17 Gifts to Help Her Heal After a Mastectomy or Breast Surgery

These gift ideas for mastectomy patients are inspired by a oncologist’s instructions for healing after breast surgery. A single or double mastectomy is traumatic; give her gifts that help her recover and heal. Mastectomy care packages, pillows, and gift bags are just a few of the ideas on this list; every gift is related to the breast surgeon’s instructions for post-mastectomy healing and recovery after breast cancer surgery.

single double mastectomy giftsThe Breast Cancer Mastectomy Shirt With Drain Pockets was designed by a cancer survivor, and is better than a mastectomy camisole. The material is soft as a feather against sensitive, healing skin, and contains key patented features that help with healing and recovery after a mastectomy. The moisture absorbing material keep patients dry and comfortable. Because movement after surgery may be limited, and maneuvering buttons can be a painful challenge, this mastectomy shirt is fashioned with Velcro-like fasteners for ease of dressing and oversized armholes to help patients easily slip into it. It also has drain and equipment concealing pockets – because many women return home with drainage tubes or equipment after a double or single mastectomy. This shirt is designed with four internal pockets that conceal drains and equipment, which makes it a thoughtful gift to help her recover and heal after breast cancer surgery.

gifts for mastectomy patientsAnother mastectomy gift idea is a Sterling Silver Bracelet that says “You are braver than you believe…” is a bit less “medical.” The quote engraved on this bracelet says “You are braver than you believe and stronger than you feel.” A bracelet like this is a constant reminder of her strengths, and your love for her. The most important gifts for mastectomy patients are hope and faith that they will heal, they will recover, and they are as beautiful now as they were before.

In this article, you’ll find a variety of practical and recovery-oriented gifts for patients after breast cancer surgery, as well as several heartwarming and comforting ideas. I also included the link to the oncologist’s article on recovering from a mastectomy, so you see what to expect after surgery.

Gifts to Help Her Heal After a Mastectomy or Breast Surgery

If she’s staying in the hospital for longer than expected, read How to Sleep in a Noisy Hospital – 8 Tips for Patients. You’ll find several surprising gift ideas for mastectomy patients in that article.

Post mastectomy surgery gift basket for women

gift basket mastectomy recovery surgery

The Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets Get Well Soon Gift Basket is a great option if you want to stay away from the more “serious” mastectomy recovery gift ideas for women after breast cancer surgery. This gift basket is uplifting and delightful, and will help take your patient’s mind off the less savory parts of healing after a mastectomy. This beautiful gift basket is accented with flowers, contains sweets and gourmet treats, and will bring a smile to her face.

Below are several more gifts for after a mastectomy, plus a quick list of six gifts for women after breast cancer surgery. Every gift in this list is based on a tip for healing from a surgeon. Remember that you’re not giving gifts for no reason – you’re giving hope and showing how much you care by helping her heal after a mastectomy.

It’s traumatic to have breast cancer surgery and it takes a long time to recover – but your breast cancer surgery recovery gifts can be part of the healing process.

Mastectomy Gift Bag

single double mastectomy gift ideas cancer surgery recovery

Double Mastectomy Gift Bag for Cancer Surgery Recovery

A Double Mastectomy Gift Bag®  is the most popular gift for mastectomy patients, and is actually a “breast cancer recovery bag.” It’s a great gift for after mastectomy surgery. It includes pillows, toiletries, amusements, and other things women need to heal after surgery.

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This gift includes things you wouldn’t think of that mastectomy patients need but may not be able to afford, such as drain care supplies.

The following tips for healing after mastectomy surgery (post-operative recovery) are from the University of California San Francisco’s Mastectomy: Instructions After Breast Cancer Surgery. Each tip is connected to a gift idea, to help mastectomy patients heal from a single or double mastectomy.

Dry shampoo, soap, lotion, and pampering items

gifts for after mastectomy surgerySince mastectomy patients aren’t able to shower until after the drain is out, she’ll need something to keep her feeling fresh and clean after the surgery.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is very popular, and will help her feel like a beautiful woman again. I looked for dry soaps and unscented lotions, but couldn’t find anything that would make good gifts for women after mastectomy surgery.

The Avene SOS Complete Post-Procedure Recovery Kit contains everything a patient needs after surgery, but isn’t specifically for breast cancer patients after a mastectomy. This recovery kit includes Thermal Spring Water (1.76 oz.), Facial Compress (3 count), Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream (1.4 oz.), Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion (1.69 oz.), and Tolerance Extreme Cream (1.7 oz.).

Throat lozenges and magazines

Mastectomy patients have tubes down their throats during the mastectomy surgery. This often causes a sore throat for a few days after surgery, so she’ll really appreciate throat lozenges to soothe her throat and magazines to read while recovering.

Gifts for Mastectomy Patients After SurgeryThe Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Lozenges, Ginger with Echinacea is a practical gift idea for her after mastectomy surgery.

