through the night that night for the first time since surgery!!  
We often put too much pressure on ourselves...at least I do.  So, I would recommend that you plan for more and if you feel okay at one week then go back early.  There is no sense in potentially extending your recovery because you pushed yourself too hard.

I've had the opportunity to chat with several women this month who reached out to me via FB and have enjoyed getting to know them all. If I can answer questions or you just need a sounding board, please feel free to message me any time!

Enjoy your week!

12/22/16  Routine Screening Mammogram
01/18/17  Repeat Imaging and US of left breast; LUMP found.
01/20/17  Core Needle Biopsy
01/24/17  Biopsy results positive...Stage 0 DCIS, left breast
01/25/17  Meeting with Breast Center Navigator and Genetic Testing
01/30/17  Consultation with Surgical Oncologist, Dr. K
02/08/17  Consultation with Plastic Surgeon
02/21/17  Pre-op Visit with Dr. O's nurse
02/27/17 Pre-op Labs and Testing
03/05/17 Lymph Node Injection
03/06/17 SURGERY DAY!
03/10/17 Home!
03/16/17 10 day Post-op Visit with Plastic Surgery nurse
03/20/17  2 week Post-op Appointment with Surgical Oncologist, Dr. K
04/07/17  1 month Post-Op w/Plastic Surgeon, Dr. O
04/16/17 Returning to work!
05/19/17  Appointment with Dr. O to schedule Phase 2 Surgery!
07/13/17 Pre-op Visit with Dr. O's nurse; Pre-op Labs/EKG
07/25/17 Phase 2 Surgery!!
08/08/17  2 week Post-op Visit with Plastic Surgery Nurse