Pre-Op Plans

It’s been over a month since I’ve written.  Mostly, I’ve been incredibly busy with work.  But I’ve also been feeling crappy in general and not really in the mood to write about it.  In consultation with my psychiatrist, I decided to stop taking one of my anti-depressants (Wellbutrin), as I try to eliminate as many pills from my daily life as possible.  I can’t say it’s been a resounding success.  I feel down in general, hungry all the time, I’ve gained weight, I was sick with bronchitis and sinusitis for almost four weeks, Thanksgiving was stressful, my RA has become worse lately with pain in my knees that is unbearable at times, etc.  So it hasn’t been the best month.  I saw my PCP on Monday for a pre-op physical – she says I should go back on the Wellbutrin.  I agree with this, but will wait to make a decision until I see my psychiatrist on Monday.

Today I went to see Dr Gimbel to talk about what he’ll do in my breast revision surgery scheduled for December 20 (two weeks from Friday).  One development is that I’ve decided that I don’t want him to construct nipples.  I’m happy without them, and I’m worried that it could do more harm than good to have him construct them – sometimes one or both become necrotic, they fall off, they look strange, they protrude perpetually.   I’ve read a lot of complaints about nipple reconstruction, so I think I’ll just skip it.  I had hoped that he’d be able to put some fat into the front of my breasts to at least round them out – right now there is a flat spot where the nipple should be, and I feel like I can see that even in some of my clothes.  He says that he can’t really round them out, but that he will do his best to lift and tighten both breasts so that they’re generally rounder and perkier.

I also want him to do something about my stomach ledge.  It is incredibly uncomfortable because my pants are continually rolling down and then getting wedged in the large area where the abdominal incision was.  I spend all day picking up my pants.  Belts don’t help, smaller pants don’t fit right over my ass and thighs.  So something needs to be done to smooth out my gut a bit.  He says he can do his best with this, but that there will always be a “shelf” as long as I carry extra weight in my stomach.

He does not anticipate that I should need any drains, although he says it’s a small possibility depending on what he finds in there.  He also says I shouldn’t have any restrictions on lifting (which means I can pick up my kiddo when need be!).

I’m worried about this surgery though.  This is the third surgery I’ll have this year.  The last two have gone very well.  Am I pushing things by going in for yet another surgery and expecting that everything will be fine just like with the previous ones?  And still, I worry that any sort of revision could make things worse – maybe I should just be happy with what he’s done so far.  He insists that this is an easy surgery, only takes two hours, out of the hospital that day.  Still, there was lots of talk about re-opening incisions that are so nicely healed!  Am I tempting fate here for vanity?

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