From what to pack in your hospital bag, to the days and weeks after surgery, these were the must have products essential in my double mastectomy recovery.
While every recovery journey is unique, having those whom have already walked this path share their personal experiences is priceless.
There’s also a lot of information out there and if you’re like me, I don’t have a ton of extra cash to spare.
I believe it is important to get the items that would be helpful and possible something I could use even after surgery.
**This post contains affiliate links for various brands including Amazon, which does not cost you anything extra, but helps me earn a small commission that keeps my business grow. Click here for my complete disclosure.
What to pack in your hospital bag:
My procedure was technically considered outpatient even though I did spend the night.
Your provider should go through the timeline of the day, that way you’ll know ahead of time if you are staying or truly going home same day.
Because I was truly not in the hospital all that long I didn’t need a bunch of stuff.
- Extra long charging cord (mine is 10ft)
- Face wipes
- Change of underwear
I didn’t bring a change of clothes and instead wore the clothes that I came to the hospital in on the way home.
They also put me in a surgical bra and camisole so I didn’t need to bring another one.
Hospital essentials I didn’t know I needed, but were game changing
The hospital where I had my procedure gave me a plastic drinking travel mug with a bendy straw perfect since I wasn’t supposed to raise my arms above elbow height.
They also gave me an eye mask and ear plugs and let me tell you, this was a game changer!
It blocked out all that awful hospital noises including my own machines and I slept soooo good.
Too good in fact, the nurse had to shake me when it was time to check my vitals.
Trust me, I’ve held onto these and have used them in my recovery at home too.
These items I purchased and were essential for my double mastectomy recovery at home
I loved this wedge pillow because of all the different configurations.
It felt so much better to sleep at an angle than to be flat, plus it made it so much easier to get in and out of bed.
My daughters bought me a couple Squishmellow’s that were the perfect size to fit under my arms and gave me just enough lift to be comfortable.
But I found these two smaller toddler pillows that would be a perfect size to place under your arms and not take up too much space in your bed.
Having my arms more up felt like there was less pulling on my chest and I also brought it into the car to give me a barrier between my chest and the seatbelt.
Button front Pajamas
You can get them anywhere, but button from pajamas from Target are so soft and comfortable
Front closure bras
Since mobility is limited in the beginning, front closure bras are a lot easier to get in and out of. I also found that I needed to size up to account for some swelling, but still didn’t lose the support that I needed too.
I bought these front hook bras and sized up just because I was still getting fills and needed room.
And I also bought these zip up sport bras for added support and they’re comfortable too.
Zip up hoodies with inside pockets
My surgery was in the summer I lucked out with thin hoodies at Costco, but truly you can find them just about anywhere.
The inside pockets made it easy to store my drains and made me feel less bulky than wearing the camisole.
I found a similar hoodie here.
Drain pouch belt
I found this drain pouch belt on Amazon and worked great when I didn’t want to wear the hoodie and needed some place to store my drains.
It came with another feature to allow me to shower with my drains, however my doctor’s wouldn’t let me shower until all drains were removed.
Before anyone comes at me about just using a washcloth and soap, I could never feel like I got myself clean and I always felt like I still had soap residue on me.
Instead, I found these Duke Cannon Cold Shower face and body wipes and I loved them for a couple reasons.
- They had a smooth and a rough side which really let me scrub and feel clean.
- There was a cooling aspect to them that made my skin feel refreshed, which was amazing.
- They were targeted to men to use in the field when they’re hunting and I figured if they were graded for heavy duty man sweat, they would be up to the task of keeping me refreshed after surgery. 😉
I documented my journey on my blog, but I highly recommend writing out your experience.
In the moment there’s just so much between the emotion of making the decision to have the surgery, the emotions surrounding surgery itself, as well as just the healing process in general.
Ask future you some questions, be honest about what you’re feeling, and one day you’ll be able to look back at how far you have come.
I also recommend taking pictures and if you have an iPhone you can save them to a hidden album so no one stumbles upon them scrolling through your phone.
I took one a day before the surgery, then each week after to see how far I had come as well.
Mastectomy friendly clothing
Getting anything up and over your head will be challenging for a while as well as the fact you have to wait for clearance from your doctor to raise your arms.
I bought a couple of these tank tops off of Amazon.
This swim suit was adorable to hide my ever changing breasts and made me feel comfortable to go to the beach and pool.
I am forever grateful
For people who share their journey because it can have such an impact on the whole fear of the unknown.
Deciding to have surgery is a big step and the recovery after is even more important to a healthy future.