Having attended my pre-op assessment and had my surgery, I’ve had ample opportunity to get my questions answered. So here is what I managed to glean from the various people I spoke to:
1. What time do I actually have to arrive (I know the letter says 0730, but I live 40 miles away!)?
The aneathetist sees everyone before surgery, so it is important that you arrive for the time stated on your letter.
This leads on to…
2. What time will my surgery be?
As you are first on the list (at the time of the pre-op assessment), you are likely to go for surgery at 08:30. [I actually ended up being 3rd on the list and going for my surgery after 13:30 on the day]. I was told that it is not possible to predetermine where in the list anyone is likely to be placed, as the list is not printed until 4pm the day before surgery.
3. What time will I be released (because my husband wants to hang around to take me home afterwards and if I’m likely to be hours and hours, he needs to know!)?
It is likely to be the afternoon, but could be the following day – depending on how I am affected by the anesthetic. [This ended up being the following day – due to my arriving back on the ward far later than expected; and the surgeon specifying a return home the following day on the file notes.]
4. As I am only coming in for day surgery, what should I be bringing with me in terms of ‘luggage’?
You should bring an overnight bag and any medication that you are taking.
5. Last time I struggled with the pain and wonder if I didn’t take the pain killers regularly or long enough. What guidance is there regarding pain management, particularly the deep-seated pain that I experienced in my breast and down my sides (in my muscles?)?
I was advised to speak to the aneathetist. He advised me that he will insert a venflon into my arm and aneathetise me and then will administer localised pain aneasthesia to the sites marked on my body for the fat harvest. This should ensure that I don’t experience pain in those areas. He checked the areas marked to ensure that he was aware of where these all were. He advised that paracetamol and ibuprofen would be suitable for pain management, unless the pain was severe and then cocodamol could be added to the treatment.
6. I had a bubble form over my original scar, was this bruising coming up to the surface, and can I expect this to happen again next time?
This was examined by one of the surgeons on the day and they deduced that it was fat necrosis. I was sent for an ultrasound and oil cysts were identified in the area, which confirmed that it was in fact fat necrosis.
7. The liposuctioned and lipofilled areas were lumpy after the surgery and still sometimes feel ‘hardened’, should I be massaging the areas?
That is natural
8. What other care activities should I be undertaking of my abdomen (harvest) and breast areas?
Ensure that you wear your ‘magic pants’
9. When may I start exercising again, I’m thinking of yoga/Pilates type exercising?
As soon as I feel able to
10. Please confirm the length of time to wear the ‘magic pants’, is it 3 weeks?
Miss M says 3 weeks. Miss B says 4-6 weeks. My discharge letter says 6 weeks. I was advised by the discharging nurse to check at my follow-up outpatient appointment at the Oncoplasty clinic 3 weeks after the surgery.
11. I have continued to have feelings of tenderness and as if a ‘sharp’ protrusion is being pushed into my breast, what are these caused by?
That was the fat necrosis
12. I’ve heard that the itchiness, numbness or hypersensitivity caused by liposuction can be eased by massaging, are you happy for me to do this?
Sensitivity/a change of sensation is common in liposuction/modelled tissue.
13. Is it permissible to massage the abdomen and breast area to reduce the smarting after the surgery? How soon may I start this?
No response to this question, though I don’t think it is feasible to massage the area until all the bruising has gone – it would be far too painful!
14. I’ve heard that the treatment is not permanent and that the fat will be reabsorbed back into my body over time, will I have to have top-up procedures? At what intervals?
It takes 3 months for things to settle down. Then that fat which is left will remain permanently. Any weight loss or weight increase will be represented in the breast tissue as well as the body.
15. Is there any other advice or guidance that you can give me, please?
The main area to care for is the area which has received liposuction. Ensure that the magic pants are worn. Wear a non underwired bra.
For the first 24 hours following surgery, you must not be left alone, due to the aneasthetic.
- Things to ask at a pre-op appointment (julieshort.wordpress.com)
- Pre-assessment appointment (julieshort.wordpress.com)
- Five things to take with you when you go for lipofilling on your breast (julieshort.wordpress.com)