• after the mastectomy?

    Asked by JBean71 on Saturday, January 3, 2015

    after the mastectomy?

    does anyone have any advice on what kind of clothes to wear immediately after surgery? I am thinking button up shirts, but what about an under shirt, maybe a tank top?

    26 Answers from the Community

    26 answers
    • Bb31565's Avatar
      Bb31565

      They will have you in a bra/cami type top when you wake up if you are doing reconstruct with it....so no worries about a top

      over 4 years ago
    • JudyW's Avatar
      JudyW

      Don't count on wearing anything where you have to lift your arms for at least a week. Get yourself some soft, comfortable, zip-up or button front tops with pockets for the drains. I used zip-up hoodies for a few weeks and, while I had drains, just kept them in the kangaroo or side pockets. I also had some slip-on clogs that I wore so I wouldn't have to pull on sneakers or tie shoes. I also wore sweat pants or elastic waist jeans for comfort and ease of getting dressed. This is not a time for fashion; just do things to make yourself as comfortable as possible.

      over 4 years ago
    • Marilynn's Avatar
      Marilynn

      I wore comfortable lounge wear and sweats and nightshirts. I could wear pull over tops which surprised me. My best find was a painters apron from Menards or home depo about .79 cents. Had 2 for the shower and 2 for regular wear. Works perfect for the drains. I had 2 drains on each side. Wore it under night shirts and blouses. Let ithe 2 for the shower get wetl. Very hard to shower with drainss without it. It is a small apron with 4 pockets for around your waist - much more comfortable then the masectomy bra the Dr's office gave me. Made of a canvas cotton like material. Caftans instead of a robe was comfortable. If you blow dry your hair it really helps get the arms moving.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      Soft loose things, that cotton knit cami with pockets. I put the drains in the pocket on the surgical side, later I added a touch of polyester batting. Then I kicked it up a bit and cut the tentacles off a beany baby octopus and made that my beginners prosthesis. Careful though, it made a peak a boo appearance when I was out on a lunch date with a gentleman friend. Glass eyes winking in place of cleavage.

      over 4 years ago
    • ld_105's Avatar
      ld_105

      I didn't get a top from the hospital but was advised to wear a front-opening top so I bought a zip- front hooded knit top. I also had a fruit of the loom sports bra with hooks in front. I attached the drains to the bottom of the bra. The recommendations from the plastic surgeon said to buy surgical pads. I used them with medical tape to hold everything in place. This helped to cover the incision and restrain the right breast, Also, to wear around the house, any loose top will do. I used knit pajama tops with front button opening. I suggest to get some dry shampoo as it will be impossible to lift your arms for a week or two. A plastic water bottle...I had problems lifting drinking glasses and carrying anything so used a plastic bag to transport water and food. A notepad to keep track of pills, one every six hours, one every four, etc. I forgot what I was taking until I reviewed my notes. A small pillow to keep your arm away from your side. It will be swollen and uncomfortable. Four pillows so you do not strain your chest and it is easier to roll out of bed. Good luck. Let us know if you have any more questions.

      over 4 years ago
    • ld_105's Avatar
      ld_105

      Be prepared for a review the next morning. Both the surgeon and plastic surgeon bought their residents around to see their work. The hospital I went to had paper gowns with shoulder snaps so it is easy to open.

      over 4 years ago
    • Judytjab's Avatar
      Judytjab

      I did not have any type of covering over my incisions. I wore a soft button down blouse home from the hospital and also soft button down pajamas for home. Button down blouses with pockets are still my wardrobe to go out in. I pinned my 4 drains to a belt around my waist but used a lanyard around my neck and pinned the drains to that when I took a shower which worked out great. I also used those neck pillows for under my arms. You'll need lots of pillows. Put everything close to you so you don't have to reach. Hope this helps.

      over 4 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar
      Gabba

      I love this community...what thoughtful, helpful answers you have received...good luck, keep us posted!

