Lumpectomy, mastectomy, reduction or augmentation — breast surgery is a common event that will touch many of us at some point. While how you prepare for the surgery may be different, depending on the procedure you’re having, choosing the best bra after surgery is a nearly universal experience. So, what’s the right choice? And when is it time to move on to a bra that’s less function and more form? Read on for guidelines on choosing the best bra for every stage of the healing process.
In the days right after your breast surgery, your doctor will likely have strict recommendations for what to wear. Most often, your doctor will provide you with a surgical bra that keeps your breast adequately supported without the aid of an underwire. Certain surgical bras, such as this one from Anita Care, may also have compressing qualities to reduce the risk of swelling and fluid buildup. Depending on the type of surgery that you’ve had, you may need to wear this bra throughout the day and night.
Immediately after your surgery, it’s vitally important that you follow your doctor’s instructions. One of the best things you can do to ensure a good result is keep the incisions clean and undisturbed. This is especially true if your incisions are made somewhere that comes in contact with the fabric of a bra, such as along the breast fold.
1 Month After
After the initial healing process is complete, there may still be areas of your breasts that are sensitive or tender. At 1 month post surgery, it’s not yet appropriate to make the leap to conventional bras. During this part of the healing process, you may advance to soft-cup bras that don’t have underwires. Choose a breathable, natural, non-irritating fabric (we like cotton) to stay comfortable and minimize itchiness.
4 Months After
At the 4-month mark, it’s likely safe to move on to more conventional bras, including those with underwires. According to Dr. Josh Olson, a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation here in Scottsdale, AZ, the 4-month mark is when the ultimate results of surgery typically take shape. However, be sure to get the go-ahead from your surgeon before wearing these bras full-time.
For women who have undergone cosmetic breast procedures, especially an augmentation or a reduction, the first time shopping for bras after surgery can be extremely exciting! Have your breasts sized by a professional (we recommend a specialty lingerie store for this) to ensure you’re getting the right fit, and try on bras in a variety of sizes since there is no standard between lingerie manufacturers.
Don’t forget to look for the following indications that you’re wearing a great bra:
• The panel between the 2 cups should sit flush against your chest
• Your breasts should be well contained within the bra — no flowing out of the top, sides, or bottom
• The straps should stay in place on your shoulders without slipping or digging into your skin
The right bra can make all the difference. Keep your breasts healthy and beautiful throughout the entire healing process by following your doctor’s orders and choosing carefully.