After your breast surgery, be it augmentation, reduction, or mastectomy, the journey to recovery continues beyond the operating room. It’s common for surgeons to recommend wearing a post-surgical bra for several weeks following your procedure. This step towards your healing process offers support and comfort as your body adapts and recovers.

Post-surgical bras are designed to provide gentle compression in targeted areas around the chest wall, underarms, and back. This helps promote blood and lymph fluid flow at the surgical site, speeding up healing and preventing complications. Despite being beneficial to your recovery, there can be misconceptions about post-surgical bras being unnecessary, uncomfortable, or unattractive.

Busting common myths and getting all the facts about post-surgical bras will ensure you have the information you need to choose the right support garment for a smoother recovery.

Myth 1: All Post-Surgical Bras are the Same

It’s a common misconception that all post-surgical bras are essentially the same, both in appearance and functionality. However, this belief can negatively affect your recovery. The truth is that post-surgical bras are tailored for different types of breast surgeries.

Each design caters to the unique needs and healing requirements of the surgical procedure it’s meant for. As a result, choosing the right post-surgical bra for your surgery is critical for optimal recovery and comfort.

ABC Compression Mastectomy Bra

For instance, bras designed for breast augmentation or reconstruction differ from those made for reduction or mastectomy. Augmentation bras often focus on stabilizing the implant, featuring a snugger fit and under-bust support. Bras such as the ABC Compression Mastectomy Bra may also feature a belt or strap that passes across the upper chest to prevent implant dislocation.

Bras for reduction or mastectomy are designed to minimize pressure on surgical sites, with softer fabrics and front closures for easy wearability.

Consulting an experienced bra fitter to help choose the appropriate post-surgical bra is essential in the recovery process.

Myth 2: Regular Bras Can Be Worn Immediately After Surgery

Unlike regular bras, which feature underwires and rough seams, post-surgical bras are specifically designed to accommodate the sensitive and changing needs of your body as you recover from breast surgery.

ABC Active Recovery Bra

Post-surgical bras support the body’s healing journey, ensuring recovery is as smooth and comfortable as possible. Models like the ABC Active Recovery Bra offer gentle compression to reduce swelling, seamless and soft fabrics to prevent irritation on incision sites, and adjustable straps and closures for a customizable fit as the body heals and changes shape.

Wearing a regular bra too soon after surgery can not only cause discomfort but also potentially disrupt the healing process. Inappropriate pressure may be applied in sensitive areas, leading to an increased risk of complications like inflammation or overgrowth of scar tissue (keloids).

Myth 3: Post-Surgical Bras are Uncomfortable

When properly fitted, post-surgical bras are designed to maximize comfort and support during healing.

Anita 4157 Lima Compression bra

These bras are crafted with soft, stretchable fabrics that conform to the body without irritating sensitive areas. They do not contain underwires and have seamless interiors to prevent chafing against incisions. Many post-surgical bras come with features like front closures and adjustable straps, such as the Anita Lima, making them easier to put on and adjust without straining your upper body or the tissue around the wound site.

The key to comfort is in the proper fit. A well-fitted post-surgical bra should snugly support the surgical area without constricting it. It should also be adjustable to accommodate changes in swelling and shape during recovery.

Consulting an ABCOP-certified bra fitter at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe can help you find the ideal post-surgical and recovery bras for after your surgery.

Myth 4: Post-Surgical Bras Don’t Impact Healing

Post-surgical bras are engineered to provide the optimal balance of support and compression, which helps manage swelling and promote blood circulation. This controlled compression helps reduce the risk of hematoma or seroma formation and stabilizes the breast tissue, ensuring your surgical site heals correctly.

Post-surgical bras are also designed to maintain the correct positioning of the breasts, which is vital after procedures like augmentation, reduction, or reconstruction. This positioning helps prevent implant displacement, where saline or silicone implants drift into the upper chest or under the armpits and require additional surgery to correct.

ANITA 1094 Marbella Compression bra

They can also minimize the risk of lymphedema caused by excessive lymph fluid buildup around the incision site and in the extremities, like the hands and feet. If left untreated, Lymphedema can cause cellulitis, a potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Post-surgical bras like the Anita Marbella Compression Bra use gentle compression to move lymph fluid along the lymphatic system toward the heart, preventing accumulation.

