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21 February 2009 @ 05:38 pm

Okay, my biggest fear going into to this surgery was not the surgery its self but the recovery afterwards.

I wanted to do all in my power to help avoid any complications.  There are some complications that we, as patients, really have no control over.  For instance seroma (A seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery) or even necrosis (Necrosis is death of body tissue. It occurs when there is not enough blood to the tissue).  The research I did, and I did LOTS, let me know that these types of complications I, as a patient, have NO control over.  I could not even blame my DRs.  We know going into this surgery there is a risk involved.  These two things are part of that risk.

Infection was the other worry for me.  I was really afraid of this.  As a precaution these are the things I did.  Perhaps some, or even all of them, would not have changed anything; but they gave me peace of mind.
  • I washed my hands obsessively.  (helps stop the spread of any germs I may have come in contact with too)
  • I never touched my incisions, and only touched my breasts if my hands were freshly washed
  • Every time I took my bra off, I put a fresh/clean one on. (I had 3 – it was nice to change the friction points on my body too)
  • I never wore the same top twice.  Pajama tops, buttons shirts whatever it was I only wore once, than in the wash it went.
  • I bought organic, all natural, UNSCENTED soap; I used that on my body and my incisions. I was told the unscented part is the most important.
  • I bought a whole bunch of face cloths, washed them and kept them aside. After a shower, instead of using my towel to dry my chest off; I would use a fresh face cloth.  A new towel for my body too, only once, to the laundry it went.

I don’t know if any of those things helped me at all, but I seemed to have come out okay (so far– wk4)

I did other things based on my research and advice others gave me I’m sure they helped as well.
  • The first 3 days after surgery, I kept fully medicated.  My Doctor advised me of this.  My body needs to heal; it will heal better if I am not in pain. 
  • The first 2 weeks after surgery I did very little.  I made sure to keep my hands by my side.  Tried not to do too much movement or lifting.  I’ve read many stories of women who feel really well the 2nd week; do too much and are then very sore in week 3.
  • I really didn’t force anything.  I would try to lift or move a certain thing, if it was uncomfortable… I didn’t do it.  (I realize I am very blessed to have a family around me that was more than willing to help.  Trust me though; asking for help any time you want to re-fill your water bottle, for example, gets old.)

I really think the key is to rest. You know our bodies are working hard.  Healing.  The best thing I can do is rest and let my body do its work.