Factors to Consider When Choosing the Bra after Breast Augmentation

By Dr Jake Lim – Plastic Surgeon | Updated: February 16, 2024

How to Choose the Right Breast Augmentation Post-op Bra?

If you’ve recently undergone breast augmentation surgery or are planning to do so, you’re likely considering your options for post-operative care. One crucial aspect of this process involves the selection of post-op bras. These specialised bras provide support, comfort, and assist in the healing process after breast surgery. Understanding what they are, how they differ from regular bras, and why they are essential will ensure you’re well-prepared for your post-surgery journey.

A post-op bra is not your typical lingerie. It is a specially designed garment that prioritises comfort, support, and healing over aesthetics. After breast augmentation surgery, your breasts need time to heal and settle into their new shape and size. A good post-op bra will offer the necessary support without putting excessive pressure on your breasts, which can lead to discomfort or complications.

While post-op bras might not be the most glamorous part of your breast augmentation journey, they are undoubtedly crucial. They serve a medical purpose and play a significant role in your recovery and comfort post-surgery. But not all post-op bras are the same, which is why it is essential to choose the right one.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim performs different breast procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy) and breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty).

Dr Lim’s 2024 Breast Surgery Guide

Breast Surgery Guide

Importance of Choosing the Right Bra after Breast Augmentation Surgery

Choosing the right post-op bra after breast augmentation surgery is not just a matter of comfort—it’s a matter of health. The right bra can significantly affect your recovery process and the final aesthetic results of your surgery. It can help reduce swelling, support healing tissues, and ensure your implants settle properly.

The wrong bra, on the other hand, can cause discomfort, slow down your recovery, and even lead to complications such as capsular contracture—a condition where the scar tissue around the implant hardens, causing pain and distortion. Furthermore, wearing a poorly fitting or unsupportive bra can put unnecessary pressure on your incisions, potentially leading to irritation or infection.

Therefore, investing in the right post-op bra is as essential as choosing a skilled surgeon. It’s an investment in your comfort, health, and satisfaction with your surgical results.

Breast Augmentation Patient 41 - 345cc Round Implants
Breast Augmentation Patient 41 – 345cc Round Implants

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Post-Op Bra

When selecting a post-op bra, several factors come into play. First and foremost, you should consider the bra’s fit. It should be snug but not too tight, providing enough support without causing discomfort or pressure on your incisions. The band and straps should be wide enough to distribute the weight of your breasts evenly.

Next, consider the material of the bra. It should be soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic to avoid skin irritation. Cotton is often a good choice as it is soft, breathable, and unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Also, look for a bra without underwire, as this can irritate your incisions and disrupt the healing process.

The design of the bra is another crucial factor. It should be easy to put on and take off, ideally with a front closure. This is because lifting your arms over your head can be painful and challenging in the first few weeks after surgery.

What Bra to Wear Immediately After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Immediately after your breast augmentation surgery, your plastic surgeon will likely provide you with a surgical bra. This is a specific type of post-op bra designed to provide maximum support and compression to help reduce swelling and support your new implants.

This surgical bra is often made of a heavy-duty, stretchy material that can accommodate changes in breast size due to swelling. It usually has adjustable straps and a front closure to make it easier to put on and take off. Most importantly, it lacks an underwire, which could potentially interfere with the healing process.

You should wear this surgical bra as directed by your plastic surgeon, typically 24/7 for the first few weeks post-surgery. It’s essential to follow Dr Lim’s instructions regarding when and how often to wear your surgical bra to ensure optimal healing and results.

Advantages of Post-Op Bras

Post-op bras offer numerous benefits that contribute to a smoother recovery and better surgical results. One of the primary advantages is their ability to provide adequate support. After surgery, your breasts will be heavier and more sensitive. A post-op bra provides the necessary support, taking the weight off your chest and reducing discomfort.

Another advantage of post-op bras is their role in minimising swelling. Swelling is a normal part of the healing process, but excessive swelling can lead to discomfort and prolong your recovery. Post-op bras apply gentle compression, which can help reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.

Lastly, post-op bras help shape your new breasts. They hold your breasts in the correct position, helping them to settle into a natural, aesthetically pleasing shape.

