After the operation

Post-operative recovery may differ from patient to patient, but as a rule these are the instructions at discharge (or if they are used, after the removal of drains) and after the dressings are removed in your 2 week appointment.

You will be clinically reviewed after approximately two weeks at either the PINES by Mr Ntanos, if you are local or wish to travel.  Alternatively you can be reviewed for your dressings by a qualified nurse as close as possible to your residence, arranged by the Transform Group, The latter will entail some additional cost. 

Instructions On Discharge

  • Use the painkillers as prescribed. After 4-5 days you can regulate the dosage according to your pain threshold.

  • Removing the drains (48 hours after the procedure) is not painful. It may feel awkward as the drain is removed that will only last for a few moments.

  • Dressings must remain in situ until reviewed in 2 weeks. If they start peeling off (e.g. due to sweating) use any dressing or tape to keep them in place under pressure. This is essential for nipple viability (if nipple reconstruction took place).

  • Do not wet the dressings. You can have a shower with caution but try to protect the dressings. Pat everything dry and add more tape/dressings if they start peeling off.

  • Avoid over-stretching and weight lifting until you are reviewed for dressings removal. Both actions might stretch the scarring resulting in suboptimal outcome.

  • Wear the compression stockings until you resume your pre-operative level of everyday activities.

  • Driving is not advised until you are confident there is no discomfort or pain that would distract you from reacting appropriately in case of an emergency.

2

Instructions after removing dressings
(Bilateral mastectomies for gender affirmation)

  • Now that the dressings are removed you can have a shower. Running water and running soap are ok. Avoid bathing until all the scabs are naturally removed.

  • DO NOT FORCE ANY SCABS AND ALLOW THEM TO NATURALLY FALL OUT. This will be completed in a few days for your long scars, but may take longer for the nipples (sometimes weeks).

  • All stitches are absorbable and do not need removing. Some may take longer to fall out. If you have any concern please be in touch.

  • Avoid overstretching (including swimming) and heavy weight-lifting for another 4-6 weeks, after which you can go ahead with any physical activity. You are free to proceed with any cardio activity including running.

  • The chest may appear swollen for some time. The healing process and may take up to two years. You can have a virtual appointment at any point free of charge if you wish to discuss anything more in detail.

  • Any recent scar carries a risk of infection. If you have any concern please be in touch.

  • Sometimes a small opening may appear at any site of the scarring and some clear fluid might come out. Encourage any serous fluid to be discharged and keep the area clean  this is usually a delayed reaction to one of the stitches and self-limited.

  • After all the scabs are naturally removed you can start using your preferred ointment to improve cosmesis on the scars. High SPF sun protection should be used if direct sun exposure is considered.

  • The best outcome (if masculinization is important) will be achieved if you invest time building up your chest wall muscles. The projection of chest wall muscles will improve or eliminate any minor discrepancies.