What are the best bras immediately after a mastectomy or lumpectomy ?
I get asked this question a lot and the answer is really in multiple parts.
Before your surgery get a professional bra fit
It is really important that you understand the exact size of your breasts before you have surgery. The only real way to do this is to ensure you have a professional bra fit – to make sure you know your correct back and cup size.
This will ensure that after a full mastectomy, a lumpectomy or reconstruction – you will be able to fit the same bra as before your surgery. This will help ensure you get the right breast forms or partial forms to balance you up and boost your confidence.
Immediately after surgery I recommend front fastening bras
There is no doubt that immediately after surgery whatever you wear may get a little covered in blood, and you might want to through it away shortly after you leave hospital. As result many people seem to recommend just buying a cheap “supermarket” type bra that you can throw away without worrying about the cost.
I do not think that is particularly wise advice. Post surgery you will find it quite painful to raise your arms, and fastening a bra with a traditional rear fastening will be virtually impossible to do by yourself. In additional you will spend quite a lot of time lying on your back – so lying on a tradition hook and eye rear fastening will not be the most comfortable position.
I recommend spending a little more money on getting yourself two or three front fastening POCKETED bras. They are not particularly expensive – starting at only £21.99 – and will make a real difference to your time in hospital as well as immediately afterwards.
- The front fastening will make the bra so much easier to put on and take off – and as it has no rear fastening it will be far more comfortable to lie on for long periods.
- The front fastening bras I sell have high % cotton contents – so will be more comfortable to wear in the rather warm hospital environment
- having a pocket means you can wear an initial foam breast form without it rubbing on your scar
I recommend having more than one so you can wear one , while one is being washed. That way you will always have a fresh bra to change into.
You will actually find these make ideal sleep bras for the initial period when you come out of hospital (& beyond) so they do not need to be discarded.
You can see my range of pocketed front fastening bras by clicking here
After surgery I recommend non-wired bras for the first 12-18 months
I would normally recommend getting a post-surgery bra fitting just before you get a prosthesis fitted or approx. 6 – 8 weeks after surgery. This will allow you sufficient time for your scars to heal. However, your scar will be tender for some time – so I do recommend non-wired bras.
Many of my customers seem overly keen to return to wired bras as quickly as possible – but you really do need to take your time. There are plenty of pretty non-wired pocketed and non-pocketed bra available.
Underwired bras are an option to think about in 12 -18 months time when your scar has completely healed and the area have no unwanted sensitivity. You can have a look at my non-wired mastectomy bras by clicking here .
Two years after surgery the choice of bra is pretty much up to you !
Two years after surgery the choice of bras is more down to personal taste rather than any issues regarding the surgery. Obviously if you have a prosthesis or partial the bra needs to be able to adequately support it and hold it to your chest wall. Most of my customers end up sticking with a pocketed bra – many in non-wired bras – but there are also many fuller cup, non-pocketed bras that will do the job. Just make sure you have a fitting to make sure the bra works perfectly for you.
I hope that helps a little bit