What to bring or have ready at home for surgery?

I’m sure this has been posted before. I tried looking under the resources tab but couldn’t find it.
What did you bring to the hospital or wish that you had?
What did you have ready at home or wish that you had?
I don’t have any shirts that button…is that going to be a problem? I think I remember reading that you can’t (or don’t want to) lift your arms after surgery.
Thanks :slight_smile:

I brought v-neck T-shirts with me, and still wear them most days. Especially when the staples were in, I liked the extra room getting things on and off. My son liked having his cell phone in the hospital. He has one of those little stands that turn it into a clock, and we put it up bedside for him so he had a sense of the time, what was going on the world. If you have a favorite cotton robe, you might want that for the exciting moments when they let you walk with the physical therapists. You won't need much. Leave your jewelry and rings and watch and stuff at home.

Hahaha! That’s an awesome purse story!
Off topic, but when we’re/ are you able to lift more than 5 lbs? I have two kids under 3 years old and I lift weights. Wondering how soon I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things.




Emmaline said:

I went home alone, so on that day a friend did some grocery shopping for me. My favorites and some frozen meals I could pop in the microwave. I did not have any trouble putting clothes on over my head, maybe some do. But was told not to lift anything over 5lbs. Just brought what ever personal care items with me to the hospital, we’re not really there long enough to need anything. Pretty doped up that first 24hrs.

My strongest memory in the hospital is waking up in recovery, and asking if I could get on my side. Then I heard one of the staff talking about 31 purses, and I chimed in about my collection. One of the guys said to me “You’re way to awake right now…” I don’t remember anything after that until the next day! Haha!

This is the perfect time to get the super fluffy comfy bath robe I’ve been eyeing!
:slight_smile:




WhatsForDinner said:

I brought v-neck T-shirts with me, and still wear them most days. Especially when the staples were in, I liked the extra room getting things on and off. My son liked having his cell phone in the hospital. He has one of those little stands that turn it into a clock, and we put it up bedside for him so he had a sense of the time, what was going on the world. If you have a favorite cotton robe, you might want that for the exciting moments when they let you walk with the physical therapists. You won’t need much. Leave your jewelry and rings and watch and stuff at home.

Oh yes. The iPad is already considered packed!




Emmaline said:

Yes, the number one item…my iPhone with charging stand! With a 6ft cord. The three footers don’t do well when it’s hard for you to reach.

Another question…how long after surgery can I wash my hair? Even if it’s a quick wash.
Secret confession…I was almost hoping they would shave my whole head. Since I was little I’ve been fascinated by African women and their beautiful head wraps (i’m sure there’s a real word for them). I’ve been practicing wrapping my hair in huge long scarves and securing them in elaborate knots on top or to the side since I can remember. I was hoping they would shave all my hair so I would have a reason to actually wear one! I still might!

I had staples. With staples, I was told I could wash my hair without getting the incision wet. In practice, this meant I leaned to the side and washed the right half of my head, then the other side to wash the left half. They were okay if the incision got splashed or damp, but they didn't want water running over the site.

Staples were removed nine days after surgery. I was then told to wait 24 hours more, and that at that point, I could let water run over the site.

First thing I did when I got home was to shower. I just felt so darn stinky! Yuck!

With my son, he was given dissolving stitches. For him, the post-op instruction was no washing the hair until the fifth day post-op. After that, he was to shampoo normally. His stitches are still dissolving almost five weeks out, but they cleared him to get into the pool after four weeks.

Neither of us bought special shampoo.

His surgeon wanted us to use bacitracin (like neosporin) three times a day. Mine didn't. To each his own.

Final point. My hair is shoulder length and really straight. You cannot tell at all from looking at me that any of it was shaved. I have to pull it to the sides to display the incision site. So, you will be able to go into public with no one the wiser. If you ever feel like "hiding" and not talking about the surgery, this is great. Not even the lady who always checks you out at the grocery store will be able to tell.

On the other hand, if you want to shave your head and wear fancy cloth turban things, this would be a pretty darn good excuse!


