I read so many of these prior to my top surgery and they all said exactly the same things, but yet I hardly used any of the items they were recommending. That's why I've decided to list everything I used and couldn't of lived without. I hope it helps! (I've made a little checklist at the bottom of this post so you can tick off what you have).
E 4 5 B o d y W a s h
This wasn't something that I was told I had to use, but I personally felt more comfortable using something that wasn't full of chemicals and fragrances. My mum had Breast Cancer a couple of years ago and her surgeon made her use this, so that was were the idea came from. I just felt that using a "normal" body wash when you have open wounds isn't the safest of ideas. It's fragrance free and very gentle on the skin.
B i n d e r s
99% of the time you'll be supplied with a binder from your hospital, BUT YOU NEED TWO. I can't stress this enough. After a week of wearing this thing 24/7, the smell was making me feel sick (and I'm not exaggerating). If you want to ask your hospital for a second one then you can, but if they only have enough supplies to give you one, your going to need to look for other options. I'll link one that I have found on eBay, but if you want to search for alternatives you'll find a load of options under the term "Abdominal Binder". This is what most hospitals actually use for chest binders.
P i l l o w s
My surgery took place a few hours away from my house, so after my night in hospital I stayed in a hotel for a couple of days. I'm really picky about pillows (even more so after surgery), so take a pillow from home! You won't regret it. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable in bed, you're going to be spending a lot of time in one so you might as well make it comfortable. A V-pillow is also something I can't recommend enough. I'm still using mine now (not because I need to, just because it's so frickin comfy). It's a nice way to prop yourself up as well.
M e d i c a t i o n s & S u p p l e m e n t s
Before I start this one, please check with your surgeon before you take any of the things that I mention (I don't have enough money for you to sue me). Before surgery I took a Vitamin C Supplement and Arnica pills. Vitamin C is great for helping your immune system (and the last thing you want is to be ill before or after surgery). I'd never heard of Arnica before, but my surgeon got me to take 2 pills 4 times a day between meals leading up to and after surgery (2 weeks before and one week after). I also started to take Lactulose a few days before surgery (probably too much information, but I've had constipation before and Lactulose takes a few days to get into your system, so get that stuff in you early). I was lucky and wasn't to bunged up after surgery, but I also had some senakot with me as well, just in case I needed to take it alongside the lactulose.
F i b r e
Again, constipation is a bitch. Get plenty of fibre in before surgery and for the first two weeks after. I drank a smoothie every day, as well as trying to eat a ton of veggies. I also ate fibre one bars, these are a god send. 5g of fibre per bar. The recommended dose of fibre per day is around 20-30g depending on age, gender, etc.
C l o t h i n g
Every one goes on about button up shirts, but to be honest I didn't really wear mine that often. I lived in oversized vest tops. I was able to put t shirts back on after only a couple of days, so maybe don't invest too heavily in button up shirts. I found them to be sort of uncomfortable as well. Even if you can't get the vest over your head, if it's oversized you should be able to step into it and it's way more comfortable to lie around in.
B o r e d o m
I was soooooooo bored after surgery. Make sure you get a big book to read, a load of films to watch and a long charging cable. I only managed two of those things... I ignored everyones advice on the long charging cable. Big mistake! Get one.
So that's pretty much everything I used (or wished I'd used) before and after surgery. I'd suggest making a list and ticking everything off as you go along. The last thing you want is to get to the big day and realise you have forgotten something really important.
P a c k i n g l i s t
Vitamin C Supplement
Button Up Shirts
Old T-shirts that you don’t mind getting stained