May 15, 2017 10:19AM ravzari wrote:
Recovery for me was pretty easy; I just had two drains that were out in a week.
The worst part was dealing with lack of range of motion for almost 8 weeks (can't really lift your arms above your head) and having to wear a compression vest for 4 weeks; my PS ordered 4 weeks, but it wasn't comfortable for me to sleep without it for closer to 8. Ugh, and back sleeping; it can be uncomfortable to sleep on your sides for a couple of months, and I'm a side sleeper, so I definitely didn't like the 8 weeks of back sleeping. I managed, but I sure didn't like it.
I can't say I've had any long term complications. My surgery was at the end of June 2016. I still have some semi-numb areas on my chest, but nothing totally numb. I can feel cold, heat, pressure, and touch, but some areas are less sensitive to pain (so, like, scratching the area I can't feel the scratch as much). The numbness doesn't seem to be in the skin so much as in the tissue underneath it, which is a kind of strange feeling that's hard to describe. It's not bothersome though; I can still feel where shirts touch my chest and things like that.
I only ever really notice it when I'm doing chest centered weight lifting or if I flex my pecs as it feels almost like the tissue above the muscle is 'asleep' (no pins and needles, I'm just aware that it's kind of numb).
The numbness or partial numbness can be a problem for some women if their chest was a big erogenous zone for them; for me it never was as I had chronic, severe pain from fibrocystic breasts, so it's not a problem for me to be kind of numb on my chest. For other women, the lessened sensation may be a bigger deal.
My mobility and range of motion was back to pre-surgery levels around 6-7 weeks. For about 6 months after surgery I had 'zingers' that felt like zaps of electricity in the area, which was just nerves reconnecting. Those stopped after about the 6 month mark.
I didn't have any lymph node removal, save for the lymph nodes that are in breast tissue, and haven't had any issues with lymphedema.
I didn't really have much pain unless I accidentally tugged the drain tubes or tried to reach too far above my head before my body was ready. After leaving the outpatient recovery room (they had me stay overnight), I didn't need painkillers beyond regular Tyelnol. Even then, the pain was more itchiness on the incision line (from the dang stitches mostly!) and a general 'ache' where my breasts used to be. Wearing a compression vest (I got a gynecomastia post op vest from Underworks) helped a lot.
In all honesty, for me, recovering from a BMX was WORLDS easier than recovering from an ovarian cyst removal that I had done in 2015; that one was brutal for me and everything hurt for a good 5 months. I couldn't even stand up straight for almost 4 weeks after that cyst removal and with the BMX I was out taking walks the day after I got home--even if they were in a bulky shirt to hold the drains.
Comparably the incisions were smaller (3" on my left lower abdomen, 2" on my right), but they cut through muscle to get at the cysts and it was just an awful, awful recovery for me whereas the BMX recovery was super easy and pretty painless, likely because no muscles had to be cut away or through.