I am not a doctor, this is not professional medical advice.
It is anecdotal tips that I wish somebody would have told me before that surgery.
1- The "everything table". It's just practical to have a surface that can follow you around, with everything on it that you can want on a whim, including phone, computer, books, meds, wipes, snacks, etc etc etc. To make a bag out of it to bring to the hospital, as the first day after surgery is when you get most bored over there, and especially to bring back home with you to put on a little rolling table that can follow you around.
2-Think of laundry before surgery, get it allll done and easy to reach.
3-If you don't have a telephone shower head yet, GET. Washing self can become tricky, and when you're finally allowed a full body shower let me tell you that it's very welcomed to be able to wash everywhere properly.
4-The scabs over the nipples should be really dealt with extreme caution; they should be allowed to remain there as long as possible to make way for a better healing. To moisturize the bandages with ointment or petroleum jelly once you're allowed to change them, is a very good and handy idea because the scab likes to seep and dry into the bandages. It being greasy with the jelly keeps that from happening, so pulling the bandages off will not also pull the scabs off.
5-When you meet the surgeon as they draw on you just before the surgery, ask them about how the nipples usually heal, and what are the chances of the tips of them falling off. Sometimes they assume that you already know these things so they don't go over them. Also should ask about the dog ear phenomenon, what to watch for and how it can be prevented.
6-There is a method post-surgery with the drains and the chest compression that is meant to keep the swelling down, and set things up for your chest to heal in a most natural-looking way. I think that not all the surgeons have the same idea there, but try to keep the drains for the whole week they suggest that you do, even if it barely bleeds anymore. That blood is better out of your body than under your skin making a permanent bump somewhere unaesthetic.
And as such, they sometimes suggest to keep the bandages as pressure around your chest, and that's for the same reasons. I know for me I really had a difficult time to keep them from rolling down under my torso, so I lost precious days until I figured a way to strap them up (I made straps), and thought about my old binder way too late. It could have been used to wear over the bandages to keep the right pressure at the right places. Some guys also made garments to hold the drains from floating everywhere.
Do you have any other tips you'd like to share?