Items such as honey lozenges and dry shampoo may not seem like good gifts for mastectomy patients, but you have to remember how expensive those things can be. Pre and post surgery costs add up fast, which is why I’m sharing these ideas for patients after breast cancer surgery.

Plush blankets and pillows

Gift Ideas for Patients After Mastectomy Surgery

Since bruising and some swelling is common in women after mastectomy surgery, a wonderful gift idea for her is a Super Soft Black Borrego Plush Throw Blanket – perhaps with a soft plush pillow. She’s healing from a traumatic surgery, and needs all the comfort and pampering she can get.

After a mastectomy oncologists recommend icepacks to decrease discomfort and swelling – particularly to the armpit after a lymph node dissection. A small pillow for her neck or armpit area may decrease discomfort and help her heal. This gift idea for mastectomy patients can also be re-used after the mastectomy surgery. I’m not including a link to post mastectomy surgery lymph drainage pillows because it’s better for her to get information from her surgeon before she uses a specific type of pillow.

Read How to Sleep After Breast Cancer Surgery for more gift ideas and tips on how to help a patient recover after a single or double mastectomy.

Magazine subscriptions

magazine gift subscription mastectomy patientsGive her three or four magazines about things she enjoys reading about.

Personally, I would love a O, The Oprah Magazine subscription if I was recovering from breast cancer surgery! It’d be a wonderful surprise every month for a year – not just as a one-time mastectomy gift idea.

Encouragement to exercise, such as Yoga for Cancer DVDs

The post-mastectomy recovery tips include exercises that help patients regain movement and flexibility.

mastectomy gifts for patientsA healthy gift idea for her is a Yoga DVD for Breast Cancer for Patients and Survivors that increases her strength and flexibility.

If she had a lymph node dissection, doctors encourage NOT exercising until after her first post-operative visit. If you like the yoga DVD gift idea for after a single or double mastectomy, encourage her to listen to her surgeon’s tips for healing after the mastectomy.

Healthy, delicious high-fiber fruits and veggies

Mastectomy Gift Ideas for Patients

Help her recover from her surgery by giving her a Fruit, Cheese and Nuts Delight Fruit Basket.

Since narcotics for pain management after mastectomy surgery can cause or worsen constipation, patients are encouraged to increase her fluid intake and eat high fiber foods such as prunes and bran. A local bakery may have a good assortment of high-fiber fruit and bran muffins (though they are often very high in fat).

A water infuser

gift ideas for cancer patientsThe Atlantis Water and Fruit Infusion Glass Pitcher is perfect for infusing beverages with natural flavors. It’s a great way to enjoy a sweet drink without added sugar. It’s so easy to use; just choose your favorite fruits, and slice them into smaller pieces. The smaller the slices, the stronger the infusion. Put the fruit inside the infuser and add fresh water. Wait for at least an hour and voila! Delicious water with no calories.

The hospital recommends that mastectomy patients drink eight to 10 glasses of water and non-caffeinated beverages every day. This helps clean her system after mastectomy surgery – and so do fresh fruits, vegetables, and lower fat foods.

An eReader

Even if she doesn’t like to read, she may be forced to when she recovers from surgery! A Kindle eReader or Kobo is one of the best gift ideas for her after mastectomy surgery, because she won’t be able to lift her arms or hold them up for long. Splurge on the latest Kindle, and load it up with fiction and non-fiction books.

Rides to follow-up oncologist appointments

Patients have to see their surgeons for at least one follow-up appointment after a single or double mastectomy, and one of the best gift ideas for her is company. She may not be able to drive, and might really appreciate the support. You might also offer to help her keep track of her doctor’s appointments, via a shared calendar.

Hope and faith – the best gift after mastectomy surgery

gifts for after breast cancer surgeryA symbol of hope – such as a “Tree of Life” Opal Circle Pendant on Amazon (pictured) – is one of the most heartfelt and hopeful gifts you can give a mastectomy patient. It’s a visual reminder of healing and love, and can help keep her strong.

A Heart-Shaped Locket With a Butterfly is another beautiful and thoughtful mastectomy gift idea for a woman with cancer, because she can put photos of loved ones inside.

The most important gift you can give a mastectomy patient is to your time and attention

I think it’s difficult to know what to say when a friend, sister, wife, or coworker has mastectomy surgery. An acquaintance recently emailed me that she will undergo a double mastectomy in less than a month, and I didn’t respond until today. It took me five whole days to figure out what to say! Granted, I don’t know her well – I’ve only met her a couple dozen times through walking our dogs. But, the best post mastectomy recovery gift you can give anyone is your presence.

By the way, I recently wrote an article about journaling for breast cancer survivors. New research shows that expressive writing affects the health and wellness of women with cancer. A journal is a lovely gift for a mastectomy patient, if she enjoys writing.

Invitations for small walks

Today I texted a friend who will soon be undergoing double mastectomy surgery, and asked if she wanted to walk with me and my dogs. I haven’t see her for over two months because of her chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. After the mastectomy surgery, she will be encouraged to get up and out of bed to take small walks. A healthy gift idea for her – or any woman healing from a mastectomy – are regular, consistent text or email invitations for short walks. Walking can be restarted right after a double or single mastectomy…and who wants to walk alone?

