Dr. Mosser

6 Days Post Op

 

 

 

Just a quick update. This is not the greatest photo, but here it is. Hopefully I’ll get some better ones when I get home.

There’s significantly more swelling and bruising on the left side compared to the right. I’ve read that it can take several months for the swelling to go down. I guess we’ll see.

6 Days Post Op

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5 Days Post Op

Yesterday was my 5 days post op, and I had my first post op check up. It was nice to have the compression garment off after 5 days of wearing it. My fluid drainage was low enough to have my drains removed. Yay! I was expecting that process of removing the drains to be painful or strange feeling. They were stitched in place, and I felt the doctor cut and remove the drain on my right side. Then, next thing I know, he says it’s time to remove the other side. I didn’t even know he had removed the first one. Then, he removed the nipple bolsters. This took a little bit longer and was a little weird feeling, but painless.

After he removed them, I finally looked down at my chest. I was trying to suppress a huge smile, but Alex noticed and smiled at me. Everything looks really great. There’s a bit more swelling and bruising on my left side compared to my right, but it’s not too bad. It does make it feel a bit more numb, though. Dr. Mosser said that my nipples look really good, and the grafts are healthy. I’m really pleased with how it looks so far.

Finally, Dr. Mosser showed us how to change the dressings on the nipple grafts, which will have to be changed every day for 7 days, and sent us on our way. I was told to wear the compression garment full time for about 2 more weeks, and then part-time (at night) for another 3 weeks.

Alex and I spent some time wandering around in the city. I picked up some more button up shirts since I’ve grown out a few of mine that I bought earlier in my transition, and I won’t be able to wear t-shirts for some time. I’m going to try not to lift my hands above my head for at least another 5 weeks. I want to minimize as much stretching in the scars as possible, at least until I can start working out again.

It was really nice to walk around without the drains in. Since they were stitched to me, it sometimes felt like they were tugging on my skin. It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t comfortable either.

When we got back to my cousin’s apartment, I took my first shower in almost a week. It was kind of strange. My chest is numb in a lot of places, which makes it feel oddly heavy. It was also concerning because I didn’t want to accidentally jostle my nipples, but I made it out safely without doing any damage.

I was planning on taking some photos, but it was late by the time I got out of the shower. I just wanted to get back in the compression garment because I feel more secure moving around with it on for now. The numbness makes it feel really strange to move around without it on. Hopefully the feeling will return quickly. I’ll also feel better when the nipple grafts have fully taken at around 3 weeks post op. Dr. Mosser keeps emphasizing to take extra precautions with them, and it’s better to be safe.

Hopefully I will get some post op photos tonight or tomorrow to share!

Oh, and I just want to say that I highly recommend Dr. Mosser. He has done everything he can to make this as easy and pain-free as possible. He is super friendly and you can tell that he cares about the outcome. I have not seen any reviews out there for him on the internet, but I know three other guys personally that have gone to him. They are very happy with their results.

3 days post top surgery

After reading and seeing accounts of others’ top surgeries and their recoveries, I was expecting recovery to be a lot harder than what I’ve experienced. I have not really experienced any fatigue, even on the day of surgery. I’ve had no pain, just soreness. I didn’t take any pain medication yesterday, and I probably could have gone without it the first two days, but I did just in case to prevent extra stress on my body. I think eating paleo and working out before surgery has really helped a lot. I haven’t been eating super strict since the surgery, but hoping to get back on track once I get home.

All bodily functions seem to have resumed to normal. I’ve been drinking a ridiculous amount of fluids and some pedialyte for extra electrolytes. The first couple of days, it seems like I wasn’t urinating as much as I was taking in, but it seems to have balanced out now. I was kind of swollen and bloated the first couple of days as well. That’s mostly gone now. Sleeping is getting a little better, but I’m definitely looking forward to when I can at least roll onto my sides.

