What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

As of today, it’s only nine more days until I go under the knife. I’m a little nervous, but in a good way.

So what do I need to pack for my overnight stay at the hospital? I asked a few people who’ve already undergone the surgery and here are some of their tips for what you should have in your hospital bag.

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I’ll have my trusted fave, Carmex with me. (Photo: mycarmex.com)

Lip balm and lotion

Following the surgery, you won’t be able to drink anything for a certain amount of time and your lips and skin will probably feel parched. Having a lip balm and lotion will take care that uncomfortable dryness until you can finally have some water. And if you’re dark-skinned like me, the last thing you want is to have ashy skin. My favourite lip balm is from Carmex. It goes everywhere with me and keeps my lips from getting too chapped. Most likely, I’ll be packing Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion since I have problems with very dry skin.

Your medication

If you’re already on medication, bring it with you. You’ll still need to take it until you’ve been given the OK to stop. Make sure you’ve already informed your surgeon and the nurses about which medication you’re currently taking.

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Definitely taking my Kindle with me. (Photo: amazon.com)

Tablet or laptop, books, phone and chargers

You’ll spend a lot of time waiting, so you may as well make sure you have something to keep you occupied. I’ll have my Kindle and my phone with me. I’ll also pack my chargers to make sure I can keep everything juiced up.

If you’re not an e-reader or tablet person, bring a paperback, some magazines or a newspaper with you. Why not bring a notebooks so you write down your thoughts? It’s always good to start a journal to help you keep track of your progress and this could be the perfect opportunity to start.


Comfortable clothing

You’ll most likely be in the hospital over night and you’ll need a change of clothes for the next day. Because of the incisions, you’ll probably want to avoid bending too much won’t want anything that’s too tight. Opt for something loose and comfortable. Don’t worry about making a fashion statement. There’ll be time for that once your incisions have healed. Right now, focus on being comfortable and not having anything that will press on your already tender incisions.

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(Photo: thecatspjs.com)

Robe and two-piece pyjamas

After the surgery, you’ll need to walk around to help relieve gas pressure, which will also help with the pain.

You’ll want the robe in case you feel chilly and you’ll want your pyjamas for walking around and feeling a little less exposed than you do in a hospital gown.

Make sure you pack two-piece pyjamas and not a onesie. This will make it easier for your doctor and nurses to check your incisions or listen to your tummy.

I’ve got plenty of pairs of cute PJs , so I think I have this point covered already.



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My favourite slippers (Photo: mahabis.com)

Slippers or slipper-socks

If you’re like me, your feet are always cold. As much as I like going around in bare feet, it’s winter here in Sweden (which means my feet are definitely cold) and since I’ll be walking the hallways trying to get rid of gas, I’ll want something on my feet. I have a very comfortable pair of slippers from mahabis, but any pair of slippers will do.

If you don’t like slippers, try slipper-socks. They have non-slip soles and should keep your feet nice and toasty.

Toothpaste/Mouthwash/breath spray

Like I said earlier, before and after the surgery, you’ll have a period of time when you won’t be able to drink anything, and you’re probably going to want to get rid of that sticky feeling in your mouth as well as keep your breath from smelling too funky. If you can get up on your own, brush your teeth. Otherwise, use some mouthwash or breath spray to freshen your breath. You’ll feel a little better for it (even if it’s only psychological).

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My favourite hotel-style pillow from Hemtex. (Photo: hemtex.com)

Your favourite pillow

You’ll want something comfortable with you, something that reminds you of home or makes it easier to sleep. Having your favourite pillow can help both at the hospital and in the car/taxi on your way home. Don’t forget to bring your pillow case too, since hospital pillow cases can sometimes be scratchy.

I’ll most likely take my pillow from home. I bought it from a store here in Sweden called Hemtex and it’s a hotel-style pillow, so it’s wider, higher and squishier than most pillows. In the US, you can find hotel-style pillows at any well-stocked department store.

Have you already undergone your gastric sleeve or bypass? What did you pack in your hospital bag? Share your tips with us! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

  1. OlenaRosanne says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us! I think it’s an awesome cheatsheet. I just remember how much my mind raced when preparing to go to the hospital for labor of my 2 kids. This post would’ve made packing so much easier! 🙂


  2. Rama says:

    Kim, you can also try Salivin lozenges for dry mouth. They work surprisingly well. I used them when I was in the hospital and had my fluid intake restricted. Buy them in any apoteket. In the Hospital hey can even give you some kind of swab. (Looks like a Q-Tip. Again, It’s surprisingly effective.


    • Kim Golden Malmgren says:

      I should pick some up. Still having a bit of a problem with dry mouth, even though I am drinking water and staying hydrated. Tacks for the tip! 😀


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