Circumferential Body Lift Recovery: Week 2.5 Post-Op, or why Jackson-Pratt Drains SUCK

So, all the drains that were re-anchored last Friday came loose by Sunday. I was securing them with tape but was strongly advised by my surgeon to come back and get them re-anchored yet again.

The anchoring of a drain goes something like this: the pubic area above your genitals but below your waistline is numbed with some a cocktail mostly containing Lidocaine. After the numbing be happenin’, they pull a stitch about 1/2″ or 3/8″ through some of the meat next to the drain tube exit. So now there’s two bits of silk suture material coming out of your body, sewn fairly shallow into the flesh. They then tie several knots to give it a “leash”, wrap the suture material around the tube to secure it, tie it off with a couple more knots, then trim the excess. Boom, done.  I got six of these… two on each drain.

Within 48 hours, all six had pulled out of my flesh in an action very similar to one of those wire-hard-boiled-egg-slicer-thingies, or a wire cheese slicer. On top of this drain #1 (my problem child drain) quit producing altogether. So I’m thinking shit, I don’t want these to come out but at least one’s not producing and can come out soon! Hooray!

Until I wake up on Sunday morning with my pants soaked.

Drain #1 was NOT done producing, it just got clogged. The fluid has to go somewhere, so it just started dripping out in a constant dribble around the tube. I managed to manually unclog it by kind of “milking” the drain at the base and when I did, oh my gosh… I pulled 100 mL out in less than 5 minutes. I watched the drain exit area literally deflate like a dead beach ball. It’s clogged once since then but luckily I have been able to get it going again.

Went back down to Dr Pickart’s today and after numbing he put some nice wide, deep monofilament polypropylene (hopefully less reactive and less likely to just melt through my flesh) anchors. Did a real nice job, too. Drain #1 continued to be a problem though due to a slight nick in the tube about an inch and a half from the exit from my body when the old silk sutures were being cut off. The solution? Wipe with alcohol to degrease, let dry, and do a CLEAN and fairly tight wrap with electrical tape. I was using medical tape but the surgeon said that electrical tape is the best stuff to use for this.

In other news, on Monday evening after awakening from a brief nap, I felt a definite shift in my overall sense of well-being. I feel stronger, like I can walk around and do things, and most importantly I can almost stand up straight. I feel like the “I’m over the hump” moment has finally happened. And that damned “stitch” in my left side from getting in the car on Friday has really diminished in terms of overall pain and discomfort.

I’m just eager to see how much my squat form will improve with 20 pounds of fat and skin out of the way.

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