Updated: Aug 13
First of all, if you have made it through a myomectomy, CONGRATULATIONS SIS! You deserve all the time off you need!
If you are preparing for a myomectomy - Good for you for being so proactive! You're just like me :)
Before having my open myomectomy, I surfed the web for hours and hours, trying to gather which items people were recommending for the post-surgery recovery.
I was able to compile an ever-expanding list of items in one place for you all! I think this list would greatly help any woman preparing for or recovering from a myomectomy.
First of all, can we talk about how your life changes right before your eyes from the moment you're wheeled out of the operating room. Little movements you took for granted are suddenly so tedious and pain-inducing (sneezing, bending down?).
As the body heals, I believe it is our duty to assist it as much as possible - cue the list of items to get for your myomectomy.
I am a woman of comfort and so before my myomectomy, I had already created this list of items that would make movements and just daily activities a little less taxing. This list is a by product of hours of research as well as personal knowledge.
First up, I wanted to make sure I had at least 1 firm orthopaedic pillow. By watching videos of different women's experiences, I concluded that getting out of and sitting up in bed could become daunting tasks.
A firm pillow could ensure my back was firmly upright while in bed (thus reliving some pain from my abdomen) and I could also use it to help me get out of bed. I envisioned myself placing the pillow on my nightstand for extra support.
I came across this one and loved that it also has a cooling effect because I had my surgery during one of the hottest weeks of the year.
This one is a more affordable option that seems to offer faster delivery and with great reviews as well.
The next thing that came to mind, as I thought about getting in and out of bed, was spending more time in bed. If I was going to be spending more time sleeping and resting, I may also spend more time eating and watching a movie in bed.
In order to prevent any spills or discomfort while attempting to enjoy time on my comfortable mattress, I looked into lap desks or bed table.
I needed something that was light, easy to store and would allow me to place my phone upright when dozens of friends and family checked on me.
I personally ended up purchasing this bamboo one because 1) I loved the bamboo aesthetic and coffee cup holder and 2) all the reviews said it was really easy to fold and keep by your bed.
It was a strong tie between that one and this one for a while and this steel/aluminium one has great reviews as well.
A common theme that just kept coming up when I was reading about and watching other women's myomectomy experiences was GAS. Painful gas.
With your abdomen already sore, the last thing you want to do is either be constipated and struggle to pass out stool or have a hard time passing out built up gas.
During surgery, air can accumulate in your digestive system and you need to pass it out or else it gets really painful. Unfortunately, a lot of women have a hard time farting up to a few days post-myomectomy.
Depending on your preference, either one of these items could help relieve your uncomfortable (and downright painful) gas.
Constipation while on pain medication is very real and very painful. I remember on Day 8 post-surgery, I got so constipated that after going to the bathroom, I began cramping and bleeding heavily.
Drinking Restoralax twice a day saved me from repeating the same mistake.
If you did not already have one for use during your periods, now might be the right time to invest in a heating pad.
When the post surgery pain becomes a little too much and you really don't feel like loading up on painkillers, sometimes a warm embrace all around your abdomen does the trick.
I heard some women say this also helped with their gas - go figure!
As I had previously mentioned, the simplest of tasks can become quite daunting post-myomectomy.
Dropping items and not being able to bend over or squat to pick them up can be frustrating.
I remember about a week post-myomectomy when dropped my morphine pill bottle under my table.
I was home alone and had to just sit there and wait until someone came to visit me to pick it up.
Unlike me, you do not have to wait if you invest in a reacher.
I like this one from Amazon which also has an extra long extended reach if needed.
Can we talk about the way regular underwear can rub you the wrong way?
I had read about this from many women who had had both C-Sections and myomectomies.
They say the best underwear are those that are seamless so they don't rub up against your scar/surgery area and do not place any pressure there neither.
However, if you need it more expeditiously, this is the one I ordered in an XL. If you have thick thighs, like myself, they may roll up and not be the most comfortable around the thighs however, they will let your abdomen breathe.
