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Going into hospital

Find out about what you need to take in, what to expect, and how to prepare to make it less stressful.

You’ll probably go into hospital on the day of your operation.

What to take with you

Take in:

  • nightgowns or pyjamas
  • underwear
  • dressing gown
  • slippers
  • contact lenses, solution, glasses and a case
  • wash bag with soap, a flannel or sponge, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • sanitary wear or tampons
  • razor
  • towel
  • small amount of money
  • medicines you normally take
  • magazines, books
  • headphones and music to listen to
  • a tablet or smartphone for web browsing, entertainment and phone calls

Bring a well fitting, non-wired bra for after your surgery. This will give support to your wound and make you more comfortable. You might want to take one in a darker colour and slightly larger than normal.

Time in hospital

Many people go home on the same day as their operation. Others are in hospital for about 2 to 7 days. The length of your stay depends on the type of operation you have and your recovery.

Family and friends

Your family or friends can go in with you to help you settle in. You’ll need to check the time of your operation and when the visiting times are.

The time it takes to do the operation depends on the type of surgery you have. Most operations take a few hours. The nurse will give you numbers for your family or friends to phone to find out how you are.

Before you go into hospital

It’s worth sorting out a few things before you go into hospital. These might include:

  • work
  • care for children or other loved ones
  • care for your pets
  • care for your house
  • cancelling your milk or newspapers

People go home very early after surgery these days. It is important that you don’t do too much and make yourself very tired. So it might help to prepare or buy some meals in advance that you can just heat up once you are at home.

You won’t be able to drive for a while after surgery so you will need to organise a friend or relative to take you home if possible.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.