I frequently receive messages, from guys who are about to go into surgery, asking for my advice as to what to take with them to hospital. In this blog, I will share my recommended phalloplasty hospital kit list with you.
Phalloplasty surgery involves multiple stages and therefore many hospital stays. It is worth investing in items that will travel with you on your journey, that you will use time and time again.
Having now completed my phalloplasty journey, I like to consider myself a bit of an expert on the ultimate phalloplasty hospital kit! The following are my recommendations for the things that I have found useful in my journey*.
One thing is sure with transgender surgery; you will get sick of hospitals! Some hospital stays are longer than others. For example, the first stage of Phalloplasty involves the most extended hospital stay. Additionally, the first stage of phalloplasty surgery is also the surgery where you will be the most reliant on others.
Forward-thinking, and preparing ahead of time, will help to make any hospital stay a little easier and more comfortable.
Suitcase: It is vital to think ahead in terms of the bag you take to the hospital. You will be limited in what you can carry after surgery. If you have a friend or partner coming with you this is not too much of an issue, as they can kindly carry it! However, if you are travelling back alone, or even to be prepared just in case, it is wise to take something you can manage to carry by yourself. The best thing is a small suitcase with 4 spinner wheels as this will enable you to drag it or to just push it, whilst avoiding straining yourself. They are also so much easier to organise your hospital essentials in.
Packing Cubes: These are wonderful, versatile and a real bonus in surgery packing and you can easily separate everything, pants in one, t-shirts in another and daily essentials in another one. Then, when you need to ask someone to get something from your bag, its easily found rather than having to rummage!
Most things are supplied in the hospital, in terms of flannels, soap, wet wipes etc. Do check beforehand if you can. I always take a few staple supplies to see me through such as :
Antibacterial face wipes – My skin always flares up after surgery. I get greasy skin, and it just feels awful. Facial wipes with an oil absorbent or an antibacterial agent such as tea tree, are cooling and cleansing.
Moist flushable toilet tissue – Oh the post-surgery first poo! It is a nightmare! Not only is it logistically hard to clean yourself up when you just have one hand, but its also hard to negotiate all the dressings in your undercarriage! I swear by moist loo roll, it makes it so much easier to keep clean and sanitary and it is soothing on your bum! They can also double up as face/body wipes too.
The extra time spent in the theatre, means our bodies take more of a battering. After suffering a few uncomfortable side effects, I added these to my phalloplasty hospital kit bag and they have been lifesavers.
Lip balm – I always get incredibly dry lips post-surgery. Lip balm is really nice to apply and is cooling and soothing. The squeezy tube makes it easier to use with one hand if you have had forearm phalloplasty.
Throat lozenges – The ventilation tube from surgery can make your throat sore; it certainly does mine. Lozenges or a spray with a numbing agent are ideal as this isn’t due to infection but rather irritation. My personal favourite are Tyrozets lozenges which numb a sore throat very quickly! Do check with your medical team that they won’t interfere with your medication. They shouldn’t, but it is always good to check.
As most entertainment devices are now electronic, such as your phone, tablet or kindle, make sure to add the following as essentials in your phalloplasty hospital kit.
Long power lead– You won’t be able to get up and down to plug in your electronic device charger. Therefore, having a long cable which can stretch from your bed to the plug socket is a very welcome piece of surgery kit.
Power Bank- an even better option is a power bank as you can keep this handy beside your bed. You charge these up, and then you can run your electronic devices off it and keep them topped up. I’ve used this one for festivals as well as surgeries and even after five days heavy use there is still a bit of charge left over. If you prefer something smaller, this is the other one I use. The smaller one is great for a couple of charges, making it perfect for short hospital stays.
After surgery, you will be bored and uncomfortable and unable to move much. The best thing you can do is to distract yourself by taking a selection of accessible entertainment with you.
One-Handed Book Holder- For those among you that prefer non-electronic entertainment and the smell of a good book (who doesn’t!) this one-handed book holder is fantastic for when your donor site arm is out of action!
Gooseneck Phone Holder – This will serve you very very well. It is one of my best investments. Trying to hold and operate a phone with one hand is impossible, uncomfortable and frustrating. With this holder, you attach it to a table and angle it depending on your position and then you can easily type or watch something on your phone.
Kindle Paperwhite-I love books and for a long while I refused to use an eBook reader. However, I realise now that it doesn’t have to be one or the other; each has its own merits. I love my Kindle. It makes it so easy to take lots of books with me wherever I go and buy new ones. Its back-lit, making it easy to read in the early hours of the morning when it’s still dark but you can’t sleep! Plus, you can sign up to Audible and have your favourite books read to you instead.
Being discharged from the hospital is a relief, but do make sure to have everything at home for your recovery. You can check out my handy guide to all you need for recovery at home.
For the journey home, make sure to pack loose, comfortable and easy to wear clothing.
Slip-on shoes – these are vital because attempting to bend down to put shoes on and do up laces is not going to be an easy task for a while!
Loose T-shirts – if you have had phalloplasty using the forearm, you won’t be able to bend your arm or wear long sleeves. Get large, baggy short-sleeved tops that are easier to put on.
Tracksuit bottoms – these will be your staple trouser style for a while! You need something which is baggy, to give your new manhood room. You also need to be able to have room for a catheter bag strapped to your leg. Additionally, track-suit bottoms are a bonus as you do not have to negotiate a button or zipper fly!
Front zip hoody – after the first stage of phalloplasty, if you have your arm as the donor site, you won’t be able to put your arm in a jumper. A front zip hoody can more easily be put through just one arm and draped over the other shoulder. Also, when it comes to having the erectile device fitted, you can use a baggy hoody to hide your hap-penis!
I hope you find this phalloplasty surgery kit list helpful. Do you have any recommendations not mentioned here? Or do you have a request for me to recommend something I haven’t mentioned? Drop a message below, I would love to hear from you!
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