You won't have to worry about the tightness around your bikini line that a regular underwear would cause.
*If you end up having a vertical incision (with staples) as I did, the panties above would actually irritate your incision and so I recommend getting these Capri Plus thick pads (which are actually bladder pads) to bleed into and not rub against your incision.
These were the MOST comfortable pads ever!
When you start to feel better and your scar starts to heal, you may want to ensure your scar is as least visible as possible.
It is best to start rubbing whichever scar cream you wish to use once you've either gotten the go-ahead from your doctor or your stitches are all closed up and healing.
Do not be in a hurry for this step as your body does its thing naturally for the most part and your main focus should be on feeling better each day.
I recommend this highly praised Laroche-Posay scar gel, which is the one I purchased and would let you know how it works out for me.
Here is an alternative with great reviews as well.
*Remember to always check with your doctor first before using anything on your scar.
Another very important thing to consider post myomectomy is your wardrobe. Think loose-fitting and easy to wear dresses.
Before my surgery, I lined up multiple dresses in my room which would be the easiest to wear post-surgery. It is important to avoid any type of discomfort in order to experience the speediest recovery and so dresses that allowed my belly to be completely free with no rubbing were all I was interested in.
Here are some great options for this:
There is this casual V-neck shirt dress available in several colours. I love how wide the neck opening is so you do not have to struggle to put it on and there is no zip so you would not need a second set of hands to get it on. This is perfect if you live alone, like myself.
If you are looking for a no-fuss maxi dress you could look cute in while still healing, then I recommend this cotton short sleeve maxi dress.
Remember, cotton and linen are very breathable fabrics, which is what you need to ensure you do not irritate your abdomen and surgical area.
Once more, there is no zipper on this dress and so it makes it easy to wear.
The best part? It has POCKETS!
Another cute dress that works great post-myomectomy is this shift dress with pockets.
There is an array of colours to choose from so it wouldn't hurt to get 2 or 3 to switch things up. You also will not be tripping in this dress.
As previously mentioned, I am a woman who does not like stress. The soft life is for me.
So before my surgery, I actually got myself a walking stick! Yes, I am that person.
Do not be quick to judge me though because leaving that hospital bed is a challenge and so is standing up from a vehicle. This cane gives me the support my core cannot just yet.
It was honestly the best option I could find on Amazon because most of the other options were too flashy for my liking.
A walker is also something you may want to invest in if you end up having a really hard time getting around like I did.
This one with wheels is your best bet to use around the house as it's foldable.
I personally was not able to take a shower for the first 2 weeks after my surgery due to painful mobility and then my wound was not healing properly.
I also was not able to squat low enough for my toilet seat and so this commode came in handy. I would use it to go to the bathroom and also sit on it to do my dry baths.
You may also consider renting one locally if it is an available option.
Lastly, if you have not already, now is the time to invest in some comfortable sleepwear.
Think oversized shirts/night dresses that are easy to wear, made from cotton and won't rub against your incision.
or pj sets with high waist bottoms.
I also really like this set HERE.
You NEED to increase your protein intake post-surgery to help your body recover faster.
A non-dairy protein option is best for you and so I recommend this one here.
It has only 1g of sugar/serving, 2% carbs and little fat (2g) as well.
You can make protein shakes or add a scoop to your smoothies and/or yogurt throughout the day.
This list is not exhaustive and so I shall be adding to it as I'm on my healing journey and notice what could better assist me around my place.
Something else I would be doing is using TaskRabbit to hire someone to clean my place and do my laundry while I'm recovering.
You may also want to see if you can hire someone to cook meals for you (if you can afford that) or maybe UberEats is more your thing.
If you have friends, put them to work and vocalize how they can be of assistance. Maybe they can come over and fold clothes. Get you groceries or walk your dog if you have a pet. Now is the time to ask for help when you need it.