Before Chest Reconstruction Top Surgery
Preparing for your chest reconstruction top surgery procedure, formerly referred to as FTM top surgery, is an important step to help your experience be as smooth as possible. In this article, we give you a detailed list of things you may need before and during the recovery period, as well as some tips on setting up your top surgery recovery area. We also provide important instructions you can follow for the weeks and days leading up to your gender confirming surgery.
The following suggested items may be helpful to you, depending upon the type of surgery you have. Go over them now and make a list of those items which apply to your needs. If you are uncertain, please ask a staff member in our office.
From the pharmacy and drug store:
- Throat lozenges and cough drops for dry throat
- lip balm for dry lips
- Mild shampoo for use after scalp or facial surgery
- Mouth spray or breath mints
- Skin body moisturizer
- Petroleum jelly
- Antacid if you have a sensitive stomach
- Ultrasonic humidifier (especially helpful following nasal surgery)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) only if an over the counter pain medication is needed prior to surgery
- Saline eye drops to moisturize eyes after surgery, i.e., Natural Tears, ReFresh
- Laxative (Milk of Magnesia and fiber products) if you are prone to constipation. If you have NOT had a Bowel Movement 2 days after surgery, please call the office so that Dr. Mosser may suggest or prescribe a remedy for you.
For Your Recovery Area:
- Bedside table or night stand
- Warm socks or booties
- Night light
- Bib (to protect clothing when eating in bed)
- Child’s covered cup or flexible straws with cup or glass
- Paper towels and tissues
- Trash bags (at bedside)
- Baby wipes (for quick clean ups)
- Pencils / pen / paper
- Older sheets (softer, less likely to cause creases or irritation of the skin)
- Water spray bottle (after peel or facial surgery)
- Cetaphil soap substitute (after peel or facial surgery)
- Rolled bath towels (use behind your neck after facial surgery)
- Prop yourself up with a couple of pillows to be in a reclined position. You may also want to place a pillow under your knees for better circulation.
Suggestions for setting up your room:
- Remove anything you might trip over
- Keep your phone near your bed. An answering machine can pick up your calls when you are resting and don’t want to be disturbed. Keep emergency phone numbers handy (doctor, pharmacy, etc.)
Two to Three Weeks Prior to Surgery
- You will usually have your preoperative visit and lab work done about two weeks before surgery. Note that there may be additional costs for laboratory work, particularly if anything discovered in the medical history warrants additional testing. Surgery cannot be performed without the required laboratory results.
- If you have recently been or were previously a smoker, then it is very important that you don’t smoke even a little bit during this time.
- Please be sure we have a reliable phone number to reach you in the time leading up to surgery.
One Week Prior to Surgery
- You will receive your prescriptions about 1 week before surgery. Make sure to have post-operative prescriptions filled.
- Maintain a balanced diet and drink water regularly.
- No alcohol intake (including wine) for one week prior to surgery.
- No dental work within a week prior to surgery, including teeth cleaning.
- Arrange for transportation to and from office visits the first week. Appointments will be in the afternoon on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
- Arrange for child care, pet care, and mail pick-up.
- Refer to the “Comfort Station”/Recovery Area in this material. Shop for regular household items and any extras you may need for your recovery.
- Avoid coloring your hair three to five days before surgery and not until four to six weeks after your surgery, with your Doctor’s approval.
- TAKE VITAMIN C: Start taking 500 mg of Vitamin C twice daily to promote healing.
- DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR IBUPROFEN: Stop taking medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen. Review the list of drugs containing aspirin and ibuprofen carefully. Such drugs can cause bleeding problems during and after surgery. Instead, use medications containing acetaminophen (such as Tylenol).
- LIMIT VITAMIN E: Limit your intake of Vitamin E to less than 400 mg per day.
One to Three Days Prior to Surgery
- Set out clothing that is loose and buttons or zips up the front. A warm-up or jogging suit is ideal. No pullover tops should be used for three weeks after facial surgery.
- If you are having morning surgery, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. Your stomach must be empty to decrease nausea and avoid anesthesia problems. When brushing your teeth, you may use mouthwash. You can take your routine medication with a sip of water
- If you will be staying overnight, bring the following:
-small overnight bag to hold the clothing you wear to the surgery facility
-tooth brush, toothpaste, and/or mouthwash
- If you will be staying two or more nights, also bring:
– bathrobe, pajamas or gown that buttons up the front, and slippers
– mild shampoo
The Morning of Surgery
- DO NOT eat or drink anything prior to surgery. You may take regular prescription medications such as blood pressure, thyroid, or birth control pills with a small sip of water. Be sure you do not take any aspirin-containing products, blood thinners, etc. Bring your prescription medications with you to the hospital or surgery center.
- You may shower and wash your hair, but do not set or spray it. Do not use facial or body moisturizer. You may shave your face and use aftershave lotion. Brush your teeth with minimal water and use mouthwash.
- Wear flat shoes that are easy to slip off.
- You should not wear panty hose or girdles, and should not wear make-up. In addition, please do not wear jewelry, earrings, rings, or hairpins, or false eyelashes. It’s best to leave all of these at home.
- If you wear contact lenses, eyeglasses or dentures, bring your cases with you. Be sure your name is on the outside.
- Arrive in the admitting department of the hospital or surgery center at when directed. The surgery center staff will greet you and prepare you for surgery.
You must not be pregnant at the time of surgery. If there is a possibility of being pregnant, then a pregnancy test should be performed on the day of surgery.