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Post Surgery Bras & Underwear FAQs

  • Following breast surgery, it’s normal for your breasts to feel sore, swollen and sensitive. If you’ve had invasive surgery, your doctor will normally advise that you use a compression bra straight after surgery. A compression bra is designed specifically to put pressure on the chest area to encourage the breasts to heal. Doctors will normally encourage you to wear your compression bra while you’re sleeping as well which can feel strange and uncomfortable at first. However, most compression bras are designed with these factors in mind… Whilst they are designed to fit tightly on the breasts, they should be made with a soft-touch fabric and also fasten at the front so you don’t have to lie on the hook and eye section in bed.
  • Designed to be especially tight, compression bras are normally made out of an elastic fabric called powernet. This particular fabric is designed to be extremely strong in order to compress the breasts and add extra support. This might feel restrictive at first, however it’s important that the fabric itself still feels gentle on the skin so you don’t experience any additional discomfort.
  • When the swelling has reduced, there’ll be a lot more options to choose from. When you’re choosing post surgery bras, the most important thing is that you find something comfortable and gentle. Depending on your type of surgery, you might find that certain parts of the breasts are still very sensitive. If this is the case, you’ll probably want to avoid wearing underwired bras which add extra discomfort. Most people find that simple stretch bras which are soft against the body make the most comfortable post surgery bras.
  • Following breast cancer surgery, most women will be sent home with one or two drains in the breasts which stay for anywhere between a few days to 2 - 3 weeks. Many women find it helpful to have a “drain dolly” (surgical drain bag) to carry the drains around safely. Using a drain bag can help disguise the drains when you’re out of the house, and also protect them so they don’t pull or tangle whilst you go about your usual daily activities.
  • Though both are designed to help you heal after breast surgery, post-surgery bras are more likely to feature compression that helps to reduce swelling during the first few weeks after surgery. General mastectomy bras are also designed for extra comfort, reduced friction and irritation against surgery scars, and breathable, wire-free support - but they may not feature compression. As such, they may be a helpful option to wear as a break from compression garments during the first few weeks after surgery, especially if you find it difficult to wear post surgery compression bras constantly.