Whether you’re having a breast reduction, breast enlargement, breast lift, or any other type of breast surgery, your surgeon will talk to you about wearing a surgical bra. Like any surgery, recovery is key to optimal outcomes. That’s where a post surgery bra comes in. It’s important to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-operative instructions, including wearing your post surgical bra.
What is a Post Surgical Bra?
A post surgery bra or compression bra is designed specifically to use straight after breast surgery and throughout your recovery. You will need to wear a post surgical bra for the following procedures:
- Breast enlargement
- Breast fat transfer
- Breast lift
- Breast reduction
- Hybrid breast augmentation
- Breast lift with fat transfer or breast implants
These support bras have wide straps for comfort and use a high-quality and stretch material, so you can adjust it as you need. Compression and support bras come in slightly different styles depending on where you are in your recovery. It’s normal to start your recovery with a front fastening post surgical bra and then transition into a sports bra. The most important thing is that it’s not an underwired bra.
While every Harley Street breast clinic has its favourite bra brand or type, these are the basic features to expect:
- No padding
- No underwires
- Zips at the front for easy dressing
Don’t underestimate the importance and power of a post-surgical bra. There’s no denying that post-op surgical bras aren’t the most attractive things, but they are an essential part of the recovery process. After your surgery, you should avoid wearing regular bras. This is because they don’t have the type of support your breasts need to stay in position. It’s tempting to go braless so you can fully appreciate your new look, but try to avoid taking your bra off except for showering initially. Your breasts should be completely supported for at least 6 weeks.
Why Do You Need to Wear a Post Surgery Bra After Breast Augmentation?
Breast surgery remains some of the top procedures in the UK, with breast augmentation and breast reduction on top, according to the latest plastic surgery statistics. With a lot of cosmetic procedures, you will need to wear a compression garment. These garments come in all shapes and sizes for different body parts and treatments. Without compression, blood and other fluids can pool around the incision site. While all this fluid in your body is normal and part of your healing process, excessive swelling can be an issue.
Whether you’re considering liposuction or breast augmentation, compression garments are a key part of your recovery. The compression works to reduce post-op swelling as much as possible. The constant pressure on the surgical site encourages your body to reabsorb the fluid instead of building up in the body. It’s this process that helps to speed up the healing process and create a great result.
If you experience excess swelling, it can slow down your healing process. With implants, a post-op bra helps to keep your new assets in place while you’re recovering. Sometimes, implants tend to drop, so the bra helps with this.
The compression bra also helps to reduce swelling, which minimises bruising and supports the overall recovery process. The goal of the bra is to get your implants into a good position early on, reduce swelling, and remove the strain on any stitches.
What Type of Post Surgery Bra Should You Wear?
After breast surgery, it is normal to want to go shopping for new bras to show off your new breasts. While this desire is understandable, you do need to wear your post-surgical bra first. Your surgeon will
Your breasts, for instance, will be swollen for weeks or months following the surgery. In addition to the shifting and settling of breast implants, if you have breast argumentation, your breast size will vary throughout your recovery. At the same time, your incisions will look like they’ve already healed but will still be tender and vulnerable to the pressure of underwire bras.
The type of bra you wear after breast surgery will change over time. This progression takes place in three steps:
Breast surgery is an outpatient procedure, so you get to return home the same day. You will arrive home in a compression bra. This bra helps provide the necessary support to aid the healing process. Your doctor will instruct you to wear the compression bra day and night for at least 2 weeks. There are many benefits to wearing a compression bra:
- It helps keep the dressings in place
- It helps prevent the implants from moving out of place in case of breast augmentation
- It helps protect the breasts from accidental bumps
- It helps keep the swelling to a minimum
Supportive Sports Bra
After 2 weeks of wearing a compression bra, you may now graduate to a supportive sports bra. Ensure that you get an all-clear from your surgeon and choose a sports bra that provides adequate support. Your breasts will still be healing and require a lot of support. The timeline for wearing a supportive sports bra varies from one person.
Your doctor is the best person to advise you on how long to wear the bra, so make sure you attend all your follow-up appointments. If you had a breast augmentation with implants, your doctor will check their positioning as it can take some time for them to drop into place. Once you’ve healed completely, the swelling has subsided, and the implants have settled, you will get the green light to wear regular bras.
Finally! You’ve gone through everything and have come out the other side fully healed with the breasts you wanted when you started the journey. At this point, all the swelling and bruising will be gone, and your breasts will have taken their final shape and size. When buying new bras, make sure they provide strong support. If you choose underwire bras, ensure that the wire doesn’t irritate your breast surgery scars.
While your scars will have headed, they will still go through the fading process; any irritation will delay the process. If your new underwire bras irritate your scars, switch to supportive bras without underwires. If not, limit the time you are in a bra. Usually, you may have to wait up to 6 months before returning to standard underwire bras.
How Long Do You Wear a Post Surgery Bra After Breast Augmentation?
In general, your surgeon will recommend that you wear a surgical bra for 6-8 weeks after your breast surgery. The basic idea is that the longer you wear it, the better. Avoid wearing underwired or lace bras until you get the sign-off from your surgeon. It’s important that you wear your surgical bra in the first few weeks to achieve the best outcome possible.
Your surgeon will recommend that you wear your bra for as much time as possible except when you shower. You will need to wait until your surgeon has checked your healing and breasts before wearing normal bras. Going forward, to maintain optimal results, you should wear a properly fitted bra. Even if a post-op bra is provided to you by your cosmetic surgery clinic, it can be a good idea to buy a spare. That way, you have another compression bra to wear when one is in the wash.
When Can You Wear a New Bra After Breast Surgery?
Typically, breast surgery recovery is about 6-8 weeks depending on the type of surgery and your body’s natural healing process. Although you can usually start wearing normal bras after the 6-week recovery mark, you should still avoid wearing underwired bras. In general, it takes longer before you can start wearing these types of bras, but it depends on how your scars are healing.
How to Sleep After Breast Surgery
After your breast surgery, you will need to sleep wearing your post-surgical bra. You really should only take the bra off for short spouts of time like having a quick shower. Keeping the bra on for extended periods of time will help to keep your breasts in the right position, support a good shape, and help you to sleep more comfortably.
In the first few days of your recovery, it’s normal to feel some discomfort. Your breast surgeon will explain how to manage your pain. To help you sleep after your breast surgery, here are some tips to follow:
- Practice sleeping on your back weeks before your surgery
- Sleep with a post surgery bra for at least a few weeks
- Have plenty of pillows on hand to support your sleeping position
- Sleep on your back in a slightly elevated position
You can’t emphasise the importance of wearing a post-surgical bra enough in breast surgery recovery. Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions is key to the best results and feeling like your normal self again.
The aim of a post surgical bra is to minimise swelling and produce the best breast augmentation results. Your recovery time is key to your overall look and it’s important that you wear your compression bra, especially in the first few weeks. If you have any more questions or are considering breast surgery, please contact one of the team at the Harley Clinic today.