68111members
358466posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What to take into hospital?

110 REPLIES 110
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Thank you Duffer56 xx All went well , so glad it's over!! xx
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

 Hi Sue

I have sent it over to you

 

Good luck for Monday

 

Carol

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Duffer56, I am having a double DIEP reconstruction on Monday, could you send your blog to me please?
sueburge@hotmail.com
Thank you x
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

This is such a useful thread - I'm so glad I've found it.

My bag at the moment looks very haphazard so now I'm inspired to change it!

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

I had DIEP surgery on 19th Sep'17 and I bought a couple of Drain Dollies bags to carry the drain bottles around with me. Be careful when walking around with them - take care that the tubes don't get caught on door handles or other such objects! A couple of days after surgery I was expected to get out of bed and shower (under supervision of a nurse), so I had soap, a flannel and a dressing gown too. 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

I'd say button up cotton pyjamas better than nightie if you end up with drains.

I had DIEP surgery 3 weeks ago and the best thing I did was take a separate cosmetics bag with what I needed on the first night. It was invaluable as I couldn't get out of bed to rummage in my main bag (was told to pack for a 10 night stay!)

So my little bag contained;
Mouth freshener spray (or toothbrush)
Hand / face wipes
Ear plugs
Eye mask
Antiseptic throat spray (sore throat from tubes during op)
Safety pins to hook the blinking drains to the side of the bed!
Lip balm

And a separate small canvas tote bag (doubles as a drain carrier over your shoulder) containing entertainment:
Phone
iPod/MP3
Magazine
Book
Chargers
Glasses!

So once I was on the ward and awake I asked the nurse to put these 2 small bags on the table for me. First 24 hours sorted!
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi sciathos (love the name - Greek island!)

Only just seen your question so sorry for late reply. My op was way back in December and all absolutely fine, rads over and done with months ago and just on a tablet once a day for 5 years. Where are you in your treatment plan? x

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Thanks for such a detailed posting, really useful to read about your experience.  how is it going now?

 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi  Pecan

overnight was semi-optional. I went down to theatre very late in the afternoon, so by the time I'd come round it was into evening and apparently my blood pressure was a bit low. I told them it's always low, which is true. Anyway, as I live alone I had the choice to staying put overnight or finding someone to cart me off home quite late in the evening and then stay with me. I opted for the comfortable and lazy choice. You are slightly right about the cuppa. I requested a cuppa almost as soon as my eyes were open (well, it's a long day with no food or drink before your late afternoon op....) but they said "oh no, not yet, you can't sit up just yet". Half  hour later I persuaded them to let me sit up, and they only let me have water first. More time passed and they finally let me have a cuppa, seeing as i was right as rain and only suffering from tea deficiency.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Optimissy, Oh you did make me laugh!

Why did you need to stay overnight?  (Weighing up probabilities here)

I've seen other posts saying said cuppa didn't appear, so to take water.

 

My op is on Wednesday.  I would be on the line to my NBC (Oh dear, I am forgetting all the acronyms now) to ask all these questions, but I'm starting to hate weekends.  I do have my Kindle, and I have ordered a Killer Sudoku book, just in case I can rearrange some brain cells.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Pecan, I took an overnight bag, posh jamies that I had never worn as I sleep nude at home, wash bag, Kindle, slippers etc etc and only needed the slippers,  flannel and the toothbrush! By the time you wake up you are in a hospital gown, and even if you are in overnight (I was) you can't really be arsed to change into jammies as you are snuggled down with said Kindle and a cuppa, and they keep coming in to check blood pressure etc, so I stayed in the gown and could really have got what I needed in my, admittedly large, handbag.I didn't have a drain - don't think you usually have one for WLE and node removal but maybe some people have. When is your op? xx

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

I have been ploughing through this thread, and when the list of items I needed to take with me became necessary to invest in a trunk, I thought I'd start again and ask for advice.  I am only going in for a day op, not for overnight (I hope) and was wondering how much is actually necessary.

 

I have not found pyjamas that open in the front, but I have found some super stretchy ones that will slip on easily.  I am a rather large, so buying clothes is not very easy.  And up until now I have avoided button up tops as they have never accommodated my breasts!

 

Am I going to need all the other things - wetwipes, etc?  I will pack an extra bag for if I have to stay in overnight, but I feel embarrassed packing for a week if all I need is to dress and go home.

 

I am assuming that I will have drains, as they are doing the NBS too.  NBS? Node Biopsy something-or-other.

