What To Pack For Day Surgery at a Hospital

A slight change of gears over here today, but when I had my first day surgery last year I had a precursory Google to see what I should take with me, and there was very little information available. Everything online was geared for people heading into hospital for at least a few days, rather than someone rocking up at 8am and being discharged after tea. SO, with my fourth day surgery under my belt as of last week, I thought I’d put together a list of what to pack for day surgery, just in case there are other frantic Google-ers like myself! 

  • Pyjamas or comfortable clothes. If you’re anything like my you’ll wake up from your general anaesthetic and as soon as you’re awake enough to stand, you’ll want to get out of your hospital gown. They’re itchy, uncomfortable, and come with a slightly undignified breeze around the back. I tend to pack my favourite pyjamas and a cosy jumper, and I’ll quite happily wear that home after being discharged. If you don’t feel like wondering around in your PJs, pack something equally comfortable, leggings and an oversized tee, or your favourite trackies. Comfort > style here.
  • Fluffy socks. Most hospitals will offer you some cheapy slippers to wear down to theatre, but they’re a thin, one-size-fits-all kind of affair. You can take your own slippers or do what I do and take thick fluffy slipper socks! It gives you something to wear when you walk to the pre-theatre room, but will also keep your feet warm when you’re back in your room recovering.
  • Moisturising products. I don’t pack any beauty bits or makeup to take to the hospital (the last thing you’ll want to faff with is makeup), I do take a good moisturiser, a lip balm and some eye drops too. If they use an oxygen mask on you, it’ll likely leave your skin feeling really dry, especially your lips. The air conditioning makes your skin feel dry too, and sometimes it’s just nice to have something to refresh your skin with before you head home. I often find that my eyes are really dry after a general too, so I tend to chuck eye drops in my bag just in case also.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste. Trust me, you’ll want this.
  • Hairbands. Not an essential, but when people are trying to strap oxygen masks to you and so on, it’s much easier if your hair isn’t flapping about. I tend to braid my hair so it’s off my face and I don’t have to worry about it!
  • A magazine. I never take books to hospital, I find pre surgery I’m too nervous to concentrate, and after I’m too drugged! It’s nice to have a magazine to flick through though, even if you’re just looking at the pictures. Especially nice to have on hand as day surgeries often don’t run on time, and you may have a few hours to kill before you go to theatre!
  • Headphones. I like to have these in my bag just in case I want to listen to a meditation app before surgery to help stay calm, or if I want to watch something on my phone while I’m waiting to be discharged. A lot of being in hospital, even for a day surgery, is waiting around so it’s nice to have things to keep you occupied!

Hopefully this helps if you’re ever heading in for a day surgery!