Bilateral mast & LD rec in 8 days. Your top tips & practical advice re hospital/ recovery PLEASE

Trying my best, but getting anxious Now obviously.
please give me your tips & practical advice for my stay in hospital…regarding me! ( I have 3 kids under 6, & although its going to be so hard being away from them( & my husband!)I’ve got all that stuff planned/ organised.
So now I need to think about me, I’m going shopping on Monday with my sister for button front pjs ( & new slippers, light weight dressing gown etc)
but am confused about bras??? Please help…
and any other gems of advice would be really lovely too.
Thank you.

Hi. I had the same op last year. i guess the main thing is to take things easy afterwards and listen to your body- don’t try to do too much, too quickly. I was told by my consultant to wear a sports bra afterwards but when I tried it, it felt like I was being cut in half. Way to painful! So after some research I bought some Sloggi double comfort crop tops which were a god send. They give you the support you need but are nice and comfy to wear. You can also step into them and pull them up so you can avoid having to use your back and shoulder muscles- which makes things easier in the early days of your recovery. Once you start feeling better, make sure you get out for a short walk each day. I gradually increased the length of the walk. It helps get your fitness back and a bit of fresh air really helps to lift your spirits. I’d also recommend getting some moisturiser ( my Onc advised bio oil) as it helps to keep your skin supple once your scars have healed. I found it particularly helpful to get someone to massage the scars on my back as the skin can feel a little tight there and it helps reduce this. Last of all, best of luck with your op and recovery. X

I was a mere single sided LD recon but hopefully some of my experience will help…

Bra-wise my lot insisted on a sports bra, back fastening (not over the head, you’ll never get it on or off) with a bra strap extender until the dressings have gone and swelling reduced. I got a triumph tri-active (not the extreme one) which is comfy and easy enough to get on and off (velcro on shoulder straps so really adjustable and don’t slip). You can get them easily enough but picture here will show you what it looks like http://uk.triumph.com/TRIACTION%20WORKOUT/10006486,en\_GB,pd.html&cgid=1550000#!i%3D17%26color%3D0003\_White#image. Bra-strap extenders can be picked up on E-bay for about a pound for a pack of three. The hospital told me to fasten it at the front and swizzle it round to the back (if you get what I mean) for a few weeks until I could get my arm moving again. I was told to wear it 24/7 for 6 weeks - sleeping in it took a bit of getting used to, but it helps the recon to settle into a natural shape.

I bought a couple of cheap blouses and a couple of cheap zip-up hoodies a size bigger than normal as baggy was good for a while in terms of comfort and ease of getting on and off. As you will have both arms affected, you might need a bit of help getting clothes on and off unless they are loose/stretchy. It will ease in a few weeks though.

Every surgeon and oncologist has their own idiosyncracies on taping, moisturising and massaging, but they all help scars to heal, so follow their guidance. Sometimes there may be factors influencing their advice which we aren’t aware of.

Begin the exercises as soon as you can, and for the first few days keep doing them every couple of hours. DO NOT try to progress faster than advised, it will take time. When you get to the ‘walking up the wall’ one I found it helped to mark on the wall with a pencil how far I reached (not far at all at the start) so that you can see your progress… but that’s several weeks off yet.

In hospital - take moisturiser and wet wipes, juice/squash, nibbles, MP3 player, light reading (I could not concentrate to read immeidately after surgery), eye mask and earplugs if you need them, phone (and charger). After a couple of days I got dressed by day as it made me feel more human, and hospital encouraged that too.

For when you get home, it is worth considering a v-shaped pillow (Argos, Amazon, Ebay etc) as you won’t feel comfortable lying flat, and it’ll be a few weeks before you can lie on your side again.

I hope all goes smoothly and you get a fantastic result.

Hi
I am two weeks on from mastectomy and ld flap reconstruction (one side with other side to follow) and am recovering really well. I was told I’d be in hospital for around 6 days but got home after 2. The op was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be which is great as I have no fears about doing it again. I had to sleep sitting up for first week or so and the V shaped pillow was very good for this. I am now able to sleep lying down but still on my back. Like Revcat I was told to wear sports bras day and night for 6 weeks (I think we were treated at same hospital!). I got two for £18 in Marks & Spencers and then got a couple in Primark and am also using the bra extenders. Button through pjjamas and tops for first wee while but I am now able to put on stretchy tops withouth putting my bad arm up high but this probably won’t be possible if both sides are affected at once.
I think the important thing is to do your excercises as instructed and not try to do anything too soon.
Hope all goes well for you.

Thank you ladies that’s really helpful advice. I’m off with my sister on Monday for a day of shopping for all I need so will check out your suggestions re the bras. Brilliant help thanks.
Have got v shaped pillow as its not that long sincd I stopped breast feeding- never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine if need it for this!