      over 4 years ago
    • mofields' Avatar
      mofields

      Since you are having a mastectomy, you will probably be bandaged up quite a bit - at least I was. I didn't wear a bra until the bandages came off - at the first post-op visit and then it was the surgery bra they gave to me - really soft. No underwire if you can wear your own bra - I recommend something like a sports type, front open and maybe a size bigger as you will be swollen from the surgery for a while. Front open or large size tops and pull on sweats or work out clothing works best for at least the first 2 weeks. Your drains will be the problem - my husband got me two cloth nail holders from the hardware store - those were great for holding the drains. If you get a tank top, get one with a bra shelf - but you might need help getting it on due to not being able to really raise your arm(s) for a good couple of weeks. I also took soft baby socks and put the drains in them - felt better against my skin. You will want to see the size of drain bulb before you invest in that. Don't purchase a lot of new items - you might check or local @Goodwill or consignment shop for tops.

      over 4 years ago
    • JKay's Avatar
      JKay

      I was given 2 great camisoles with pockets inside to put he drains and velcro up the front. My insurance paid for these. I wore those every day and they were great to hold the drains when I slept also. I think a soft undershirt that is a bit oversized might work also if you don't have to raise your arms to get into it. They also paid for 2 post surgery bras, but I found them uncomfortable and bought some of those soft pull on bras that have little pads you can take out. I actually could "step into" these. I was able to use the soft, temporary prosthesis they came me with those bras (maybe not the first week, can't remember). They also gave me a velcro surgery jacket, but I didn't really wear it that much maybe because it was summer. I couldn't put anything over my head for about 2 weeks, unless it had a really big opening, so button down shirts work best. I also bought some bigger sleeveless button down shirts (again, my surgery was in July) to fit over the drains. I did buy a couple shirts used so tried not to spend a lot.

      over 4 years ago
    • GLW's Avatar
      GLW

      I wore the velcro vest until my drains were out. I found I couldn't stand to have any friction in the "boobless" area so I went to Old Navy and bought camis in four colors.....my daughter bought me knit bandeaus that I wore....it kept the "good side" in place and I could "stuff" the other side with a cotton prosthesis they gave me until I could be fitted for the real one....which, by the way, is wonderful. It is weighted so the same pressure is on your shoulders from your bra straps. I find that I wear the camis now under some shirts as my port tends to show.....the worst it over....hang in!

      over 4 years ago
    • Bb31565's Avatar
      Bb31565

      As for the camisoles for the drains....I was told to wait until I was admitted to ask for them because that way insurance pays. I went before hand and we tried them on and they held them in the breast center boutique where I go. If not then they would have cost 54.00 each. It to go to a teaching hospital and have many residents but was always ask before by my doctors if it was ok.

      over 4 years ago
    • lovetoteach88's Avatar
      lovetoteach88

      I wore soft button down tops or zipper hoodies if I had to go out. At home I wore button down pajamas, comfy sweat pants and tank tops I could pull up rather than pull over my head. You won't be able to lift over your head for a bit. The hospital gave me a surgical bra to wear but after a week I switched to tank tops. In terms of the drains I just pinned them to the inside of my shirts. The camisoles are nice but pricey.

      over 4 years ago
    • Judytjab's Avatar
      Judytjab

      Oh and be sure to bring a pillow in the car for the seatbelt.

      over 4 years ago
    • Jbro's Avatar
      Jbro

      I found snug fitting camisoles (like Spanx) comfortable as anything that rubbed was very irritating and the compression felt good. At my plastic surgeons's suggestion, I used mini pads over the incisions and the cami held them in place. My surgeon gave me a soft cotton pouch with pockets for the drains that tied around my waist. He has them sewn for his patients. After the drains were removed I liked soft, stretchy bras from Target - they stretched as my expanders were filled. I had bilateral but was lucky to have good range of motion from the start. Front buttoning tops make things easier in the beginning.

      over 4 years ago
    • Kathy1's Avatar
      Kathy1

      When I woke up I was wrapped in a surgical tube. My drain was under it. You probably will have at least one drain so what ever you wear you need to accommodate it. I wore comfy clothes...tee shirts that I could pin my drain to. They gave me two additional tubes and I wore those for close to a month afterward. Comfort is the most important. If they remove lymph nodes your arm and underarm will be painful. You shouldn't wear anything tight to prevent lyphedema. Hope this helps. Positive thoughts and best of everything!

