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Questions For People Who Have Had Top Surgery

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by ken867, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. ken867

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    If you've had top surgery, could you describe what it was like? Going through the surgery itself, emotionally, mentally, physically? And how you felt after? And what is it like now having a flat chest?
     
  2. Harjus

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    My pain was mininal. I could move pretty well although I had long scars. It was not very painful in general.

    I was afraid I would die when they put me to sleep. I asked them to give me sedatives. They did and I just felt drunk. I went into a toilet before surgery, looked at the mirror and wondered if I should say goodbye to my chest. I didn't. I couldn't look at it.

    The surgeon draw his marks on my chest. I still couldn't look at it. I just listened to him and wondered if I will die that day.

    I was taken to the OR. I climbed on the table myself. People were very busy around me. They asked me if it's ok they put a catheter on me while I am asleep. I said it's ok. I didn't care. They put a needle in my arm and told me I will fall asleep. I looked at the ceiling and saw it move. Then I was gone.

    I dreamed a bit. About floating in space and being told I am doing great in my life. Then I woke up. I was in no pain but I was hungry. I felt happy. I was so happy I was flat but I wouldn't believe it until a nurse came in to see my chest. The relief was so great I can't describe it. I was the happiest person there. I was in a room with a lot of patients waking up from their surgeries. Everyone else was in pain and feeling nauseous.

    I just was so happy. I wasn't in pain. The nurses didn't know why because my chest was just sliced open but I was ok. I spend a night in the hospital. I joked a lot with the nurses and they were just wonderful.

    My recovery was pretty easy. Sometimes it felt weird that my body was different but in a good way. I was in pain sometimes because I felt the skin was so tight in some places but it wasn't untolerable. I also had to wear a tube around my chest. It was irritating because they didn't have my size and it was too big. It wouldn't stay put.

    Now my chest has healed and I honestly feel like it was a bad dream to have something extra in there. Binding was painful to me. I propably felt ok after the surgery because I was used to binding and being in pain and discomfort in that area.

    My scars look pretty bad but I don't care. I am flat. At this point it feels like I have been like this my whole life.
     
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  3. Aberrance

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    Before going in to surgery my surgeon came in to my room, drew on my chest, I put on the gown (bearing in mind that from when your gown is on until you get wheeled into surgery you're not wearing a binder). Then the anaesthetist came in and talked to me about the procedure and what would happen when I went under. Got wheeled in on the bed and they gave me gas and I felt a cold liquid go up my arm through the cannula they put in my hand and I was out until I was woken up in recovery. At which point when I came around I excessively thanked every person I could see in the room and they wheeled me back. Like the poster above, my pain was minimal after waking up. I woke up in recover and within an hour I was walking about, eating happily and generally doing a lot better than I expected to. The second day it was a little more difficult and the most painful part was probably the drive home, get a pillow to put over your chest so the seatbelt doesn't touch it and also something hard to put behind your back to stop you moving all over the place, I used one of those memory foam aeroplane neck pillows and it honestly saved me so much pain on the drive home.

    Emotionally and mentally I think I was pretty stable. I can't remember whether there was an overwhelming feeling of relief straight away but I do know that every time I look down or touch my chest I get a surge of emotion, even now. My time off work and spending weeks at home was one of the most difficult parts. I started to go stir crazy and my mood hit a low point after about a week and a half, I ended up going back to work after around 3 weeks I think which was the right decision for me. Listen to your body and take things at your own pace.

    A few tips that may hopefully help. Buy long straws so that you don't have to pick up cups to drink water, you won't have the strength in your arms especially if its a bit bottle, I got long bendy ones from amazon. Also, a massive factor that I wish I took more seriously was bloating. That was my worst pain throughout the entire surgery experience and has been for at least 2 other guys I know. Once you're out of surgery take laxatives and eat foods that make you shit, you'll thank yourself I promise.

    Having a flat chest now is just right. It's right in every aspect of my life and the way I view myself. It's the most expensive thing I've ever done for myself and I don't regret one penny. It needed to happen and if I waited any longer I know that my mental health would have suffered massively having just started uni and living around people having to be stealth 24/7. I'm now doing things I've dreamed of doing for years that dysphoria prevented me from doing and it's amazing to be able to live without having to worry anymore.
     
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  4. ken867

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    Thank you for sharing that with me. Your story is so amazing and I'm glad that you're in a much better place now!
     
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  5. Harjus

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    aberrance, it's very interesting how different some practices are in different places. I was wearing kind of pajamas for the surgery. The top was open from the pack but I also had a thing that was like a bath robe that I wore over everything. I walked in the OR.

    One of the nurses said that I was propably so painless because of nerve damage. I guess that's possible. I heard them talking about me though. "He claims he isn't in pain. Should I still give him some pain meds?" Maybe they thought I was pretending to be a tough guy.

    Some happy juices of my own propably helped a bit too. For me tight skin was the most painful thing. I almost walked home from the hospital because I almost didn't get anyobody to pick me up. I felt that good. The ride home was ok too.

    I was so happy when the nurses told me I should go and walk a bit around the ward. I just walked around for a long time

    I forgot to give my tips... I am sorry about that. I tried to remember some things.

    -Be nice to the nurses.
    -When you wake up from your surgery try to move a little. Like roll your ankles and wrists. Don't do anything massive. Nurses told me I should do that.
    -Use your legs as much as you can. You will definitely benefit greatly from being flexible. If you are flexible and have a good balance you have nothing to worry about. I am sure you can handle it anyway though. If you can use your legs, use them.
    -If you have to carry more than you should (Well, don't! But if there is no other option...) a backpack is propably the best option. You can put it on a chair or something, load it and wiggle yourself "in". I had to do that. Don't do it if you don't have to!
    -Try to sleep on your back as much as possible before the surgery. Many people get back pains because they are not used to sleeping on their back.
    -Watch out for people who expect that a healthy looking young man (or a person who looks male or maybe just young enough) is supposed to open heavy doors for other people who are perfectly fine. I felt really vulnerable when I was outside. One old lady in a store almost gave me an elbow straight to the fresh few days old wound. People really don't realize that someone could be freshly out of big surgery.

    Also. I had drains. I got them taken of before I left the hospital so I didn't actually have to live with them. I had heard that it's really painful when they take them out. It wasn't for me. It felt really weird but it wasn't that bad.

    When your wounds have healed you could try coconut oil on the scars. I have heard that honey is good for them too and I recently startet trying lemon juice on my year old scars. I think it has faded them a lot in a really short period of time.

    You get keloids on the chest area very easily so you should propably use some creams that are made spesifically for that and whatever you can get if you are afraid of that.

    You will propably have some scary moments while you are recovering. Even if everything goes well. It still happens. My stomach was horribly bloated after my surgery and it lasted two weeks. It was possibly because of iv-fluids and gravity pulling the bloating down. I also has huge bruises on my sides and my belly. They can migrate downwards as well. If you can still pee it's most likely ok.

    Also you can look asymmetrical because of your chest muscle on the other side could bigger but you propably didn't notice that before.
     
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