Myth 5: You Don’t Need to Wear Them 24/7

The frequency and duration of wearing post-surgical bras are vital for effective healing. Your surgeon may recommend wearing them continuously, day and night, for a period ranging from a few weeks to several months, depending on the type of surgery and individual healing processes. For example, if you undergo a breast augmentation, you’ll need to wear a post-operative bra for around 6-8 weeks.

Continuous support from these bras is crucial for reducing swelling, keeping breast tissue in the right position, and ensuring proper blood flow, essential for healing. Not wearing the bra consistently, even briefly, might interrupt these benefits, potentially causing complications or extending the recovery period​.

PrairieWear HuggaVIDA

However, comfort is critical, so these bras are designed to be worn for extended periods. Models like the PrairieWear HuggaVIDA are made with breathable materials, with features like soft linings and antibacterial-infused material to prevent irritation.

It’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice on how long and often to wear your post-surgical bra. They’ll let you know when you can transition from a post-operative bra to a leisure bra or regular bra.

How to Correctly Choose a Post-Surgical Bra

Selecting the appropriate post-surgical bra is crucial for ensuring a comfortable and efficient recovery after breast surgery. The right bra provides the necessary support and plays a significant role in managing pain and facilitating the healing process. To help you choose the best post-surgical bra tailored to your specific needs, consider these tips:

  • Understand your surgery type. Different types of breast surgeries may require different kinds of support. Make sure the bra you choose is suitable for the specific surgery you’ve undergone.
  • Seek professional advice. Consult with healthcare providers and experienced bra fitters who can offer guidance based on your surgery and recovery needs.
  • Look for comfort and support. The ideal post-surgical bra should offer firm yet gentle support, helping to stabilize the breast area and reduce discomfort.
  • Consider material and fit. Choose a bra made from breathable, hypoallergenic materials. Ensure it fits well without being too tight; proper fit is essential for comfort and adequate support.
  • Adjustability features. Opt for bras with adjustable straps and closures to accommodate changes in swelling and sensitivity during the recovery period.
  • Check for special features. Some bras have additional features like front closures for easy wear, pockets for drainage tubes, or specific designs for compression needs.
  • Have multiple bras. Owning multiple post-surgical bras is beneficial for hygiene and ensuring uninterrupted support, as wearing them almost continuously is recommended. This allows for regular washing and maintains the necessary support as you heal.

Proper Care for Post-Surgical Bras

Taking proper care of your post-surgical bras is essential not only for maintaining their effectiveness in providing compression and support but also for ensuring hygiene during your recovery from breast surgery. Proper maintenance can also help prolong their lifespan. Here are some key tips for caring for your post-surgical bras:

  • Follow washing instructions. Always check the label for specific care instructions. Most post-surgical bras should be hand-washed in cool water with a mild detergent. Harsh chemicals and high temperatures can damage delicate fabric and construction.
  • Gentle cleaning. Avoid wringing or twisting the bra when washing. Gently agitate the water and let the bra soak for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residues. If you must machine-wash the bra, use a wash bag and connect the fasteners to prevent them from snagging.
  • Air dry. Air drying is usually recommended over machine drying to preserve the fabric’s elasticity and compression qualities. After washing, use a towel to squeeze any excess water from the bra and lay it flat on a fresh towel to air dry.
  • Regular rotation. If you have multiple bras, rotate them regularly to ensure consistent support and allow thorough cleaning and drying time.
  • Avoid fabric softeners. Fabric softeners often contain enzymes that can break down the bra’s elasticity and compression fabric, reducing its supportiveness.
  • Inspect for wear and tear. Regularly check your bras for any wear and tear affecting their support and comfort.
  • Proper storage. Store the bras in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent material degradation when not in use.

Get Fitted for a Post-Surgical Bra at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe

A well-fitted post-surgical bra is a wardrobe staple during your recovery, helping you to feel more comfortable and preventing complications as you heal. To get all the facts about post-surgical bras and find the right model for your body, contact A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe to schedule your personalized fitting with our certified fitters.

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