Happy Pride month!
Whether you are considering top surgery FTM or MTF, congratulations. This is obviously a huge step in your journey to becoming exactly who you know you are.
Everyone's exact surgical procedure and recovery will largely range depending on a variety of things. The way that your surgeon performs your surgery will depend on how much tissue will be removed or expanded. How quickly you recover will depend on how fast your incisions heal and your overall health status.
Before and after surgery make sure you stop smoking. Smoking causes delays in tissue healing, which can prolong your recovery and potentially lead to complications. Keep your body well hydrated with an adequate amount of water and eat healthy foods to promote a healthy recovery.
During the initial phase of your post-operative recovery you'll want to protect your incisions to make sure they fully close. Some surgeons will put restrictions on how far you can move your arms within the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. You will likely also have restrictions after surgery for a period of time on how much you can lift. Those who tend to perform physical jobs will likely be kept out of work longer than those who have a fairly sedentary position.
Physical therapy can be a great addition to your post-operative recovery. However, make sure you work with a therapist who is familiar with the type of surgery you have had and is adequately trained to treat you. Physical therapy treatments may include the following:
Manual lymphatic drainage (a specific massage technique) can be very helpful to reduce post-operative swelling. Therapists can also help guide you through individualized exercises within your post-operative restrictions to regain your shoulder range of motion, trunk mobility and breathing. Once your incisions have fully closed, scar tissue mobilization techniques can be utilized to improve the mobility of your skin and reduce the appearance of scars. Once you are cleared to begin lifting weights, physical therapists can guide you through progressive resisted exercises to regain your strength and improve your muscle endurance.
If you or someone you know is planning on having top surgery, Stay Mobile Physical Therapy would be happy to help improve their post-operative outcome and recover better.