Before surgery ???

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ms.sunshine
ms.sunshine Member Posts: 707 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Friday April 16th I'm having a bilateral mastectomy. I want to make sure I have everything I need before surgery. I'm making a Wal-mart run next week. Do I need bandages, wraps etc.. Also what kind of shirts do I need to wear after surgery?
I have large breasts so am I gonna feel off balance when I start walking?

Thanks ladies for all the info.

Comments

  • Dawne.Hope
    Dawne.Hope Member Posts: 823
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    Dear Ms. Sunshine,
    They sent

    Dear Ms. Sunshine,

    They sent me home with bandages, gauze pads and tape. You may want to get some gauze pads and tape, just in case. You'll need a lot of them for the drainage holes.

    The first couple of weeks after surgery, the large surgical pads were the most comfortable for me to place on top of the scars and hold them in place with the bra they send you home with. I found that the actual masectomy scars didn't ooze at all because they were covered in so much glue ... so I could use the surgical pads over and over for a few days in a row. I was able to get them at the local CVS when I ran out.

    BUTTON DOWN SHIRTS!!!! You will need button down shirts because you won't be able to raise your arms over your head. I wore a lot of flannel shirts and zip up shirts.

    Can't help you with the large breast issue ... but I'm sure others will come along soon with more helpful information.

    Praying you'll do great!
    dh
  • karen0423
    karen0423 Member Posts: 67
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    Hi-I would make sure you had
    Hi-I would make sure you had lots of shirts that were button down, also if you have bathrobe it would be great if there were pockets for the drains. Make sure you have safety pins to hold the drains in place. Best of luck to you.
  • TulsaMomof3
    TulsaMomof3 Member Posts: 105
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    karen0423 said:

    Hi-I would make sure you had
    Hi-I would make sure you had lots of shirts that were button down, also if you have bathrobe it would be great if there were pockets for the drains. Make sure you have safety pins to hold the drains in place. Best of luck to you.

    I am planning for the same
    I am planning for the same and have been told that a recliner is your best bet for comfortable sleep, so I am borrowing one from a friend. Bed Bath & Beyond also sells a boomerang pillow, it looks like the shape will be helpfull so I grabed one of those. I also am having my hair done the day before so I don't have to worry about that. I called my church and they have arranged for meals to be brought to my house for 2 weeks after I get home! umm lets see I have started a list for my hosipital bag so if I am not very focused the day I pack I have it all wrote down!
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    other tips
    You've gotten lots of great tips already so, I'll try not to repeat them. I slept in bed on a foam wedge with large pillows on each side to prop my arms up on and one under my knees. This position also kept me from trying to turn on my side in my sleep. It was really painful getting into and out of bed. My husband would cradle me to help me up and down. In the day I slept in a recliner. If I hadn't had help getting in and out of bed I would have stayed in the recliner.
    You will want something to hold onto your drains while in the shower. I used a lanyard (one of those things around your neck that hold a name tag). I liked wearing oversized button up shirts with pockets on the front. I would put my drains in the pockets. The tubing on the drains was so long I kept getting them caught on things, and this helped a lot. Elastic waist pants are easiest. Again, the drain tubes want to get caught in the zipper.
    I stuck mini pads to the inside of my surgical bra for dressings (my surgeons suggestion). That way I didn't have to put tape on my skin (I'm allergic) and mini pads are much cheaper and softer than gauze dressings.
    The 1st few days, take your pain medicine by the clock. I literally set an alarm clock. That way the meds never completely wore off and the pain stayed easily managed. I kept packs of peanut butter crackers with my pain meds to eat each time I took the pills. Pain meds can be rough on the stomach, especially an empty stomach.
    My appetite was lousy after surgery. Knowing our bodies heal much quicker with adequate nutrician you may want to have some of your favorite comfort foods around to tempt you.
    Thats all I can think of right now. Best of luck with your surgery and recovery. Don't hesitate to post any and all questions, issues or concerns. There's always somebody here to support you.
    Hugs, El
  • Dawne.Hope
    Dawne.Hope Member Posts: 823
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    other tips
    You've gotten lots of great tips already so, I'll try not to repeat them. I slept in bed on a foam wedge with large pillows on each side to prop my arms up on and one under my knees. This position also kept me from trying to turn on my side in my sleep. It was really painful getting into and out of bed. My husband would cradle me to help me up and down. In the day I slept in a recliner. If I hadn't had help getting in and out of bed I would have stayed in the recliner.
    You will want something to hold onto your drains while in the shower. I used a lanyard (one of those things around your neck that hold a name tag). I liked wearing oversized button up shirts with pockets on the front. I would put my drains in the pockets. The tubing on the drains was so long I kept getting them caught on things, and this helped a lot. Elastic waist pants are easiest. Again, the drain tubes want to get caught in the zipper.
    I stuck mini pads to the inside of my surgical bra for dressings (my surgeons suggestion). That way I didn't have to put tape on my skin (I'm allergic) and mini pads are much cheaper and softer than gauze dressings.
    The 1st few days, take your pain medicine by the clock. I literally set an alarm clock. That way the meds never completely wore off and the pain stayed easily managed. I kept packs of peanut butter crackers with my pain meds to eat each time I took the pills. Pain meds can be rough on the stomach, especially an empty stomach.
    My appetite was lousy after surgery. Knowing our bodies heal much quicker with adequate nutrician you may want to have some of your favorite comfort foods around to tempt you.
    Thats all I can think of right now. Best of luck with your surgery and recovery. Don't hesitate to post any and all questions, issues or concerns. There's always somebody here to support you.
    Hugs, El

