If you are facing an upcoming breast surgery, we have some suggestions for three key items to pack in your hospital bag that may help you to feel better prepared for your hospital stay and surgery recovery.
No doubt you will be packing some pyjamas in your case, but a key tip would be to make sure the pyjama top is front-opening. This is especially helpful if you are having lymph nodes removed as it may be painful to raise your arms at first. Button-down pyjamas will help you change easily without raising your arms and allow hospital staff to check your wound with minimum fuss. We recommend light and loose cotton pyjamas with buttons down the front.
Following on from the front-opening pyjamas, a front-opening bra is also a key item to pack. Here at Roches we have a number of options to suit your budget and requirements.
For example, the Frances bra from Amoena, €28, is a very popular choice and is available in a variety of pretty colours and patterns.
There is also the Royce Comfi bra, €38, available in black and white, with three button fasteners and suitable for an A or B cup.
We also stock Irish company Theya Healthcare’s beautiful post-surgery bras, €60, which are made from bamboo fibre and have proven anti-bacterial benefits, perfect for the days immediately after your surgery.
All of these bras are pocketed on both sides and are suitable for after a lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery. You are welcome to make an appointment to come and try any of the bras we have with no obligation to purchase.
Mastectomy & Bra Company Amoena have just recently launched drain pouches – another item that we think is very helpful for after a breast surgery. It is a soft cotton fabric pouch about the size of an orange but flat, with velcro on the top. It holds and protects any surgical drains that may be used in the immediate days after your surgery. Many patients are well enough to go home a day or two after surgery with their drains, returning after a few days to have them removed. These handy pouches will stop the drain getting caught or snagged on anything and conceal them too. Amoena’s drain pouch works very well with the Frances bra but it also works with other bras too. These are €10 for pack of 2 and are 95% cotton.
Holly Kennedy, Editor of Happy Magazine, Ireland’s cancer support magazine, spoke to us recently about her personal experience of breast surgery and was happy for us to share her story as part of this post.
I had a lumpectomy surgery as part of my breast cancer treatment in June 2017. Beforehand, my hospital breast care nurses advised I buy a sports bra for after the surgery – to provide wire-free, firm support. I didn’t know there were different options available when it came to breast surgery bras and so went off to a high-street store one Saturday. Yes, I found a sports bra with a front-opening zip and a second bra with no wires, but the experience was not a good one. It was no fault of the store, but rather more that my shopping trip was filled with anxiety about the surgery, not knowing what options might be available that were most appropriate and feeling generally embarrassed and filled with self-pity. The fitting assistant didn’t ask me why I was choosing the particular bras I had, probably because I had a firm ‘please don’t ask me’ face on. If she had asked, I think I would have broken down in tears. Instead, I got sized, bought the bras as fast as I could and high-tailed it home.
The surgery came and went. In the days immediately after, I spent longer in hospital than anticipated due to an unexpected infection. Initially I could not bear the thought of putting my sports bra on – in my mind I thought it would only add to the pain I was experiencing – but after encouragement from the surgical team, I finally put it on under my pyjamas. They had said it would help me feel better, and they were right. I really did feel better with it on and the support actually helped the pain rather than adding to it.
Now that I know about Roches through my work with Anne and Happy Magazine, I wish I had known about her business before my surgery. Anne and the team at Roches are professional, kind and caring – many of them have been down the breast surgery route themselves already too – and they have so many tips and helpful products to offer for breast surgery. A visit to Roches before my surgery would have helped me to feel more supported and less alone, and seeing all the options for beautiful bras and swimwear would have helped me feel more positive for the future.
If you have an upcoming breast surgery, why not make an appointment with us to see how we can help? Call us on (01) 492 6829.