Category Archives: Tips

Meds and Food to Avoid List (from MY surgeon – check with yours)

This is a list of medications and food that I was directed to avoid by MY surgeon 2 weeks prior to my top surgery. I have no idea if this is standard practice, but you may want to prepare yourself to go off some of your medication, including antidepressants and testosterone, prior to surgery. Your surgeon will discuss this with you when you have your pre-op appointment and sign papers, etc.

Fortunately I do not take any medications regularly, so that did not affect me. However, I am vegetarian and some of the diet restrictions were really challenging and I ended up eating meat out of desperation. I joked that I was surviving on turkey sandwiches, oranges, and water.

If you have to go off antidepressants, it may be a good idea to have a trusted friend or online network available to talk if you feel depressed, or be in touch with your therapist or a maybe a drop-in (and usually free) peer counseling group if you’re not in therapy. Also, if you suffer from depression (as I do) and you have to go off your meds, it’s a good idea to have a crisis prevention number saved in your phone. Self care is sexy!

Aspirin Medications to Avoid: Affect blood clotting.

4-Way Cold Tabs

5-Aminosalicylic Acid

Acetilsalicylic Acid

Actron

Adprin-B products

Aleve

Alka-Seltzer products

Amigesic Argesic-SA

Anacin products

Anexsia w/Codeine

Arthra-G

Arthriten products

Arthritis Foundation

products

Arthritis Pain Formula

Arthritis Strength BC

Powder

Arthropan

ASA

Asacol

Ascriptin products

Aspergum

Asprimox products

Axotal

Azdone

Azulfidine products

B-A-C

Backache Maximum

Strength Relief

Bayer Products

BC Powder

Bismatrol products

Buffered Aspirin

Bufferin products

Buffetts 11

Buffex

Butal/ASA/Caff

Cama Arthritis Pain

Reliever

Carisoprodol Compound

Cataflam

Cheracol

Choline Magnesium

Trisalicylate

Choline Salicylate

Cope

Coricidin

Cortisone Medications

Damason-P

Darvon Compound-65

Darvon/ASA

Diclofenac

Dipenturn

Disalcid

Doan’s products

Dolobid

Dristan

Duragesic

Easprin

Ecotrin products

Empirin products

Equagesic

Etodolac

Excedrin products

Fiorgen PF

Fiorinal products

Flurbiprofen

Gelpirin

Genprin

Gensan

Goody’s Extra Strength

Headache Powders

Halfprin products

IBU

Isollyl Improved

Kaodene

Lanorinal

lbuprohm

Lodine

Lortab ASA

Magan

Magnaprin products

Magnesium Salicylate

Magsal

Marnal

Marthritic

Mefenamic Acid

Meprobamate

Mesalamine

Methocarbarnol

Micrainin

Mobidin

Mobigesic

Momentum

Mono-Gesic

Motrin products

Naprelan

Naproxen

Night-Time Effervescent

Cold

Norgesic products

Norwich products

Olsalazine

Orphengesic products

Orudis products

Oxycodonc

Pabalate products

P-A-C

Pain Reliever Tabs

Panasal

Pentasa

Percodan products

Phenaphen/Codeine #3

Pink Bismuth

Piroxicam

Propoxyphene Compound

products

Robaxisal

Rowasa

Roxeprin

Saleto products

Salflex

Salicylate products

Salsalate

Salsitab

Scot-Tussin Original 5-

Action

Sine-off

Sinutab

Sodium Salicylate

Sodol Compound

Soma Compound

St. Joseph Aspirin

Sulfasalazine

Supac

Suprax

Synalgos-DC

Talwin

Triaminicin

Tricosal

Trilisate

Tussanil DH

Tussirex products

Ursinus-Inlay

Vanquish

Wesprin

Willow Bark products

Zorprin

Ibuprofen Medications to Avoid 

Affect blood clotting.

