Mastectomy isn’t the only reason women have surgery on their breasts – hundreds of thousands of women every year choose to have a breast augmentation, breast reduction or other breast-related surgery. In fact, breast augmentation is the most popular elective cosmetic surgery. In other cases, women choose to reduce the size of their breasts due to pain and physical discomfort caused by large breasts, or even the psychological challenges of having large breasts. Either way, finding the right bra after these surgeries presents some challenges.
Some doctors may recommend a compression-style post surgical bra
Women who undergo breast augmentation can expect to be wearing post-surgical bras for four to six weeks after surgery. In some cases, these bras may be compression-style bras, designed to push the implants down and keep them in place. In other cases, you may be fitted with a post-surgical bra that is similar to a soft sports bra to hold your breasts in place and keep you comfortable while you heal.
You may prefer a soft, comfortable post-surgical bra with no wires to irritate the surgical site
For breast reductions, you may only need to wear a post-surgical bra for a couple of weeks before you can switch to a regular bra. The key to switching to a regular bra after any type of surgery is to find a bra that doesn’t irritate the incisions or the surgical site, which can cause discomfort and potentially make the scarring worse.
Bras for Breast Augmentations
After a breast augmentation, you still face the challenge that every woman faces – you’ve got to find a bra that fits. And implants don’t come in “cup sizes” – they come in volume. You may go to a doctor and say “I want a D cup,” but your implant may augment your size above or below that target – and the target also changes with band size, since cup sizes are proportional to band sizes. Bottom line: you’ll have to measure and try bras for fit just like every other woman after your breast augmentation surgery.
One thing to keep in mind when shopping for a bra after your breast augmentation: implants are often wider than natural breasts, so you may need to switch to a fuller cup to provide the coverage you need. Also, some women experience a reduction in swelling after 6 to 8 weeks, while other women have to wait up to 3 months to find out what their new bra size is. Consult your doctor if you’re uncertain about whether your bra size has stabilized.
Bras for Breast Reductions
Post-surgical bras for breast reductions are very similar to bras for breast augmentations, except reduction patients typically only have to wear a post-surgical bra for a couple of weeks after the surgery. However, when you have a reduction surgery, swelling will change over the first few months, and the new size and shape of the breasts must settle. In some cases, your breasts may change shape and size for up to a year after a breast reduction surgery. In most patients, however, you can select a bra that is approximately the right shape and size for the long term after a period of about three months.