A question I get asked a lot by other people I have met who are due to have a mastectomy / recon surgery is: “what should I take to the hospital??”. I thought it would be a good idea to just make a post here about what I found useful – that way I can give people the link and hopefully it will help someone with their preparations…
Just to clarify – I had bilateral mastectomy with immediate expander reconstruction. I’m thinking if you’re having an LD flap or Diep, or any other recon type there might be other things you’d need. Equally – if you’re not having an immediate recon at all then there will be different things to think about. this list is just from my personal experience.
So without further ado – here are the things that I found useful and actually used:
Short sleeved mens shirts from Primark (or a more expensive establishment if you fancy splashing the cash!) – I had terrible trouble finding button up PJ’s that were not long sleeve, lurid green or made of silk and stupidly expensive. This was a cheap and cheerful alternative and I was still wearing them with leggings and a vest top as my go-to outfit a few weeks after surgery. Comfy, cheap and you can pretend it is a fashion choice a la the “boyfriend look”.
Shorts – again from Primark and for wearing under the shirts / in bed.
Big pants – for wearing under the hospital gowns.
Other comfy PJ’s and a nighty from M&S. Made of really soft material and very stretchy so easy to put on. The nighty / minishirt has buttons down the front too. Links:
Those PJ pants and top are SUPER comfy. I’m going to get more just because I like them!!
Slippers / crocs / flip flops – anything you can slip on / off easily.
Cordial / squash – nicer than drinking water all the time.
Lip salve – I got very dry lips for some reason.
Obviously washing stuff – but particularly those feminine wipe things and wet wipes for freshening up.
Puzzle books and pen – easy ones though!
Easy to read book / audiobooks if you have MP3 player.
Mobile phone & charger.
Other stuff that are not exactly ‘must haves’ but might be helpful:
I had a private room but if on ward I’m thinking earplugs would be a must.
I had drains either side and just put them in a plastic bag once I was up and about – but I know some people take a shoulder bag to put them in instead.
I did not wear any type of bra thing till about 2 weeks post surgery. The ones I started wearing first though (sometimes!) were the comfort style from Asda:
The do bandau ones in that style as well – or these lacy ones which are a bit prettier! Not sure how much use they would be if you need support on one side – but they are working well for me:
All of these have a small amount of padding which hides my scar marks / lack of nipples – all are easy to step into to pull on as well. 9 weeks on I am actually now alternating these with normal underwire bras… or just no bra at all.
…and I think that is it. Hope this helps someone somewhere!!