Going into my surgery I wanted to make sure that I had all my bases covered no matter what happened during my stay. I also had my surgery 2 hours away from my home town so my mom couldn’t just run home to grab something. I will say that I most definitely over packed for the hospital. But, there are a few items that I am really glad that I brought to my surgery.
Before going to get this surgery done I searched the internet far and wide to try to get some tips on what to pack for this kind of surgery. Unfortunately there were not a lot of resources out there, other than packing for a hospital stay to have a child. Therefore, I thought that it was worth sharing for anyone that is going into hospital soon to have any surgery, but especially a Bowel Resection Surgery.
Below I will go through a list of the absolute essentials, but I will also be including a printable with everything you should need.
- Face wash
- Face cream, Eye cream, Body cream
- Nasal spray + nasal gel
- If you are prone to dry nose/bloody noses, this is a must for the dry hospital air.
- Tooth paste + floss
- Tooth brush
- Bar soap
- Shampoo + conditioner
- Cotton swabs
- Although the hospital provided me with my meds, I brought mine just in case.
- Extra pills (Tylenol, Advil, gas-x, acid reflux)
- The hospital will provide you with these but I brought them for the journey home.
- Pads + tampons
- Sometimes your period will be induced after open-surgery (it happened to me). The hospital usually only has very generic pads and tampons, so I was glad I brought some from home for comfort.
- Hot water bottle
- Can be good to bring incase you get very bad bloating after surgery, I personally never used mine in hospital.
- Hair clip, Hair ties, Head band
- Ear plugs, Eye mask
- Ear plugs and eye mask are absolutely CRITICAL to bring. Although I had coverage for a private room I was placed in a ward and thanks to these things I was able to sleep. Otherwise, I think it would have been too bright and noisy for me.
- Baby wipes
- These are great to freshen your body up without having to shower in the days after surgery.
- Underwear (pack a few more than the number of nights you’ll probably be staying)
- Soft bras
- I bought some elasticated soft bras from Giant Tiger for cheap before my surgery.
- Pj pants + shirts
- If you are having colorectal surgery, I would skip bringing pants because I never wore them at all because I had a 4″ wound down the center of my abdomen. However, if you are having laparoscopic or other surgery it may be of use to you.
- Night gowns + robe
- I would highly recommend buying a few inexpensive night gowns for the hospital that way you can wear something a little more comfortable than there open-back hospital gowns. I also brought a very light cotton robe with me which was nice.
- Dress (going home outfit)
- For woman I recommend a lose dress for coming home from the hospital. For guys I would get some very baggy pants that have a very stretchy waste band.
- 1 Sweaters
- Slip-on Shoes
- Slippers (non-slip)
- They provide you with non-stick socks at the hospital, but these can get annoying so I would recommend bringing your own socks for when you are sitting or in bed.
- Flip flops (non-slip)
- These are good if you have to shower, or for walking around the hospital.
- Phone charger
- Laptop/Tablet + Charger
- This will help to keep you entertained, plus I was able to Skype a few people from home when I was in the hospital which was nice.
- Download shows ahead of time if you don’t know what the WiFi is like
- Extension cord
- This came in handy for me because I was trying to plug in my Tablet charger and phone charger, plus the plug was all the way behind my bed. I would highly recommend bringing a long extension cord.
- Chewing gum
- This helps to relieve gas after surgery
- Reusable water bottle
- I hated the thought of using all that Styrofoam and straws, so I brought my own reusable water bottle. This was easier to drink out of for me and was better for the planet.
- Neck pillow
- I never personally used my neck pillow, but it could come in handy for you depending.
- Journal + Pen
- To help journal your symptoms or jot things down from the doctor
- Magazines/ Books
- Necessary papers for surgery
- Antiseptic wipes
- This is good to clean off any dirty surfaces (with the help of a friend)
- Glasses (if applicable)
- Minimal money + ID
- I personally gave all my ID to my mom, which I would recommend if you can. But, if you will be mostly alone in hospital, bring only the essentials.