What to Pack for Day Surgery

Getting all packed up and ready to go for my fourth surgery first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll be undergoing breast revisions including fat grafting and removing excess skin with the hopes that this will be my last surgery. Although I am supposed to be in and out of the hospital within the same day, there are a few things I like to pack with me to not only keep me occupied but just in case my stay ends up being a bit longer than anticipated too. Here’s a list of items that I will be bringing with me for day surgery tomorrow:

1. Book/Magazine/Journal

As many of you know, there can be a lot of time spent waiting before going in for surgery. I always bring a book to help pass the time and to also distract myself a bit from the nerves and butterflies fluttering in my stomach as I wait for my name to be called. Lately, I’ve been reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck which is a hilarious and thought provoking take on the things we value most in life and what it is that’s worth pursuing.

2. Cellphone, headphones & portable phone charger

Just as a book or magazine can be a good distraction, having your cellphone to listen to some music or just scroll through Facebook or Instagram can be a good way to get your mind off things as you wait. Remember to bring your portable charger though just in case you spend a little more time than anticipated waiting to get called in.

3. Medications

Even though I’m scheduled for day surgery and should be in and out of the hospital within the same day, I like to pack any medication I’m on on just in case things don’t go as planned. I normally take my Exemestane in the morning but will need to take it later in the day since I’ll be off food and water for a few hours pre-surgery.

4. Travel wipes and moisturizing products

Surgical iodine is often used to prep the skin before surgery to eliminate any bacteria but it stains your skin leaving you with a pinky/reddish residue. I pack these all natural Caboo bamboo travel wipes with me everywhere I go which work great to clean the iodine off. Eye drops and lip balm are also a staple in my day bag too so I can moisturize my eyes and lips post surgery and feel refreshed.

5. Mini fan

There’s something about surgeries that gets the hot flashes raging and feeling like a volcano is erupting inside my body. My best friend brought me a mini fan after my mastectomy and latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction surgery in June and it was the best thing ever to cool me off post surgery. They are cheap too and can usually be found at your local dollar store or any one of the big box stores.

6. Comfortable clothing

Getting into clothes after surgery can be extremely difficult between the pain and limited range of motion. I always opt for a top that either buttons or zips up or one that I can easily slide on. This Valletta tank top by Amoena is both soft and stretchy and has a built-in bra liner to give a little added support. For bottoms, I choose something that is loose fitting and easy to pull on like yoga or pajama pants. Slip on shoes are also recommended or a pair of hard soled slippers.

7. AnaOno compression bra:

AnaOno pocketed front closure bra

I’ve heard so much about the AnaOno bras and was excited to finally purchase this one through Gorgeous You, a company in Canada that carries mastectomy bras, swimwear and lingerie. This bra clips in the front and has 4 different settings allowing you to tighten or loosen it up to whatever feels most comfortable post surgery.

8. ParkPuff seatbelt pillow

SurvivorModa ParkPuff in Betty Bouquet

A few months ago, I won this amazing ParkPuff from SurvivorModa during the Cancer Grad breast cancer awareness month giveaway and I’ve been using it ever since. It folds and closes over the seatbelt strap in your car and provides cushioning on either side of your chest so you don’t have to worry about the seatbelt pressing into your chest and causing any discomfort post surgery.

9. Snacks!

If you’re like me, you will be absolutely starving post surgery! I’m an all time snacker and lover of food so having to refrain from eating anything after midnight is a challenge. I like to bring a simple and easy snack such as an apple, one of my homemade carrot muffins (recipe coming soon) or a granola bar (I love these honey oat ones from Kind) to get a little something in my belly post surgery and ward off the hunger pangs until I get back home.

Is there anything missing from this list that you would recommend packing for day surgery? I’d love to hear your suggestions below!

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