Best Post-Op Bras for Different Types of Breast Augmentation Surgery

Different types of breast augmentation surgery may require different types of post-op bras. For example, if you’ve had surgery through an inframammary incision (under the breast), you may need a bra with a soft, wide band that won’t irritate the incision site.

If you’ve had a periareolar incision (around the nipple), you may need a bra with soft cups to avoid putting pressure on this sensitive area. Similarly, if you’ve had a transaxillary incision (under the arm), you may benefit from a bra with a front closure, as lifting your arms to put on a traditional bra could be uncomfortable.

Your plastic surgeon will provide guidance on the best post-op bras for your specific type of surgery. However, it’s a good idea to have a variety of bras available to accommodate changes in swelling and comfort levels during your recovery.

Shopping Guide for Post-Op Bras

When shopping for post-op bras, consider visiting a store that specialises in post-surgical lingerie. The staff at these stores can provide valuable advice and help you find a bra that fits correctly. If you’re shopping online, be sure to check the retailer’s return policy, as you may need to try a few different bras before finding the perfect fit.

Look for bras that have wide, adjustable straps, a wide under-band, and no underwire. The bra should be made of a soft, breathable material like cotton. A front closure is preferable, as it makes the bra easier to put on and take off.

Keep in mind that you’ll need more than one post-op bra. You’ll need to wash your bra regularly, so it’s a good idea to have at least two or three on hand.

When and How to Transition from a Post-Op Bra to a Regular Bra

Transitioning from a post-op bra to a regular bra is a process that should be guided by Dr Lim’s advice. In general, you can start wearing a regular, wire-free bra once your swelling has significantly reduced, and your incisions have fully healed. This occurs around six to eight weeks post-surgery.

When transitioning, choose a bra that is soft, supportive, and wire-free. It should be well-fitted but not tight, as your breasts will still be settling into their final position. Also, avoid push-up bras or bras that alter your breast shape, as these can interfere with the settling process.

Recommendations for Post-Op Bra Brands

There are several brands known for their high-quality post-op bras. Amoena, Anita, and Royce are a few brands that offer excellent post-surgical options. These bras are designed with comfort, support, and healing in mind, making them ideal for your post-breast augmentation recovery.

FAQs about Bras after Breast Augmentation Surgery

FAQs

When can I start wearing a bra after breast augmentation surgery?

  • The timeline for wearing a bra after breast augmentation varies depending on the surgeon’s recommendations and the type of surgery performed. Generally, patients are advised to wear a surgical bra or compression garment immediately after the procedure for a few weeks. Consult Dr Jake Lim for personalised advice.

What type of bra should I wear post-surgery?

  • It’s crucial to wear a bra that provides adequate support and comfort. Surgical bras or compression garments are often recommended initially. Once you get the go-ahead from your plastic surgeon, you can transition to wireless bras made of soft, breathable fabric.

Can I wear an underwire bra after surgery?

  • Underwire bras are generally not recommended immediately after surgery as they can irritate the incision sites and may not provide the necessary support.

How long do I need to wear a surgical bra?

  • The duration for wearing a surgical bra can vary from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on your healing process and your plastic surgeon’s advice. The surgical bra helps in reducing swelling and providing support to the new implants.

Can I go braless after breast augmentation?

  • Going braless for extended periods is generally not advised immediately after surgery. Wearing a bra provides the necessary support to your healing tissues and helps in maintaining the shape of your new breasts.

Will I need to change my bra size after surgery?

  • Yes, it’s likely that you will need a different bra size after breast augmentation. Once the swelling has subsided and your breasts have settled into their new shape, you can get professionally measured to find your new size.

Is it normal to experience discomfort while wearing a bra post-surgery?

  • Some level of discomfort is normal in the initial stages post-surgery. However, if you experience persistent pain, pinching, or irritation, it’s essential to consult your plastic surgeon as it could be a sign of improper fit or complications.

Further Reading about Breast Surgery with Dr Jake Lim

Medical References about Breast Implants

About Dr Jake Lim

Highly qualified and experienced specialist plastic surgeon Dr Jake Lim focuses on facial plastic, cosmetic breast and body contouring after significant weight loss

Dr Lim creates the best possible plastic surgery results for his Australia-wide and international patients.

Dr Lim is passionate about making sure each and every patient has access to the right information about available treatments and procedures and is able to make well-informed decisions.

At My Klinik, patient safety, education and achieving optimal results are our top priorities.