A Guide to What Is Needed Post-Mastectomy

Most Important Items to Have Post-Mastectomy

  • Drain lanyard for shower - Once surgery is completed, you will most likely have drains that are coming out of your body and being held in place with stitches. You will need this lanyard to ensure that you can shower with less worry about the drains dangling.

  • Mastectomy pillow - THIS WAS MY FAVORITE ITEM! I cannot recommend this enough. It is a pillow that goes underneath the arms and over the breast area to protect your new incision(s), and it will make you feel more secure when hugging people. I purchased mine on Etsy and actually still use it, but now I keep it under my back at night.

  • Shower seat - I had no idea how weak I would be after surgery. Having the shower seat proved to be so helpful, so I could just sit in the shower and relax. I still use this as well (comes in handy sometimes).

  • Detachable shower head - Another item that I never thought of. Yes, I could have just used a regular shower head, but having this detachable one post-surgery definitely made a world of difference. I regained some independence after a few days, so I was able to sit and shower on my own since the shower head was left hanging down for me.

  • Front closure bra with wide compression - Having a compression bra was necessary, as it helps to reduce swelling. It can, however, become very tight, so follow your surgeon’s instructions for it.

  • Wedge pillow - I’m not sure about you, but I know that I love laying on my couch. Having a wedge pillow made propping up a bit easier (on the couch or even in bed). You have to remember - your chest will be very heavy once you begin your expansion process, so this item was clutch!

  • Mastectomy drain jacket - All I could think about was how I was going to hide my drains. I purchased large safety pins to attach them to the inside of my zip-up cotton jackets. That worked fine and is absolutely an option. But, finding a jacket with inside pockets was the way to go! I purchased one at a local store, but they can be found anywhere. I was also gifted a jacket that is fleece and has the inside pockets, as well as zippers for potential ports or IVs, so I will always stay warm.

  • Cotton camis - I wore a cami with a built-in bra EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I would step into it and then pull it up over my body, ensuring that I did not have to lift my arms.

Additional Post-Mastectomy Items

  • 4x4 gauze - You will need gauze to protect your scars and your drain areas, so buy some to have handy.

  • Drainage cups - Most likely your doctor will provide you with these. Having them made measuring my output that much easier. (You have to keep track of how much fluid is draining every few hours.)

  • Large safety pins - These are helpful if you decide you would rather pin your drains to your button-down shirts or jackets.

If sore throat occurs (due to the tube used to help you breathe during surgery):

  • Throat lozenges

  • Throat-numbing spray

  • Tea with honey

  • Popsicles

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