Diary of a lipomodelling breast reconstruction

My diary written during my lipomodelling on 4 July 2011…

Mr S drove me the 42 miles from home to hospital. As usual with Mr S we arrived in plenty of time – 1/2 an hour early (he is so rarely late, you could almost say he’s never late). I was shown into my room which on this occasion was on the opposite side of the corridor to last. So I have the morning sunshine and can watch the car park start to fill up with staff starting their working day and patients arriving for their appointments. It was a lovely scene in the early sunshine wataching people travel along the footpaths set between the trees and grassy areas.

The trees have obviously been here for many years as they are very mature. A huge oak about 3 to 4 storeys high is right across the car park from my room. Partway up it divides as if the leading shoot was removed, to produce a double crowned tree. Oh sorry, ignore that, it’s an optical illusion with one smaller tree growing byond the larger tree I am looking at. The front tree has quite a lean on it!

Two trees for the price of one

As it’s only 7am, the local bunny population are active in the grounds. I can see four of these from my window, in an access area to the side of the building entrance. They are very busy grooming themselves.

I’ve had my blood pressure, temperature and allergy information taken, been tagged with the usual ‘red’ hospital bracelet, so that they are aware that I ‘do’ have allergies. I’ve also been marked up with indelible ink to show the areas from which fat will be taken and where it will subsequently be injected. This is apparently so that the aneathetist knows where to administer numbing treatments.

I’ve also had an ultrasound on the lump under my lumpectomy scar. That was to confirm that it was fat necrosis and nothing more sinister. The lady doing the ultrasound explained that the 3 dark blobs on the ultrasound are oil cysts formed as a result of the fat necrosis. My surgeon seemed unconcerned and I think she may try and ‘do something about it’.

Time moves on and my stomach is growling. I last ate at sometime around 6pm yesterday. 16 hours without food is a long time for me, when I’m used to culinary delights prepared for me by Mr S at regular intervals! Not only that, but my mouth is so dry that I doubt I could eat one cream cracker, let alone try a cracker eating competition!

I’ve done a follow-up to my post “Things to ask at a pre-op appointment” so that the flow doesn’t get lost by rabbiting on about it here. However, I think that I will just comment about the lump that I had found in one of the fat injection sites from last time. This is probably an area of fat necrosis, which I don’t think is anything to worry about, but I need to find out more about that now. I’m sure if I can find out anything I’ll be able to do another blog to share the information. If you are having lipomodelling and you find yourself getting tenderness and feelings of sharpness in any lipomodelling areas, it is important that you mention this at your clinic appointment, or if necessary phone up for guidance.

11.20: I’ve just been told to gown up! I’m experiencing a mixture of feelings:- a hot flush, as the gown is a thick cotton, bemused as I tried to work out which is front and which is back on the paper pants provided and then realised neither – does that make them ambidextrous? A slight increase in the tension levels in my body as I anticipate the walk down to theatre. I must remember my inhaler!

I didn’t bring slippers, I have flip-flops. My reasoning? I’ve read that things taken into hospital should be washed (clothing) or thrown away (pens) to avoid the transference of infections. My slippers are not washable and too expensive to throw away and replace. Whereas my flip-flops are easily cleaned and disinfected. So I’ve folded back my anti-embolism socks to expose my toes 😀

Sitting waiting by the open window I can feel the warmth of the sun and smell cut grass. Someone is strimming in the distance. Nurses are busy up and down the ward, they are calling out to each other, but my room door is shut from getting changed, so the noise is muted a bit. I could quite happily fall asleep!

This time when I came round I was walking down country lanes with verdant green hedges either side and trees arching overhead with deep green leafy branches. Then I was into the real world. I was drifting in and out of full awareness. I was given morphine again as the pain was severe and that reduced it to a reasonable level. From what I heard during my time in recovery I left theatre at 15:25, so from my foggy recollections I was in recovery for just over an hour. The staff in recovery are very kind, I wonder how often they get acknowledged for what they do. As last time I had the flowtron leg wrappings put on my legs to prevent DVT’s, these were left on till next morning as I have a small thread vein blockage in my left ankle.

Which leads me nicely on to letting you know that I was kept in overnight. Initially I was told that this was due to being late back onto the ward and I needed to be kept under observation for 3-ish hours before I could be released. At first I was happy about this as I was in pain and still drifting between full awareness and a kind of dreamy sleep. This dream state gave me really weird, very brief dreams, some disturbing, some funny and some just plain odd. Unfortunately I cannot remember most of them so the only example I can give you is this one:

I am in a Mini car, it is left hand drive, Mr S is driving and I am stacking crates in the footwell on the passenger side and to the side of the seat. I then look up at the driver and it is my border terrier in the driving seat instead of Mr S. But she is enormous with a really large head, so that she fills the left side of the car.

Later on after my pain was under control and I was feeling more alert I checked with Mr S to see if he would be happy to drive for an hour to come through and collect me, which of course he was. Unfortunately when I asked the Ward Sister, it was not the lateness of the hour (2115) that stopped her releasing me, but the surgeon’s file note which said “home tomorrow” 😦

I’ve drunk over 3 jugs of water during the evening and overnight. This morning my blood pressure is 95/53 which the nurse thinks may be due to lack of fluids. I’m not feeling dizzy, so she will check it again later. I hope that this does not jeopardise my chances of being discharged!

Breakfast is imminent – hooray! I’m so hungry.

Aneathetist came at 0830 and was happy with my condition. Surgeon came at 0845.  She told me it had been a real struggle to get enough fat and that she had not been able to fill the breast as much as she would have liked. When I go to clinic in 2-3 weeks time we will discuss what can be done. She will take a look at my back to see how much fat there is available there. The other option is to reduce the other breast. I’m not keen on that idea as it involves introducing surgery to an area that has nothing wrong with it.

I can go home now! As soon as the ward staff get round to processing me 🙂


One thought on “Diary of a lipomodelling breast reconstruction

  1. Leanne

    I had this procedure done and went under the knife on 5 separate times it’s extremely painful but well worth it I had fat taken from my stomach, thighs and my back as getting too much from one area may leave saggy skin

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