■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ said:

Another question....how long after surgery can I wash my hair? Even if it's a quick wash.
Secret confession...I was almost hoping they would shave my whole head. Since I was little I've been fascinated by African women and their beautiful head wraps (i'm sure there's a real word for them). I've been practicing wrapping my hair in huge long scarves and securing them in elaborate knots on top or to the side since I can remember. I was hoping they would shave all my hair so I would have a reason to actually wear one! I still might!

Thank you all so much for the ideas! I’m starting to get over my fear and getting excited to have it over with.
@whatsfordinner…I think I may forego the shaving of the head and just wear my scarves regardless! I’ve been collecting them since I was a kid and have a pretty serious collection!

I was in ICU for two days the 1st 24 hrs was dopped but very awake but not able to remeber where I was. The name of the hospital.And I wished every body would leave me alone.It was hard to talk.Slept through most of the 1st day no visitors.My husband twice for a short time.Day two was better.Waaay more alert .I brought with me two pair of pajamas under shirt and shorts two slip proof socks.Thooth brush and paste. I like my reach as to those vanilla little ones. I even packed something to cover my eyes with. Boy!! When I was in ICU I wish I had that eye cover.You never knew who was there.I couldnt get up for two days they had me on a cathadar.It all happened on the third day. I even showered without getting the insision wet on the third day. I had two surgeries I had a shunt removed at the L-1 with a laminoctomy.After I showered it all began.Every physical therapist you can imagine was there.When one wasnt another one was it was like that for two days.I was glad to have compfortable clothing in there to walk around in.Physical therapy is continuous. Gosh 5 weeks after surgery the surgin didnt want me in pool therapy.She said it was too long for the insicion to be wet.Anyway thats how it went for me. Hospitals are toooooo much for me.Was relived and felt compfortable going home when I did. I also found when I got home things were easier. I remeberd to well what a struggle.Best of luck to you prayers and blessings

Thank you for sharing your experience! I feel ya on not liking hospitals. I plan on getting the hell out as soon as I can! Your response brings me to another question…how long is physical therapy after surgery?




Twana said:

I was in ICU for two days the 1st 24 hrs was dopped but very awake but not able to remeber where I was. The name of the hospital.And I wished every body would leave me alone.It was hard to talk.Slept through most of the 1st day no visitors.My husband twice for a short time.Day two was better.Waaay more alert .I brought with me two pair of pajamas under shirt and shorts two slip proof socks.Thooth brush and paste. I like my reach as to those vanilla little ones. I even packed something to cover my eyes with. Boy!! When I was in ICU I wish I had that eye cover.You never knew who was there.I couldnt get up for two days they had me on a cathadar.It all happened on the third day. I even showered without getting the insision wet on the third day. I had two surgeries I had a shunt removed at the L-1 with a laminoctomy.After I showered it all began.Every physical therapist you can imagine was there.When one wasnt another one was it was like that for two days.I was glad to have compfortable clothing in there to walk around in.Physical therapy is continuous. Gosh 5 weeks after surgery the surgin didnt want me in pool therapy.She said it was too long for the insicion to be wet.Anyway thats how it went for me. Hospitals are toooooo much for me.Was relived and felt compfortable going home when I did. I also found when I got home things were easier. I remeberd to well what a struggle.Best of luck to you prayers and blessings

USed in the hospital for a whole week. They had me in the ICU for give days…I guess they liked me so much… For physical therapy they started the second day,when I was in the ICU and stopped the day I went to the regular floor. The most they did with me was walk around the floor. They did nothing for my neck which to me needs the most attention.

Pillows, Pillows and more Pilows. Especially for the drive home and the drive back to get staples out. Good luck and keep us updated. Wendy

My son was two after surgery. But I put him in jammies that zip for about a week or so after. I'm not sure if you can lift your arms, but you will want to be cautious of you neck. A good supportive pillow is a must, one that shapes to you head is the best. If you are going to be home alone you will want to make sure you have simple foods. Joji was in and out until three weeks post partum so I'm a little off on some of mine.

As long as I have my iPhone, charger and a clean pair of underwear, I’m all good! :slight_smile:

I had a few button up shirts, which really did help a lot at first! I also had Popsicles at home which help a lot when you are feeling nauseous ! I am 4 weeks post-op and still feel nauseous some days. The Popsicles have helped tremendously!!