    Stool Softeners
    Constipation was a real problem because of the pain meds. Someone had mentioned on here to take Dulcolax. I went and bought some before the surgery but didn't take it for a few days. That was a problem! They gave me a stool softener but it wasn't enough. Get something that will keep things moving! The last thing you need on top of everything else is constipation!
  • n01kar
    n01kar Member Posts: 26
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    other tips
    You've gotten lots of great tips already so, I'll try not to repeat them. I slept in bed on a foam wedge with large pillows on each side to prop my arms up on and one under my knees. This position also kept me from trying to turn on my side in my sleep. It was really painful getting into and out of bed. My husband would cradle me to help me up and down. In the day I slept in a recliner. If I hadn't had help getting in and out of bed I would have stayed in the recliner.
    You will want something to hold onto your drains while in the shower. I used a lanyard (one of those things around your neck that hold a name tag). I liked wearing oversized button up shirts with pockets on the front. I would put my drains in the pockets. The tubing on the drains was so long I kept getting them caught on things, and this helped a lot. Elastic waist pants are easiest. Again, the drain tubes want to get caught in the zipper.
    I stuck mini pads to the inside of my surgical bra for dressings (my surgeons suggestion). That way I didn't have to put tape on my skin (I'm allergic) and mini pads are much cheaper and softer than gauze dressings.
    The 1st few days, take your pain medicine by the clock. I literally set an alarm clock. That way the meds never completely wore off and the pain stayed easily managed. I kept packs of peanut butter crackers with my pain meds to eat each time I took the pills. Pain meds can be rough on the stomach, especially an empty stomach.
    My appetite was lousy after surgery. Knowing our bodies heal much quicker with adequate nutrician you may want to have some of your favorite comfort foods around to tempt you.
    Thats all I can think of right now. Best of luck with your surgery and recovery. Don't hesitate to post any and all questions, issues or concerns. There's always somebody here to support you.
    Hugs, El

    other tips
    noticed you were given lots of good advice. MOst insurance companies pay for nursing home care visits. I had a nurse coming in for the 1st week, 2 times a day and it was very helpfull. They checked blood pressure (dont forget you cannot have your bp on your arms any more, they will have to use your legs. Always have your legs higher than you heart, so make sure you are in a lying down position with no pillows) They will check the scar incision as well as the drain site. If you dont have nursing care, and you cannot handle "milking" the drain, enlist one of your family members to do so. It is relatively simple, but sometimes the drain is placed in such an awkard position , it might be hard for you address the care of the drain. I cannot emphasize dont baby your arms. The sooner you get out of that bed the faster the recovery. I was walking around the block in 2 days. after my 2nd masectomy.

    Hope all goes well and if you are in severe pain while in the hospital, ask for a morphine pump. Also , dont get constipated, invest in colace while on pain meds.

