I am going in for surgery, mastectomy and lymph node removal in a couple of weeks and not really sure what to take in my hospital bag:


Obviously i need wash bag and books etc, but with regard pjs would it be better to get front fastening top also what about clothes to go home in again would it be better for front fastening tops or could i get away with vest tops, i really dont know how much movement i will have so anyone who has had surgery it would be great to hear from you.


I know this in the scale of things is probably a really minor question but i dont want hubby running around at last minute buying suitable clothes to come home in as i dont have very many tops that are front fastening!!!


When I had lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy I wore a front fastening top to come home in and for a couple of days afterwards as it was a bit dificult to lift my arm up. 

when I went in for my mastectomy and reconstruction I bought button-up pjs but found they weren’t necessary as anybody who needed to check things just lifted my top up!  I was hot in hospital so I’m glad I took short-sleeved pjs. 

i also took ear-plugs as advised on another thread.  They were brilliant as the wards were noisy at night.

Its not trivial to think of these things - its amazing how worried we can get about everything.  Good luck with all your shopping, and speedy recovery after your op. xx Jane

Hi beejay
Along with the helpful information here you may find the BCC publication ‘Your operation and recovery’ useful to read and here’s the link:

Best wishes
Lucy BCC

Hi i just bought a zip up hoody and a vest top that you can slip up over your legs instead of over head does fine.I also bought a mastectomy post op bra so i could walk out with my softie nicely in place.I had bought a front do up night shirt for bed in hospital but ended up just wearing the hospital gown anyway.Hoe this helps ,all the best x


when i went in I took a buttoned up the front night shirt - wrong move as it did not allow for the drain when walking around, so take in buttoned up the fromt PJs.  In your toilet bag take loads of wipes.  Both my hands were out of actions ( i had a mx, and reconstruction) so could not wash easiily - managed a sink wash every day in hospital using the wet wipes!.(took in my perfume too to make something normal!)


Think about clothes for getting home - i had a long skirt, socks and boots - all pull on and not tight to pull.  My top was a buttoned cardigan.  I watched a fellow patiennt struggle painfully to get into her t-shirt to go home - she could not lift her hands up.


If you need lots of morphine, you may want to buy in some laxatives for when you get home!  I needed something drastic!

thank you so much everyone for replying to this.


I have a better idea of what to take now, I already had pen, magazines, books, to keep myself amused, but have been trying on some tops that i can get on from feet upwards for coming home.


I just didn’t want to get there and then poor hubby end up going shopping whilst in there as haven’t got everything i need. We had similar situation with mum a few years back where she was requesting this, that and everything else, half of it she didn’t actually need or use!!!

Hi I would suggest pyjama bottoms and loose shirts that do up the front.