Following breast cancer surgery, women need to be prepared for and supported in their recovery and healing process. Although breast cancer is a life-changing experience, afterward comes the chance for a fresh outlook on life.
If you or a loved one has recently undergone a single or double mastectomy or other breast cancer surgery, investing in a comfortable post-mastectomy bra is essential. A mastectomy bra offers you comfort, support, and security during your recovery for faster healing so you can transition smoothly to life after breast cancer.
Learning what to look for in a mastectomy bra and how to find the perfect fit can make the shopping process less stressful.
The Basics of Mastectomy Bras
A double mastectomy (bilateral mastectomy) is a major surgery that removes both breasts. Whether you need a simple, radical, or breast-conserving surgery, the extent of tissue removal can change your body shape and make it challenging to wear pre-surgery underwear and clothing.
Fortunately, as a breast cancer survivor, numerous post-mastectomy products are available to help you regain confidence and comfort in your body. Mastectomy bras are designed specifically for women who have undergone breast cancer surgery and opted out of breast reconstruction, and require extra support for the healing and recovery process.
Features of a Mastectomy Bra
Whether you’ve had bilateral or unilateral mastectomy surgery, breast cancer patients need specialized bras that offer features to support their recovery and lifestyle after surgery. Some essential features to look for when shopping for a mastectomy bra include:
An ideal mastectomy bra features adjustable straps to accommodate your needed level of support and comfort each day. Adjustable straps allow you to change the shoulder strap length to create symmetry between your breast prostheses, creating the realistic appearance of natural breasts.
Many mastectomy bras also feature extra-wide, padded straps. Additional padding is ideal for women with a larger cup size and those who wear weighted breast forms. The padding spreads the weight of the breast tissue and prostheses evenly across your shoulders, minimizing neck pain and preventing the straps from digging in.
Wide Underbust Bands
A wide underband around the bust helps prevent tension and pulling on any developing scar tissue. Bras with wide underbust bands help women of all breast sizes retain a full range of motion without uncomfortable pinching or stretching the skin on the chest wall or underarms.
Wide underbust bands and back panels also provide most of a bra’s support structure, easing the strain on the bra straps and preventing them from digging into your shoulders.
Seamless, Wirefree Design
A bra made of a seamless breathable fabric may help prevent rubbing and irritation on sensitive skin areas around the surgical site. Seamless bras provide maximum comfort and are an excellent choice if your doctor recommends that you sleep in a bra.
Avoid the discomfort of underwire mastectomy bras by opting for a wireless design for increased daily comfort. Underwires can dig into scar tissue or breast implants if you have had a reconstruction, potentially opening stitches or rupturing the silicone shell. Mastectomy bras are often free from uncomfortable underwires but provide extra molded support in the cups comparable to underwire bras.
Front closures help reduce the twisting motion of putting on and taking off your bra, which may lead to discomfort. A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe offers front-closure bra designs with Velcro, zippers, or hook-and-eye closures, allowing for easy access to the surgical site if necessary.
Pocketed Bra Cups
Many of our bras feature pockets for breast forms that allow women to wear breast prostheses with confidence that they won’t slip out or move around. Wearing a bra with breast form pockets rather than adhered directly to your chest wall supports the weight of the prosthesis, allowing you to pull your shoulders back to reduce back pain and help you look and feel more energized.
In addition, the pockets make it easy to remove the prosthesis for cleaning and care.
Breathable, Soft Fabric
When considering bra options, selecting a fabric type that is breathable, non-restrictive, and soft is essential. When possible, choose a bra with a high-performance cotton blend that will be gentle on your skin while it heals and help your body stay cool, particularly if you are experiencing hot flashes.
Modal fabric is an eco-friendly alternative to cotton made from spinning beech tree cellulose. Because of its finer knit, modal fabric is more durable than cotton and remains intact even after multiple washes.
The Best Bras for Mastectomy Patients
The best bras to wear after a double mastectomy or other breast surgery should include supportive features that make you feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful. A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe’s in-store inventory and Mastectomyshop.com’s online selection offer a range of bra styles for every breast shape.
Amoena Emilia Seamless Comfort Mastectomy Bra
Our Amoena Emilia Seamless Comfort Mastectomy Bra provides seamless circular knitting technology for a precise and comfortable fit. The zip-front closure offers easy access to the surgical site, and its adjustable straps allow for easy fitting and wearing comfort. Integrated mesh areas on the sides and underbust provide extra ventilation to keep you cool.