      over 4 years ago
    • tuwood's Avatar
      tuwood

      I wore loose, button-up shirts with a front-closure sports bra for a long time following surgery. After the bandages came off, I used sanitary pads over the surgical site -- the kind with adhesive strips (stick them inside the sports bra) -- until the incision healed completely. I did not have reconstruction, so I still prefer loose-fitting tops with gathers or ruffles to cover up the inconsistencies in my shape. :-)

      over 4 years ago
    • BefuddledMaid's Avatar
      BefuddledMaid

      I wore my husbands huge button down cotton shirts. Consider shopping at salvation army for some cheap items to wear for the short term. I have long to the XXX. My husband could not wash it as it gave him back pain when using the kitchen sink. Went to the beauty parlor once for a washing. Then my husband got in the shower to help me wash it and that worked best... but he really did not want to at first.

      over 4 years ago
    • Ratbike's Avatar
      Ratbike

      I had BMX without reconstruction. Had clear tape covering the incisions, gauze pads over drain tube sites. No other dressing. At the hospital they gave me two little cotton pouches with shoulder straps for my drains (4). I wore a loose button-front top to go home.
      Later I found out about a post-surgical camisole made by Amoena. It is stretchy so that you can step into it and pull it up from the bottom. Has Velcro-attached pockets inside for your drains. The elasticity/compression of the fabric provides a lot of comfort. And it comes with a packet of fiberfill to stuff the bra pockets. LOL! Don't need a pillow for the seat belt! And my insurance paid!
      Have your doc write an order for a couple so you can have them right away after your surgery.

      over 4 years ago
    • jtsmom91500's Avatar
      jtsmom91500

      Great advice on here so far! The only thing that I can ad is advice someone had given me before my surgery- get some silky type pajama bottoms so it will be easier to slide in and out of bed. I went to the local Salvation Army store and bought some and I was sure glad that I did! Hoping for a speedy recovery for you!

      over 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar
      gwendolyn

      Everything I wore had buttons or zip up the front for a long while. Getting my arms over my head after axillary dissection was very difficult. Eventually I wanted to wear tight-fitting tank tops for support and protection from rubbing fabrics. Stepping INTO the tanks tops was a great solution for me! (rather than pulling over head)

      over 4 years ago
    • Sandy-MPBCJ's Avatar
      Sandy-MPBCJ

      In the hospital you will have their gown and some hospitals have bra like things. However, I just had bandages only. So after you are released, yes a loose, button down top that is soft is best. I had a worn out flannel type of my husband's that worked well.

      I assume your surgery is soon. I have created a mastectomy drain neckband that helps hold the drains after surgery and I would have been happy to gift you one but I assume it's too late.

      Here's a quick tip video I did while just after my surgery to help others (2 min):
      http://youtu.be/QzFNr1Kuxlc

      And I did a recap of the mastectomy aspects in this video if you feel like watching so you know what to expect (10 min). http://youtu.be/wd-GkLPz764

      Good luck with your surgery and shout if you need anything.

      Hugs,
      Sandy
      MyPersonalBreastCancerJourney.com

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      Front opening shirts/tops...and once the surgical bra comes off a front opening jog/sports bra...I got mine at Wal-Mart...its been several years ago, so not sure if they still make it but it was relatively comfortable and reasonably priced. All the best to you

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol1286's Avatar
      Carol1286

      I bought button down shirts and tank tops. I did wear the tank tops a lot, but not the button down shirts. I didn't have trouble lifting my arm, so I was able to wear loose sweat shirts and pants. Wear whatever makes you comfortable. Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • cmbaum's Avatar
      cmbaum

      Are you having any reconstruction at the time of surgery?

      over 4 years ago
    • Sandy-MPBCJ's Avatar
      Sandy-MPBCJ

      I bought tank tops but didn't wear them while the drains were still in as there was no place to put them so it wasn't irritating the drains. So for me it was the button down shirt during that time. I had cording in the arm of the mastectomy side so took a while for me to stretch and lift it. (I also did not take any pain pills at home and just worked through the uncomfortable feeling)

      Once the drains came out I found the Ah Bra to be the most comfortable for me. Also the Genie Bra is good. I was not used to not wearing a bra so I wanted some sort of "support"...I kept the right breast so that needed some lifting. Both bras I got at Walmart and have a variety now. Not all styles fit so you'll have to experiment. The Ah Bra didn't wash well and was more expensive so if you can get the Genie (usually can get 2 for $15 or $20), give it a try but that will be later.

      The front closing bras seem to irritate me where the zipper part is on the bottom so I can't wear those all day. Just things to consider.

      over 4 years ago

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