What to take into Hospital - Mastectomy

Im will be having a mastectomy - waiting for hospital date.
Nurse said I would be in there for about a week.
What do I take into hospital with me?

Hi Rainbowwitch,

Quick list off the top of my head:

Dressing gown
Pyjamas, preferably with button up top for ease of showing dressing/scar to medical staff!
Toileteries, hair brush
Makeup - useful to make you feel more ‘normal’
Hand wipes/ baby wipes to freshen up when you don’t feel like getting out of bed/chair
Light perfume/body spray
Mints/breath freshener
Bottled water if you don’t want to drink hospital tap water
Plenty of light reading books/magazines
Crossword/puzzle book & pens
spare knickers
comfie outfit to go home in
Thank you card/chocs for the nurses for when you go home
Mobile phone - texting is usually allowed

You may not be in for a whole week.
I was only in for 2 nights (until I had to go back for another 2 night for axillary node clearance)but did not have any wound drains which may keep you in for longer.
Hope this helps.
Wishing you the best of luck,
Kate x

Thank you, that gives me a good idea

Have already bought some button up pyjamas - thought that would be easier to get on and off.

Hi Rainbowwitch, Surprised you could be in for a week. I had double mx and was only in overnight, with drains out the next morning. Kate has given you a comprehensive hospital list, but one thing I did find useful when I came home was a triangular pillow [bought mine from Argos]. BB x

Thank you BB shall put that on my list of things.

I think they said a week to prepare you, Im guessing it depends on how well it goes.

hi rainbowwitch
just an add on note to say hospitals are normally really hot so take in the coolest ,loose clothing
I wore silk camisole tops and dressing gown that covered me over but still kept me cool
another thing -I was in for 24 hours only and went home with drain which was removed at home after 5 days
good luck and take care -will be thinking of you

Hi Rainbowwitch
I was in for a week but I did have LD recon at the same time
My triangular pillow really helped me get some sleep, I ordered mine from Amazon
Do you know if you will be catheterised, I was for a few days and pyjamas were out for that time. Take a lot more nightwear than you think you will need as things do get soiled.
I took a bottle of really nice ginger and lemongrass cordial which I drank loads off. I tended to feel a bit sick after my ops and ginger is good for nausea
Hope all goes well for you

hi rainbowwitch
love the cordial thing - really lifts water and lots f fluids is really important in recovery. otherwise, take your ipod/equivalent - music can just take you off from your surroundings to wherever you want to be.
good luck xxx

CHOCOLATE and any thing else to relieve the boredom between waits lol

Hi Rainbowwitch, I got home on Friday, had MX and SNB on Wednesday, (one drain, removed on Friday morning). I thought I had brought everything I needed but omitted …ear plugs, big mistake :). I was sick for about 12 hours after my op. so the ginger and lemongrass cordial sounds good.

All in all the whole experience was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting.

Best wishes,
Molly x

Yeah definitely earplugs if you plan to sleep, and safety pins to deal with drains. And your mobile phone in case you’re allowed escape earlier than you were told and need to organise a lift before they change their minds.

I was in for 4 nights for a bilateral mx. I got two drains removed on the 2nd day and the other two on the 3rd day. It depends though on how much is draining. They didn’t let you home with drains at the hospital I was in. I took button up the front nighties. Definitely take ear plugs. I got a box of the silicone ones from Boots. You soften them in your hand then mould them into your ear. I divided each into 4 pieces as one would be too big to fit into your ear.

Good luck. The thought of it all is worse than the event - well for me it was.

all the above are useful (esp ear plugs!) Do not be afraid to ask for Oramorph at night, cause it helps you sleep. I took an audio book in on my ipad, which was good to lie back and listen to when I couldn’t concentrate… god bless - it wasn’t half as bad as I anticipated - the anticipation’s often the worst… Jane

Thank you everyone, will keep all in mine, esp the earplugs.

I found this thread useful when I was in hospital recently so I’ll just add something I found handy - eye masks. There was a lot of turning lights on at night in my shared ward so it might be good to have some to hand if you are a light sleeper!

Hi rainbowwitch

Take ‘cool’ cotton pyjamas the ward may be hot. I would take something nice and sweet to suck, poss not chocolate, ours melted!
Vaseline (in tube) not tin.
Dry shampoo

My best was an infants shoe box, small enough to put my essentials in for easy reach; Vaseline, mobile, pen, tic tacs. I had mx with immediate recon, was in for one week and wasn’t allowed to move for couple of days,so this box was a godsend for me, I could reach it without moving too much.

When is your date?


Hi ladies having diep on 18 sept these list are invaluable.the ginger and lemongrass cordial sounds divine.good luck with your recovery ladies .do any ladies know about big knickers and kind of bra to get as not been told anything. Post surgery Amanda xx

I wrote a blog on useful things to pack