Post Surgery Update: 72 Hours Later

72 hours since my surgery has come and gone. Much of the entire 2nd day post-op was spent sleeping. While the pain was minimal, exhaustion had got the better of me, and I decided to retreat to my room to recover in peace. Day three was much more eventful: home care was by today and pulled out the hideous surgical drains that were hanging out of either side of my chest.

Removal? Not fun. The right side slipped out the way it was supposed to, with only a minimal rope burn feeling as the drain was pulled. The left side? Holy hell. The fibres of tissue had already started to embed themselves in the drain, so when it was pulled on, it ripped and bled. There was some swearing and yodelling involved. The left drain, and the extra pressure required to removed it, also made a hell of a mess. I was glad to be done with the drains, as plastic sacs of blood/waste products leaking from your body is gross.

I’m still taking a heavy duty course of antibiotics, but my pain relief has been significantly titrated back. I am now only taking T3 as needed, and so far, that has only been once today, post drain-removal.

One of the most frustrating things for me about this surgery is being prohibited from showering for 10 days, so that the sutures can remain dry. Showering is an obsession of mine, and being forced to sponge bathe is less than enjoyable. While nobody else has complained about my smell, I cannot wait to leap in and scrub down. So. Disgusting.

Did you know that stores hide everything you need on the top shelves when you can’t lift your arms up? Every. Single. Thing. I needed at the store today was above my shoulders. I couldn’t reach. My kids couldn’t reach. No staff to be found everywhere. I nearly crumpled in a heap on the floor, sobbing,when trying to mentally levitate a bottle of Draino into my hands earlier today. Then the milk was above shoulder height.  I had to try to close the back of the van. Everything seemed to be a battle. Thank God for old ladies, who consistently seem to be willing to help me when nobody else is.

On the battle front, things are looking a little less swollen, and starting to seem less alien. My husband has asked (mindlessly, to the detriment of his own health) several times today if “it feels nice to have a small chest now?” and “Are you enjoying having a smaller chest?” Nice? Enjoyable? Nice isn’t what I’m feeling, buster. Oh yes. These stitches are REALLY enjoyable!

For the What to Expect When You’re Expecting A Breast Reduction ladies, here is what 72 hours later looks like:

Front: 72 hours post-surgery (clothed)


Side view: 72 hours post surgery (clothed)


Side View: 72 hours post-surgery, after drain removal (bandaged)

My finger is pointing to where the drain site was. You can see more definition now that some of the swelling has gone down. I’m also not as puffy from sodium IV now..

The biggest surprise has been the minimal pain. I was expecting to really be taken out by it. I couldn’t fathom how I was going to cope with it. The pain and post-op recovery was the biggest source of anxiety when electing to do this surgery, and it seems funny now that it’s over and done with, and most aspects of my life (beyond showering, lifting and cleaning house) are unaffected.

The next 2 days will simply be spent healing. Wednesday brings me a dressing change at the day clinic at the hospital. Next Monday I see the surgeon for suture removal and the go-ahead to shower.


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9 thoughts on “Post Surgery Update: 72 Hours Later

  1. Well, sad to see them go, but happy to see you recovering happily. I’ll pass on your story to a friend of mine who is also suffering from being top heavy and 5′ something.

  2. I had the same surgery a year ago. The not showering must be a BC thing, as my mom had the same instructions. Here in AB I had to shower before I was discharged. You also have way more dressings than I did – I only had small steri-strips – no gauze or anything. I too felt little pain. My only real advise is to massage around the nipple, as that is the only place I have some bumpy scars – just in a couple of small sections.

    • Ah. A fellow sister of the knife! I wonder if the showering has to do with the style of the reduction and the materials used? I have dissolvable sutures, which need to stay dry. Perhaps yours were monocril/removable? I have no idea what my nipples look like under all those bandages yet! The bandages were courtesy of home care, rather than the surgeon. For some reason, I don’t see him for another week, which is a full 10 days after he carved me up.

    • Ha! Teeny! Not so much. That said, it’s the only part of my body that DOESN’T pack on major weight. Poetic justice? “The rest of you shall be fat and jiggly, but I’ll leave you this defined waist, to remind you of what used to be, because I am the Lord, and I am a vengeful God.”

  3. I’m glad you pointed out that you were clothed in those two pictures. *ducking* I’ll blame the shock and trauma of the surgery. 😉

    You’re looking really good so far. I remember when my sister had her reduction it took quite awhile for the swelling to completely go away. She has always been happy she had her reduction.

  4. I am nearing 4 weeks post BR Surgery and looking for an explanation for the burning sensation on the side & lower breasts. I too felt great after until the day after the stiches were out. Was back to work 7 days after surgery but feeling the frustration of not feeling a lot better. Hoping you share more post surgery experiences.

    • I haven’t felt a burning sensation myself, but I’ve read that a few other people have experienced something like it from time to time, and the explanation was that the individual nerves that were cut/damaged during the surgical process were meshing/regenerating, causing sort of an electrical impulse or burning/zinging sensation. I have some tightness and discomfort on either side where the drains were removed, but otherwise feel fine. I’m amazed at how fast things have healed up.

      Good luck to you on your recovery!

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