Alex and I went out to lunch and a movie yesterday. It was nice to get out of the apartment, but it was hot out. I ended up sweating some. Now I have a little rash just below the compression garment, and it itches some along the slides underneath the compression garment. I don’t think it’s because of the stitches, since I don’t think they go that far back. Though, maybe it’s because of the drains. I guess I’ll find out on Monday. I’m not sure where anything is really located, at the moment, except for my nipples. I can’t wait to see what it looks like.

I don’t know how people can sit around watching TV all day. It’s a huge change from being so busy with school just last week to doing almost nothing this week. I’m planning on going back to work in about 9 days, but we’ll see how I feel at that time and what Dr. Mosser recommends.

I feel like I can move around a lot more than I probably should. My only concern is stretching the incisions or having my nipples move around. I’m probably being overly cautious. Hopefully, Dr. Mosser will alleviate some of my concerns.

1 day post top surgery

Everything is going really well so far. I have no pain, just a bit of soreness in my chest area and my back aches a little from having to wear the compression vest full time. My compression garment was irritating me a little bit. Apparently, it got folded in on itself. Alex was able to fix it for me. Yay.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. I tried to fall asleep propped up with pillows, but I gave up on that endeavor. I ended up sliding down into a mostly flat position with my shoulders propped up on the pillow. I was told it would be better to be more upright by the nurse to reduce swelling, but the surgeon said I didn’t have to. I’m also not much of back sleeper, at least when I’m trying to fall asleep. I’m sure it will get better.

I’m feeling a little restless. I think I’m going to try and go out for a walk tomorrow and see how that goes. I did make it down to the pool with my cousin for about 15 minutes today.

My first post op appointment is on Monday, and the surgeon will determine if the drains will be able to come out then.

Here’s to not pushing myself too much in the next few days and weeks.

Top Surgery Complete

My top surgery was this morning at 8:30 AM in San Francisco with Dr. Scott Mosser. For my first surgery, it was a really good experience. I don’t even remember being taken into the operating room.

All the nurses, anesthesiologist, and staff were super nice. It was kind of bizarre. I remember commenting on how I only had 10 minutes until surgery, and then next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room. I only felt slightly dizzy when I was standing up to get my clothes on so we could leave. Other than that, I’ve felt pretty good. The drive home was much better than I expected, and I thought I’d have problems with the stairs outside of my cousin’s apartment, but I ascended them with relative ease.

Since we got back, I’ve just been sitting on the couch watching shows on Hulu, texting on my phone, and reading random stuff on the internet. I thought I’d be more tired since I didn’t sleep enough last night; maybe it will hit me more later.

I just wanted to make a quick update. Surgery went well, and recovery is going well so far. I’m not in much pain, just a bit of soreness really.

I will try to give more updates over the next couple of days, and if anyone has questions, I’d be glad to answer.

11 Months on T (continued)

All I can say is more hair. That’s about the only thing that I notice these days in terms of changes. I’m sure there are other changes, but they don’t really stand out to me.

I went out to lunch with my friends a couple of weeks ago. One of them accidentally called my she, but corrected herself. After that, she told me that she always thinks of me as August now and gets the pronouns right about 89% of the time. My other friend and I questioned her about the 89%, it seems like an odd number. She said she made it up, but she gets it almost all the time. This actually made me pretty happy to hear from my friends who have known me for a very long time (11 and 13 years) that they have changed the way they think about me now.

So, the reason this post is two days late is because I drove up to San Francisco to meet my surgeon, Dr. Mosser, for top surgery in person. My friend that I was staying with actually had surgery with him last summer, and he had a follow up appointment, so we ventured into the city together. It was actually pretty nice having someone to go with rather than going to the office by myself. I already had a virtual consult with Dr. Mosser back in October, but he took a look at my chest again. I have a lot of extra skin, so he reiterated that double mastectomy with free nipple graft is my best option. He also commented that it was good that I don’t have extra skin on my sides so that will make the scars slightly smaller. All in all, he and his staff were super friendly and nice. The hospital room is booked, and all I need to do is get my insurance papers in order. The only question I had was whether I should focus on muscle gain or fat loss. He told me that since I don’t have a lot of fat in that area to lose that for the best results it would be better to work on building up the pectoral muscles. So, that’s my goal for the next 3 months or so. I’m actually planning on talking to my coach tomorrow about the best way to approach this.  I will also be speaking to our nutritionist about how much and what types of food I should be eating in order to do this properly.

