Hay Bales

A farmer’s wife came into my office for a breast reduction, shortly after I started my practice.  We discussed the surgery, its benefits, and the possible complications.  She had the surgery with a near perfect result upon examination at her appointment one week following surgery.  She  returned for another aftercare visit two weeks later complaining of pain, soreness and swelling.  The examination verified this.  It really surprised me since she was doing so well at one week.  I asked her what she had been doing at home.  She told me she and her husband had been bailing hay during the past week.    She  had spent the entire day  lifting and throwing 100lb bales onto the trailerand in the barn!  I told her that the resulting symptoms were because of this extreme activity.  I strongly suggested she not do this again until her breasts were healed completely at six weeks after surgery.  Thank goodness she did not have serious bleeding! and only minor complications.

Surgeons formulate after care instructions in an effort to reduce your risk of discomfort, complications and poor results.  The instructions are not merely suggestions, but they are important guidelines that are based on experience, training and regional differences.  None of us, except for my wife, are perfect.  (I had to say that in the likelihood that she’ll be reading.)  However, it is really important to be a perfectionist in this particular incidence when following aftercare instructions. Funny enough, to this day my aftercare instructions that I give patients specifically state you should not throw hay bails for six weeks after surgery!  It usually raises a more than a few eyebrows.

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