Which Type of Bra Should You Wear After Breast Augmentation?
Shopping for new bras after having had surgery can be both exiting as daunting. Whether you have had cosmetic surgery or reconstructive surgery, your bust line has changed. Therefore it’s recommended to look for bras that not only look great but also provide both support and enhance the healing process.
When it comes to post-augmentation bras there are a few things to keep in mind.
Not only is it wise to think about whether you should opt for a sports bra, compression bra, medical grade after-surgery bra, or go bra-less or just one with the appropriate size but there are some other aspects that influence your recovery. More about these in a bit.
Which Type of Post Augmentation Bra?
Before you rush off to the mall or your favorite lingerie store, there are some issues to be considered regarding timing and type of bra. Determining which type of bra mainly depends on the type of augmentation and which surgeon you have.
Most surgeons give instructions to their patients to follow for a month to six weeks following surgery.
The period right after the operation bras are usually used to hold wound dressings in place, protect the tissues, and prevent extra movement of the implants.
Sometimes surgeons decide it will be best to wear no bra at all during the first weeks after the procedure. For instance when the surgeon thinks the implants need to settle. Going bra-less will help stretch the soft tissues because the breasts will be able to move more freely.
Many recommend the open front sports bra or knit cotton surgical bra that zips in the front since you can minimize your movements when putting it on and taking it off. In general, women find buying the next size larger bra the best solution.
Surgeons often recommend the three most easily found brands of sports bras:
- Champion, found in many general department stores like Target,
- Underarmor, found in sporting goods stores like Sports Authority and
- Danskin, also found in general department stores like Walmart and Target.
- For specialized, medical grade post augmentation bras check www.makemeheal.com.
Shopping for sports bras is not nearly as exciting as pondering the merits of the lacy or polka dot bras but usually after wearing a sports bra or medical grade bra for six to eight weeks you will be able to wear your new regular bra, however, no underwire bras.
The Medical Grade Compression Bra
Some plastic surgeons prefer to send their patients home wearing a healing bra also referred to as a medical compression bra. This is a specialized support garment made especially for post-operative patients which is very easy to put on and take off. But wearing a medical compression bra has more benefits.
The compression bra does marvelous things for you:
- it minimizes swelling,
- speeds up the healing process,
- improves blood circulation,
- flushes the body of potentially harmful fluids,
- keep the implants in the correct position,
- help the skin fit to its new contours,
- and allows you, the patient, to return to your normal daily routines more quickly.
These garments provide extra support, and more support than sports bras, to the surgical areas. A patient may be advised to wear a compression bra for Stage One healing, weeks one and two, and/or for Stage Two, weeks two through eight.
Because breast surgery recovery bras accelerate the healing process you will be able to pick up your daily routines sooner. The right amount of compression als reduces the risk on excess scar tissue creation. Another benefit is that these bras don’t irritate the incisions. A very popular, well reviewed bra is the Intuiton breast surgery recovery bra.
There are a wide variety of breast compression garments available but some very popular and medically well recommended brands are Annette, Rainey Compression Wear, Intuition, Design Veronique, Clearpoint Medical and Marena.
These garments typically are available in a wide variety of sizes, X-Small to XXL, and colors including nude, beige, white, pink and black.
The post-mastectomy bra on the photo right comes with drain pouches, a bra extender, and a lounge pad. This bra is suitable for mastectomy, breast cancer surgery, and breast reduction .
Risks of Underwire Bras
Because the tissue surrounding your breasts is thin, numbness may be experienced there. The wire in underwire bras might irritate your skin without you noticing it. Incisions could become inflamed and friction or pressure on the suture line may result in pain and problems with the healing process.
Therefore, you are safer to wait until all healing is complete to consider wearing a bra with an underwire. The general time period to wait before considering a bra with an underwire is three to six months but consult your surgeon for clearance before wearing one after the healing process.
In the first weeks and months, you will have several follow-up visits with your surgeon to remove stitches and monitor your recovery. It is important to keep these appointments because your surgeon can detect potential complications and take an action to correct them before they become problematic.
Shopping for Post Surgery Bras
A bra should not only provide comfort, flatter, and support but the most important thing is that it fits properly. If it does not fit perfectly, you could get back pain and shoulder pain.
Follow these suggestions to ensure proper support and a perfect fit: Unless the bra remains level around your body and remains there consistently, it does not fit well.
A size smaller may help if the shoulder straps seem too long. You should not need to constantly make the straps shorter.
Try different designs of bras if you sense that your breasts are falling out of your bra cups; different designs may cover more of the breasts.
If the bra cup seems too baggy, it is not a good fit. Try other ones until you are satisfied with the right fit for your needs. There are many variations for bras and bra sizing among the different manufacturers; you may find one that fits you perfectly in one size made by a certain designer but you may need a different size in another brand. How can you find the perfectly fitting bra? You can find your true bra size by using a standard approach and a predetermined formula.
