Can you ever really be prepared for surgery? Maybe not emotionally, but we do have some tips to help you have your space and life prepared for breast surgery and successful recovery.
Get a Recovery Space Ready
Most surgeons will recommend you rest propped up at an angle for at least the first several days of recovery. This helps you to minimize the amount of pressure you need to put on your upper body to get in and out of bed.
If you have a recliner, claim it! If not, have some extra pillows on hand to keep you propped up in the bed for several days or until your surgeon clears you to use your upper body to get in and out of bed.
We also recommend having a side table, chair or tray table next to your resting station with your medications, plenty of water, phone and phone charged available and within reach should you need them.
Get Your Prescriptions Filled
Many surgeons will go ahead and provide your post-op prescriptions at your pre-operative visit. If you are provided with these, we recommend that you get all of your prescriptions filled before the surgery. This way, your prescriptions are home and ready for you to begin taking them right after surgery- no waiting around at the pharmacy or being dropped off at home and having to wait for your next dose if the pharmacy is running behind.
***Remember to always follow your surgeon’s instructions for taking your medication– just because you’ve picked them early does not mean that you should take them before surgery (unless directed by your surgeon). This tip is simply to have the meds at home ready for your return from surgery.
Have Your Post-Op Bra Washed and Ready to Use
If you’ve been given recommendations on a post-op bra or have been provided one by your surgeon, make sure you get it ahead of time and wash it so it’s ready to wear. You may want to have 2-3 post-op bras on hand so that you can change them out to wash and not have to be without the bra during the initial post-op phase when most surgeons want you wearing a bra around the clock.
During dressing changes blood or other fluids may get on the bra, so having that extra bra while your other is in the wash is very helpful!
If possible, meal prep and have some simple snacks on hand. This is also helpful if you normally cook for the family- having a few healthy meals in the freezer ready to go can save time and help to ensure that you are still getting proper nutrition during recovery. If you’re a member of Chrysalis, we provide recipes that are designed for the post-op period with a focus on healing and recovery.
Ask for Help
Our last tip (and possibly the most important) is to ask for help. Many women feel that they should do everything on their own- even after surgery. Talk with your surgeon about your recovery and if needed, arrange for someone to stay with you for a few days or possibly help with kids. It could be that you arrange for someone to clean your house the week you have surgery so that you can focus on your recovery and not have to worry about housework.
We know that you are strong and capable and look like this on a normal day,
but we also believe in doing everything possible to set yourself up for a successful recovery. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help and to accept help if you need it. This is the time to focus on yourself and your recovery.
These are just a few of our basic tips for preparing for your breast surgery. Be sure and check out the member’s only section for this topic so you have all the info you need! If you’re a member of CHRYSALIS, we will provide you with more detailed instructions on preparing for your surgery.