Wearing the appropriate bras after breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery not only promotes healing and comfort but also helps to maintain the desired shape and support of the augmented breasts. Additionally, the right bra can help to reduce the risk of complications, such as implant malposition or capsular contracture, and minimise the appearance of scars. This blog will guide you through the various types of bras to wear after breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery, how to choose the right fit, and other considerations to keep in mind during the recovery process.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt regularly performs Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty procedures to help his patients achieve their aesthetic goals.
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The Importance of Choosing the Right Bra after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty Surgery
Support and stabilisation
Selecting the right bra after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty is crucial for providing adequate support and stabilisation. The newly augmented breasts require proper support to help the tissues heal and to prevent unnecessary strain on the incision sites. Wearing a bra that offers adequate support can also help minimise swelling and reduce the risk of complications, such as implant displacement or shifting.
Shaping and scar prevention
The right bra can contribute to the overall shaping and contouring of your breasts after surgery. It helps to maintain the desired shape, ensuring that the implants settle correctly and evenly. Additionally, wearing a well-fitted bra can aid in scar prevention by reducing tension on the incision sites and allowing the skin to heal without excessive stretching. Some bras are designed specifically to minimise the appearance of scars, with features such as seamless cups and soft, breathable fabrics.
Comfort and healing
Comfort is a top priority during the healing process, and wearing the right bra can significantly contribute to your overall comfort. A well-fitting bra should not be too tight or restrictive, as this can cause irritation, impede circulation, or hinder the healing process. On the other hand, a bra that is too loose may not provide adequate support, leading to discomfort and potential complications. Choosing a bra made of soft, breathable materials will help to keep you comfortable during the recovery period, while also promoting a healthy healing environment for your incisions.
Types of Bras to Wear Post-Surgery
1. Surgical bras
- What are they: Surgical bras, also known as post-operative or compression bras, are specifically designed for use after breast surgery. They provide firm support, help reduce swelling, and stabilise the breasts during the initial healing process. These bras usually feature front closures for easy access, adjustable straps for a customised fit, and soft, breathable materials for maximum comfort.
- When to wear them: Surgical bras should be worn immediately after surgery, as recommended by your surgeon. The duration varies, but most patients are advised to wear them continuously for the first few weeks post-surgery, even while sleeping.
- Tips for choosing the right surgical bra: Look for a bra that offers firm support without being overly tight or restrictive. It should have adjustable straps, a front closure, and be made from soft, breathable materials. Consult your surgeon for specific recommendations based on your individual needs.
2. Sports bras
- What are they: Sports bras are designed to provide ample support and minimise breast movement during physical activities. They can be an excellent option for patients transitioning from surgical bras, as they offer support without underwires, which can be uncomfortable during the recovery process.
- When to transition from surgical bras: The timeline for transitioning to sports bras varies depending on your individual healing progress and your surgeon’s recommendations. Generally, patients can start wearing sports bras 4-6 weeks after surgery, once the initial healing process is well underway.
- Tips for choosing the right sports bra: Look for a sports bra that offers adequate support without underwires. Ensure it is made from moisture-wicking, breathable materials for added comfort. The fit should be snug but not overly tight, and it should have adjustable straps to accommodate changes in swelling.
3. Wireless bras
- What are they: Wireless bras, as the name suggests, do not have underwires. Instead, they rely on moulded cups, seams, or other structural elements to provide support and shaping. They can be a comfortable option for patients who have healed sufficiently but are not yet ready for underwire bras.
- When to start wearing them: Patients can typically start wearing wireless bras around 6-8 weeks after surgery, depending on their surgeon’s recommendations.
- Tips for choosing the right wireless bra: Look for a wireless bra that offers adequate support and shaping without causing discomfort or irritation. Consider bras with wide, padded straps for added comfort and ensure the band is snug but not too tight.
4. Underwire bras
- What are they: Underwire bras feature a thin, semi-circular wire within the fabric below the cups to provide additional support and shaping. They can be reintroduced once the breasts have healed sufficiently and you have been cleared by your surgeon.
- When to reintroduce them: The timeline for reintroducing underwire bras varies, but most patients can start wearing them around 3-6 months after surgery, depending on your plastic surgeon’s indications.
- Tips for choosing the right underwire bra: When selecting an underwire bra, ensure the wires do not dig into your breast tissue or incision sites, as this can cause discomfort and irritation.
Bra Fitting and Sizing after Surgery
Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty surgery can significantly change the size and shape of your breasts. Implants or fat transfer can increase the fullness and projection of your breasts, leading to an altered bra size. It is essential to be aware of these changes to ensure you are wearing the appropriate bra size post-surgery, as an ill-fitting bra can compromise both comfort and healing.
A professional bra fitting is an invaluable service for anyone who has undergone Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty surgery. A trained fitter can help you determine your new bra size, taking into account the changes in your breast size and shape. They can also recommend specific bra styles and features that will best suit your needs and provide optimal support and comfort during the healing process. It is important to have regular fittings as your breasts continue to settle and heal, ensuring you always wear the correct size.
Signs of a well-fitting bra
A well-fitting bra should provide adequate support, comfort, and shaping without causing any discomfort or irritation. Some signs of a well-fitting bra include:
- The band: The band should be snug and level around your torso, providing the majority of the support. It should not ride up at the back or dig into your skin
- The cups: The cups should fully encase your breast tissue without any spillage or gaps. The fabric should lie smoothly against your skin without wrinkling
- The straps: The straps should be snug but not too tight, with enough room for two fingers to slide under them comfortably. They should not dig into your shoulders or slip off.