In other news, I won a free month of yoga for having the biggest improvement on one of the benchmark workouts we used to test our progress. I went to my first session this morning. It was pretty terrible, and by that I mean, I’m really not flexible. My muscles are super tight. They always have been. It was a good experience. I’m looking forward to see how I progress in the next month. The session I went to was at 8:30 this morning. I didn’t want to get up earlier than I had to, so I decided to do my injection after yoga. Normally, my muscles are pretty hard/tight, so I experience some resistance when sticking the needle in my leg. Today, it slid in so easily and was relatively painless. I definitely attribute that to doing yoga (it was hot yoga, at that. The room was around 95 degrees and pretty humid, so I was drenched in sweat by the end of it). I’m interested to see if this happens again next week (if I do yoga beforehand again).

The photos aren’t that great. I was in a rush this morning, and didn’t have time to take multiples. They’re also taken in a different location in my room now since I rearranged furniture after my roommates moved out. The shadows should be less variable now since I get more light from the window.

20140327 Back

20140327 Body

20140327 Full Body

Consultation Complete

Last week, I set up consultations with two surgeons, Dr. Mosser in San Francisco and Dr. Alter in Beverly Hills, that are covered by my insurance. After my initial contacts with both of their offices, I already had a better feeling about Dr. Mosser than I did Dr. Alter. Dr. Mosser’s patient manager, Amy, was very friendly and inviting (as much as you can be over the phone), whereas the person who took calls for Dr. Alter (I don’t even know her name) was very cold-feeling which didn’t instill very much trust in me. Additionally, one of my friends went to Dr. Mosser for his top surgery, so when I told Amy how I heard about him, I mentioned my friend’s name and they waived the consultation fee for me. I scheduled my virtual consultation for Wednesday with Dr. Mosser and an in-office visit with Dr. Alter. I was already planning on driving through L.A. to go visit my family over the weekend, so it wasn’t too much of a hassle to stop by the office.

For the consultation Dr. Mosser (San Francisco), I had to email him photos of a couple of different angles (front, sides, and diagonals) of my chest.  On Wednesday, Amy called me and asked me various questions about my medical history.  After a few questions (this portion only lasted 7 minutes), I was transferred to Dr. Mosser. He was very thorough and friendly. He told me what my options were for top surgery.  I knew already that I’d only realistically be able to have a bilateral mastectomy. He then went over his procedures, the facilities, and other details. He asked a question that I wasn’t quite expecting, but he said I answered perfectly. The question was what did I expect to get out of top surgery. Basically, I said that I want to be able to get up in the morning, put on a t-shirt and go. I don’t want to have to worry about binding. And I’d like to be able to go swimming.

My consultation with Dr. Alter was set for Friday afternoon, but after my consultation with Dr. Mosser, I didn’t really want to go for the consultation with Dr. Alter. Not to mention it would have been a hassle to find a dog sitter for Harry since I was bringing him with me to my family’s house. I called Thursday morning to cancel my appointment. There was no answer, so I left a message. It’s nearly a week later, and I never heard back from Dr. Alter’s office. It’s probably for the best. The initial vibe wasn’t great, and I’d rather be completely comfortable with my surgeon and his office. I’ve never had any major procedures or hospital stays. I barely ever get sick and when I do it’s more of an annoyance than anything serious. So, this is new territory for me.

Overall, I’m pretty excited. Dr. Mosser’s schedule is free in June, which is when I’ll be free from grad school and obligations. It’s the perfect time since I’ll have time to recover before starting a new job (whatever that may be). I’m planning on taking a trip to Northern California in December, so I’ll take that opportunity to visit my friend in Berkeley and stop by Dr. Mosser’s office to meet him and his staff in person.

I’m glad that I’ve taken this next step. Now, it’s just playing the waiting game and hopefully building up my chest muscles!