Wearing a bra and support garments after breast surgery is vital for not only a good and safe recovery but also for a good end result. This article dives into details about the different types of bras and which may be best for you after breast surgery.
Different types of bras to wear after Breast Surgery
Like surgeries, there are different types of bras depending on the needs of the client. Below are some examples:
1. Surgical bras
Surgical Bras, also known as compression bras are bras without underwires and are most commonly worn after breast augmentation and breast reduction worn to help support the patient’s new breasts. They not only help keep breasts in their new position but they also speed up healing. Furthermore, it must be worn 24/7 for the first two weeks post-surgery. The only exception to this is showering.
- Help keep the wound dressings in position
- Limit the movement of the implants
- Protect the breast tissue
- Help reduce swelling of the breasts
- Promote a speedy recovery
2. Transition bras
Once the two weeks are up, you may switch your bra to a transition bra. This bra has no underwire but is still supportive. Like the compression bra, it should be worn every day and night. This bra should be worn for approximately two weeks. However, some patients may need to wear this bra for an additional two weeks. Once the 4-week mark has been reached, there is no need to wear the transition bra at night.
The same goes for breast reduction, where you will be using a transition bra but for 4 weeks instead of 2 weeks. When the 6-week post-surgery mark is reached, you may wear any bra provided it has no underwire. This is due to the fact that the skin under your breast can still be numb at this stage and wearing a bra with an underwire can be irritating.
3. Regular Long term bras
Regular long term bras can usually be worn approximately three months after breast augmentation surgery. As stated above, underwire bras tend to rub on the incision site and cause discomfort. You must be careful and always check that the incision site can tolerate your bra.
Once the breasts and incisions have healed and they have settled into their final position it is time to change to a bra that will help support your new breasts, long term. The best bra should make you feel beautiful, showing off your new breasts while also supporting them.
Moreover, the right bra should prevent the implants from drooping- which is something nobody wants such a short time after surgery. Since every patient has different types of breasts and different healing processes, you must consult and listen to your surgeon since they know and understand how your body is before and after the procedure.
The right type of bra for you after 3 months
As mentioned above, everyone has different healing processes, so the healing times can differ between patients. However, the average healing time for a patient is from three months to six months. To find out which bra would suit you best, below are several characteristics or features to look out for, when looking for the right bra;
- No underwire
- Front clasps for easier removal
- Fits your breasts well
- And it should also support your breasts, lifting them higher than your old bras
If a bra fits all these characteristics, then it should be the best bra for you. A good bra can help sustain and support your breasts.
1. Normal bras
A normal bra is a bra that provides breast support by giving it a better shape and the lift it needs. There are many types of normal bras: from no wire to wired and padding to no padding. You may need to wait a while before you decide to use a normal bra since there is a chance that your breasts may still change in shape a few months after surgery.
2. Sports bras
Sports bras are specifically designed to minimise breast movement and motion, they offer maximum support for your breasts while holding them firmly in place. Not only does it help reduce breast pain and discomfort while working out, but it can also prevent long term sagging.
This bra is also recommended to those who have undergone cosmetic surgery because of the support it gives to your breasts.
3. Zip or clasp bras
These are bras with a zipper attached to them at the front of the bra instead of the back. This design makes it easier to take off and put on, in comparison to a normal bra where the clasps are at the back. Most but not all zip or clasp bras are sports bras. They support and keep the breasts firm while providing people with a fast, easy way to put on a sports bra.
The disadvantage of this is that it should not be used for too much movement. Since there is a zipper at the front, the chance of it folding over itself is a bit high. Though uncomfortable when that happens, as long as you do not move excessively then there is nothing to worry about.
Going braless after Breast Surgery – Can I not wear a bra?
After breast reduction surgery, you should wait a bare minimum of 6-8 weeks before you go braless. However, you need to get the all-clear from your surgeon first, as if your breast are not adequately healed you can do serious damage. The same rules apply for breast augmentation, you should wait a minimum of 6 weeks post-surgery before you go braless. However, breast lift patients should wait a minimum of a month. That being said, no matter your breast surgery you should always consult with your surgeon before you go braless.
That being said going braless should not be a regular thing, in fact, going braless should be a rare occasion. Your breasts are constantly working against gravity, so you need constant support to give your breasts the best chance to fight the effects of gravity.
Pros and cons of wearing a bra
Wearing a bra has significant pros and cons. You have to weigh both so you can know which one is the best for you as this will depend on your personality, needs, level of comfort and, condition.
The benefits of wearing a bra:
- Help support the breasts
- They lift the breasts upward to minimise gravity’s pull.
- It is important to note that breasts are naturally held up by the internal supersensory ligaments and the skin envelope found on the outside, which contains the breasts. And bras are there to keep them in place.
- They are also there to improve your posture and prevent spine and back problems.
- They also prevent sagging of the breasts- helping your posture by supporting your breasts.
- Not only that but they give us the ability to adjust “flaws” that we find on our breasts, squeezing them into a shape that we want.
The disadvantages of wearing a bra
The disadvantages of wearing a bra vary from person to person. Disadvantages occur when a bra is a poor fit or too tight on the body. So if you’re currently wearing a bra that is making you feel uncomfortable, you are probably feeling one or more of these symptoms:
- Putting unnecessary strain on your neck and upper back may cause an unwanted headache.
- If you continue to use that bra, chances are that it will overwork your neck muscles and give you more intense headaches.
- If your bra is too tight for you, it will be restricting the movement of your ribs, giving you shortness of breath.
- Skin damage
- tight bras can hamper your blood circulation and eventually damage your skin.
- Back pain
- when you wear a tight bra, you put a lot of strain on your back this, in turn, leads to a stiff back.
