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What do you wear after surgery?

I am wondering what types of tops do you wear after surgery? I am a female. I had my pre-op today and the nurse told me I would have to wear button down shirts after surgery. I do have to wear a brace for 3 months post-op. I don't want to buy extra button down shirts if I don't need them. I normally wear tee shirts and the weather is pretty warm up here in NY.

So, what tops did you wear after surgery.
40 year old mom
Tlif July 18


  • I'm full of information about this! That is if you are having thoracic or lumbar surgery.... If you are having cervical surgery, then no idea. Tell us what you are having so we can help more. I can even suggest shoes, sleep wear.... all kinds of goodies.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I'm not a fan of button ups either.
    If you have a zip up hoodie that will work.
    I got some Disney pj's from Walmart that are button up top to wear home or a silky night shirt that's big enough to not have to lift my arms too much. Plus they were not more than 10$.
    Make sure pants are loose for your incision.
    Also a cami is good under your brace.
    99/00 L4/5 & L5/S1 herniation
    2001 L5/S1 microdisectomy age 25
    severe DDD at surgery level
    2011 pars
    2012 RFA L/3/4/5
    7-02-13 L4/5 l5/S1 360 fusion ALIF PLIF
    DX spondylitis , DDD, scoliosis, and slight kyphosis
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  • I have some of the same questions...my surgeons nurse told me to get some Old Navy comfy short sleeve t's for under my brace, which I did. And I got some comfy night shirts and elastic waist capri jammie bottoms. But here's another question I have ladies...I'm rather large on top (actually having breast reduction surgery in the next few months) so I'm not comfortable going without a bra. I bought cheap comfy sports bras at walmart to wear under my pajamas at the hospital. But will I be able to put it on?? And can you girls get your bras on after surgery, when you get home? ...that is sort of a feat for me. lol Sorry to horn in on your post Pink2slip!! :)
    42yr old mom, of 3 & 6 yr old boys
    Spondylolisthesis L4-5, Spinal stenosis,
    Left leg/foot radiculopathy, Khyphosis
    360 Decompression Fusion scheduled for 7/23/13
  • i've had 3 lumbar surgeries. i wore t-shirts, was not a problem. brace over them when i had to wear it. i did buy a couple of stretchy waisted loose fitting pairs of pants. you don't want anything pressing on the incision if you can help it. i too don't like going without a bra. i think once i was up and able to get dressed, the bra wasn't such an issue. i usually hook it in front and then swivel it around anyway, so it wasn't ant different than normally putting it on.

    where in NY are you? i'm on Long Island.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • I am having a lumbar fusion l5-s1. Everything I wear i pull over my heard. I have a lot of hoodies. Some zip up ones.
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
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  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 07/01/2013 - 2:56 PM
    And they said button up? Through out ALL of my spine surgeries I never wore anything button up I wore t shirts mostly. I hate button up shirts as they never work well on me. What kind of brace exactly are you going to have? I know everyone I saw at PT that only had one or two levels fused worse soft braces. I have no experience with those. I had to wear a hard TLSO brace, basically from pelvic bone to above my boobs... in Florida... June, July, August, September.... yep swell timing! lol. The nurses told my husband to buy me men's T-shirts in a size smaller than I'd normally wear. I found the V-Necks MUCH COOLER than the T-Shirt collars, I can't say enough how hot and sweaty the hard braces are... however I found the leotard style girdles to be the best. My husband (bless his heart) found some that were like a stretch cotton.... close/hugging my body, buttoned under my legs so they didn't ride up... he bought them in a bigger size than I would wear to actually get "girdle protection" if that makes any sense, because I was using it for comfort only. I found that was by FAR the best way to go. All of my T-shirts, even tight fitting ones would "ride up" and my brace would be sitting under my chin before I knew it.

    I'm small chested (going to have some work there maybe in a couple of years :) ) but I REFUSE to be without a bra... REFUSE... they might be small but I like them contained....lol. I bought several work out tank tops that have the built in shelf bra and wore them after the brace (Didn't need a bra while using the brace...)

