Connor_Fell (connor_fell) wrote in tguk,
Connor_Fell
connor_fell
tguk

Top Surgery: How often/closely did you check on things post-op?

On Friday 9th I had top surgery - double-incision. Seemed to go well, out of hospital next day and recovering at home. I'm taking the painkillers I was given and avoiding heavy lifting, am mostly just in discomfort from the surgical binder.

But... I'm paranoid. I'm not great with medical stuff which doesn't help, but I keep being convinced the tenderness in my sides is something Gone Horribly Wrong instead of just "I had major surgery and I'm wearing a tight surgical binder which is squashing my ribs".

The surgeon said not to touch the bandages at all until I saw him in 10 days time, and to keep the binder in place as much as possible (I'm struggling to figure out how to keep clean without harming bandages - awkward placement!) so I'm basically only taking the binder off to readjust once a day it when it gets too uncomfortable. I have a quick look over the bandages - there's no new blood or anything - so I'm assuming that and the fact I'm walking around means I'm doing OK.

But how much checking up did you do immediately post-op? How did you check? Any advice about being less paranoid here?
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Resiiiist picking at or taking anything off you're not supposed to as best you can. Like I can talk, but try not to prod. Tenderness and pain and itching is totally normal to reasonable degrees—you've got two deep wounds that are still healing up, think of how much even little cuts can ache and add in compression, and there you go. I hurt the most over my sternum at first (where I didn't even have incisions, go figure), but the sides/outer bit of the incisions hurt for longer, especially where I had drains. The binder pressed on the tubes and the outer edges of the incisions themselves and owww.

Think of it this way, by leaving everything covered that long you're getting to miss some of the gross bits! I thought things like "oh, bruising everywhere!" were cool-gross, but I'm odd. I think my surgeon and yours had different takes on how long before touching things, that and I had Dermabond rather than stitches/strips.

And don't be afraid to call your surgeon's office and ask questions if you're really worried or things feel off. They've surely heard it before, it's better to ask than to worry yourself into a ball of stress.
It turns out my paranoid wasn't totally paranoid - I do have a bit of bleeding down one side. But I took a photo and mailed the surgeon and he said not to worry, and now my best friend is threatening to tape me to the sofa so I stop being so active. *hangs head*

But yeah - I'm very grateful I'm missing the gross stuff!

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It turns out I did have some bleeding, but I suspect it looks worse than it really is because the bandage/gauze tends to soak it up and spread it out. I emailed a pic to the doctor and he wasn't concerned, so I'm just under orders to stop being so active.

I appreciate the reassurance for - that's really what I'm here for, I know logically that I'm a low-risk patient and all I need to do is wait it out, but then you get lizard brain running circles going "ow, ow, we're all going to die!!!!"

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