This bra also allows for the attachment of a repositionable drain pouch to the bottom band.
ABC Active Recovery Mastectomy Bra
Ease back into an active lifestyle with our new ABC Active Recovery Mastectomy Bra. With double-layered soft fabric and extra-wide band and side panels, this bra was specifically designed to optimize support while providing superior comfort. Its front zipper with top and bottom G-hooks add security, and its adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit. This bra also comes with pocketed cups to support prostheses.
Amoena Aurelie Wire-Free Mastectomy Bra
Mastectomy bras can be just as flattering and sexy as your regular bras. Our Amoena Aurelie Wire-Free Mastectomy Bra from our Seduction collection is ideal for special events or more elegant occasions. Wire-free, with a soft padded back enclosure and adjustable straps, the Aurelie Mastectomy Bra retains the comfort of a leisure bra while adding delicate flourishes like sweet bows, a touch of lace, and a decorative Jacquard fabric perfect for the lingerie drawer.
Amoena Nora Soft Cup Mastectomy Bra
For a comfortable, supportive bra with a feminine touch, try our Amoena Nora Soft Cup Mastectomy Bra. The non-wired Nora bra provides excellent shaping and ultimate support, and its wide, adjustable straps offer additional comfort. It has bilateral pockets for breast forms, and its floral Jacquard weave adds a delicate, stylish touch.
Marena Sports Bra With Zippers & Pockets
Our classic Marena Sports Bra With Zippers & Pockets is ideal for active women who seek comfort and support during higher-impact activities. With a 1” smooth elastic band under the bust, easy-on front zipper, and wide shoulder straps, the Marena can help you stay secure during exercise. This bra contains cup pockets for prostheses and is machine washable.
Mastectomy Bras and Breast Forms
If you have opted for breast forms or a breast prosthesis rather than undergoing reconstructive breast surgery, mastectomy bras can provide you with the necessary support and shaping.
Many mastectomy bras feature pockets on the bra’s inside to help hold breast forms securely against your chest wall. Soft fabric pockets provide a soft layer between your breast forms and skin for increased comfort.
Look for bras with a wide chest band and adjustable straps that will allow you to adjust your breast forms to the right fit for you. Front closures with zippers or simple snaps make it easy to don and remove mastectomy bras with minimal arm lifting. Additionally, some mastectomy bras have pockets to hold drain pouches for use after surgery.
At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, we offer virtual fittings by licensed, accredited professional fitters, so we are uniquely equipped to help you find a bra that fits your needs.
How to Find the Best Bra After a Mastectomy
When shopping for the perfect double mastectomy bras and other post-mastectomy items, you may feel a bit overwhelmed during the process. At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, we are committed to providing relevant and educational information to our clients, enabling them to make the best choices for their lifestyle and needs.
Our staff of board-certified mastectomy fitters is knowledgeable and capable of assisting you in finding the perfect post-mastectomy bra.
When working with one of our certified fitters, they will take measurements and evaluate your surgical site to help guide you on products that will work best for you. They can assist you with questions or concerns you might have about the products you are interested in purchasing.
Our certified fitters can also help you navigate your insurance policy to determine whether your post-mastectomy products will be covered or require a doctor’s prescription. Most standard insurances cover four to six post-surgery bras each year, but this number depends on your provider, level of coverage, and medical needs.
We work closely with several insurance companies to help verify your benefits and obtain referrals.
If you meet with a certified fitter before surgery, they can measure your bra size before and after to ensure a proper fit. They can also make recommendations for a post-surgical bra and comfortable bra to wear directly after surgery.
If you are meeting with a fitter post-surgery and have not yet decided whether to wear a bra, they can provide you with educational information and resources to help you make your decision.
Support Your Body After a Double Mastectomy
Don’t let the stress of shopping for post-mastectomy bras and breast forms get the best of you. Our staff of compassionate and knowledgeable post-mastectomy fitters can help ensure that you choose the right products for your body and lifestyle.
Whether just browsing our online inventory at Masectomyshop.com or interested in setting up a personal fitting, please contact us with any questions you might have at (954) 978-8287 or use our online form. We look forward to guiding you through the different stages of your recovery and helping you regain your confidence.