FAQs

Some common questions surrounding surgery and genetic mutations.  Please feel free to contact me personally also.

How many Drain Dollies will I need?
It is recommended that two Drain Dollies are used for a double mastectomy and one drain dolly for a single mastectomy. This is so that each bag can sit comfortably on your shoulder.
How long did it take when you found out you had the gene to making the decision?
I decided pretty much straight away that I wanted to have the surgery. I knew I just couldn't take that risk, I wanted the risk reducing.
Once you decided how long did it take until you had the operation?
The process of having the testing to actually going in for the operation was just over a year. It takes a long time and there are various people you have to see during the whole process.
What should I pack?
It is important that when you go into hospital you have everything you need, along with a few home comforts to make you feel better. Feeling prepared for surgery will relieve some of the anxiety.

Dressing gown and slippers to walk down to theatre

Comfy clothes or PJ’s, remember you will have drains so something loose fitting, front fastening although I just wore baggy vests/t-shirts.

Knickers and socks. Fluffy socks are nice to wear over your surgical stockings and make you feel nice and cosy.

Post op Bra

V pillow – I found this really useful when sitting in a chair and also in bed. It took the pressure away from my drain sites and made me comfortable

Its handy to have plenty of pillows on your bed at home, I found it difficult to get from lying flat sleeping, to getting up. If you have plenty of pillows you can build a fort to prop you up to make getting up easier.

Drain Dollies
 
Face wipes

Shower gel

Deodorant (roll on maybe best,)

Toothbrush (some ppl prefer electric so less movement) & toothpaste.

Dry shampoo- you may not be able to wash your hair for a while, hair brush and bobbles.

Scented moisturiser can often make you feel fresh and clean. Obviously all toiletries need to be kept away from your breasts/wounds.

You may wish to take your own home towel and facecloth instead of using the hospital ones. This made me feel a bit more at home.

Things to keep you entertained- Magazines, books, i pod, i pad, adult colouring book, jigsaws,anything you usually do to relax.

Phone charger extra long or take an extension lead.

A photo of your family to have by your bed.

A list of any medications you normally take to give to the pharmacist.

Small amount of money- You may wish to purchase a TV card.

Earplugs- the wards can often be quite noisy and therefore its difficult to get to sleep. I didn’t use these I was out like a light but if you struggle to get to sleep it may be a good idea.

Eye mask

Hand sanitizer

A fan – if you get hot

Jen's Friends pillows

Snacks! As we all know hospital food isn’t the best. Often you aren’t wanting full meals so its nice to take in a few of your favourite snacks to nibble on as and when. Boiled sweets are also a good idea to suck on if you don’t have much appetite.

Any drinks you like, I took orange cordial to dilute water with to give it a bit of taste.

Sports bottle- as its difficult to sit upright to drink from a glass its a good idea to take a sports bottle that can be filled with drink so you don’t need to sit bolt upright to take a sip.

Bowels! Often when given heavy pain medication and after surgery your bowels begin to slow! Some people swear by prunes, or maybe just a simple laxative to keep things moving

Arnica Tablets- these are natural tablets I took which to help with swelling and bruising, I didn’t bruise at all.

What pain killers did you take afterwards?
I was on paracetamol and tramadol. Everybody's pain thresholds are different and some people have a morphine pump. I also took laxatives because strong pain killers tend to bung me up.
What did you find difficult doing after your op?
Everyday things: washing hair, tying hair up, going to the toilet. This is why I created Drain Dollies as it makes doing such activities so much easier.
Do you have to wear a Bra straight away?
I had medical tape holding my boobs in position so it wasn't completely necessary straight away. After a few days when I was more mobile I wore comfy crop off type bras which had good support. I'm still wearing those now.
When can you exercise again?
I haven't started exercising again yet as I still feel soreness from time to time. I would always ask your surgeon about this as it depends on the type of reconstruction you have.
Useful links
Jen's Friends mastectomy pillows.
 
These pillows can be placed under the arm following surgery designed for comfort and protection. The pillows are provided for free and these fabulous ladies just ask you pay for postage.
 
The Reco Bra
 
http://www.recoheart.com This new post surgical bra is fantastic for post surgery.  The seamless design reduces irritation of incision sites, especially under the bust area.
I'd love to tell other people about Drain Dollies - how can I do that?

Great!  You can download our Drain Dollies poster to display in your local clinic or surgery.

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