The following post from our forum is from a male who had an abdominoplasty and a double mastectomy. It is now 14 days post op and he describes his experiences.
Date: 12/26/2011 Submitted by: Andy14 Days Post Abdominoplasty And Double Mastectomy
Hi – I’m a male who is 14 days post abdominoplasty and a double mastectomy. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story.
I guess everyone will have a slightly different experience but I’m heartened that there has been nothing wildly different occur for me. I live outside the US and the medical system is a little different.
So far I have experienced:
* 6 day hospital stay.
* day 8 my tummy expanded with fluid (unanticipated by not un expected). the surgeon could not get this fluid out with a needle so we will check it again in a week and try again if it is still there.
* Compression garments are not so comfortable, I’m not sure if “Really tight” is the same as “so tight it’s uncomfortable and causes pain”.
* today is day 14, recovery has it’s ups and downs. my learning is ride it out and be guided by your doctors, keep drinking water and keep moving.
*So far I’ve done some walking – my longest session was 45 mins but this wiped me out the following day – so learning to take it easy and do what i can and not stress.
*Compression garments and wounds make it hard to comfortably exercise. I was a gym junkie prior to surgery, but don’t feel confident to lift a weight yet – my chest area is tender and the incisions and skin need time to settle down. Next week is my goal, all being well with recovery. The amount of exercise and my fitness prior I think has made a big difference to my recovery experience so far.
* I have a nutritionalist who has suggested a drink called arginaid extra, which apparently helps wound healing internally (note I’m not in any way endorsing this product) – I’ve been taking this for about 5 days now. It seems to be packed with Vitimin C and Zinc – which were recommended by the surgeon to take pre and post operatively anyway.
Again thanks for being a voice of experience out there. It has been good to find a male experience as well as a forum to learn and share. Also to other posters thanks for being open and sharing experience.
All the best
Date: 12/26/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
Sorry for the delay in responding. Recently I have been receiving hundreds of spam emails per day and your email got lost in the mix.
Thanks for telling of your experience.
Hopefully by now your fluid build up is under control.
I have never been uncomfortable with my compression garment. No pain at all associated with it. Most likely because I was numb for a long time.
I will have to look into that “Arginaid Extra”. I receive a lot of requests about how patients can speed up the healing process.
Good luck in the rest of your recovery.
Resource Arginaid Extra Wildberry Brikpaks 27 X 8oz Case
RESOURCE ARGINAID EXTRA Oral Supplement is an arginine-intensive drink with specialized nutrients to provide support during wound healing. It is a ready-to-serve, great-tasting oral supplement containing supplemental levels of L-arginine, zinc, and vitamins C and E to help promote the likelihood of wound healing. Provides calories and protein, as well as other essential nutrients required to protect and maintain lean muscle mass.
Message – Thanks Tanner. I’m impressed you take this site so professionally, clearly it is a bit of an unknown and your site is a great resource. An update, The fluid continues to be a pest, last aspiration was 850ml on Friday and today Monday is back bigger than ever. No holidays here tomorrow and I should be able to get in to see my doctor and get emptied again!
Response – Andy, How are your surgical drains doing (assuming you have them)? Are they slowing down or have they been removed? I was aspirated twice after my drains were removed. The fist time he sucked out a lot of fluid. The second time he tried, but came up dry. Tanner
Message – Hi again, my drains were removed by day six when I was in hospital, there was 100ml a day. I’m 21 days post op today. The aspirations have been since leaving hospital. The most recent one did freak me out due to the volume being almost a litre. My PS is away on holiday and his back up is not returning calls (probably holidays as well!) so I had to resort to my GP And have found an radiologist who will do the aspiration with a referral from my GP- it’s complicated and a layer of stress and running around that is unnecessary just now. I’m back at work in a week, how did you go getting back into a routine?
Response – Andy,
If you mean how did I go about getting back into an exercise routine, the simple answer is “very slowly”.
I mostly used light dumbbells for arm exercises and also did some stretches. I exercised for about an hour each day and I used extreme care not to do any exercise that would pull, tug or stretch my midsection area. No fast movements, just slow and deliberate motions.
But, if I were you I would hold off on any physical exercise until the draining problem is resolved, especially since you can’t contact your surgeon at the present. Too much exercise may aggravate the problem and slow your recovery. Hopefully you don’t have too much of a physical type job.
I can imagine you being freaked out at all the fluid sucked out. I didn’t have that much and I was surprised. It just kept coming and coming.
If you meant how did I go about getting back into a work routine, I didn’t have a problem because I work from my computer at home. Other people who go to the office or have more physical type work just try to take it easy and slow until their stamina builds back up. Lots of frequent rests and breaks if possible.