Acular (opthalmic)

Advil products

Anaprox products

Ansaid

Clinoril

Daypro

Dimetapp Sinus

Dristan Sinus

Feldene

Fenoprofen

Genpril

Haltran

Indochron E-R

Indocin products

Ketoprofen

Ketorolac

lbuprin

lbuprofen

Meclofenamate

Meclomen

Menadol

Midol-products

Nabumetone

Nalfon products

Naprosyn products

Naprox X

Nuprin

Ocufen (opthalmic)

Oruvail

Oxaprozin

Ponstel

Profenal

Relafen

Rhinocaps

Sine-Aid products

Sulindac

Suprofen

Tolectin products

Tolmetin

Toradol

Voltaren

Avoid ALL Diet Aids – Including Over-the-Counter & Herbal 

Intensify anesthesia, serious cardiovascular effects.

Tricyclic Antidepressants to Avoid 

Intensify anesthesia, cardiovascular effects.

Adapin

Amitriptyline

Amoxapine

Anafranil

Asendin

Aventyl

Clomipramine

Desipramine

Doxepin

Elavil

Endep

Etrafon products

Imipramine

Janimine

Limbitrol products

Ludiomil

Maprotiline

Norpramin

Nortriptyline

Pamelor

Pertofrane

Protriptyline

Sinequan

Surmontil

Tofranil

Triavil

Trimipramine

Vivactil

Other Medication to Avoid: Affect blood clotting.

4-Way w/ Codeine

A.C.A.

A-A Compound

Accutrim

Actifed

Anexsia

Anisindione

Anturane

Arthritis Bufferin

BC Tablets

Childrens Advil

Clinoril C

Contac

Coumadin

Dalteparin injection

Dicumerol

Dipyridamole

Doxycycline

Emagrin

Enoxaparin injection

Flagyl

Fragmin injection

Furadantin

Garlic

Heparin

Hydrocortisone

Isollyl

Lovenox injection

Macrodantin

Mellaril

Miradon

Opasal

Pan-PAC

Pentoxyfylline

Persantine

Phenylpropanolamine

Prednisone

Protarnine

Pyrroxate

Ru-Tuss

Salatin

Sinex

Sofarin

Soltice

Sparine

Stelazine

Sulfinpyrazone

Tenuate

Tenuate Dospan

Thorazine

Ticlid

Ticlopidine

Trental

Ursinus

Virbamycin

Vitamin E

Warfarin

Salicylate Medications, Foods & Beverages to Avoid 

Affect blood clotting.

Amigesic (salsalate)

Disalcid (salsalate)

Doan’s (magnesium

salicylate)

Dolobid (diflunisal)

Magsal

Pamprin (Maximum Pain

Relief)

Mobigesic

Pabalate

Pepto-Bismol (bismuth

subsalicylate)

Salflex (salsalate)

Salsalate

Salsitab (salsalate)

Trilisate (choline

salicylate + magnesium

salicylate)

Almonds

Apples

Apricots

Blackberries

Boysenberries

Cherries

Chinese Black Beans

Cucumbers

Currants

Garlic

Ginger

Grapes

Pickles

Prunes

Raspberries

Strawberries

Tomatoes

Wine

Vitamins and Herbs to Avoid 

Affect blood clotting, affect blood sugar, increase or decrease the strength of anesthesia, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, liver damage.  Note: Just because it is not of this list does not mean that it is safe to take while preparing for surgery.

Ackee fruit

Alfalfa

Aloe

Argimony

Barley

Bilberry

Bitter melon

Burdock root

Carrot oil

Cayenne

Chamomile

Chromium

Coriander

Dandelion root

Devil’s club

Dong Quai root

Echinacea

Ephedra

Eucalyptus

Fenugreek seeds

Feverfew

Fo-ti

Garlic

Ginger

Gingko

Gingko biloba

Ginseng

Gmena

Goldenseal

Gotu Kola

Grape seed

Guarana

Guayusa

Hawthorn

Horse Chestnut

Juniper

Kava Kava

Lavender

Lemon verbena

Licorice root

Ma Huang

Melatonin

Muwort

Nem seed oil

Onions

Papaya

Periwinkle

Selenium

St. John’s Wort

Valerian/Valerian Root

“The natural Viagra®”

Vitamin E

Willow bark

Yellow root

Yohimbe

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Top surgery PRE-op tips and things to consider

Hello! I had my top surgery October 26th, 2012 with the amazing Dr. Kathy Rumer of Philadelphia, Pa. I just wanted to make sure I posted some things for any ftm dudes seeking top surgery out there to consider BEFORE your surgery. These were just some things I learned along the way, so I hope it helps! Good luck! If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will get back to you! Also, if you are a post-op ftm and there is something I missed or something unique to your experience, please feel free to mention it in the comments.

