Going into hospital

You usually go into hospital on the day of your breast surgery.

What to take with you

You may want to take in:

  • nightgowns or pyjamas
  • underwear
  • dressing gown
  • slippers
  • contact lenses, solution, glasses and a case
  • wash bag - flannel, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
  • sanitary towels
  • 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

Before you go into hospital, it might be worth checking:

  • whether the ward is allowing visitors
  • if they have set visiting times
  • the best number for friends and family to phone, to find out how you are

The letter you receive before your operation may contain this information. But if not, you can phone the ward or hospital reception to find out.

You can use your mobile phone in hospital. But there may be some time before and after your operation when you won’t have your mobile nearby. And you may not feel like talking.

Before you go into hospital

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

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

Going home after surgery

People go home very early after surgery these days. It is important that you don’t do too much and make yourself very tired. Your nurse can give you advice on exercises you can do at home to help build up your strength. 

You will need someone to take you home and stay with you overnight if you have day surgery. For a longer stay in hospital it's helpful if a friend or relative could take you home, if possible.

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