Lots of people have been asking how my post-operative experience has been since my surgery. Let me tell you, you never realize just how much you use those chest muscles until you can't use them! No lifting whatsoever was allowed for the first week. Not that I would have wanted to! OUCH! I was given Percocet for the first five days, and once that ran out I requested more as I was still having pretty significant pain. They gave me Darvocet which is less powerful. Two weeks later, I'm only taking the Darvocet at night just to help me sleep more comfortably. I'm taking Tylenol during the day.
The first couple of days were pretty rough. I had to have help doing everything - including getting dressed and even going to the bathroom. Getting out of bed was extremely difficult, and I found it best to just prop myself up into a sitting position and not get out of bed at all unless I really needed to. If you are considering having this surgery or anything like it, make sure you have someone who can stay with you 24/7 for at least the first 48 hours!
My surgeon used surgical tapes on my incisions instead of bandages. This meant that I could shower normally - as soon as I was able to stand up! - and didn't have to expose the incisions changing the dressings. He took the tapes off a week later. Two weeks after the surgery, I am still having occasional bleeding and fluid discharge from my incisions. This is perfectly normal and can continue as long as four weeks, I'm told. So I asked him what I was supposed to use to cover the incisions - and get this! They recommend super long Maxi pads! Hey, don't knock it!They're soft and absorbent, sanitary, and they work! (Gives a whole new meaning to "padding your bra!")
I went back to work a week after my surgery and am doing pretty well. I occasionally have flare-ups of pain. My right side is healing much faster than my left, for some strange reason. But I've resumed my normal life with the exception of working out and am feeling great about having done this!
It will be a few more weeks before I can wear a regular bra. I'm so excited about going to get myself sized and being able to buy pretty, lacy bras instead of indstrial-strength ones!
I've already bought a couple of new tops - including the one I am most proud of, which is a beautiful white cotton long sleeved button-front blouse. I haven't been able to wear a blouse like that in years! It's still a little too hot in Georgia for long sleeves, but believe me - I plan to wear it the first day the temperatures start to drop!
As always, please feel free to post questions in the comments. I hope that this information is helpful to someone out there!