Finding the Perfect Sized Bra
Bras have band sizes and cup sizes to consider; the band goes around the entire body while the cup supports the breast.
In the United States, the band size is expressed as a number in inches and in many other countries it is expressed in centimeters. Use a tailor’s measuring tape to measure your ribcage directly under your breasts just like the sales ladies in the lingerie stores. Keep the tape horizontal to the floor and very even.
Use the number you get from this measurement in inches, add four if the measurement is an even number and five if the number is an odd number to get your approximate band size. For instance, if your ribcage measures 30 inches, add 4 for a total of 34 inches which is your band size. If your ribcage measurement is 31 inches, add 5 for a total of 36 inches band size.
Your band size should be the same as before breast augmentation unless other circumstances are involved. For example, if the surgeon lowered your breast crease significantly, your bra will rest a bit lower down on your body and you may need a slightly different size.
You now need to determine the size of your bra cup by measuring around your breasts at the fullest part. Center the tape across the widest part of the breasts and wrap it behind and around your body, again keep it nice and even. Take your band size and subtract it from your new bust size measurement, then use the chart provided to find your number.
If your number is 0 to ½, your cup size is AA or if the number is ½ to 1, your size is A, if the number is 1 to 2 ½, your size is B and so forth. Just continue with this idea until you find your size and then begin trying on all the different styles and brands.
Your bra straps, whether thin or wide, padded or simple, must be so comfortable for you all day and night that you hardly notice them. They should never dig into the skin on top of your shoulders. If the straps leave red marks on your shoulders, try to lengthen them a bit to see if that helps. If they still feel too short after you lengthen the straps, you can purchase bra strap extenders.
Patience and trying on many different styles and brands when bra shopping may help you; try on several bras and wear them each for a while to see which ones fit well. The ones with the correct band size should fit snugly on the last setting, the loosest set of hooks. Once the bra stretches after being worn for some time, you will still be able to fasten it snugly enough.
Take good care of the garments that you have worked so long and hard to find. Hand washing and line drying will keep the fabric and Lycra best. If you must use the washing machine to wash your lingerie, use a lingerie bag and then line dry. By now, you are ready to look your best, feel proud of your patience and recovery and enjoy your new look. For high quality, affordable breast augmentation bras visit MakeMeHeal or check out augmentation bras on Amazon
Additional Post Breast Augmentation Recommendations
- Listen to your surgeon. You will rest in the recovery room after your surgery for one to four hours, depending upon when the anesthetic wears off and when you wake up. Most breast augmentation patients are allowed to go home about one hour after surgery. A driver must pick you up since you will not be allowed to drive. Also engage some help for around the house as instructed by your surgeon in your preoperative instructions.
- Following breast augmentation surgery, you will most likely be placed in a surgical bra and possibly a compression bandage. Gauze dressings or Steri-Strips may also be present. The implants remain positioned correctly by the surgical bra while the compression bandage keeps the implants as low as possible during the initial healing phase.
- Keep the surgical bra, the compression bandage and/or gauze dressings in place until your surgeon tells you otherwise. Wear these for at least the next two weeks, day and night, and keep any dressings as clean as possible. Do not remove the Steri-Strips since they will come off on their own. Try to sleep on your back for the first week in order to keep the implants in the proper position.
- Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke for about ten days after surgery. Protect your breasts from impact or trauma during your recovery. You may shower one to two days after surgery but may be asked to refrain from letting the water hit your breasts directly. You may remove the bra and compression bandage while you shower.
- Changes in appearance are immediate in most breast surgeries, unless one has reconstruction techniques using tissue expansion. But adequate time must be allowed for swelling and any other conditions after surgery to heal. The breasts settle over time due to the nature of the tissue so, will be evident in one to three months. Your breasts will change in appearance as do all parts of your body with age and weight fluctuations.
Complete recovery from breast surgery depends upon the following factors:
- Your health in general
- Your personal determination to resume your regular routines
- The procedure, the extent of the procedure(s) as well as any other procedures performed along with the breast surgery
- The type and amount of anesthesia used
You must be patient with your recovery since there are consequences to a rushed recovery which could alter your results and pose a risk to your overall well-being. Be certain to follow all the instructions given to you by your surgeon.
Best Practices for After Breast Surgery
It is imperative that you care for yourself after surgery no matter what procedure you have undergone. General instructions include:
- All wound care instructions must be specifically adhered to including changing dressings, cleansing, applying any prescription medicines to promote healing and avoid the formation of scar tissue. Click here for tips on how to benefit from vitamin C as a wound healing agent and here on how to treat and prevent surgery scars.
- Avoid injury through the use of athletic bras when exercising.
- Keep up with self- examinations and annual breast exams including mammograms or other screenings in the manner and frequency your physicians prescribe.
- Pay close attention to your instructions regarding support garments. The well-fitted, correctly sized bra will be comfortable and supportive once recovery is complete.