    karlene
  • TawnyS
    TawnyS Member Posts: 144 Member
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    First of all good luck to
    First of all good luck to you! Now, I made sure I bought cute jammies! I splurged and bought I think like a Ralph Lauren two piece outfit (button up) and I found these zipper up lounger things at Bealls (I guess that is just maybe a Florida store). Anyway, I am 36...they were a little older style than what I wanted, but looked so cute with some lounger pants I found at Target. I just wanted very cute and feminine things for after surgery so I felt that way. Especially because I didn't have any reconstruction after. And I wore jammies for a couple of weeks and because they were new and so cute I didn't mind my friends and family coming over and seeing me in them. Also, I found slip on crocs worked better for me that slippers at the hospital. You don't want anything that you need to bend down to put on...and new crocs have good tread and you won't slip in the hospital. I also didn't get the cami with the drain bulb pockets....somehow that was a major oversight. I would think you would want to get that prior to surgery. Since I didn't have it I used a couple of long silky scarves I had. My surgeon put safty pins through the tabs on the bulbs and numbered them and I kept them pinned on a scarve tied around my waist. When I showered...which I did every night with the help of my amazing husband..I would tie a satin ribbon around my neck (loosely) and pinned the bulbs to that. They can get wet but it was nice having them up off me waist for a bit. If you have a pain pump that cannot get wet. Mine was in a fanny pack with a long strap and I have a fan in my bathroom....we just hung it from there. Of course I was so nervous that my husband would accidentally turn that thing on while it was hooked up there. I don't even want to think of the pain that would cause! Anyway, if you take a chair in the bathroom with you maybe you can hang it on that...but I suggest not doing this without someone there to help you. Also on your Wal-Mart run get some extra pillows if you don't have several at home. I've noticed on other posts several women talk about making a nest. That's what you do....just prop yourself up in this little pillow nest. Make sure the drain tubes (other than while you are showering) are always going with gravity, too. I made the mistake of keeping them pinned up high at first and that was a no no. One other thing to get on your shopping trip....nice smelling lotions. Have someone just rub you down with it after you clean up and it is such a moral booster! Candles are a great pick me up, too! I hope this help! Oh, thank you cards, too! You'll need 'em! : )

    Cute and feminine jammies
    crocs or something like it
    good smelling lotions
    candles
    pillows
    thank you cards
  • mirj523
    mirj523 Member Posts: 22
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    Sunshine
    Comfortable pjs that button up in the front. I stayed in my pjs most of the time for 2 weeks and I had chills alot so my pjs were flannel. Also a "husband" the kind you use as a pillow, I slept in an upright position for weeks. Best of luck to you.
  • Tux
    Tux Member Posts: 544
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    You have gotten lots of
    You have gotten lots of great advice here. The only thing I can add is that you need to avoid constipation at all costs--I drank prune juice from day one to keep things going, but everyone is different. Also, I asked for an anti-nausea med to take with the pain meds and
    had no trouble with nausea. Also, after one surgery I got a bladder infection because I did not drink enough liquid (I did not want to get up to use bathroom.) Oh yes, I made a chart for taking the pain meds and checked them off when I took them. Keep your pain meds on schedule & don't let the pain get ahead of you. I wish you the best.
  • jeanne_vinet
    jeanne_vinet Member Posts: 8
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    Friend
    I am having the same type of surgery as you. I have a surgery coming up April 23, 2010. I pray that you will make it through it. I pray that you will have a lot of great support especially for your after care..... God Bless you and remember that I am going to be praying... Jeanne vinet
  • DebbyM
    DebbyM Member Posts: 3,289 Member
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    n01kar said:

    other tips
    noticed you were given lots of good advice. MOst insurance companies pay for nursing home care visits. I had a nurse coming in for the 1st week, 2 times a day and it was very helpfull. They checked blood pressure (dont forget you cannot have your bp on your arms any more, they will have to use your legs. Always have your legs higher than you heart, so make sure you are in a lying down position with no pillows) They will check the scar incision as well as the drain site. If you dont have nursing care, and you cannot handle "milking" the drain, enlist one of your family members to do so. It is relatively simple, but sometimes the drain is placed in such an awkard position , it might be hard for you address the care of the drain. I cannot emphasize dont baby your arms. The sooner you get out of that bed the faster the recovery. I was walking around the block in 2 days. after my 2nd masectomy.

    Hope all goes well and if you are in severe pain while in the hospital, ask for a morphine pump. Also , dont get constipated, invest in colace while on pain meds.

    karlene

    Good luck to you for your
    Good luck to you for your surgery on Friday!
  • jikaras
    jikaras Member Posts: 58
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    Constipation
    Someone mentioned Constipation...

    After my bi-lateral mast, I was also constipated. The visiting nurse told me to but a bottle of prune juice, warm it up and drink it. Within 30 minutes I started going. Took another glass and everything was fine there-after (I won't get into the details!)

    My sister has MS, and sometimes has the same problems. I told her my remedy, she tried it with the same success.

    Good Luck to you!
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
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    mirj523 said:

    Sunshine
    Comfortable pjs that button up in the front. I stayed in my pjs most of the time for 2 weeks and I had chills alot so my pjs were flannel. Also a "husband" the kind you use as a pillow, I slept in an upright position for weeks. Best of luck to you.

    Sending you prayers and
    Sending you prayers and support for your surgery this week!

    HUGS!