Top Surgery Check List

So in an effort to get my shit together before surgery, I am posting today about my pre-surgical care.  I know this will be helpful to me, but I hope this serves as a list for those of you considering surgery to use as a starting point to get your own shit together.  I am indebted to many trans bloggers, but to Maddox, Ashton, and Tam specifically and would like to thank them here, for the thousandth time, for all their suggestions and support.

Pre-Surgical Health Care

-I am upping my vitamin A, C, and E intake to boost my immune system and prepare my skin to do some heavy duty healing in the near future.

-I am downloading audio Dharma presentations sponsored by the Insight Meditation Center on their website Zencast.  They have free talks you can download, on topics as varied as the basics of Buddhism, to ones on dealing with specific negative emotions (you know, like the ones trying to haunt me right now) such as fear, anxiety, and doubt.

-I am going to restorative yoga classes every Thursday night leading up to surgery, for of course a general sense of wellbeing, but also to encourage good circulation and practice healthy breathing (this I find especially important for top surgery, as breathing will be largely restricted for some time post-op, and I want to be able to stay calm and give my cells as much fresh oxygen as possible.)

-Epsom salt soaks and magnesium supplements have also become part of my routine in an effort to reduce stress.

-Vitamin E oil  and Aloe Vera will be applied topically to the affected area (ahem, the tit region) to encourage skin elasticity.

-As for sources for the above mentioned goods, I suggest Trader Joe’s for the topical vitamin E, Target for the epsom salt, and Pure Formulas for the dietary supplements.  As with any supplement, please check with your doctor before following any of my suggestions.

Post-Op Care

-Steri-strips!  I am following Maddox’s suggestion for the Scar Away Silicone Healing Strips.  Ashton also suggests silicone strips from BioDermis, so I might try both and track how the results vary.

Scarprin silicone based scar gel will also become part of my routine, granting that I can find it, as Amazon seems pessimistic about its return.

-Cortizone injections!  This is also under Maddox’s suggestion (see their comprehensive post-op scar treatment post for more details), and something I will be talking to my doctor about before I leave for surgery.

-Four weeks off work!  You heard me right, a whole blissful month of the 3 Rs: reading, writing, and not reaching for things over my head.

-I will continue my pre-op dietary and supplemental care in order to continue to support my immune system and encourage healthy healing.  My exercise will consist of as much walking as I feel fit to do–June will be a fine time to explore the local farmers markets on the weekends, the bike trail during the week, and the local conservatory just to mix things up.

-And, as a side note, there will be plenty of water consumption.  I usually drink between 50 and 75 oz. of water a day–post-op I will try to stick closer to 75.  Your daily intake will vary according to your weight.

I think that about covers it.  You folks have any suggestions?

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

13 thoughts on “Top Surgery Check List

  1. I just thought “4 weeks off work!” damn you are in for a long vacation. I only took off 1 week, and worked the 2nd from home – by then I was back to normal almost (actually I was working that 1st week – sending emails while mildly drugged can be an interesting experience). I wouldn’t recommend any physical exercise that involves lifting, so just brisk walking for the first month.

    Very comprehensive list – I didn’t do any of this! Maybe rubbed some cocoa butter on my chest for a week. Don’t forget to pack lots of movies + tv episodes (and/or books, but those require effort) along with pj pants, zip-up hoodies and button-up t-shirts for the first week.

    A good opportunity to enjoy the summer and restore your body + mind.

    • Maddox,

      Yeah, it would sound like a long vacation, and it will be, but it is also very necessary: my job is labor-intensive–I spend most of my day lifting heavy objects, carrying heavy objects, and opening heavy objects. And so I am in for some nice long walks, 28 days of them in fact, 😉

      And yes! I am pretty excited to collect some dvds from the library and get some reading done. Also, I have Netflix, and I feel its streaming capabilities will be invaluable.


      PS: Thanks for the link–I had my most views ever today. 😉

  2. As a newbie, looks to me like you are good to go! I’m not one for meds and have found EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) to be a huge aid in body/mind relaxation, and the holistic release/rebalance of fear, anxiety, tension…and doubt. It’s also invalueable in the healing and balancing of ptsd, or traumatic/ invasive healing. Wish you all the best. Bryse

    • Oh god you’re right!

      K has become my personal back scratcher, but before surgery, it wouldn’t have occurred to me that I needed one. Thanks for adding this to the list!


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