Mastectomy next week - advice please !

Hi Girls

I’m due to go in hospital next week for a left mastectomy (I’m having a tissue expander put in). I’ve started to get my bag packed, and have got the usuals (P.J’s, dressing gown, slippers (all pink!), book to read (doubt if I’ll get time as I’ve invited about 1000 people to come and visit me ), toothbrush, etc, but what else do I need ?? Kelly (Princess18), I could do with one of your lists please !

Needless to say, I’m getting scared now too, so any advice about the op and after effects would be appreciated !

Thanks, as always, and lots of love

Julie xxx

Hi Julie

Hope all goes well with your op. I’m sure it will and you’ll be back with us in no time. I too went into hospital with everything pink - not really deliberate, just worked out that way. Do like to be co-ordinated though. That’s a joke!!

Anyway, I was only in hospital two days but found magazines better than a book. Did take a book with me but found I couldn’t concentrate enough due to the painkillers. Also took some diluting juice as I don’t really care for plain water when it’s not refrigerated - fussy, huh!

God bless.


Hi Julie - good luck for next week. Very daunting I know but I had mine on 11 Sep and thrilled with results. I had a ld flap with expander inmplant - not sure how similar this is to yours. The port to expand the implant is under my bra stap and under the skin at the moment - I had imagined a little port sticking though the skin and at first thought I had really bad swelling under the new boob!!! Looks great and pain not nearly as bad as I thought. I would take:

Lots of wetones if hard to shower/bath afterwards
Front opening pyjamas
Secret support tops from m&s and sport bras
Make sure slippers aren’t like flipflops as you have to wear really sexy support stockings afterwards!!
Don’t be embarressed to ask for laxatives if you get bunged up from painkillers
I also took in my mobile and was allowed to have it plugged in all the time which was great
Don’t be surprised if you have a cathetar - I didn’t realise and as I went back to the ward my husband sat on the bag which was under the covers!!!

Take care and spoil yourself this weekend with some nice treats.

Sarah x x x

Hi Julie,
I had my op on 11th Sept. I asked a very similar question before I went into surgery.

I also had pink PJs and dressing gown. Pink is so the way to go!

I had a reconstruction with implant at the same time as my mastectomy and found a squidgy cushion was very helpful for my arm. I couldn’t focus on reading either whilst I was on pain killers and loved just flicking through a magazine. I asked people to bring grapes (wasn’t enough fruit on offer at the hospital I was at). I also found that I had a horrible anesthetic smell in my nose that didn’t shift for a couple of weeks, I really thought I smelt bad and could smell it everywhere I went. I asked someone to bring me some Albos Oil which I dabbed on a tissue and kept sniffing. My sister bought me some dry shampoo to use as I wasn’t able to have a shower for a while (I had a catheter for 3 days, yuk).

Babywipes, or face wipes. Essential! It helped me to feel better being able to wash my face and body when I couldn’t get out of bed. Don’t know with your op if you’ll be able to move around straight away.

I took a pashmina/scarf thing with me to drape round my shoulders as I had swelling under my arm and this was less effort that putting my cardigan on.

I think that’s about it.

All the best for next week.
Liz x


Thankyou for your helpful advice. Have taken the day off work today to hit the shops and have lunch with my favourite cousin, so have a few more things to put on my list now - especially a trip to M & S - I hadn’t even thought about support tops !

Thanks again

Lots of love Julie xxx

Hi Julie

What about pontefract cakes or similar ( dihydrocodiene cause grotty constipation and every little helps). I ended up needing an enema. Not a very nice topic but useful

Good luck

Marilyn x

i took my lap-top and watched funny movies - good for the spirits. i recovered quickly and was out in three days. maybe laughter is the best medicine…i really didn’t find the operation too difficult to handle - hope yours goes well and here’s to a speedy recovery.

Hi Julie

I had left mastectomy, axilliary clearance and a Becker implant back in May. I took al sorts of tops in but to be honest ended up wearing the hospital nighties the whle time, plus my own dressing gown. Saves on the washing (lazy beast that I am) and was much easier with the drains, of which I had three for a week. Fruit is an essential! Wet wipes too. And tissues. I managed to wash my hair on the third day and every day thereafter which was great. They never minded mobiles either which was a lifeline. I took in a radio (lucky where I was we had our own rooms) and feasted on radio 4 day and night when couldn’t sleep. Didn’t have support tops either cos of the dressings and drains

I hated the idea of a catheter so establised from the beginning that I didn’t want one. Was able to wee in a bedpan the first night but after that was perfectly able to get up in the morning and take care of myself! I was up and walking from the very first morning, and doing the exercises. Bowels take a whle to get going but they will give you sennakot etc and make sure it happens eventually. Not a problem really

Incidentally it really isn’t painful, just uncomfortable at times. I had my appendix out in 2001 and that was much worse!

Hope it goes well for you

Lots of love


Hi Girls - and Dilys, Jo & Marilyn, thanks for your tips !

Have just spent a lovely day in town with my cousin - think I’ve got almost everything now (even new knickers - although god knows why I thought I’d need new ones !) . Hadn’t thought about the constipation issue - it’ll have to be senna as sorry Marilyn, I can’t stand those pontefract cakes - yuk !

Anyway girls, thanks again for your tips, and good wishes - don’t know what I’d do without you all.

Have a lovely weekend

Julie xx

P.S Dilys, I don’t need to worry about washing my hair - I’m still waiting for it to bloomin well grow back - lol !

Hi i had a masectomy on 4th Sept with implant straight away.I was lucky as this was my second time around,Lump removed chemo and rads before (1990) I was lucky in the fact that i could have implant not usually offered if had Rads in past. But my sjkin was good. Muscle a bit stiff so dont know what will happen when i go this week for start of pumping up. My time in hospital 6 days was good. No catheter our surgeon had never heard of that before with breast ops. Went in Monday op Tuesday no more painkillers after weds. Sore and bruised but no pain.Food was the main thing hospital food was terrible. My hubby bought me a ploughmans for dinner one night. and rolls-but pkts of cheesy biscuits sweets to suck and drinks. Why are hospitals so warm is it to make you sleep more or drink more. Anyway well on the mend lovely crowd in hospital nurses wonderful. Oh i put my own clothes on during day jogging bottoms and tee shirt loose. Felt better for it. Good luck for next week. you will be fine.

Hi Julie

How funny! I landed back in hospital afterwards while I was on chemo, and it was such a relief not worrying about my hair at that point! I took new knickers as well. Good thinking. Personal pride rules I think! Helps combat the sexy surgical stockings.

Good luck my love and let us know how you get on