For more tips on supporting a patient after breast cancer and mastectomy surgery, read How to Help a Friend Whose Mom Has Cancer.

6 Quick Gift Ideas for After Mastectomy Surgery

recovery gift idea double single mastectomy s

One last gift idea for breast cancer patients – which they may not be ready for yet. A cancer tattoo would be good for certain women, but not everyone.

A breast cancer tattoo – a good gift for mastectomy patients?

Catherine Madden got a tattoo as a gift to herself after a double mastectomy…a tattoo over her missing breasts. She didn’t get the breast cancer ribbon tattoo pictured – it came from a blog called I Kicked Cancer’s Ass.

Breast Cancer Surgery Patients Gifts

Gift Ideas for Breast Cancer Surgery Patients

“For me it was something beautiful coming from something so ugly,” says Catherine in Cheeky Tattoo Celebrates Woman’s Breast Cancer Recovery in Britain’s News & Star. “I liked the person I was before cancer, but I love the person I have become after cancer. [A double mastectomy] really does change you, but it doesn’t have to be for the worse.”

Some mastectomy patients say tattoos are a gift that gives them a chance to reclaim their identity, to take back something cancer had taken from them. They have a chance to put their own badge on an experience they had no control over. Is a tattoo a good gift idea for a woman after a single or double mastectomy? It depends on the woman – and what her oncologist or surgeon says about the health risks of a tattoo after surgery.

If you’d rather give a more whimsical, pretty gift than the practical health-related ideas on this list for mastectomy patients, read 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her – Creative and Thoughtful.

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7 thoughts on “17 Gifts to Help Her Heal After a Mastectomy or Breast Surgery

  • Adrianna

    Awesome gifts for women recovering from mastectomy breast surgery, but I was wondering if you knew of any discussion boards for patients?

    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from knowledgeable breast cancer survivors. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.


  • Maegan Jones

    Hi Laurie,

    First off, I came across your site and wanted to say thanks for providing a great cancer resource to the community.

    I thought you might find this useful infographic interesting, as it shows the detailed effects of chemotherapy in an interactive format: http://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/effects-on-body

    Naturally, I’d be delighted if you share this graphic on your gift ideas article for women after a mastectomy, and/or share it on social. Either way, keep up the great work Laurie!

    All the best,

    Maegan Jones | Content Coordinator
    Your most trusted ally in pursuit of health and well-being

  • Kathy T

    Had double mastectomy this past October with chemo to start next week (Dec. 16th)
    Felt so yucky with those drains and refused to use the “dry shampoo”. I so appreciated my sisters taking turns to come over and shampoo my hair. Felt soooo good! Another thing that helped was getting out and walking a little each day if you felt good enough.
    I agree with Ashley about Faith. Don’t know how people go through this without it.
    The Lord is in control!

  • Mitzy

    These are thoughtful gifts and ideas to help a woman heal after mastectomy surgery. My sister is scheduled for a double mastectomy in the new year, and I need to start preparing myself.

  • MIchele

    One of the most important, valuable gifts you can give a woman after a mastectomy or even a breast cancer diagnosis is HOPE.

    Other women who have survived and thrived after single and double mastectomies is the best way to offer hope to women currently undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

    Here’s what one woman said, before she was diagnosed with breast cancer: “When I would look at ladies that were survivors, I would think, ‘How do they do it? How do they go about their daily lives?”

    Now, she’s preparing to undergo chemotherapy and get a mastectomy. Giving her the gift of hope and comfort will help her keep her spirits up through the ordeal. Her cancer is malignant and she has to have a double mastectomy. The cancer was was in the lymph nodes.

    A possible gift idea for a woman after a single or double mastectomy is to walk alongside her in a walk to raise money for cancer research, treatment, and cures.

  • Laurie

    Dear Ashley,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with a single mastectomy and your breast cancer tattoo! I’ve heard that what we tattoo on our bodies, we tattoo on our souls.

    You’re an inspiration. You are so young, and you have been through so much. You’re strong, and I know the source of your strength is Jesus. He brings so much peace, joy, and hope to our lives — even when we go through something so difficult as a single or double mastectomy. If there is a gift of breast cancer surgery, it may be a renewed faith in God.


  • Ashley C

    I am not a cancer patient but breast cancer run in my family. I was 18 when I had a single mastectomy due to an out of control infection. I learnt that I am mature and my faith keep me with a level head. I was able to get fat from my tummy to make a new breast. But I will always be reminded so I did decide to get a tat not on my scars but on my forearm. It says “Jesus is my Savior” it means a lot to me because I gone through a lot. I am 22 as of now and sometimes I do get discourged when I look in the mirror from time to time. But then I look at that tat and even though I don’t have a nipple on that side and the scars are there I hold my head up.