On Monday the 1st of July, I underwent a procedure for the removal of a forehead lesion as well as a bilateral breast reduction for correction of breast asymmetry and removal of accessory breast tissue. More simply put…a lesion was removed from my forehead, I had a breast reduction, and removal of breast tissue under the arms. This was stage one and the second stage for implants, is yet to be scheduled.
This topic is considerably taboo, even in the 2019. But to be blunt, I don’t care at all. I did this for myself and nobody else influenced my decision to undergo this procedure. I even feel liberated and confident enough to post this on social media for others to read and inevitably judge me but I don’t care. Females AND males have the right to do what they wish with their body and I decided to do this on my own accord. I have decided to explain the process in detail for others to understand and to educate others who may be interested in undergoing the procedure themselves.
In order to get an appointment with the plastic surgeon, you are required to go to a GP to get a referral first. It took two months to get a consultation which is dependent on when you call (I called in December which is a busy time of year). A fee is required at the end of the appointment. My experience was very positive and all the nurses paid close attention to detail. My surgeon, Eddie Cheng was very easy to speak to, open-minded, honest and I felt comfortable taking his advice.
In preparation for surgery, I read that being fit and healthy is important to ensure a faster recovery. I went to gym 3 or 4 times a week to undertake cardio exercise, drank plenty of water, ate healthily and researched about scar therapy and expectations following surgery. I had a pre-op consultation two weeks before my procedure. I would be required to arrive at the Wesley hospital two hours before my operation, bring all non-prescription medication and an overnight bag. I was unable to eat or drink from 5am that morning but my last meal was 8pm the night before. My parents booked a three-bedroom apartment in West End which was close to my current apartment and spacious enough for me to move around. The bedroom had a large walk-in wardrobe for me to easily lay my stuff out and an attaching bathroom with sensors on the appliances for easier use.
With my overnight bag and comfortable clothes, I arrived at the Wesley Hospital at 9:30am with my parents. After 30 minutes, I was called into the pre-op section, weighed, measured and changed into a gown with compression tights. I waited 90 minutes in another pre-op area with a bit of an older crowd in recliners with heated blankets accompanied by elevator music (so fun). At 12:15pm I was rolled over to a section outside the theatre room in a hospital bed. I met my anesthetist when she inserted the catheter into my arm. My surgeon Eddie Cheng, then began drawing on me for the surgery which took approximately 15 minutes. After not drinking or eating for almost 18 hours, as well as my extreme nerves for surgery, I began to blackout (pro-tip: be aware of this if you opt for breast surgery – begins with black spots and fading vision). Due to my tendency to faint quite easily, I informed my surgeon and laid down for a while before he finished off preparations. Ten minutes later I was wheeled into the theatre room and shortly after, I was under anesthesia.
The surgeon removed fat from both of my breasts. My left was more than 120grams larger than my right and a reduction was necessary before implants. The surgeon cut vertical down from my nipple and under my breast on both breasts. In addition, both nipples were removed, reduced in size and placed back on. Lypo was performed on both underarms to increase the aesthetics for the second surgery.
I woke up extremely drowsy, I was wheeled to my own room and greeted by my parents. Contrary to the vlogs and people I encountered before my procedure, I didn’t feel overall pain when I began moving, just discomfort. When I first moved from the hospital bed, my chest felt very heavy and as if part of my body was detaching. Weird, but not painful. The next morning my surgeon removed the heavy bandaging from my chest to check progress. The scars were quite red, bruising was purple and my arms were considerably swollen (I videoed two minutes after the bandaging was removed to keep track of progress) which constricted movement. I was given white TED stockings to wear three weeks straight. By 10am I was able to leave and collect my prescription medication which included endone (oxycodone), panamax, antibiotics and movicol. The anesthesia didn’t affect me when I was discharged from the hospital and I had quite a lot of energy. At 2pm I decided to nap, as the nurses advised me to sleep and rest a lot. I used four pillows to prop myself on a 30-degree angle and later used a fifth to place under my knees to prevent pain to my feet and overactive legs. Showering and getting dressed is mission impossible after this type of surgery, but thankfully I had my mum to assist.
On the fifth day, I went back to the hospital to have my stitches removed and to receive my compression bra. It is a requirement to wear this bra for at least six weeks and to begin applying silicon cream afterward to reduce scarring. I have an anchor-like scar which will take a bit of effort to reduce in appearance. Being consistent with wearing the bra and applying the silicon gel is essential for the best outcome.
I’m going to be honest, I’m writing this almost three weeks later and sleep has been a struggle the entire time (a heat pack will assist in discomfort). I’m still unable to move comfortably both when sleeping and when awake. Energy levels are a lot lower than usual and I’m unable to lift anything too heavy in case my stitches rip open. At the end of the third week, I expect my movement will be exponentially improved but any vigorous exercise is still a month or so away.
I have an appointment in a week to check progress and remove the tape from my scars and nipples. In six weeks I will have another appointment to take photos and check progress once again. I will then choose the date for my implant surgery.
Overall, the whole process was more pleasant than I expected. I didn’t suddenly decide to undertake this surgery out of nowhere, I have contemplated this for a considerable amount of time (years). I recommend doing a lot of research and being 100% sure that you want this procedure. Lastly, a support system during and after the surgery is extremely important, pick the best people to help you.