As we head into the summer months, lots of folks will be going under the knife for top surgery. We at The Self Made Men want you to be as prepared as possible before you get to the hospital/outpatient/center/wherever. Here are some tips, tricks, and preps we’ve compiled to make getting ready and getting there a breeze.
Major surgery puts your body under serious strain, especially when you’re on the mend. To make it easier for you to recover, be aware of the food you are ingesting in the month(s) leading up to your surgery date.
You’ll never know how much you use your arms and chest muscles until you can’t. You’ll be advised not to lift anything, reach for anything, or push using your arms for a while after surgery. This means you’ve got to find other ways to sit up, sit down, get in and out of cars, and through doors (pesky, everyday stuff like that). Luckily, you can get a jump start on that by working on other muscles in advance!
Going in for any surgery can be a bit of a mental strain, but going in for top surgery – which is a huge goal for lots of us – can be a huge thing to process. Be sure to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling in the weeks and days leading up to surgery. It’s natural to feel completely overwhelmed, and it’s also completely natural to feel like you’ve got it all under control. Here are a few things to help you keep calm and carry on as surgery gets closer.
The Day Of
This is a boa constrictor, it’s a snake (duh). The way it kills it’s prey is by wrapping itself around it and then squeezing tighter when the victim breathes out. A Boa and an Ace bandage have that in common… An ace bandage is designed to apply pressure to a twisted ankle or wrist. Much like a snake, its function is to hold a body part as tightly as it can and when this method is used in binding, the results can be very dangerous. While it’s elasticity and cheap price may be appealing for those in need of a binder, there is no healthy and safe way to bind using an ace bandage.
Duct tape is another resource many Transguys turn to. This is also very dangerous. In order to get duct tape to produce the desired ‘flat’ appearance, it would have to be extremely tight. When your lungs can’t naturally fill to a normal capacity your body is receiving less oxygen than it should and long term could cause minor brain damage and fatigue. Reoccurring binding sessions can even leave you bruised.
Showing images of ftms using ace bandages to bind has become an iconic form of gender expression. While using it in art to represent binding may occur all over the interwebs, this is NOT a safe way to bind and alternative methods should be used.
Please check out some of our website articles on the topic:
Looking after your binder is crucial to its longevity and ability to do what you need it to do. Binders that aren’t looked after often fall apart, get stretched out, or become unsafe in a surprisingly short amount of time. With summer fast approaching, taking care of your binder is more crucial than ever.
As we know, binders are an investment. They can be pricey but they’re worn quite often (by most people who own them – individual use varies from person to person of course) so you want to care for them properly.
Most binders are made of a spandex blend that is made breathable (though it may not seem like it on hot summer days!) by a mesh stitching. In order to maintain the integrity and quality of your binder, here are a few important steps to take into consideration:
Making sure you take care of your binder will help it fulfill its purpose and elongate its wearable life. The important things to remember are to wash your binder regularly as you would any other sort of “undergarment”, keep it away from heat (water, dryers, and irons), and hang it up like any other nice piece of your wardrobe. These are the best ways to help your binder help you!
The term "binding" refers to the process of flattening one's breast tissue in order to create a male-appearing chest. The type of materials and methods used for successful binding will vary depending on the size of a guy's chest and the overall build of his body.
Some guys don't bind at all. Some slump or hunch over to hide their chests (which can be very effective, but can also cause posture problems over time). Some use different methods of layering clothing to help hide their chests. Some bind only on certain occasions; some bind all the time. For those who do choose to bind, a number of binding methods and tips are described below, along with contact information for custom-made binding products.
Keep in mind that other trans men are great resources when it comes to sharing binding tips and tricks. They may also be able to guide you to used binder exchange programs--many guys who have chest surgery pass on their old binders to others at minimal or no cost.