Pre-op and initial consultation with Mr. Yelland
So, now that I’ve had some sleep after the rediculous amount I had to travel yesterday (9th Feb 2016), I can write about what happened!
First off the receptionists at the Nuffield are really nice, helpful and efficient!
I went in with my nana, we opted to pay the Nuffields fee then and there (I’m self-funding, not through NHS) then they directed me to the waiting area as my consult with Yelland was first. There had been some confusion with the booking, and usually the pre-operative appointment is before Yelland’s, but it doesn’t really make a difference! They made them both on the same day for me because of how far I have to travel, considering I left the house at 7:30 and didn’t get home til 1am.
The nurse who kept track of me in there is called Caroline, and was really lovely, she took me into Mr. Yelland’s room and sat with us through the consultation. Mr. Yelland went through a few things quickly, basic healthcare questions, if I smoke, if I have diabetes, medication, stuff like that, then had to have a look at my chest. I went behind a little curtain and sat on the bed, got my stuff off and he came round and took the pictures he needed, pointed out where my incisions would go round to then I got my stuff back on and went to sit back around the other side of the curtain, so that bit was really fast and not as horrible as I imagined at all.
He went through possible risks (very quickly, so no added anxiety from that) and explained his method for the double incision. Basically he doesn’t believe in the nipple pedestal technique, as the nerve that goes to the nipple to retain sensation does not run upwards through the ‘stalk’ left behind, but comes sideways from something removed anyway. He also doesn’t use drains, and very very rarely has to drain any fluid anyway (but described how he would if needed anyway). He answered all my questions too, with regards to cutting down smoking the amount I’m smoking now is okay and I can continue to use the NiQuitin tablets as long as I don’t use them just before (during the fasting time) or just after surgery (wouldn’t be a good idea just coming around from anesthetic). He has no problem with my weight, and said that I’m not to lose anymore weight before surgery and to maintain this weight for the rest of forever. The procedure will last around 1.5 hours, and when I asked how long I’ll be under anesthetic for he said its only a couple of minutes before and a couple of minutes after surgery, because they give you something to bring you round. He also says incisions take 3-4 weeks to close up fully (he uses dissolveable stitches though so nothing to be removed except the surgical clips on the nipple graft) and explained that I’m not waterproof until that happens, so no proper showers or being fully submerged in water until then.
After this, Caroline took us to see Barbara, Mr. Yelland’s secretary. She is also really nice! Everyone is really friendly honestly. Not like normal hospitals at all, it doesn’t even feel like a normal hospital or smell like one and the floors have carpets in the hallways and waiting areas. Barbara took payment for Mr. Yelland’s part of the fee, as his and the Nuffield’s have to be payed seperate. She also told me that its likely (penciled in) that my post-op will be March 3rd.
After this we went to wait by the pre-op assessment rooms, and I had to fill in the first 5 pages of a booklet. This booklet btw has a section for your full name, and one for your preffered name, however, you are still expected to answer the questions under the heading “women only”. It was more questions about medical history, family history of certain conditions, assessing risks of coming into contact with various conditions etc. but nothing too hard or horrible. Now, that booking confusion came back at this point and apparently the pre-op nurses tend to go home at 4, so Caroline explained I’d just have my medical stuff done and they’d go through the rest on the phone in the morning. She gave me a pack of information (titled - going home after your procedure or something) which just goes through basic post-op care as well as some extra pages about deep-vein thrombosis risks and who to call if I think the wound is infected. I also got the little yellow sponge in a packet that you have to wash with the night before (or day of) surgery. That is basically just to make sure you’re a certain level of clean, without using soaps or shower gels with certain chemicals etc that leave traces on your skin or anything that would affect the area around surgery.
I waited for a nurse to be ready for my medical bits, and she was friendly too. She asked my address, date of birth, full name stuff like that for confirmation. She took my height (I’ve grown since starting T, I used to be 5'5ish and now I’m 5'6andabit) and my weight, and I sat on the little chair. She did MRSA swabs of inside my nose, my armpit (just through my sleeve, this was for me most unpleasant of all because I HATE people touching my armpits) and my groin (I just had to move the edges of my boxers to the side for her to quickly swab the bit where my leg attaches to me basically). She took my blood pressure, my temperature and put a thing on my finger to measure oxygen levels. Then she had to do my bloods, and usually people struggle with my veins but she found it the first time. I think they took 3 or 4 vials, and she made LOTS of comments about how much of a slow bleeder I am (it is rediculously slow). After this and a little elastoplast over my blood test thing, she invited me to sit in the waiting area and enjoy a free hot chocolate and biscuit from the hot drinks machine until I felt a little better.
The views from the hospital are really beautiful, you can see over some hills and right to the sea and theres some sheep in a field and stuff and its just really nice!
The receptionist called a taxi for us, and we were on our way home!
Caroline called me for the rest of my pre-op today, went through any health conditions I’d made them aware of, told me to take all the medication I take into the hosptial. She talked about making sure I knew how long I wasn’t allowed to eat beforehand, my appointment time is 7:15 so I can’t eat (even chewing gum or mints) from midnight but I can have tiny sips of water until a few hours beforehand. I’m getting the different type of post-op binder, as Yelland reccomended, so I’m taking £15 cash on the day to pay for two of those as the nurses just order them in. She told me that during the appointment with Yelland the day after surgery when he checks the dressings ect that I’ll have a small window where I can take some pictures, so I’m looking forward to that. Again she asked if I had any questions, but I’d had most of them answered after the videos and other accounts I’ve seen through the process with Yelland which is why I’m documenting mine so thoroughly.
Basically everything is excellent and I’m excited for the 22nd!