Top 10 Things To Bring For Your Hospital Stay

Packed Luggage and Chair

Most surgical patients spend about 1-3 nights in the hospital or surgical center, depending on their type of surgery and the preference of the surgeon.  Here are some of patients’ top suggestions for what to bring for their stay.


1.       Pillow

On the way home from the hospital, many patients like to place a pillow between the seat belt and their abdomen to reduce additional pain or tenderness when going over bumps, stopping quickly, etc.

2.       Favorite protein shake

Many hospitals and surgical centers will provide patients with a protein drink to sip on prior to going home. Unfortunately the selection of brands and flavors is usually limited. Bring your own surgeon/program approved protein shake to drink in case you don’t like the options provided.

3.       Gas-x

During laproscopic surgery, the abdomen is inflated with gas to help the surgeons’ visibility. This can mean that after surgery, much of this gas will remain inside of you for a few days to a week. The gas will pass out of you naturally, but while it’s inside your abdomen it could cause some discomfort. Using a product like gas-x chewables may help relieve some of the discomfort.  

4.       Listerine spray

Most patients won’t be eating or drinking for a while after surgery and they might feel like they have bad breath. Keeping a Listerine spray handy can help alleviate this concern easily instead of using breath mints or gum, which are often not allowed right after surgery.

5.       Chargers

Many patients bring their tablets and phones with them to the hospital. Make sure that you bring corresponding chargers to ensure you have the power you need to communicate with others or entertain yourself.  

6.       Headphones

The hospital can be a noisy place, especially if you have to share a room with another patient. Headphones can be a nice way to block out the noise and listen to music or watch a movie on your devices.

7.       Chap stick

Intubation, anesthesia, medications, or lack of fluid are all reasons that you might have chapped or dry lips after surgery. Make sure you bring some chap stick to help!

8.       Comfortable clothes

Make sure to bring something loose and comfy for your ride home. Some patients even choose to bring their own pajamas or hospital gowns for their stay.

9.       Face wipes

You may not be able to take a shower while you’re in the hospital so face wipes can be the next best thing.

10.   Ear plugs

Patients often don’t get sound sleep while they’re in the hospital due to the many sounds or check-ins they get from the nursing staff. Bring some ear plugs to help you get a little more sleep.


It’s good to note that most hospitals will provide you with a toothbrush and toothpaste, although you might want to bring your own toiletries just in case. If you have had surgery, what other things did you find useful for your stay?