Preparation for Surgery
(Essentials in bold if you’re money-tight, but I would seriously consider everything on this list. Obviously don’t buy what you already have)
- Button Up Shirts or/and Zip Up Hoodies
(easier to put on & take off due to being unable to lift arms up)
- Comfy sweatpants
(easier to pull them down/up & take them off and they’re comfy^^)
- Slippers or flipflops
(easier to slip on and take off, which saves bending over)
- Hats or Beanies
(to cover that gross hair in the first week without a shower)
- No perfume, no colour, sensitive skin soap.
(To wash with for the next few months after surgery. ‘Simple’ is a good brand. Otherwise avoid using shower gel for 6 weeks)
- Arnica Tablets
(taken to help with the bruising a week before & after surgery)
- Bio Oil & scar treatments
(Can be applied once scars are dry and healing)
- Vitamin C
(Boosts immune-system and thus recovery)
- Ginger tea (NOT GINGER TABLETS)
(Help to stop any feeling of sickness)
- Baby wipes / Wet Ones
(To help keep your body clean until you can shower)
(If you have trouble taking a shit - especially if you take Codeine)
- First Aid Kit
(just encase! You will be given some spare gauze and stuff though)
- Paper Tape
(For the dressings post op. Though you’ll get a roll after your post op appointment to put over your incisions)
- Dry Shampoo
(Helpin’ that hair look slightly less gross!)
- Neck rest / travel pillow
(Comfort when traveling back from hospital and travel in general)
(makes drinking much easier & requires less arm movement)
- Extra Pillows
(Place these under your knees and under your head/back to elevate you while you sleep on your back! It helps)
- The Food Doctor
(Healthy ready meal alternatives, can be found on Amazon)
- Green Tea and detox teas
- Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Plenty of water
- Healthy home made frozen meals ready to microwave
(Makes cooking quick and easy but still healthy)
- Healthy snacks to munch on
(like nut mixes, dried fruit, yogurt bars etc… rather than junk food. Your body is healing, help it along.)
- Move everything in the house to being in reach
- Make sure you have a primary carer for the first week, especially the first three days because it will be hell on your own.
- Find a couple of films and series you wanna watch in the first week
- Pick out a couple of books to read
- Tidy and clean your house/room a day or two before surgery
(Makes everything simple and easy to move around in, also a more positive and clean environment to be in while recovering)
- Change sheets and wash any clothes you wanna wear etc before
- Prep your bed so you can sleep sitting up slightly, lots of pillows help!
Physical and Emotional preparation:
- Eat healthily in the months leading up to surgery
- Plenty of fresh fruit and veg
- BALANCED diet at least two good meals a day
- Plenty of water
- Cut out processed foods, high sugars and salts
- I recommend looking into ordering recipe boxes if you’re tight on cash/struggle to make healthy meals yourself every day.
- Smoothies are a great time for 5 a day
- Snack on dried fruits, nuts, yogurt biscuits instead of junk.
- Stop smoking asap. Seriously, stop. Doesn’t matter how long until your surgery, the sooner you quit the better all round - surgery is a great motivation to quit smoking. Vape pens are a good alternative, be strict with yourself. Try to stop vaping in the month before your op or go down to 0mg of nicotine if you still need the feel of vaping/smoking. Do not vape or smoke for 2 weeks before your op. You’ll lose ur nips.
- Stop drinking alcohol at least one month before, in my opinion giving yourself as much time away from it is much better to help detox your body and get healthy (alcohol is generally shit for you so cutting down or stopping is pretty good anyway, and surgery is a perfect excuse!)
- Exercise. Pushups and flies will help to develop your pectoral muscle, bring down the breast size and help the surgeon place your incisions. Crunches, sittups, squats, and various exercises will help to keep the rest of your body fit and speed up your recovery (you’re gonna be recovering and potatoing for a while, get your body in a better state so it heals well and quickly). Cardio, jogging on the spot, starjumps and knees-up, gets your blood flowing, helps to get you nice and healthy for the op and recovery. Look up exercise routines on youtube!
- Do a lot of internal reflecting and focus on your mind as well as your body. You need to psychologically prepare for surgery and that doesn’t happen over night. It’s also very difficult to do this, I really struggled to. It’s perfectly normal to feel scared, nervous, or feel like it’s a big deal, it’s a huge deal. You’re losing something that’s been there for a long time, you’re going through major surgery, and you’re finally getting something you’ve been awaiting for a long time!
- Try not to have an ideal vision of what your chest will be like, don’t expect anything, try not to compare it to other chests, especially cis male chests. The first time you see it, it’ll look pretty rough, take it in slowly, learn to re-accept it as your own. It can take time to learn to love yourself all over again, but welcome your new chest with an open mind.
Tips and General Advice:
- Make sure you have all your questions and concerns written down before your pre op appointment to take with you - if you have any more later or forgot to ask something, call the hospital or your surgeon’s office to ask them. Otherwise ask on the day of your op if it can wait that long.
- Write down all the tips and advice they give you even if you don’t think you’ll forget them.
- If you can, take a cheque in for both payments to the surgeon and the hospital on the day of your pre op appointment. This will give you plenty of time if there’s a problem with the payment and is also much easier than stressing out a few days before. Otherwise make sure you pay a week before online, so if there’s a problem you’ll have time to fix it.
- Don’t underestimate or overestimate how big this surgery is, how much time you’ll need or how many thing’s you realistically need to buy/prepare. Obviously it would be better to overestimate as it’ll leave you more prepared, but there’s some things you just won’t need/need to do. Think carefully about yourself, your situation and how you deal with pain and how you like to be comfortable. If you forget anything you can always get it later on! So here’s some tips for that:
- - Write a detailed list and slowly check through it cutting down on things if you think you’ll need to. See what you can use in the house and what you’ll need to buy. Be minimalist if you’re trying to save money.
- - Make sure you have plenty of time booked of work/school/uni, if you go back early it’s much less of a problem than being back late.
- - Really take the time to research what you’re about to be put through, speak to others who’ve been in the same boat and realistically think about how you will actually be affected and how you will actually feel after surgery. This will help to stop you from having unrealistic expectations of your physical appearance and capabilities, your mentality after the op and to help stop yourself from become lazy.
- - Again, honestly try your best not to expect anything of your chest, try not to worry about how it will look, how the nips will be, whether the scars will be straight or narrow or whatever. Be ready to have to learn to accept your new chest however it looks. Be ready for a huge emotional change. Don’t brush off these kinds of things, they’re just as important for your healing as everything else on this list.
Follow @jamie-pyro for non-binary & trans related info and to follow my personal experience and progress as a non-binary transmasculine bean!