Surgery Checklist

Preparing for surgery — and for afterwards — can be overwhelming. Here are some items you may want to have on hand for before and after your surgery.


Pre-operation Checklist

  • Make sure you have a supportive, front closure bra.
  • Buy a mesh shoulder pouch, a shirt/vest/jacket with inside pockets, or an apron, if possible, to support your drains after surgery. Forge can provide you with a lanyard/necklace with a clip on the end to hold your drains – especially in the shower. Just contact our Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205) 990-5367 or [email protected] for a lanyard.
  • Buy a notebook (or use one of Forge’s notebooks) to keep a diary related to your drain output.
  • Buy dry shampoo for the initial days when you can’t shower.
  • Get a small pillow to help with sleeping. If you don’t have one, Forge can provide one, thanks to one of our donor groups! Just contact our Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205) 990-5367 or [email protected] for a pillow.
  • Buy some 4″ x 4″ gauze pads and some medical tape for your wound dressings.
  • Throat lozenges, popsicles, tea with honey, and things like that will soothe your throat after surgery.
  • Ask a friend or loved one to set up a meal sign up online for you and your family. You can use Sign up Genius or Take Them A Meal.


After Surgery Checklist

  • Please strip and record your drain output daily with reliable labelling so your doctor can know when the drain(s) should be removed. Keep these drains attached to a portion of your clothing so that there is no tension on the cord.
  • Do not perform any repetitive arm tasks, including most housework (vacuuming, for example) until your follow up appointment.
  • As you heal, you may want to consider getting some Knitted Knockers from Forge. These are hand-knitted for us by one of our fabulous volunteers. They serve as a light, cool prosthesis to put in your bra and can be made just the right size for you. Contact our Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205) 990-5367 or [email protected] for some Knitted Knockers.
  • Take your prescriptions as prescribed.
  • Follow up with your surgeon as scheduled.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Forge’s Client Services Coordinator, Janet Dees, at (205) 990-5367 or [email protected].

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