RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY TIPS (WHAT YOUR DOCTORS DON’T TELL YOU)
Sure, your medical team will tell you how to physically prepare for breast reconstruction surgery but what about all of the extra info that only comes from those who have been there, done that? We’ve got you covered. Our community weighs in on everything from what to pack in your hospital bag to dealing with the other after-effects of surgery. Here’s what you need to know.
WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG
If you’re a stranger to the cold hard floors of the hospital, you’ll want to know this: slippers are a necessity for your stay. We love the idea of recycling freebee hotel slippers that are just too good to toss but of course, your fave toasty pair will also do just fine. Just make sure they are easy to slip on.
You’ll also want to ensure you have some comfy button up pjs since they’ll make for easy access, plus, they’ll also come in handy when lifting your arms is just not possible. If you are someone who has found their favourite pillow (not too soft but not too hard), then bring yours if you are staying the night. Your head will thank you while sleeping on the hard hospital bed. And for the car ride home, bring a small pillow to place between your sensitive surgery site and the seat belt (also helpful to use when you have a port).
A great way to pass all of that waiting time pre-and-post surgery and recovery at the hospital? A playlist of your fave podcasts or tablet for bingeing your current show obsession. Have you seen the latest season of Fleabag?! Get some music inspo from Rethink’s Spotify channel here.
THINGS TO INVEST IN FOR AT HOME, POST-SURGERY
Dealing with drains is a post-surgery reality that people often question the most. One thing to help you deal: Invest in a post-surgery bra with built-in drain pockets (out of sight but maybe not mind!). We really like the varieties from AnaOno and Amoena. You can also ask your surgeon for suggestions to get one at a medical equipment store to get fitted and speak to the experts directly. A comfy robe with pockets is also useful to hold your drains (and something you can live in for the first bit at home).
To help make your recovery a smooth one, make sure you have extra pillows (some even used a wedge pillow) on standby to prop yourself up and make getting in and out of bed a bit easier, prepared meals at the ready (a great ask from your friends and fam who want to help) and bendable straws to help drink all the water. A pill organizer can also come in handy when the pesky child lock won’t let you get into the bottle post-surgery (and they don’t have to be like the boring ones your grandparents use).
And finally, since sponge baths will become a fast reality post-surgery, we recommend a sponge to help you reach all of the important bits. A cute one can be found here 😉