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.
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: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 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 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 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 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?