Considerations

Going off Meds, including testosterone and antidepressants:

I’m not sure if this is unique just to my surgeon or not, but I had a list 3 pages long of of food and medication that I had to avoid two weeks prior to surgery. You can check that list out here.

This is protocol for Dr. Rumer, but I have no idea about other surgeons. You will find out when you go to your pre-op appointment to discuss the surgery and fill out your paperwork. You just may want to be prepared to go off some medication, including testosterone and antidepressants. If you have to go off antidepressants, it may be a good idea to have a trusted friend or online network available to talk if you feel depressed, or be in touch with your therapist or a maybe a drop-in (and usually free) peer counseling group if you’re not in therapy. Also, if you suffer from depression (as I do) and you have to go off your meds, it’s a good idea to have a crisis prevention number saved in your phone. Self care is sexy!

Fortunately I do not take any medications regularly, so that did not affect me. However, I am vegetarian and some of the vegetable diet restrictions were really challenging (garlic and onions?! really?!) and I ended up eating meat out of desperation. I joked that I was surviving on turkey sandwiches, oranges, and water.

Time:

If you saved up all your pennies or Grandma finally kicked the bucket and you have enough money for your surgery, unfortunately you can’t just stroll into your surgeon’s office, throw the dough on the table and say “Take me, I’m ready!” Even if your surgeon (and the surgery center they operate out of) has a crystal clear calendar, you will have to get blood work, a physical, and your surgeon may want you to restrict your diet and medications for up to two weeks before your surgery. I was financially, spiritually, physically, mentally and socially/work ready for my surgery the second week of September, and with all the pre-op work and scheduling and I had to do, the earliest my surgery could be done was October 26th.

“HIDDEN” COSTS/BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS

You might get a quote from your surgeon that the price of your surgery is say, $7,000. Make sure you have at least a couple hundred dollars beyond that for anything else you might need. If you write your surgeon a check for $7,000 and you have $5 left in your bank account, that’s bad news. Here are some things I didn’t expect to have to pay for, and some things that I even expected and want to share with you.

Breast Cancer Screening/Lab

My cost: $500 (?)

My surgeon (and I feel like this is probably universal) required my breast tissue to be sent out to Quest diagnostics to be tested for breast cancer. If you have insurance, your insurance will cover this (although you may have to navigate complications if you are listed as male on your insurance but I’m not sure). Since I don’t have insurance, I have to pay out of pocket. Nobody could actually give me an exact quote for this. My surgeon guessed that it was around $500. I am being billed from Quest and am actually still waiting for the bill to come in the mail. I will update this post when I find out how much it actually costs.

Pre-op Blood Work

My cost: approx $100 through a low-cost lab called Any Lab Test Now Philly.

Any surgeon worth their scalpel is going to make you get blood work done before your surgery. This is to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery and to see what your blood type and clotting factors are. I had to get a full metabolic profile done and a urinalysis. As a low income person in Philadelphia I have access to amazing free health care through the city, however only some of the testing I needed could be done for free. My pre-op blood work ended up costing me around $100 through a low-cost lab called Any Lab Test Now Philly.

Your surgeon might automatically recommend a lab, like Quest for example. Or perhaps they suggest that you get the blood work done through your primary care provider. However, I would ask them if, to better fit your budget concerns, it was OK for you to “shop around.” Better yet, I would do your shopping beforehand and go into your pre-op appointment knowing exactly which lab you want to use. The tests are exactly the same, and any lab is simply just going to fax the results anyhow, so what lab you use should be, under general circumstances (assuming you are healthy and excluding special health risks and concerns) irrelevant. The only difference between one lab and another sometimes is price. My advice would be to do an online search for low cost blood work or labs. Even if you have to travel, it might still save you some money.

