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The Pre-Mastectomy Check-List

The Pre-Mastectomy Check-List

Dana Donofree
5 min read

The Pre-Mastectomy Check-List

Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be the most isolating, life altering moment of all time. One minute, you're focused on your education, your job, your family, your relationship, and the next minute, it’s all about your illness, your breasts, and your being pulled in a million different directions by doctors appointments and intense medical decisions.

Before you know it, you are planning to undergo your mastectomy surgery and barely have any time to think about what you need to do in order to be prepared for the biggest surgery of your life and possibly removing your breasts. You may not know what to do before or after your surgery, and there may be so much information overload from your doctors, that you don’t even know where to turn.

We know how scary and overwhelming the preparation for your breast cancer surgery is, and we are always here to help you, and to give you a few tips we have picked up along the way. Read along for support and advice from the open hearted, generous members of the AnaOno Community, and from breast cancer previvors, survivors and thrivers who’ve been through it too.  


The Ultimate Post-Mastectomy Outfit For Comfy Surgery Recovery

Being comfortable after your breast cancer surgery is the number one priority, whether it’s a single or double mastectomy, or breast reconstruction. When shopping for yourself, or sending your friends and family your “registry,” be sure to include super soft, dreamy post-mastectomy bras and pretty recovery robes that are also functional for your surgical drains. Our Rora Front Closure Bra was voted the BEST Post-Mastectomy Bra by InStyle Magazine, because of its unique combination of softness, adjustability and style. This effortless front-closure design will give you ultimate comfort and style, while the wide back bridge will give you the support you need through your back and underarms. It offers a perfect fit during recovery and post-recovery, and is even beautiful beyond surgery. You’ll probably love it so much you’ll continue wearing it for years to come. Breast cancer patients love this soft front closure bra with no underwire. It’s so supportive, you can even rock the Rora as a post-surgery front closure sports bra, or wear as a silky soft sleep bra.

Rora Front Closure Bra and Marianne Brief

The Award Winning, Rora Front Closure Bra will keep you comfortable and cute through every stage of healing and beyond diagnosis. This wirefree front closing bra fits after mastectomy, reconstruction, radiation, lumpectomy, and other breast surgeries.


Other post-surgical bras, recovery reconstruction bras, radiation bras, and lumpectomy bras include our stretchy Leslie Leisure Bra, and our full coverage style, our softest bra yet, the Monica. All of these options as well as the entire AnaOno collection of breast cancer bras for surgery, recovery and beyond diagnosis are designed with your surgeries in mind and include delicate seaming, bras with pockets, removable bra modesty inserts, and the softest material.

Once you have found mastectomy bras that support you after your breast cancer surgery, you’ll want the best lightweight robe that is not only comforting against your post-surgical sensitive skin, but helps you through recovery, too. The Miena Robe with Drain Management Belt is both functional and lovely. The robe is super soft and comfortable and will become your best friend for relaxing and lounging around the house while healing from your mastectomy. This post-surgery recovery robe comes designed with a drain management belt,  which will give your drains a home and allow you to move freely without being burdened. The best part? When you get your drains out and no longer need the belt, you can remove it, and wear the robe on its own!

Miena Robe and molly bra

Lounging around in the Miena Robe & Molly Bra


Aside from your immediate post-op needs, we offer a whole line of post-mastectomy bras that range from flirty and feminine, to modest, to sexy. Once you heal up, you’ll be able to experiment with every style we have to offer, and find a bra that makes you feel like you. Ask your family and friends for an AnaOno Gift Card to top off your future lingerie needs. This will allow you to choose your future bras you can wear once you have a full range of motion, finished recovering, and are ready for something lacier and sexier.

Pre-Mastectomy Self Care: Taking Care of Yourself Before Breast Surgery

While your community and loved ones may support you by throwing you a shower and gifting you the items you need, begin preparing yourself practically by checking the following things off of your Pre-Mastectomy To-Do List so you are prepared and know what to do before your mastectomy:

  1. Don’t feel guilty for clearing your calendar. Recovery is so important so take it easy and give your body a break. The less you move, the faster you recover.
  1. Schedule a blow-out to treat yourself before surgery AND after surgery. Additionally, set up appointments to get your hair washed at a salon, so you can feel fresh and clean in the weeks you have limited range of motion and can’t shower yourself.
  1. Meal delivery services and grocery delivery services are amazing options to have arranged before your breast surgery so you don’t have to stress about where your meals are coming from.
  1. Drink a TON of water. Staying hydrated will help your body heal faster. Buy yourself a large plastic tumbler with attached straw so you don’t have to lift a cup to drink. Trust us, it’ll save you so much energy and discomfort. Take it a step further by asking your caregiver to pre-pour glasses of water and juice for you, and leaving them at surface level. That way you won’t have to lift cartons or jugs when you’re thirsty.
  1. Get Pillows: ALL OF THEM. Post-mastectomy heart shaped pillows, neck pillows, even pregnancy pillows will all allow you the comfort you need to sleep and relax after your surgery.
  1. Buying button up and front closing clothing after mastectomy will allow for easy dressing. Think pajama sets and oversized shirts that can double as an outfit for when you’re ready to leave the house.
  1. Find super plush slippers for the hospital, because no one actually likes those weird hospital socks.
  1. If you like to shave your underarms, consider getting them waxed before surgery so your hair growth doesn’t become uncomfortable in the weeks you can’t lift your arms. Spray deodorant will also be a lifesaver to keep you feeling fresh and clean.
  1. Give yourself some extra love before your mastectomy. You deserve it, and there are so many ways to practice self-love as you prepare for your surgery.

By getting your ducks in a row, and arranging practical services for yourself before and after surgery, you will be able to relax and focus on what is more important than anything else: you and HEALING.

Dana Donofree
Dana Donofree

Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.