What to wear in hospital when you have a mastectomy?

I have only just been diagnosed, you know & remember the shock? I have to wait like everyone to get the results of the biopsy and they have booked my surgery for a mastectomy in the next 2 weeks as I have 3 lumps. I am trying to be brave for my family and friends and also to be organised, as all my family (apart from my two young boys) are in Australia. But could someone help me work out how long I may be in hospital? and do I need to find pjs that i will be able to get on & off easily or do you wear nhs gowns? up the middle buttons or t-shirt material? I am a big lady (42 yrs old) and feel self-concious without the loss of a breast. I know I can’t plan for anything beyond the surgery at the moment, but any help on how to organise things for hospital would be really helpful. please.

Sorry you find yourself here! Yes, bewildering days when you first get your dx, I felt sad, confused and a bit lost! I also had the mx, ANC and ld flap recon. I found easy access tops and comfy pj bottoms the easiest to wear as overhead stretching can be uncomfortable, any light, button or zip up is probably a good idea. I also had a comfortable post op bra from amoena uk. My family is also abroad, sending you a big hug! Good luck! Tina

Hi kulakatz

I agree easy access tops are great. Someone advised me to take a wrap or pashmina in too which i wore a lot, felt like i could hide a bit if i wanted.

Good luck and hope it all goes well xxxxx

HI THERE i had cotton pjs with button front tops much easier for all the examinations and easier to take on and off when shoulder a bit sore cotton was better as cooler.I also took soft comfy cotton post- surgery or sport bra thet were about £3-£5 from asda or matalan very comfy. take care Julie xx

Definately comfy loose button up front pjs along with a pashmina. You will not be able or advised to pull anything over your head. You can buy soft bras over the internet especially made for post surgery from Amoena or Nicola Jane. They are softer than other bras and also they do up at the front which will be easier to do up yourself.

A pashmina is brilliant I used it a lot in hospital it is easier and it use than a dressing gown as it can be very warm in hospital wards. I used to wrap mine round me when sitting up in bed or generally walking around the ward. I didn’t wear a bra in hospital only on the day I left complete with my new “comfy prosthesis”. I am a “larger” lady as well and it was ok to go braless for a few days.


Hi. I had mx without recon and was in hospital for four days but it does vary a lot between hospitals. Mine waited until drains were removed before sending you home but I know that others do go home with drains in. Your surgeon should be able to give you an idea of length of stay.
Agree with all the others who have posted about pj’s that are easy access and easy to put on and take off. Do take in a soft bra as in my case the breast care nurse visited with a softie ready to go home with.
Best wishes. x

Wow! Thank you to so many of you who replied. I will take note of your helpful advice. I am really grateful. x

Pardon my ignorance, and I am sure they will tell me, but if you have drains in, does that mean you have to stay in bed & also not shower? Or are they portable? Will I need help to get dressed? When do you see what they have done? I haven’t been offered a reconstruction, but I was only diagnosed on wed.

I had 2 drains in - they are plastic tubes that drain fluid away from the wound, they are fairly long tubes that have bottles at the end of them that the fluid drains into. I was advised to take in a bag (like the old fashioned slipper bag) to put the bottles into. You carry the bag around with you. You will be encourged to get mobile as quickly as possible. This is where front button up comfy pjs are very useful. I had 1 drain removed before I came home and had the other removed 1 week later. They only remove them when the fluid coming out slows right down and that varies from person to person.

The mx is covered by a small dressing which is not totally waterproof so no standing under shower or lazing in the bath, but with a bit of invention you can manage.

My dressing was taken off about 10 post op.


post deleted

Hi there have been tons of replies but I thought I would pop my thoughts down. I had 4 drains and found wearing button tops the easiest. Showering was a challenge but if you recognize you haven’t got anything else to do and don’t rush it’s fine! I went home with my drains - which developed into my best friends cos I had to take them everywhere! Don’t worry about having them out either - work with the doctor and ask him to tell you to take a deep breath when he pulls. It’s soooo much better. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Keep you chin up and be positive. Always remember things are better than 30 years ago and more and more cases are being cured. Big hug

Hi, there, I agree with everytring already said. my Sister in law came to stay for 2 weeks post surgery. had i drain still in when I went home, had that out 2 days later, then I could shower. district nurse suggested wrapping cling film round me, well my S I L and I laughed so much I thought I would burst my stitches, I’d never been cling filmed before, so just an idea, didn’t really keep me dry though!
Good luck with everything