 

Cathy

Oh - I already know my operation will be the first one on the afternoon shift.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Sam

DIEP is a reconstruction technique using tissue from your stomach area.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

DIEP is one of the breast reconstruction ops, I always get mixed up with the actual names, I just Google everything! Hope this helps x

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

What's DIEP please?
Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Ann, all front fastening is much the best, including going in for your op. Big shirt and pull on pants for ease afterwards. The staff need to get to you, so the front fastening is helpful. Asda have some nice cotton pj's, and to be honest I've more or less replaced my nightwear as the silky stuff is hopeless, and the thick cotton is hot and now feels itchy. Same with sweaters, so I've had to buy a couple of cottony ones while my skin is so sensitive . I'm 10 weeks post op, and into chemo, so that could be a factor. Bras are a hot discussion topic , and there is a whole thread on it. Wishing You all the best for your op. X

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Yes to front fastening bras- there is a new one developed called RecoBra if you are having reconstruction that looks worth googling. I found lovely front button pyjamas from Asda that made me feel quite glam! I've seen they have a new version for summer. However I'm not sure any clothes would have kept me cool, it was so warm on the ward. I found over head tops impossible for about two weeks post op. Good luck! 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

I have been recently diagnosed with BC and have had sentinel node biopsies before my appointment next week when a decision will be reached about surgery options. I am finding the information on this forum so useful in terms of options and what questions to be asking. Have been feeling mostly positive except for a couple of really low tearful days when I have not wanted to burden family - this forum has been wonderful in the middle of the night when all seems so difficult. Emotionally draining and so difficult to sleep at night when my mind is workIng overtime. Brings me to the question I had - where have you found nightwear that will be comfortable, accessible and cool for post surgery. Is it easier to go for front fastening bras and nightwear or can you manage to put on tops over head ?

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi, i was told to take in Bridget Jones knickers and I was really scared about putting them on after such a surgery - especially with drains still in. As it turned out they were wonderful! They hold bits in nicely and I was able to walk upright after only 2 days. They were such a bonus for silly things like sneezing and coughing too. I needed to get a size larger as I underestimated the amount my tummy would be swollen. I also found it difficult to pull them on unaided but the nurses were great helping me and my husband helped when I went home.

My DIEP was 4 years ago and I did a 'sort of' blog at the time which I still have somewhere if you wanted to take a look. The worst thing for me was not knowing what to expect.

 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi all,
Am due mastectomy with DIEP in a few weeks and finding all your posts really helpful with what to expect from surgery and recovery. I know someone mentioned a V pillow being helpful- just wondering if the small breastfeeding support type ones are best or if you mean the really big ones that can support your whole body? Also were you provided with binders in the hospital or do i need to get them myself? Thanks x
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

I had a left skin sparing mx with full DIEP flap reconstruction on 24 March.  11 hours in surgery, which thankfuly I knew nothing about but my poor family ....  I have made an amazing recovery considering how big an op it was.  I'm 58 and was in good health before - didn't feel ill at all - isn't that the hardest thing to get your head round?

 

I used my PCA for about 18 hours immediately after surgery but after that I was fine on paracetamol and codeine and then just paracetamol.  I was uncomfortable rather than in pain.  I succombed to oromorph one night to help me sleep but it made me feel pretty woozy so I stayed away from it after that.  Make sure they give you senna or another gentle laxative as you do not want to be straining those stitches!

 

I had to have a blood transfusion about 24 hours after surgery as my haemoglobin levels were low but did feel much perkier afterwards.  Said little prayers of thanks to the donor who shared their A+ blood with me.  I can't donate unfortunately due to an infection I had as a child

 

The most unpleasant thing for me post op was the hot room for the first 5 days after surgery - and it really was hot - someone said about 35 degrees C!!!!  Not allowed to have the window or door open so I just lay there in a fug waiting for the days to go past.  Best things to have were a small electric fan and a "Stay Cool Ice Towel".   I found it on Amazon - it's a cloth designed for sports men and women which comes in a small clear flask.  You wet it, shake it for 5-10 seconds and it gets very cold and stays that way for up to two hours - a lifesaver!  Link here https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UXED5NC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

It's very true that having clothing that does up at the front is helpful as every clinician who comes into your room wants to look at your boob - nearly got mine out for the cleaner one day!Smiley Very Happy

 

 

Make sure you drink lots too. The hospital food was OK but I had little appetite and lost 8lbs in that week - though obviously some of that is on a petrie dish in pathology.

