Photos of Top Surgery at Two Weeks

The healing is coming along slowly but surely..

Scroll down for photos. Note the photos are pretty graphic, and may not be suitable for viewing in public spaces.

My biggest issue is the binder (compression vest) does not fit well. I am told I have to wear this for at least 3 weeks, and maybe up to 6 weeks. Ugh…

I am 6ft tall and the nurse intentionally fit me with a size SMALL, so that it would be nice and snug and compress my chest well post surgery, keeping my nipple grafts under pressure is important so they heal properly.

I don’t mind it being tight around my chest, but the arm holes are not big enough to accommodate my shoulders. It’s cutting into my skin under my arms. So my underarm area is quite sore and feeling bruised. This bruising could be partially from surgery, but the vest is really making it worse. Lymph nodes are super sensitive and inflamed (feel like they are popping out). I am told that is normal for several weeks, as the lymph nodes are doing their job and working to fight infection.

I cut the arm holes a bit to lessen the ache. I also bought a roll of “absorbent” cotton from the pharmacy, which I use as padding in that area. It’s really soft and helps a lot. I recommend using this in any sore areas you might have relating to the compression vest/binder.

I currently have a “seroma” on my right side, which is where serum (not blood but a clear fluid) that is building up under my right pec. Note the saggy area. I am going to have this aspirated tomorrow. When they aspirate it, the Dr sticks a fine needle  into the area with the fluid and draws out the fluid into a syringe to drain it. Apparently it doesn’t actually hurt much… which is probably because my chest is still pretty numb at this point.

The sensation in my chest is pretty absent all around my pectoral muscle area. The numbness extends in about a 7 inch radius around (and including) my areola and nipples.

Nipples look pretty scary with all that black scabbing, but that is normal. The scabbing will slowly dissipate and reveal fresh pink skin underneath… if all goes according to plan. I have been warned NOT TO PICK… so I am not picking it AT ALL… actually I have no desire to pick. I just put some antibiotic ointment on them and put non-stick gauze like pads on them and then the cotton padding, and the compression vest/binder.

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The Seroma - Yucky

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3 Responses to “Photos of Top Surgery at Two Weeks”

  1. GW Says:

    Quick question… I had surgery last week and developed a large seroma the entire length of where the drain was. (I was just under 25ccs but probably should have waited longer to get them out). I am going back to Dr. F to have it aspirated tomorrow, but am worried about long term impacts. Did you have any additional scarring or anything from the seroma? Just trying to manage my expectations. Thanks!!

    • ftmjasper Says:

      Hi GW-

      I had seromas too. On both sides about 2 inches under the lower edge of my pec muscle. Bummed me out a lot. First, because it happened at all, second because even after draining twice (about 40 mls on ea side), they never really went away, and I still have this saggy area from it. My advice is to get it drained often, and keep it wrapped tight. Try not to move your arms. Seriously dude. I wish someone told me about it and what to do.

  2. GW Says:

    Thanks! I went to Dr F today and she aspirated both sides. For the info of anyone else who is seeking it, she said that they strongly prefer not to leave the fluid in more than 5 days at most. Anything up to about 20ccs can be absorbed back into the body, but they would still rather take it out every few days to prevent long term issues. They were really calm about it and said that it is pretty common, not to panic over it, and that if aspirated every few days as needed, that it should not cause long-term issues. Also, if you are a skinny person (like me) the seromas will look much more dramatic than they really are.

    Ps – thanks so much for the blog. I read it before surgery because I was looking for a “here’s what to expect when you get there” type thing, and it definitely helped me be calm that morning.

    Another FYI for people who are reading your blog pre-surgery, they are now recommending that people take xanax the morning of surgery because it makes the waking from anesthesia go more smoothly. I took some without water the morning of, and it very much helped both before surgery, and from what they told me, after.

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