One of the main attractions of FTM top surgery is the freedom to go about your daily life without having to spend time binding your chest. Without breast tissue to compress, patients who have undergone this procedure report a fantastic sense of freedom from this restrictive daily ritual.
But recovery from surgery is not always a simple matter and does not occur immediately for everyone.
For some patients, it can take some getting used to in order to go from the familiarity of chest binding to the unfamiliar (and sometimes uncomfortable) chest bandages that are part of the healing process. However, this is an important step in ensuring a healthy and speedy recovery.
Luckily, there is an end in sight. After only a few shorts weeks the bandages will come off and you will experience the freedom of having a body that you are truly comfortable in- No bandages, no binders!
A compressive bandage or binder will be worn for about three weeks following your treatment to help the area heal. Your doctor will remove the first bandages at your first post-operative checkup and will remove the drains within 1 week if you have any.
For patients who are also undergoing liposuction treatments, an abdominal binder may also be worn following surgery. These binders can be removed periodically the following day and patients are encouraged to sponge bathe without getting their nipple grafts wet. For the periareolar or keyhole procedure, all dressings and binders may come off to shower the very next day after surgery.
Not every surgeon uses a drain, but if a drain is used, proper care of it is an essential aspect of recovery. This will be carefully explained following your procedure.
Drains should be cleared at least every 4-5 hours, and the amount of drainage should be recorded in order to track your healing progress.
In order to record the amount of drainage, open the bulb and look at the side, the quantity will be listed in CC’s. Write down the date, time, and amount and keep a running daily total. Do not worry if you are not producing much fluid or if the drain appears to have bubbles or small blood clots, but do contact your doctor immediately if you notice large amounts of blood.
Proper drainage instructions will be provided by your surgeon, but in general to drain, uncap and compress the bulb between two fingers until you feel them touch through it. Recap the bulb before releasing in order to create suction.
The tubing may also need to be stripped occasionally to prevent clogging. To do this, hold the tube firmly with one hand where it exits the bandages. Pinch the tube between two fingers of the other hand and slowly but firmly move them down the length of the tube toward the bulb. Do not pull too hard.
Getting used to not having a chest binder on throughout your day may take some getting used to, but within a few weeks it will be a welcomed change for your new body!
Note: The bulb and tube are sterile medical devices and should never be rinsed or washed out.