Surgery #2–Tissue Expanders

A few days ago I had surgery number two, which inserted tissue expanders to prepare my breasts for the permanent implants in a few months.  I wasn’t as nervous, hoping that a shorter surgery would mean less nausea and general yuckiness after I woke up.  This surgery was supposed to be about an hour.  I think it ended up being about an hour and a half.  They not only had to insert the expanders but the mesh slings that would hold them in place since I have no more breast tissue.

Getting ready to go nightie-night
The anesthesiologist this time was awesome.  I woke up with no nausea, which is a HUGE thing for me.   The grogginess was tough but so much better than nausea.  I noticed that I was bound up very tightly, wearing a compression bra and bandaged up pretty good.  Here is what I looked like after waking up.  I don’t recall how many cc’s he said he put in, but he did say it was a b cup.  It was nice to look down and see something there.
I have to say the expanders are pretty uncomfortable.  I cannot take narcotic pain meds so I am alternating otc pain meds.  I feel like I have two hard plastic plates sewn under my skin.  The doctor said it would be fairly uncomfortable and that the transition to implants would be easier since they are softer and squishier.  
I’d gained a lot of mobility back and now I am back at square one.  I can’t lift my arms up very much but I am doing some exercises that they instructed me to do.  I am learning just how much I use the muscles in my chest area on a daily basis.  Getting out of bed is the hardest thing to do right now.  After this recovery period is over my abdominal muscles should be a bit stronger.  It is also difficult to take a deep breath.  When I stand up from a sitting position I feel a pulling sensation that seems centered directly through my right nipple.  I know they are numb but whatever it is, it doesn’t feel very good.  
Tomorrow I go see the plastic surgeon so he can check the skin and incisions and make sure everything looks good.  I am sort of dreading it.  When he unhooks this compression bra it is going to hurt.  The first time they changed my bandages I must have turned ten shades of gray and sweated buckets.  It was quite painful.  I just keep telling myself the worst is behind me and eventually this process will come to an end.  For now I’m trying to keep myself from going completely stir crazy.  Angry Birds, reading, tv, piddling about on the computer; these things are pretty much my life right now.  I am, however, incredibly blessed that I do not have to undergo chemotherapy.  I am very thankful.

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