Pre-Op Update

I went in for my pre-op appointment before my upcoming surgical revision that I posted about the other day.  I like to post about these things for those who might be considering surgery or want to know more about the process.  As I’ve said before, overall I am very happy with the surgery that I had.  When I had surgery, though, I knew that revisions were not uncommon and I knew that I might need upper abdominal liposuction.

The pre-op appointment went well.  The surgeon clearly explained what he was doing and we talked about the specific areas that he was to address and what my concerns are.  The choice of surgeon is an important one and I strongly advocate researching thoroughly any surgeons being considered and making sure the surgeon is board certified as a plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  I posted more about that here.   I did a lot of research on my surgeon and have felt very comfortable with the work he has done on me.

We first talked about my facial revision.  We discussed in detail the area of excess skin on my upper right eye.  He is going to remove some additional skin and improve the scar appearance.  He is also going to remove another cholesterol deposits near my left eye.

We also talked out how people are not perfectly symmetrical in appearance.  He says it is common that people don’t really pay that much attention to it until after surgery.  It is after surgery that many of us really scrutinize our appearance and notice small asymmetry that was never noticed before.

We also talked about the upper abdominal liposuction.  I was mostly interested in this discussion about what the recovery would be like.  I knew that the facial part wouldn’t likely be that difficult, but I wasn’t sure how the liposuction would be.  I did have some limited liposuction as part of the tummy tuck, but most of the recovery was related to the tummy tuck part of it.

This sounds like it will be extensive than the recovery for the face, but sort of like a much lesser repeat of the tummy tuck recovery.  The thing I dislike the most if that he wants to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks after the liposuction.  I really hated doing that after the tummy tuck.  The first garment is a stage 1 garment.

This is a picture of it.  The waste goes up almost to my breasts.  This gives really strong compression.  It zips up the sides but also has hooks beneath the zipper.  I have this leftover from when I had my tummy tuck.  I hated this garment.  It was so tight because of all of the swelling after the tummy tuck.  It was all but impossible to get on and off.  I needed my husband’s help to do it for the first couple of weeks.  Now, it is more comfortable now than it was then since my abdomen is a lot smaller.  But, I don’t have any swelling now.  After the liposuction, he said I would have swelling for a couple of weeks.  So, I expect that this will be uncomfortable and I will again need my husbands help to get in and out of it.  (It does have an open crotch so it doesn’t have to be taken off to get to the restroom if you wear your underwear over it).

I am hoping I won’t have to wear this stage 1 garment as long as I had to wear it after the tummy tuck. The stage 2 garment is not great, but is much more comfortable.  It also goes up high on the waist, but is shorter.  It is more like a Spanx type girdle and is way more comfortable.  During my tummy tuck recovery I wore that for several weeks after I was allowed to switch to it.  I did wear a piece of foam inside that garment.  That added to the compression and kept the garment from rolling down.

The reasons I was given for the compression garment is that it helps the skin to adhere properly to the underlying tissue and it helps reduce swelling.  With liposuction, I definitely want the skin to adhere properly so I will have a smoother contour.  And, I did find that the garments did help reduce swelling.  That said, I don’t really look forward to have to wear them, although the stage 2 garment is much better.  But, I wore then for the entire time my surgeon recommended after the tummy tuck, including wearing one at night for most of the period, and I will do that again.

We also talked some about pain and restrictions on activity after surgery.  I was given a prescription for pain medication.  I am hoping I won’t have to take it for more than a couple of days.  After the tummy tuck, the pain medication caused some major constipation which resulted in hemorrhoids and was really unpleasant for awhile.  However, I don’t expect to have as much pain with the liposuction as with the tummy tuck (that pain wasn’t terrible, but I did need the pain meds).

I can walk immediately after surgery and am encouraged to do that.  However, he said to take 2 to 3 weeks off from more strenuous exercise.  I am planning to walk on the treadmill during that period.

I have a pain med prescription to fill and one for a post-surgical antibiotics.  He wants to take Vitamin C before surgery and I have a long list of things to avoid that can cause more bleeding.  I am going to call and get the paid med changed.  The one prescribed tends to make me nauseated so I want to change to a different one and get an anti-nausea med to take with it (he did that last year for me).

I went and did my pre-op blood work today and have to go get an EKG at the surgical center early next week.  That is kind of a pain to do (long drive), but I understand why they do it.  I had one last May for that surgery and it has been long enough that I am required to have a new one.

Surgery is scheduled for the 22nd.  I will have some swelling afterwards and that can cause temporary weight gain.  I had about 10 pounds of temporary weight gain after my tummy tuck surgery from the fluids used in surgery and from swelling.  I don’t this will have that much weight gain, but I expect some.  I haven’t weighed in for May so I plan to weigh in before surgery since I may still have temporary weight gain at the next Saturday after the surgery.


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