Pre-op Physical

My cost: free

Again, any surgeon worth their sutures is going to make you get a cleared by a doctor with a physical prior to surgery. You may just go to your family doctor for this. Now, this won’t work for everyone, but if you live in or near a big city you might be able to follow my example.

I would have paid a $35 copay for my physical if I would have gone through my primary care office. Instead, I went to an open LGBT community health night that was free and you could get seen on a walk-in basis. I got just a good of a physical and care had I gone to my primary care, got my paper signed, and it was free!

(Philly folks: I went to the Washington West Project Community Health Night, held every first and third Friday of the month from 6-9pm at the Washington West building, 12th and Locust. Look up Washington West Project on Facebook for the info).

Medication

My cost: Approx $95 for two antibiotics, Percocet and Tylenol PM.

If your surgeon isn’t a masochist, they will prescribe you pain pills and antibiotic to stave off infection. I was prescribed percocet for pain and Keflax as antibiotic, which cost me $40. I picked up some tylenol PM to help with sleeping at night, since your first week post-op you can only sleep sitting up and it’s hella uncomfortable. Then, on my fourth day post-op the Keflax made me sick with nausea and a low-grade fever and my Dr. had to call in a script for a less intense version of Keflax called Cefadroxil, which cost me $27.

Anesthesia and Surgery Center Costs

My cost: $2000

My surgeon built these costs into the initial price she quoted me, but make sure you ask your surgeon if these are included in the price they quote you. It would really rain on your parade to find out after the fact that you still owe a few grand. Also, note that anesthesia is paid by the half hour that you are under it. I only paid for two and a half hours of anesthesia (my surgeon said that 2 1/2 hours is the common time it takes for top surgery), but if your surgery is complicated you may end up paying more. It might also be a good idea to ask if you will be billed if your surgeon goes beyond the amount that you initially paid for.

Other pre-op needs

There are other miscellaneous things to consider into your budgeting. I spent about $70 on surgery groceries: juice, soup, snacks, etc. Also consider transportation to and from appointments, travel and lodging if you aren’t local, supplies like gauze or surgical binders (I spent about $20 on nonstick pads for my nipples and I also needed neosporin but I had some at home already). We bought new pillows because I could only sleep propped up for the first week and our pillows were old and worn out. Your first week post-op you can only wear button-down shirts because you can’t lift your arms to pull a shirt over your head, so I spent an extra $10 on two whacky hawaiian shirts because I thought it would cheer me up. Other friends of mine borrowed button-down shirts from friends. You may spend extra money on renting movies or a Netflix subscription (I borrowed from the library). The list could go on, but the point is to just have a little extra put back for the things that will make your recovery smoother and happier.

Emergency Needs

Believe it or not, my partner and I actually did incur some emergency costs because Hurricane Sandy hit when I was 3 days post-op and we had to buy water, batteries, etc. just to be safe. It was a blessing that my apartment had no damage and we didn’t lost heat or electric, but some people in my neighborhood did. If we lost heat and electric we would have been in a world of trouble. We don’t own a car, so we might have had to rent a car or gotten a ride to a friend’s or a hotel. Also, what if you have to visit the ER? I’m not saying that you should take out a thousand dollar loan or something “just in case,” but you should have a plan. Make sure you have a credit card or that your partner or mom or someone close can afford to loan you the money if you need it up front. One time I got a concussion and went to the ER and incured a $3000 bill, which was paid for 100% through the hospital’s charity care program for low-income individuals. If you have the time, it might be wise to just do some research of what hospitals in your area provide these kind of services. You could call billing and most likely easily find out in one phone call.

There are also a lot of ways to cut down some of these costs. Discount food stores like Save-A-Lot, thrift stores, house-sitting, swapping or room renting or subletting if you’re traveling for surgery, community health initiatives, borrowing, libraries, and pre-op party with a wish list are just a few. If you have relatives or friends who didn’t donate to your surgery fund because they either couldn’t afford it or didn’t think you’d go through with it, maybe they could donate supplies or money toward medication.

It’s been my experience that a little patience and creativity can go a long, long way! Also, if you’re getting bummed about spending all this money on surgery, think of it as an investment rather than a cost. You are investing in your comfort, happiness, and lifelong dream!

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