17 Things You Need for Reconstructive Breast Surgery - I'm Taking Charge

17 Things You Need for Reconstructive Breast Surgery

17 Things You Need for Reconstructive Breast Surgery
14 Jul 2016

“How will I ever figure out what I need before my reconstructive breast surgery?”

Let’s make a list by gathering all the best tips together in one place. A checklist will ease the tsunami of thoughts that flood the mind before any major surgery. Hopefully by making this list it will help create a feeling of comfort and control by being as well prepared as possible.

 

 

#1 Recovery Time

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Know the recovery time for your type of reconstruction. Make arrangements. It may help to allow a little extra time, especially if your job is strenuous or involves heavy lifting.

 

#2 A Caregiver

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You will need someone to help out, a caregiver of sorts. If you are living by yourself you need to arrange for rides to and from the hospital, to follow up appointments and whatever errands you might need run during recovery. Make a list of all the things that will need to be done. Coordinate and delegate all the responsibilities for your kids, pets or significant other.

 

#3 Completed Paperwork

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Take care of the household things like cleaning and paying bills before going in for surgery. This is also a good time to finalize insurance or any financial arrangements for surgery.

 

#4 Freezer Meals

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Arrange or prepare and freeze meals, at least one to two weeks worth.

 

#5 Healthy Circulatory System

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Quit smoking (at least temporarily)! It constricts blood flow and interferes with healing. Some surgeons recommend as much as four weeks before surgery. Ask your surgeon to give you a recommendation.

 

#6 Drug-Free Body

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Check with your surgeon about when and what specific over-the-counter drugs and vitamins you should stop taking.

 

#7 Up-to-Date Medical Records

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Make sure you have scheduled lab tests and filled prescriptions, and that your medical records are up to date.

 

#8 Well-Stocked Hospital Bag

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With your surgeon, make a “surgery shopping list” of what you will need to have on hand . For example, a few practical items like a good skin cleanser. You can use it one to two days prior to your surgery. It can help decrease the chance of infections. Keep on hand an antibacterial, unscented foamy soap for after your procedure. It’s pretty gentle to wash with and still gets everything clean. Pick up some bacitracin or polysporin antibiotic ointment and some q-tips. Generic is fine and cheaper. Pain medication can be constipating so check with your surgeon for recommendations on what you can take to prevent constipation.

 

#9 Comfy Recovery Seat

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A recliner or comfortable chair and a few extra pillows to put underneath your knees and have around when you sleep may help keep you comfortable after surgery. Also a pillow for the car ride home.

 

#10 Open-Front Tops

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Make sure that you have a few shirts that button or zip up the front, as well pajamas that button up the front to wear after surgery. It will be difficult to put clothes over your head at first.

 

#11 Special Bra

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The Marla Hope Bra (click to read about it)

Your physician may recommendation a special bra, and ask if you need a prescription for the bra. It’s possible your insurance company will cover the cost of a bra.

 

#12 Detachable Shower Head

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A detachable shower head may make post-op showering easier.

 

#13 Measuring Cup for Drain Bulb Liquid

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If you will have drains, put a measuring cup next to your bathroom sink so that you can easily estimate the amount of liquid that has drained into the collection bulb..

 

#14 Dressings

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Don’t forget dressings for your incisions. Sometimes regular gauze sticks. It has been suggested that maxi pads or panty liners can be used, because they areit’s inexpensive and doesn’t stick to incisions like regular gauze.

 

#15 Important Phone Numbers

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Keep all your important phone numbers programmed into your phone. Especially your plastic surgeon and your caregiver’s numbers.

 

#16 I.D. & Insurance

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Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license and insurance card to the hospital. You won’t be wearing contacts, so bring your eyeglasses and an eyeglass case. If you’re having outpatient surgery you’ll want to have these in the car for the ride home. Oh, and crackers to eat for nausea on the ride home.

 

#17 Secure Valuables

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Leave all your valuables, jewelry, credit cards, purse and money at home!

 

Hopefully we have created a helpful checklist to prepare you for reconstructive breast surgery. If you think of anything we have forgotten, or if you have a hot tip we haven’t listed, please feel free to add to this list by posting in the comments! Thank you!

 

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Robin Gardner

Comments

  1. A drain belt is crucial! Holds those drains so you don’t have to worry about them

  2. Robin Gardner : July 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks…Great suggestion Lori! Hope we get some more suggestions we might have missed.

  3. These are really amazing list. Thanks for sharing really helpful.

    • Sally Casey : April 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      You’re welcome, Mikey! Remember that if you’re looking for anything in particular, you can always use the search tool at the top right of the webpage.

  4. Joy Grady-Hilton : April 13, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Creativity sets in. You can use safety pins to pin the drain bulbs inside of a baggy shirt so they won’t be seen when you go out in public. I took a shoelace and pinned the bulbs to the end of them and hung them around my neck for bathing, flipped them to the back so I could wash my hair. You can drive when you get the drains out, unless you’re still taking pain meds. I had a bi-lateral and took them for two days. That’s it. Some may have to take longer, it depends on you! I would suggest to get a camisole for sleep wear with interior pockets for the bulbs so you can sleep without laying all over the tubes. They tubes are long. April 24, 2017 I will 4 years out from diagnosis.

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