Finding out you need a mastectomy can feel overwhelming and it may be difficult to focus on the recovery process when you are concerned about preparing for surgery. However, having a few key items on hand before you have your surgery may make the recovery process a little easier for you.
Having a mastectomy can make raising your arms to get dressed uncomfortable and you will likely have some restrictions and limitations post-surgery. You should have several button-down or zip-front blouses on hand to make getting dressed easier. You may want to consider purchasing blouses in a larger size to avoid the material rubbing against sensitive surgical areas.
You will likely have one or more drains placed during surgery that will remain in place a week or two post-surgery. These can get tangled or be annoying if not secured. One way to manage them is to purchase shirts with inside pockets to tuck the drain bulbs in but you can also purchase mastectomy drain holders if desired.
Aprons also make good drain holders if you have trouble finding shirts with inside pockets. It is usually more comfortable to use an apron that ties around the waist rather than one that slips over the head, as it may irritate sensitive chest incisions.
Pillows for comfort
Having a wedge pillow is a good idea for keeping you supported and comfortable when sitting up in bed or on the sofa during recovery. You should also purchase a small pillow to place over tender areas for support when you cough or sneeze. Small pillows are also good for placing between the seatbelt and your skin when riding in a car.
Portable shower seat
If your shower does not have a built-in seat, having a portable shower seat is important in the weeks following surgery. A shower seat will help protect you from falls and make it more comfortable for you to shower when you have drains to manage. You will need to use a drain lanyard when showering to keep the drains dry and secure.
Having the right clothing and accessories on hand when you arrive home from your mastectomy surgery can make your recovery process a little easier. You will need comfortable clothing that does not irritate your skin and small pillows to support sensitive areas. Getting your must-have items ready in the weeks prior to your surgery can help ease your anxiety as you recover.
Contact a local post-mastectomy service, such as Sal-Liz Lingerie, to learn more.
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