post-surgical bras

Post-Surgical Bras: Healing After Mastectomy and Other Breast Surgeries

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

What are post-surgical bras? They are specialty bra garments worn after mastectomies or reconstructive and elective cosmetic breast surgeries.

Don't expect to find many cute post-surgical bras around. They're meant to be functional not fashionable. They keep the patient in mind, one who might have limited arm and chest mobility and often must accommodate drains attached to the surgical site.

Not all post-surgical bras have the same features. Some offer compression to reduce scarring and swelling and stabilize movement. Others are made of loose-fitting, soft cotton or microfiber material to handle increased skin sensitivity from breast cancer treatments, like radiation therapy. They can hook, zip, or velcro together. Each patient must consider their unique medical situation when choosing a post-surgical bra style.

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Your plastic surgeon may or may not be familiar with all the post-surgical bra choices on the market. Cosmetic breast augmentations, reductions, and breast lifts (mastopexy) procedures have differing post-op care requirements. Those undergoing lumpectomies and mastectomies don't have the same options when it comes to breast reconstruction. Some patients aren't even eligible for these procedures. Surgeries can require building new breasts from the patient's tissue while others involve inserting chest expanders that are later switched out for implants. Breast cancer treatments also change the kind of post-operative surgical bra a person may need.

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is not a cosmetic boob job. Delayed surgeries due to treatment mean you could wear a post-surgical bra for a few weeks or many months afterward. There's also the added risk of infection or complication after any surgery.

How do you choose the best post-operative surgical bra?

  • Talk to your physician or support staff at your surgical center. Many breast cancer care facilities offer resources on where to find post-op bras.
  • Learn more about the issues you might face after surgery, whether that's a higher risk for lymphedema or sensitivity from surgery or treatments. Ask questions about drains or other possible complications.
  • Ask whether you need a compression garment, something less close fitting, or a pocketed style. Check out each brand's sizing and fit recommendations, because they will not be same.
  • Consider options related to design and use. Will the style accommodate a higher tummy or interfere with any possible abdominal surgery? Will you need to wear it during follow-up treatments? Think about how often you will want to wash the garment, too.

Choosing a post-surgical bra that meets your specific needs can help speed the healing process and make you more comfortable during your recovery.

Here are a few post-surgical bra brands you might want to consider:

post-surgical bras

Heart & Core Bonita Bra
Padded Compression and Cup Encapsulation w/pockets
Adjustable Straps with Reverse Hook-and-Eye Front Closure
Available in Bands 34-42, Cups C, D, ad DD
via Heart & Core

post-surgical bras

Heart & Core Elisabeth Bra
Compression Style w/Tabs for Drains
Velcro Shoulder Straps and Front Closure
Available in Sizes X-Small (Band 28"-32") to Super Queen (55"-60")
via Heart & Core
 post-surgical bras
Nouvelle Cotton Compression Bra
Velcro Shoulder Straps and Front Closure
Avaialble in Sizes XS-2XL
via Cure Diva
Amoena Patricia Compression Bra
Light Compression, Velcro Shoulder Straps, Pocketed, Front Zip Closure
Available in Band Sizes 32-52, Cups B/C, D/DD
via Cure Diva
post-surgical bras
Seamless Molded Cup Compression Bra
Velcro Straps, Front Zip Closure, Wide Underbust Band
Available in Band Sizes 34-46, Cups B/D, D/E
via American Breast Care

post-surgical bras

Amoena Theraport Radiation Therapy Bra
Velcro Shoulder Straps and Front Closure
Pocketed and Made of Soft Cotton
Available in Sizes S-2X
via Cure Diva
mastectomy bras
Elizabeth Pink Surgical Bra
Soft Lycra Blend w/Front Velcro Closure and Adjustable Straps
Can be used with compression band
Available in Sizes S-XXL
via BFFLCo
post-surgical bras
Annette Front Closure Surgery Bra
Adjustable front bra straps, Hook & Eye Front Closure
Available in Bands 32-42, Cups B-DD
via Linda the Bra Lady
 Ana Ono post op bra
Ana Ono Front Closure Recovery Bra
Bamboo, Hook and Eye Closure, Racerback Straps
Available in Sizes S-XL
via Ana Ono Intimates

Have you worn post-surgical bras after a cosmetic or reconstructive surgery? How do you think they could be improved? Would you recommend any of these brands or have others to add to this list?

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