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Part 2: Breast Reconstruction Fitting: a Survivor’s Guide to Looking Great!

This week, we’re taking a look at the challenges that breast cancer survivors face, bra-wise. It can be tough for women who survive breast cancer to feel good about their bodies again. Breast cancer can feel almost like a betrayal by your body, and a mastectomy can make you feel like you’ve lost your feminine self, and you may never feel pretty again. One way that many women combat that is through breast reconstruction surgery, but that can present its own fit challenges. Yesterday, we looked at those challenges – and today, we’re going to look at the types of bras that are best for women who have undergone breast reconstruction.

What Does Your PS Say?
Some plastic surgeons (PSs) have very firm recommendations about what type of bra to wear after breast reconstruction surgery. Others seem to have no opinion at all. And when the PS does have an opinion, sometimes it’s a complete contradiction from the next PSs opinion! So how are you supposed to know what’s best?

First and foremost, when you’re shopping for a new bra post-surgery, listen to your PSs recommendations. Every woman’s reconstruction is different. You may have medical considerations that cause the PS to recommend a specific type of bra for you – that might not necessarily be the same as his recommendation to the next person. So you should always take your PS under advisement, even if you’re hearing something else from your friends, from a support group or from some other source.

Soft Cup Bras
Many women who undergo breast reconstruction surgery prefer soft cup bras for their new breasts. A big problem that women face after reconstruction is wider, flatter breasts. Soft cup bras can be very forgiving in terms of size and shape – you won’t have to worry as much about a D cup gapping because your breast tissue doesn’t protrude as far, and the lack of underwire means the cups can conform more easily to your wider breasts. Additionally, some PSs swear by soft cup bras because they can be more comfortable, and won’t interfere with the new breast tissue or implants.

Underwire Bras
On the flip side, some plastic surgeons absolutely swear by underwire bras after breast reconstruction surgery. You may have an underwire bra recommended because a tightly-fitted, well-constructed underwire bra can help prevent breast implants from migrating toward the armpits. When selecting an underwire bra, look for one with an appropriately sized center gore – an underwire bra with the center gore too wide and the underwires pressing from the inside of your breasts can also cause the implants to want to move. It’s important to make sure the wire fits properly around your breast tissue – not lying against it – to prevent any complications with your new breasts.

Molded Cup or Padded Bras
Molded cup or padded bras can help with shaping, but it can be a double-edged sword – the end of a molded cup can dent or lose shape if you’re not fully filling the cup. If you want this type of bra, take some time to shop around for a shallower cup – avoid anything that looks too pointy. A minimizer bra can help, as these types of bras are designed to compress the breasts – so they tend to redistribute the breast tissue in a wider pattern tighter against the chest wall. This closely mimics breast tissue post-reconstruction, so this can be the perfect way to fit a molded cup bra after surgery.

Join us tomorrow as we show you some specific bra recommendations to help you feel feminine and look fabulous!

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