I made it! Woo hoo! I am feeling a lot better now than I did on Friday night and Saturday. I'll try to type out a quick synopsis for other people thinking about this surgery.
First of all, choosing your surgeon. I had consultations with 6 surgeons. The more, the better because they are all different. One of them told me I needed a vertical incision, resulting in a anchor-shaped scar, and if he was the only doctor I consulted with, I'd probably have that extra scar now. The others all said they could do the hip-to-hip scar only, which is much preferred so I can maybe someday wear a bikini.
Also, only one of the doctors didn't use drains. This is the one I chose, but not only because he didn't use drains. This was my favorite doctor as far as before & after pictures and also he seemed to be really well versed with the latest techniques, hence not needing drains. I just liked his really scientific, detailed, yet artistic approach. He was also the doctor who felt he needed the longest in the OR (7.5 hours!) and the 2nd most expensive.
I had 2 consultations with him - he was the first doctor I met with, so then I met with him again after meeting with all of the others. On the 2nd appointment, I put it my deposit for surgery and we started looking for a date. We needed to find a day that worked for me, my mom, the surgeon, and the surgery center. In the end, it wound up being February 7th - my 30th birthday!
In January, I did a pre-op appointment that involved a more detail-oriented physical exam, discussion of all the risks, instructions for before and after, and some pictures. At that appointment, I agreed to stop drinking because alcohol constricts blood vessels and can affect healing. (Not that I was ever a big drinker, but this meant no beer at my birthday party or for the superbowl, both times I would normally have 2-3 beers.)
Last Tuesday, 3 days before the surgery, I started washing with a special soap called Hibiclens. This is not required by every surgeon, but my doctor asks you to do so. 2 days before the surgery I did a bowel prep, also not common, but my doctor says he gets the best results when his patients are "empty." It was rough, but even if it helped a little, totally worth it.
Friday morning, I woke up at 5 am and showed with the Hibiclens soap one last time. We drove to the surgery center and arrived at about 6:30. I was taken back by a nurse and my temp and blood pressure were taken. Then I put on a gown and long stockings and a nurse put in an IV. I was so happy she got it on the first try - I am not good with needles!
My doctor asked that I wear a bikini bottom to the surgery so he can try to get the scar to fall underneath it. It's very important to realize that this isn't a "sure thing" - you can still wind up with a scar that falls above a bikini bottom, but my doctor was trying as hard as he can to make sure it's low.
He marked me up and I got back into bed. Then it was time for my mom and husband to say "good bye." I started to lose it at this point with tear in my eyes. As they started to roll me to the surgery room, I really started crying. I was so scared! I hadn't has surgery since my tonsils were taken out when I was 13 years old and that was a really short procedure. I had a great nurse named Bridgette from France who has asked if I ever been to Paris (I have) and she told me to close my eyes and think of Paris. At that point, we had made it to the room, I scooted onto the operating table and the Anesthesiologist came in and said hello (I had also spoken with him on the phone the night before and met him in pre-op) and I don't remember falling asleep.
Wow this is getting long… more later