What to pack….

What to pack in your hospital bag?

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.

what to pack


In your bag I would always say have the following….








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 ugly surgical stockings and make you feel nice and cosy.

Supportive non wired bra.

Reco Bra – Reco bra

Front fastening bras are very popular and handy for when you are sore. I wore this bra for my fat grafting surgery and found it very comfortable.


v pillow


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  These are bags I created whilst recovering as theres nothing out there for you to use to carry your drains. They are pretty, soft, discreet and allow you to carry the drains safely meaning you don’t snag or catch them on anything. Using drain dollies means you can wash your hands, make a drink, brush your teeth without the worry of juggling your drains too. They are also very useful when carrying out your physio exercises whilst maintaining a good posture. As well as them being very helpful to recovery they also raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer, a charity who strive to prevent cancer for future generations. They come in a variety of styles and can be purchased from this website link:  Drain dollies website link

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

Jens friends mastectomy pillows-The pillows are used after mastectomy surgery / or any breast surgery to help support and protect the tender chest area. They help by fitting under the arm when doing everyday tasks such as sitting, sleeping, watching TV and when in the car. Jens friends pillows are free and these fantastic people just ask you to donate £3 for postage and packaging of the pillows. The Facebook page can be found by clicking here :Jens friends page

jens friends

Snacks! As we all know hospital food isn’t the greatest. 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 🙂IMG_0238

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


Any questions please contact me and I will get back to you

Good luck

Charley xx



18 thoughts on “What to pack….

  1. Wow charley I have just read your story and what can I say it’s absolutely amazing you are such a young lady who has done something amazing. I only live just outside hale myself so one day I wish to see you either having food or a drink and I will 110% buy you a drink and raise a glass to you!! Keep up the flight babe your fantastic 👊🏼 xx


  2. What a amazing young lady your story will inspire anybody going through this operation. I had a hysterectomy and had everything removed after having abnormal cells. One good thing you dont go through the menopause if everything is taken away. Everything you have gone through you will go through again only the bottom half of your body but as you are a strong determine lady you will get through it with ease when the time comes. Until then sit back and enjoy everyday because as the saying goes today is the first day of the rest of your life. Good luck Charley and take care. What a truly insperational lady.
    Heather xx


  3. Hi Charley, your story really inspired me. I saw it advertised on television and immediately decided to read it. My story is similar, I too have the BRCA 1 gene. Unlike you, I decided to go for an oophorectomy first because I was told I had an 80-90% lifetime risk of contracting ovarian cancer. My next step is to have the DIEP procedure at the end of September. Your story, although not identical, helped me so I decided to do a blog about the DIEP in the hope it might help others. I wondered if you would mind promoting it so we can help get our important message across. My blog is at https://diepdecision.wordpress.com/

    Thanking you and wishing you all the very best of luck in the future.

    Carole Sullivan


  4. I lost my mum and gran to breast cancer. I don’t have the gene but have a 1 in 3+ chance of getting breast cancer. I’ve opted for the double mastectomy and am waiting g to see the psychologist at Wythenshawe. I am 35 and have a 3yr old already but would like another baby. I am nervous about the op n scarring. I only have small boobs now so hope I can have the incision then implant. (Tgey might even be able to enhance them a bit lol) I found your blog fantastic and really helpful. Thank you xxx


    • Your case sounds similar to my own, I’m at about the same stage…. i’m awaiting my app at Manchester. Im 31 and have 3 daughters so this is so important to me for them too. I haven’t yet been tested for the gene but have been told because of my family history, my Gran who has had breast cancer, an auntie who died in her late 20’s from b cancer and my mum recently diagnosed, i’m at 1 in 3 risk too and would be offered the surgery egardless of if I have the gene. x


  5. Hi Charley I know I have spoken to you Previously but I have noticed the ladies comment above (Louise Davies) sounds like a similar case to mine I would love to chat with her as I am at a similar stage. Could you possibly put me in touch with her? x


  6. Hi Charley , congratulations – you have been so brave . My situation is similar to the other ladies above and I am too awaiting psychological appointment before the opp . 1 in 3 risk of developing breast cancer but they can’t actually test for the kind of genre that runs in my family . I have been told I will have surgery this year and would love to be able to chat with the other ladies above – Tara and Louise . Would you be able to pass on details ?


      • Hi,

        No- sorry just Instagram . I added you yesterday – not stalking u, ha ha . Just so glad I’ve found someone who has answered so many questions 😃


      • Haha what’s your Instagram name? Facebook is great as there’s a brca support group with women from all over the country having had surgery or with it coming up. It might be worth joining just for that group?! What’s your email address x


  7. Hey Charley!
    Currently waiting for my results on my genetics test. Your blog has helped me so much confirm my choice. I’m 25 and have decided that I will have preventative surgery, like you, IF I have the gene. My breast are not worth my life. The only good thing that could came from such a gut wrenching result, would be that I can raise awareness like you.
    Thank you!!!


  8. Hi
    I’ve just been told i have DCIS and will need a mastectomy. Its a lot to take in. But came across your story. Its so helpful thank you for posting it. It has answerd some of my questions for now. No doubt i will have more as the my surgery gets nearer.
    Thank you.x


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