My Shockingly Easy Top Surgery Recovery
On June 1st, 2023, I received a double-incision, bilateral mastectomy with no nipple grafts from Dr. Lawrence Iteld, a private plastic surgeon, at the 900 N. Michigan Surgical Center here in Chicago, Illinois.
In my last entry in this series, I explained what motivated my choice to undergo gender affirming top surgery, why it took me so long to arrive at that decision despite knowing for years that I was trans, and how I went about selecting my surgeon and procedure. You can read all about that process in the piece here:
My Completely Quotidian Top Surgery Experience
Part 1: Why it took me so damn long to just let myself live. Plus: why are plastic surgeons better at gender affirming…
At the time of this writing, it’s been one week since my surgery, and I could not be more pleased with Dr. Iteld’s work, the support of his staff and the 900 N. Michigan surgical team, my rate of healing, or my results. I look fantastic, I am in no pain and essentially never was, my energy levels are high, and I’m outright stunned at how easy and frictionless this entire process has been.
This is going to be an uncharacteristically positive essay for me. It’s a fresh challenge for me as a writer to have nothing but positive things to say. To people who have lived with surgical complications, slow, painful recovery periods, or transition regret, my story might even feel like gloating. But in a world where transphobic activists and fear-mongering gender critical journalists have penned hundreds of thousands of words about the supposed dangers of gender transition, and at a time when many of those words have found their way into legislation attacking trans people’s ability to exist in public, I think a happy, humdrum story about a pleasant, transition has value.
So let’s dive right into it:
In the weeks leading up to surgery, I really did follow the advice of Dr. Iteld and his office to the letter: I stopped drinking alcohol or consuming weed two weeks before surgery, I didn’t take any medications…