 

I found that once I started moving around the binder provided good support and I was so much comfortable once I was able to get into a bra.  Recommend you do that as soon as you can.  I'm quite large breasted, so having some support made things much more comfortable - I have a couple of Anita Extreme Support sports bras.  I needed extensions to begin with but these are no longer necessary during the day as the swelling has gone down a lot.  I still treat myself to a few extra centimetres extension at night for comfort.  

 

Amazingly after seven days all the drains were out, I could stand upright and even walk up and down stairs, albeit sideways to begin with!  So they let me home - yeah!  I went back a week after discharge for the main dressings to be removed and came out of that appointment with just a bit of micropore tape across my amazingly flat tummy and no dressings on the breast at all.  I'm on minimal pain relief - just 2 x paracetamol morning and night.

 

I'm due for a further follow up at 4 weeks later this week.  The breast is still a bit 'firm' and tender but the scarring will be much less obvious than I feared - I can look in the mirror now without wincing!  I never thought I would recover this quickly.  Roll on the new nipple next year!  

 

I do hate the binder though - the most uncomfortable thing ever invented!  They should make all plastic surgeons wear them 24/7 for a month and I bet within a few months someone would have designed something more comfortable!  I am planning a ritual incineration for mine when they tell me I can stop wearing it!

 

The bummer is that having thought I had DCIS and surgery would be a 'cure', it turns out I had two tiny invasive triple negative tumours and a positive SNLB, so I now have to go through 21 weeks of chemo during the long recovery period after reconstructive surgery, followed by radiotherapy and possibly more lymph node removal.  2017 is going to be a long year!  

 

Hope this has helped anyone facing the same or similar surgery any time soon.  I wouldn't say it was easy but it could have been a whole lot worse and I am hopeful that in the end it will prove to be well worth it.  Keep positive!

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Im realising almost 5 years on from diagnosis and awaiting more surgery that its a new normal we have to move to not our old one. I have been hit pretty hard by all the chemo I had and need to find a way of being and liking the me that I am now. 

 

BTW, big knickers are the MOST important thing! I found a dry hair shampoo kept me feeling a bit more normal. Post surgery, if opiates make you queasy its worth thinking of things like lemony and gingery drinks and biscuits.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Duffer56, I would be very interested to read your DIEP blog if you wouldn't mind sending it or re-posting a link here. I am due to go in for my contralateral mastectomy and reconstruction on 4th February, made all sorts of mistakes with the mastectomy bras before the first one which cost me a fortune! It would be good to learn from someone else's experience. Some good tips on here, but apart from a long op and long recovery, multiple drains and perhaps two weeks not being able to stand up straight, I don't really know what to expect.

I hope you're doing well now and coming out the other side. I just want my life back to normal again but I'm not sure if that is a realistic expectation once you've been through BC and double reconstruction. I'm sure everyone is different.


@Duffer56 wrote:

Hi, I did a 'sort of' blog when I had my DIEP surgery back in 2013 - a lot of it covering the Bridget Jones knickers I had to wear.

You are more than welcome to a copy if you want to pm me your email address


 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Thank you for sending me your blog, I'm seeing that things probably won't be straightforward and if they are straightforward to be very grateful!
I shall speak to someone on the ward tomorrow to see if Bridget Jones is to be present in my life, or at least her big knickers, I am feeling a little more worried as I had radiotherapy which caused huge problems for me after lumpectomy back at the start of my journey, 2 1/2 years of breast with a cavity that had to be packed daily by district nurse following 2 breast abcesses in operation site which was very happy to be the bane of my life, it took a new breast surgeon and a few ops to have it healed leaving the breast noticibly smaller and deformed.That was followed by numerous stem cell lipofil ops in an attempt to improve the size and look of the breast but didn't work so now here we are ready for mx and reconstruction surgery but hoping for a smoother ride through this and out the other side, but still needing at least 2 more ops, 1 to match the healthy breast and 2 to get a nipple on the reconstructed side!
Thank you for your replies to my query.

Best wishes, Bev xxx

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Lol, just read my post again, blooming predictive texting, I really will need to proof read before posting anything else!!!
I hope it's decipherable, sorry for that!!!
Ps have proof read this post!

