Having FTM Top Surgery soon? Check out this list of essential post-op supplies. Here’s what I needed:

  1. Oversized button up shirts (I got mine at our local Free Store.)
  2. Bendy straws (The clinic supplied these.)
  3. Extra pillows (I needed to prop my elbows for comfort.)
  4. Zip lock bags, for ice packs (The clinic supplied these.)
  5. Clips, to secure ice packs to shirt. (Didn’t have these but would have liked to. Used a custom sock/safety pin/zip lock bag tuck to accomplish this instead.)
  6. Safety pins, to affix drain tubes to shirt.
  7. Regular Tylenol (to kick codeine.)
  8. Cardboard trays, to empty drains into (The clinic supplied these.)
  9. Ginger beer (Instantly cured my sore throat, the result of throwing up and/or anesthesia intubation tube.)
  10. Eye drops (Codeine makes my eyes REALLY dry.)


  1. 3M paper tape and gauze, for covering nipples under compression vest.
  2. Polysporin*
  3. Anti-bacterial soap* (didn’t have this but maybe should have.)

* UPDATE, May 2012: I forwarded a link to this post to a friend recently and noticed the mention of Polysporin. I have only a vague memory of using Polysporin post-op, and I think it was my surgeon who recommended it to prevent infection of one of my incisions that was looking a little “angry.” However, when I consider this now I’m not certain how much of a good idea Polysporin is with top surgery healing. I recall what my tattoo artist used to tell me, that anti-bacterials kill the good healing cells along with the bad. The goopy stuff can also inhibit good air flow on the incisions — not ideal. So, keep this in mind when reviewing this list: Unless an infection is present, I’m not certain that Polysporin is necessary and it may actually do more harm than good. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations.

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