What To Buy for Top Surgery — Just a Bunch of Things You’ll Want to Buy for Your Top Surgery


When people think of top surgery, or the removal of breast tissue to treat distress due to a person’s current physical gender expression, per the Mayo Clinic, they mostly think of female to male (FTM) folks receiving “gender affirmation” surgery. That’s definitely a thing, but there also are plenty of people who live somewhere between or outside the binary of male and female, like me! Even though we’re not out here trying to “affirm” a “gender,” some of us find this surgery to be an important part of living an authentic life.

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For most, receiving the surgery usually entails patiently waiting on a literal waiting list for months before the surgery date is officially confirmed. Once it is, you’ve gotta prep for taking time off of work, clearing your social cal, and, uh, planning to be the proud owner of tyrannosaurus rex arms for an entire month. (Translation: You’ll be unable to lift your arms or pick up anything heavier than five pounds.)

People are often left to rely on family members or their partners to aid them during recovery. And while some may say it’s not the cutest time in a person’s life, I *do* think you can treat yourself as you heal up.

Whether you’re trans masc, trans man, a non-binary or genderqueer individual, a lesbian, two-spirit and find that top surgery is right for you, these are just a few suggestions to get the ball rolling with post-op care.

MANY PILLOWS

You want to be literally surrounded by pillows for the first few weeks. That’s because you won’t be able to sleep on your back or your side without the support of pillows. Here are a few must-haves to make you feel like pillow royalty.

JFYI: If you’re on T or just regularly get overheated, being stuck in bed or with pillows around you sounds suffocating, the BedGear pillow will keep your body temperature cool for hours.

LOOSE BUTTON UPS, ROBES, AND HOODIES

When you’ve got little arm function, these are an absolute must-have during recovery. People who have had top surgery recommend getting a size up because of swelling, and I recommend getting silk/soft material to not irritate your skin.

FOOD SERVICES

Meal prepping is big for those who have to go through top surgery without someone to make every meal for them, and what’s a better way to do it than ordering already made meals in bulk to put in your fridge/freezer for the month?

BIDET

During the first 30 days, it’s going to be hard to reach certain places, that includes cleaning yourself fully. These affordable bidets are perfect for anyone who wants to feel as clean as possible during their recovery.

TOWLETTES

You won’t be able to shower for a few days. If you don’t have a partner or a caretaker to really help ya, give these a shot.

SHOWER SHEETS Large 12 x 10 natural biodegradable Body Wipes – Box of 12

GINGER CHEWS

It’s super common to feel nauseous after major surgery, per UCLA Health. These ginger chews might help take the edge off.

Ginger People Original Ginger Chews 1-lb Bag

The Ginger People
amazon.com

$13.45

HYDRATION

Your body is healing and might need extra support with hydration. With that in mind, these packs are clutch.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier – Lemon Lime – 10ct/0.56oz

Liquid I.V.
target.com

$15.99

EASY SLIP ON SHOES

Good for taking walks around the house without wiping out during the recovery time.

FANNY PACK

For the first few days you’ll have drains attached to you. You’ll have to pin them to your clothes or find a bag to store them in. FWIW, I chose to put them in a fanny pack. Style meets recovery.

PROBIOTICS

It’s common to be irregular after, so it’s recommended to either get laxatives or probiotics to aid your tummy. My favorite way to consume is kombucha.

Health Ade

LARGE CUP AND STRAW

These are lifesavers when you need to rest (see: lay) as much as possible. Everyone who’s had top surgery has told me it’s essential.

BEAST 30oz Black Tumbler – Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Coffee Cup Double Wall Travel Flask

Greens Steel
amazon.com

$25.00

THINGS TO DO

You’ll be resting and recovering for at least a month. That means doing a ton of nothing. So get ready to dive into a new game, audiobook, and binge many (many) shows.

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