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

I have sent you a pm with my email address. If you send me an email I will reply to it and attach the 'blog'
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Thank you for the information Nicola C, I will call the ward tomorrow and ask them probably best idea and I hate being uncomfortable and unprepared xxx

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Thank you I would like to read about your Bridget Jones big knickers, how can I pm you my details and what's best for you? Xxx

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi there, I think each hospital differs slightly, but I wore an abdominal elasticated band thing for the first 4 weeks, which the hospital provided. And now I am in control pants, the nurse said they shouldn't be too tight but enough to support.

i bought the recommended cotton bra which was hideous and not supportive enough for me. I had bought a front zip opening sports bra from Marks and Spencer and that has been marvellous. It is in their post surgery range. And I have also bought another M&S one, in the sumptuously soft range, also front zip opening and a sports bra. I think if your boobs are going to be fairly full it is good to have full cup coverage. Front opening s very useful for immediately post op as the doctors and nurses keep wanting to have a look to check and you won't be very mobile.

Good luck!

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi, I did a 'sort of' blog when I had my DIEP surgery back in 2013 - a lot of it covering the Bridget Jones knickers I had to wear.

You are more than welcome to a copy if you want to pm me your email address

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Can anyone tell me if you used some kind of support pants or abdominal support belt after the diep reconstruction?
Just had my pre op for mine on 2/12 asked but got distracted , and which bras you would recommend for postoperative period, she recommended sad post op bra in cotton, but it's back fastening and I've heard front fastening is easier, I'm going up a cup size, lucky me and will behaving further surgery to match the healthy breastbone the reconstruction later though I thought I was having this done at the same time, but hey how you know what thought done, the best thing today was finding out my bmi is 27 ( I lost 5 1/2 stone to get healthier, surgeon and ps said would get better results and nice loose tummy for the flap! )
I am excited but starting to get a bit worried, especially as they were matching me for transfusions and talking about hdu the first night and yes op usually around 7 hours but can be longer and longer in recovery too. I've had 13 operations since diagnosis in 2010 and this is my biggest op and will be longest stay, so have read all advice about what to pack but I can't drive as had a serious finger fracture which has been pinned and has external fixation on ,I get the pins out on the 29th 3 days before the op, I was due to have it 2 weeks ago then ps found out I had external fixation on the finger so put it back 3 weeks.
Any help on the support wear issue and suggestions on thebra issue greatly appreciated xxx

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Rosie14.  Thank you for the information - so useful.  I have got hold of a neck pillow today! Sorry to hear your implants failed.  That sounds uncomfortable! Good luck on 30th,  My surgery is on 7th Dec.

Best of luck!

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Thank you NicolaC.  There really is a silver lining to every cloud - snoring relief!!  My husband will be delighted!  I appreciate your help.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi honeybunch you have come to the right place to let off steam! This forum is a life saver! Here you will meet ladies experiencing the same thoughts and feelings as you. I have been a member of the forum since Feb 14 and linked up with the ladies in the April 14 chemo thread. Five of us still communicate through the forum and have met up twice! We now share much more than just cancer.
I am afraid you will have to sleep on your back for a while you won't be wanting to sleep on the side you have had surgery!🙀 I put a pillow in the middle of the bed to ensure my husband didn't roll into me! I think I left it for about 6 weeks. When I felt brave enough to try sleeping on a side - I had db mx- I used a beanie neck cushion, the sort you use for the plane and I found I could gently ease off my back. I kept this for several months and had to keep swapping sides ever time I turned! As you are not having reconstruction you will feel comfortable much more quickly! Initially I had tissue expanders and they had ports for inserting saline that felt like a large stone on each side!🙀
What is the date of you surgery?
I am having a DIEP on 30/11 as the implants failed!
Good luck and stay positive!

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Honeybunch, I love your your positive attitude and notebooks! I didn't go home with drains but had 4 in hospital and had them all dangling out one side of me in a pillow case so I am sure you could do the same at home. The physio or nurse will advise you about which side you can sleep on and whether you have to be propped up with pillows or not. I have had to swap sides with my partner temporarily- the upside is my snoring is better since I am sleeping propped up! But my surgery was more extensive than yours due to the reconstruction so you may be ok doing what you do now.

 

Good luck and take care!

 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Everyone!  

 

This is my first time on the forum and I've been reading all the helpful hints - they are great!  I'm trying to get my head round being lopsided.  I am having a matstectomy. My surgery will be in 3 weeks.  No reconstruction.  I like to feel in control of my own life and your tips are helping me to feel I know a bit more about what is happening.  Thank you!

 

I have a beautiful little notebook for my questions and things I want to raise with the doctors and jot things down as I think of them.  I have another splendid notebook where I can dump my negative thoughts using brightly coloured gel pens - I decided I didn't want to overburden family or friends and make them feel down too as it helps me if they are positive. So writing down my feelings means I can park them and get on with life.

