Recovery after surgery involves healing, both physically and emotionally, and the time this takes varies from person to person. Most people recover well after surgery with few significant side effects. Diane, who kindly agreed to share with you her story about her post-op recovery, went through her operation just a few months ago. In this short interview, Diane will explain how important it is to plan in advance and focus on a post-op recovery.
LIPOELASTIC: Diane, we would like to thank you very much for agreeing to share a part of this challenging journey with our readers.
Can you please tell us about your journey? When were you diagnosed with breast cancer, and how did you find out?
Diane: I discovered a lump by chance whilst showering and went to see a medical professional. I was quickly diagnosed with grade 3, stage 1, inflammatory breast cancer on September 13th, 2017. As you can imagine, I was shocked but grateful I did not leave the lump for longer.
LIPOELASTIC: How did you prepare your mindset before your surgery?
Diane: I made the decision that I must always remain positive throughout my journey. The waiting is difficult, but I was so relieved when I received the phone call from the hospital to book my surgery. My surgery was booked for March 2018, and I had one breast removed with a Diep flap reconstruction procedure.
LIPOELASTIC: How did you prepare psychologically and physically for your surgery?
Diane: The surgery was so technical, and the surgeon took the flap of muscle from your tummy and stretched over the breast area. In order to prepare the muscle and body for the operation, I was instructed to do daily stomach strengthening exercises. I did not falter from the surgeon’s requests and ate very healthy and food that was considered “clean” by my surgeon. I also had to cut out alcohol completely. I made the mental decision to that Instead of focusing on the surgery too much; I would rather look forward to the end result, which really helped me prepare for the upcoming surgery, I was anticipating.
LIPOELASTIC: Had you done any research about post-op care?
Diane: Yes, I really did ensure I was well educated on what I was going through, what I could expect and my aftercare. I was also fortunate to receive great tips and support from a closed group on social media. I would recommend seeking a group to talk to, ask questions with and gain insight from a community that understands what you are going through.
LIPOELASTIC: What was the most valuable point that you discovered from your research?
Diane: To ensure that you wear your compression garment on a daily basis as it helps keep fluid under control. I provided I had one on daily, whilst washing the 2nd garment, to ensure I was always comfortable, protecting my wounds and giving my body the best recovery, it needed.
LIPOELASTIC: How did you come across the LIPOELASTIC brand and how LIPOEALSTIC contributed to making your journey easier?
Diane: I was given a leaflet from the hospital recommending LIPOELASTIC. I reached out to them, and their customer service team was very professional and helpful right from the beginning. I had lots of questions and made many phone calls, which I felt I was able to do whenever I needed advice or assistance. The LIPOELASTIC Team always took the time to explain everything in great detail. I ordered two garments, as recommended, so you still have a spare when the other is being washed. I was able to order two different sizes to check which one was best and the return process and exchange for the other item was very straight forward. I felt the service exceeded my expectations, and I would highly recommend using them for your surgical needs.
LIPOELASTIC: What garment from LIPOELASTIC did you choose, and can you please explain more about its benefits?
Diane: I ordered the VH Variant compression garment, there are three sets of hooks to allow for swelling going down and tightening the garment as you need to. I would suggest you buy apparel that is one size larger to compensate for swelling straight after surgery. I really felt secure in the compression garment and definitely think that because I had the correct garment on, I had no problems with swelling. In my experience, I found that It is good that you have the hooks at the bottom to allow for easy trips to the bathroom. You need to wear it for six weeks post-op. A secret tip I found is that It can also be used to give you a great shape under a fitted dress (so it is multi-functional).
LIPOELASTIC: How are you feeling these days, and what would be the message you would like to pass on to ladies in a similar situation?
Diane: I am feeling great now, and my message is to stay positive, smile and laugh, it is good for the soul. The surgery is well worth it, and even though it is hard, to begin with, you WILL get through it without any regrets.