    I HATE the cheap silky PJs you can buy at walmart, but if you can stand them (or if you like them even better!!!) definitely get two pairs as you will be MUCH more comfy in bed because you'll be able to "slide" easier into different positions for comfort.

    I also fell completely in love with my sandals... (did I mention I live in sunny...aka...hot Florida?) My parents bought me a pair that I normally would never buy as they are out of my shoe budget for sandals and well... the brand is a little "older" than my age. I'd just say what brand but I'm afraid it would be removed because we can't endorse a product, but please, PM me and I'll even give you the style/brand.... They aren't the most attractive, but they have incredible support, are anti slip, and can be adjusted above the toes, around then ankles, behind the ankles... which was GREAT since I also had to wear those support leggings for 6 weeks.... and I wore the sandals in "inpatient rehab" for 3 weeks. They request tennis shoes, but my feet were so swollen they wouldn't fit! (and I normally don't swell)... after my stay the PT people were actually recommending them to lots of patients....lol.

    I definitely suggest T-shirts and the zip up hoodie is a great idea... because I found the meds I used during the healing process would sometimes give me hot flashes... followed by chills...etc.

    Also, with L5/S1 remember shaving your legs will be a huge challenge... so if you are funny about that, you will need to buy some pants for when you have guests etc...

    Let me know if you have any questions/concerns I can help you with.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • t shirts a size larger than normal to accomodate for the back brace, and those white sleeveless t shirts that the guys wear, the tankk top muscle shirts on the really hot days, and a hoodie if needed when it was cool......and no button down anythings. I found those harder to get into, because of having to reach around to grab the other sleeve....over my head was so much easier.
  • I am glad I do not need button downs they are not my style, neither are silky pj's. i live in Western NY and our temps are wacky. We have only been in the 70/80 temp range, the rest of summer we have been in the 50's. i have plenty of hoodies and fleece jackets.

    When I was fitted for my brace, the same type all metal has I was told Cami's are necessary because of the irratation level of the brace. Sadly, I have a huge chest and the brace makes me look interesting up top. I have no problem with wearing my brace over a shirt and going out that way. I hear the brace will,be my best friend.

    I have a lot of stretch waist shorts, capri's yoga pants, and sweats. I have pretty good shoes I have a slip on pair od go walks which are broken in and a well structured pair of slipon's. i would love to wear flipflops but that doesn't make sense.

    I apologize for this being so long. I can't sleep from the pain.
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
  • Had plif l5/S1 6/12/13. I did not need anything button up. For the fist days in the hospital they wanted me in the Johnny... Yes but hanging out every trip to the bathroom!! At that point I didn't care. Went home in a tee shirt type dress so no pressure on any incisions. I bought several at old navy and wore them for most of the first week. I did not have a brace. For pjs I got 2 mid length satinish night gowns off the clearance rack Macy's. They made rolling over and out of bed easier. Found a pair of slip on sneakers that I wore home from the hospital and still use for my daily walk. The grabber thing was useful also. Drink lots of fluids after surgery!! Good luck!!!
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
  • I can only imagine what a large chest woman would look like in a TLSO brace. I'm just going to go ahead and laugh at you and hope that is ok..... we have to find something to laugh about. I went back to work in my brace, so I wore it under my clothes. It made me look like I had big boobs and a flat stomach...lol. Though I was fooling no one, no matter what size/style shirt I wore you could still clearly tell I was wearing a brace.... of course the walker/cane/foot brace was another give away...lol. I had a great friend who came to see me while I was at the hospital.... she put a huge superman sign on the chest. Everyone thought that was really funny. The best part was when my son came to see me he said, "Wow mom, you are a hero!" lol.

    Yes, you ABSOLUTELY have to wear something under the hard brace. Since you do have a larger chest, yours might not "ride up" as easily. I'm serious though, by the time I got back to my room after PT I'd sit down on my bed and could rest my chin on the chest. If you run into that, do give a leotard type undergarment a try. It didn't totally prevent it from riding up but it certainly slowed it down.

    Best of luck to you!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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