 

I have been told I will only stay in hospital one night and will be sent home with the drains in.  Can anyone tell me about sleeping arrangments while the drains are in?  I usually share a bed with my husband and tend to sleep on the side where the surgery will be.  

 

I love the virtual hugs!!

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Angeljo, it's a big op that's for sure- I was in theatre for 7 hours. But I was surprised at how quickly I started to feel human again- the nurses helped me get up into a chair the next day and I walked to the toilet the next day. The pain has been well controlled with paracetamol and ibuprofen. It is difficult to know what the end result will look like as my right boob, where I had the mastectomy and reconstruction is still bruised and swollen but it is certainly a boob which is great! I had a slight reduction and lift on the left side and that looks fab. My tummy feels very tight. I am feeling very tired but it's early days. Overall, it is a long and complex procedure and the recovery is 2-3 months but apparently the gold standard for reconstruction. Have you met any women who've had it done? I went to a breast recon awareness evening where women showed off what they'd had done and that was very helpful- great to talk to them and see their reconstructed boobs. It's entirely a personal choice and everyone recovers differently, but I am feeling well and positive about it all.
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi nicola how was it and how are you ? Going to see the bc nurse mon to show me some pictures got my pre op I must admit I am very nervous and anxious . 😳X

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi angeljo, I've just had the tummy fat flap for an immediate reconstruction- -I had a right mastectomy in the same op. That was 11th October and I came home on Monday 17th October, is there anything you want to know? Nicola x 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi this is what I've been offered or the back flap and implant . I was just reading your theard I swaying towards using my own body fat from tummy just wanted to see if anyone had had it . I have my op on the 31 st oct seeing my bc nurse mon to look at pictures and make my decision . It's so had in not sleeping as I'm worrying about which one to have and feeling very anxious 😬 .

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi all, I had my MX 4 weeks ago today and I read everthing I could about what to take to hospital, my top 3 tips are 1) Buy two of these pillows take one with you, still using mine now so much comfort and support www.facebook.com/Jensfriendsmastectomypillow/, 2) If you are likely to have drains get one of these and afterwards so useful for carrying things upstairs at night http://www.draindollies.co.uk/, 3) organise a Go To bag all you need is a medium makeup or toiletry bag put money,phone,ipod,friut sweets,lipbalm,drain dolly bag and any other comfort item you want, then when you are on the ward you will have all you first need to hand in one place, hope this helps. Hugs Mary xx

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Are you having a reconstruction? Reading the trail, I think the tummy thing they're talking about is only if you're having a DIEP form of reconstruction, which is using tummy fat etc to fill out the breast area. If you're only having the mastectomy then it wouldn't affect your tummy.

I know it's scary, but I promise you it does get better. It's now 9 weeks since my mastectomy and reconstruction (I had a DP flap, taken from my back), and honestly it hasn't been anything like as bad as I feared. Take whatever pain relief they offer if you need to (I found it wasn't really painful, just stiff and tight) and - importantly -be kind to yourself.

Hope all goes well for you. Sending you love.xx

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

What is the tummy thing you are talking about...I have not heard anything about that...I am due to have a single mastectomy in two weeks...I am so scared...I have been diagnosed with first stage cancer.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

What is the tummy thing you are talking about...I have not heard anything about that...I am due to have a single mastectomy in two weeks...

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

I read all this thread before, but I can't remember if anyone mentioned ear plugs!

I didn't take them the first time, and was kept awake by a horrid bird tweeting outside my window from 4am... hehe

This time I decided to take a pair and it was wonderful, not only for the bird (yes, it was still there!) but also for the general night noise in the ward).

I got foam ones, Boots sell them in packs of 3 pairs.

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi all, if you're staying in take magazines! I took my kindle to read but my mum, very sensibly, told my son to buy me magazines. There was no way I could concentrate on reading a book and the magazines were great. 

 

The front opening bra was great advice. I bought one for £7 on eBay (brand new naturally!). Also the advice of pyjamas with button down jacket was great advice.

 

Take wet wipes to freshen up. A packet of biscuits in case you get peckish. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

Pat xx 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Nomadicnorthern girl

Thanks for your reply. There's one near me, so I'll pop down.

Hope your surgery went ok, and that you're not feeling too rough - at least good that it's over.

Coco xx

 

 

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Hi Coco, I just had 2nd surgery 2 days ago and got my button down nighties from matalan. Also bought some button down shirts from there to go out in. 

 

Good luck 

x

Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Thanks Caroluna, I'll have a look.
Highlighted
Member

Re: What to take into hospital?

Try Sleep and Soak, I just got two button front night shirts at a good price!