Finally deciding to go through a female to male or FTM top surgery is a bold and brave step towards the right direction. There may be a lot of struggles in the beginning, but it’s definitely worth taking. Behind every successful gender-affirming procedure is the careful pre-surgery preparation. It gives you the confidence and the sense of control as you take on such a personal journey.
In this article, we an FTM top surgery recovery packing list to give you an idea of the things you need to speed up your body’s healing process while making the entire recovery phase comfortable. Whether you are flying to, say, get your top surgery in Canada, or will have your operation close to home, our list is filled with practical items essential to your quick recovery.
Let’s dig right in!
Comfort is key. Keep this in mind when thinking about dressing up from head to toe and which pieces to take with you.
No matter how challenging, stay on top of your personal hygiene after your gender-confirmation surgery to mitigate potential risks of infection from dirt and bacteria buildup. For toiletries, your top surgery packing list should include the following:
For the first week after your FTM top surgery, you will be advised to refrain from getting your bandages and drains wet. Hence, the no showering rule until you’ve returned to your surgeon for a follow-up appointment where they will also likely remove the post-surgical drains and change the dressing for your wounds.
However, some top surgery patients share that they couldn’t stand the stench and how gross they were feeling days after the procedure. They further reveal creating a DIY plastic poncho secured with clothespins to clean up some parts of their body while protecting their bandage. If you are curious or interested in trying this yourself, make sure you ask your plastic surgeon’s approval to err on the side of caution.
This part of your top surgery packing list should be cross-checked with your attending surgeon first to ensure that it’s not going to cause contraindications or complications. Ask your doctor’s recommendations for a painkiller, antibiotics, allergy medications, and stool softeners. Some non-binary people online share that they felt itchy and had lots of discomfort with constipation while recovering from FTM top surgery.
This is how your medicine surgery packing list should look like:
Bring a neck pillow and a second pillow for the car ride going home or to the hotel. Propping your neck with a travel pillow and hugging another is an excellent strategy to keep you cozy and to cushion yourself for the seatbelt. The neck pillow will also be useful in propping yourself up during your weeks of recovery.
A reusable bendy straw is convenient for sipping on water to hydrate or when taking your prescription antibiotics or painkillers. It will be uncomfortable and unsafe to move your arms to lift glasses every now and then to drink, so a bendy straw is definitely a staple in your FTM top surgery packing list.
No matter what happens, pack light, particularly if you will travel alone to a different country to get your FTM top surgery. Your surgeon will recommend that you limit the weight of your carry-on bag at 5lbs max. There may still be swelling and pain three weeks after surgery, which means you shouldn’t be putting unnecessary pressure and strain on your shoulders or chest just yet.
On the first two to three weeks post-op, you will be advised to take it slow and refrain from doing any strenuous physical activity. You will be spending a lot of time in your room resting and recuperating. Save yourself from getting bored to death by:
If you live alone or plan on staying in a hotel, do your at least two to three weeks’ worth of grocery shopping days before your scheduled operation date. Again, you would be unable to physically go out of the house to do this without risking bruising or bleeding because it’s too taxing. Stock your pantry and refrigerator with nutritious meals and snacks as much as possible to support your body’s natural healing. Get weeks worth of freeze-dried meals. Do meal prep dishes that you can store in the freezer, so you don’t have to cook and wash the dishes. If you are staying in a hotel, check the available food delivery services around the area.
The tips are applicable also regardless if you’re having a keyhole top surgery or a double-incision mastectomy. Feel free to personalize our FTM surgery recovery packing list as you see fit, and don’t forget to consult your plastic surgeon for approval.
If you are getting your procedure done by Dr. Hugh McLean and have any questions or concerns about this topic, please do not hesitate to reach out to our clinic immediately. Contact us now!