- The underwire (if applicable): The underwire should sit flat against your ribcage, following the natural curve of your breasts without digging into your breast tissue or causing discomfort
When to update your bra size
It is essential to update your bra size throughout the healing process and beyond, as your breasts may continue to change in size and shape. Some key times to consider updating your bra size include:
- After the initial healing period: As swelling subsides and your breasts settle into their new shape, you may find that your bra size changes. This is an ideal time to get a professional bra fitting to ensure you are wearing the correct size
- After any significant weight changes: Gaining or losing weight can affect your bra size, so it is essential to re-evaluate your bra size if you experience any significant weight fluctuations
- Periodically during the first-year post-surgery: Your breasts may continue to change during the first year after surgery, so it’s a good idea to get professionally fitted every few months to ensure you are wearing the correct size
- As part of your regular bra shopping routine: It is a good practice to get professionally fitted at least once a year, even after you have fully recovered from surgery, to ensure you are always wearing the correct size for optimal comfort and support
How to Take Care of Your Bras
Proper washing and storage
To prolong the lifespan of your bras and maintain their support and shape, it is essential to wash and store them properly. Here are some tips for proper bra care:
- Hand washing: Hand washing is the gentlest method for cleaning your bras, especially those worn during the recovery process. Use a mild detergent and lukewarm water, gently agitating the bra to remove any dirt or residue. Rinse thoroughly and avoid wringing or twisting the bra, as this can damage the fibres and shape
- Machine washing: If you must machine wash your bras, use a lingerie bag to protect them from getting tangled or damaged. Choose a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Fasten hooks and clasps to prevent snagging
- Drying: Never use a dryer for your bras, as the heat can damage the elastic and fibres. Instead, gently reshape the cups and lay the bra flat on a towel or hang it by the centre gore (the piece connecting the cups) to air dry
- Storage: Store your bras by neatly lining them up in a drawer or using a bra organiser. Avoid folding or inverting the cups, as this can cause creasing or damage to the shape
Frequency of replacing bras
The lifespan of a bra can vary depending on its quality, how often it is worn, and how well it is cared for. Generally, bras should be replaced every 6-12 months or when they no longer provide adequate support or comfort. Post-surgery bras may need to be replaced more frequently, as they are worn continuously during the healing process and may experience more wear and tear.
Importance of investing in quality bras
Investing in quality bras, especially after Breast Augmentation surgery, is crucial for several reasons:
- Support and comfort: High-quality bras are more likely to provide the necessary support and comfort needed during the recovery process, as well as in everyday life.
- Durability: Quality bras are typically made with better materials and construction, which can result in a longer lifespan and better performance over time.
- Better fit: Quality bras often have more precise sizing and a wider range of sizes, making it easier to find a bra that fits you well and provides the support and comfort you need.
- Overall satisfaction: Investing in quality bras can lead to greater satisfaction with the appearance, feel, and longevity of the bras, making the investment well worth it in the long run.
FAQs about Wearing Bras after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty Surgery
How long should I wear a surgical bra after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty surgery?
- The duration for wearing a surgical bra varies depending on individual healing progress and your surgeon’s recommendations. Generally, patients are advised to wear surgical bras continuously for the first few weeks post-surgery, even while sleeping. Always follow your surgeon’s guidelines for the best recovery results.
When can I start wearing a regular bra after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty?
- The timeline for transitioning to regular bras depends on your healing progress. In most cases, patients can begin wearing wireless or sports bras around 6-8 weeks after surgery. Underwire bras can be reintroduced around 3-6 months post-surgery, once your surgeon has given you clearance.
How often should I get a professional bra fitting after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty surgery?
- During the first year after surgery, it is a good idea to get professionally fitted every few months, as your breasts may continue to change in size and shape. After the first year, it is recommended to have a professional bra fitting at least once a year or whenever you experience significant weight fluctuations to ensure you are always wearing the correct size.
Can I wear push-up bras after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty surgery?
- Push-up bras can be worn after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty surgery once you have fully healed and received clearance from your surgeon. However, it is essential to choose a well-fitting push-up bra that provides adequate support and does not cause discomfort or irritation. As with any bra, proper fit is key to ensuring comfort and maintaining the desired shape of your augmented breasts.
How do I know if my bra is the right size after Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty surgery?
- A well-fitting bra should provide support, comfort, and shaping without causing any discomfort. The band should be snug and level around your torso, the cups should fully encase your breast tissue without spillage or gaps, the straps should be snug but not too tight, and the underwire (if applicable) should sit flat against your ribcage without digging into your breast tissue. If you are unsure of your size or fit, it is best to consult with a professional bra fitter to ensure you are wearing the correct size for your new breasts.
Further reading about Breast Surgery with Dr Hunt
- Read Dr Hunt’s Blog about Reducing Bruising and Swelling After Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty
- Read Dr Hunt’s Blog about How to fix Saggy Breasts – Causes, Symptoms and Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty Surgery Page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Fat Transfer to Breasts Surgery Page
Medical References about Breast Surgery
- Recovery After Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty Surgery: What to Expect – Medical News Today
- Breast Implants: Silicone Vs. Saline, Cost, Problems – WebMD
- Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty: What it is, Types, Surgery & Recovery – Cleveland Clinic
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon and a member of FRACS & ASPS. He has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
The one-on-one service and attention to detail from Dr Hunt has ensured that thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia have received high quality surgical care.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.
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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.