What to do to have a good recovery after breast surgery
In a hurry to show off your new breasts? Then you need to follow the steps and directions your surgeon gives you. Aside from that, here are basic or common practices that our patients do to have a fast and safe recovery.
Things to avoid
The number one thing to avoid after surgery is smoking. Smoking does several bad things to your health already, so if you are to smoke a few weeks before and after the surgery, then it could affect not only your breasts but also your blood, skin, and immune system.
Another thing to avoid is large amounts of weight gain or loss while you are healing. Your breast tissue might end up sagging and your skin could lose its elasticity. Aside from that, you should also avoid pregnancy since your new breasts will be affected through lactation and an increase in breast size.
Surgical tape care
You need to take special care of your surgical tapes since you’ll need to have them on for eight weeks after the surgery. These tapes reinforce the incisions made during the surgery. You should avoid removing them since they help reduce the impact of scars on your skin.
Regular self-breast check-ups
Monthly self-examinations should be done once you hit 40 years old. It is to make sure that if there are problems with your breasts, there is a chance that it could be discovered much sooner and before it is too late. Aside from that, it can help you see the progress of your healing as well.
Dos and don’ts in post-recovery
You need to exercise within 6 weeks after the surgery. Light exercises only, such as rolling your shoulder blades, circling and stretching your arms. Make sure to wear your surgical or transition bra as you do so to avoid any complications. If you feel any pain while doing a certain exercise you are probably overexerting yourself. Pain at your incision site will be the first sign that you are pushing yourself too hard and need to slow down.
You must wear your prescribed bra to bed until your doctor says it is safe to sleep without it. Wearing them will help your breasts keep in position, along with having your incisions covered and protected from everyday movement and daily tasks. Don’t forget to follow the doctor’s instructions on when and how much medicine you need to take for pain.
Avoid alcohol and smoking, putting on makeup or other chemicals not prescribed by your doctor on the site of the incision(s). Not only will it affect the outer skin of your body, but your inner organs will be affected as well. There might be a bad reaction since your incisions are still healing and should not be touched yet.
One must be patient for great results, so if you follow these suggestions and other directions made by your doctor then you will be seeing results in no time.
Consult one of our doctors if you still do not know which bra would best suit you. The best bra for post-operative breast surgeries is entirely up to the patient, where comfort should be considered along with purpose and support.
Different Bras for Different Breast Surgery
The best bra for you after having breast surgery really depends on what procedure you chose to get and the appearance of your breasts.
Common types of Breast surgery
There are different kinds of surgery depending on your needs. The following are some examples:
Breast augmentation is the only procedure for breasts that uses implants. Implants are sacs filled with either saline or silicone and they help form and shape the breasts. This procedure can affect the pain one might feel after the surgery, as well as the appearance of the breasts and even future mammograms. See Is My Breast Augmentation Surgery Recovery Normal?
A breast lift, on the other hand, is when excess skin around the breast area is removed and the breast tissue is reshaped to raise the breasts. This specific procedure will not significantly change the size of your breasts; instead, it will be changing or moving the breasts to a more desirable position. It will also reduce sagging and raise the position of the nipples and the areola. Furthermore, you can choose to change the size of the areola for a more “aesthetic” look.
The third procedure, a breast reduction is an operation that will remove extra fat tissue and skin found in the breasts. For women with large breasts that are out of proportion and causing them neck pain, back pain, skin irritation, and more, this is the procedure that they will often choose. Most women who have had this procedure are more than happy with the results.
For a more detailed article regarding these procedures, simply search them on our website.
Getting a breast augmentation will:
- improve the appearance of your breasts
- increase your self-confidence
- correct any unevenness found on the breasts
Read more about the 8 Surprising Benefits Of Breast Augmentation Surgery.
While a breast lift will:
- change the shape of your breasts
- breasts will become firm and rounder
- your bra size will be smaller than your original size due to firmer breasts
Read more about the Medical Benefits Of A Body Lift After Massive Weight Loss.
Lastly, a breast reduction:
- can help relieve the pain felt in the upper back, neck, and shoulders
- increase your ability to participate in different physical activities
- promote a more positive self-image and confidence in oneself
There are similarities with what these three procedures can do to you, such as boosting your self-esteem and improving the appearance of your breasts. And since everyone has their own body, results would always be different from one body to another. This is why there are different definitions of the best bra.
Further Reading – Medical References:
- ASPS Breast Augmentation Cosmetic Procedures on What are the steps of a breast augmentation procedure?
- Mayo Clinic Breast augmentation Tests & Procedures
- ASPS Breast Augmentation Cosmetic Procedures on What should I expect during my breast augmentation recovery?
- Mayo Clinic Breast Reduction Surgery Tests & Procedures
- Mayo Clinic Breast lift Tests & Procedures
- ASPS Breast Lift Cosmetic Procedures on What is breast lift surgery?
- Humanitas University Student Life on The advantages and disadvantages of wearing a bra
- West County Plastic Surgery on What is the Best Bra After Breast Augmentation
- Dignity Health Medical Group on Breast Augmentation – Bra Guide
- UCI Plastic Surgery on When Can I Go Braless After Breast Augmentation?
- Covia.com on 5 Differences Between a Push Up Bra and a Normal Bra
- Covia.com on Sports Bra vs. Normal Bra
- Grossman Capraro Plastic Surgery on When Can I Wear a Bra After Breast Augmentation
- SELF Fitness on Now That I’ve Found Front-Zip Sports Bras, I’m Never Squeezing My Boobs Into Anything Else Again
- NHS Bristol on Surgical Scars Following Breast Reconstruction
Dr Patrick Briggs
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Dr Patrick Briggs offers not only high quality but also natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.