Regular exercise is a crucial part of staying healthy, and if you have recently undergone a breast reconstruction or plastic surgery, you may want to get back to your old workout routine. While light activity can be a good way to help you heal, it is important that you take some precautions to protect yourself when you exercise.

Doctors often recommend wearing a sports bra after breast augmentation surgery as the soft, supple material will not irritate your skin and the firm compression technology can reduce the risk of post-operative health complications. Once you are healed, your mastectomy sports bra will also offer the right level of support so you can get back to doing the activities you love.

If you’ve recently had reconstructive surgery, breast augmentation or reduction, here are some things you should know about wearing a bra post-surgery.

Best post-mastectomy bra

Right after surgery

In the weeks after surgery, your comfort is one of the most important aspects of your recovery, so you need to find a bra that feels good.

For up to a month after surgery, you may have some initial swelling in your chest area and limited mobility, so your doctor might recommend a surgical bra to help with the healing process. These bras have drainage ports for wounds, front closures for easy dressing, and compression technology to improve blood flow.

However, a sports bra is a great alternative to a post-surgical bra as it provides gentle compression and is often constructed from moisture-wicking material to help regulate your temperature.

Choose a sports bra that can adjust to your changing body. Buy a sports bra that fits you on the loosest hooks directly after surgery, and you can tighten the closure as the swelling goes down.

Added comfort

When buying a sports bra to wear after surgery, look for features that maximize your comfort. Detailing or soft seams on the bra should be minimal, and any elastic on the bands should be covered to prevent skin irritation.

Look for bras made from fabric with a high cotton content which will be softer against inflamed skin and breathable if you experience heat flashes. Padded straps are also a great feature and help to distribute the weight of your chest evenly across your shoulders which can help you manage your new cup size.

There are also sports bras with a front closure, making it easier to clean and dress surgical sites. Front closures are discreet, allowing you to swap out bandages or readjust when necessary.


Compression is a crucial advantage to wearing a sports bra post-surgery. The stretch material helps you feel supported, improves your posture, and minimizes post-operative swelling, but it also moves with you, allowing for a full range of motion.

If you’ve had breast augmentation, your new breast implants may take some time to settle into their final position, size, and shape. The gentle compression of a great sports bra prevents your breast implants from shifting and reduces the risk of lymphedema.

Other considerations

While underwire bras are exceptionally supportive, they are an unsuitable option to wear after breast surgery. An underwire bra can irritate wound sites, and cause damage to breast implants.

Most doctors and plastic surgeons recommend avoiding underwire bras for at least a year. Sports bras are the ideal alternative and offer excellent support for your chest. The material is breathable yet strong enough to provide a clear delineation between the breasts to keep each one separated and lifted to help enhance your shape.

If you’ve recently undergone surgery on your breasts, your most comfortable choice in bras is a sports bra with a wide underband, compression panels, breathable fabric, and flexibility.

underwire bra

The takeaway

Breast surgery is a major operation, and as you get used to your new contours, you want to feel as comfortable as possible. Doctors and medical professionals recommend a sports bra because of the supportive material, simple design, breathability, and compression.

A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe offers in-house fittings so you can get a sports bra tailored to your measurements. Please call us at (952) 568-8904 to schedule your appointment with our compassionate and knowledgeable board-certified fitters.

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