Breast augmentation, supervised by an experienced plastic surgeon, which includes procedures such as breast reduction, breast implants, breast lift, Brazilian techniques, and even breast surgery for men, won’t just change the size of your breasts. It will also change the size of the bra you wear, ultimately altering your breast size and position in relation to the bra. Wearing a specialized compression bra or breast augmentation bra during the healing process can yield various benefits for both women and men. A compression garment, particularly designed for a woman’s form, can aid in recovery and comfort during times of post-surgery healing, whether after pregnancy or a breast augmentation procedure. While some patients might consider additional cosmetic options such as a facelift, thigh lift, or botox and fillers to complement their breast augmentation surgery, the main focus remains on the implant. Stay informed about these options by subscribing to a relevant newsletter for the latest recommendations on enhancing your appearance.
Breast augmentation won’t just change the size of your breasts. It will also change the size of the bras you wear. If you have surgery to say goodbye to your A or B cup breasts, you can’t reasonably expect that you’ll be able to wear your 36A or 34B size bras after the procedure. This change affects many patients, prompting them to invest in new bras, which can be exciting for both women and men alike, as they explore options catered to their new front. Many individuals document their journey and experience in blog posts, sharing testimonials on the process, covering weight loss and phone app suggestions for guidance.
For plenty of women and men, having to invest in new bras is great news. It’s a chance to go shopping and try out new styles. You might decide to have your first professional bra fitting ever after breast augmentation, just to make sure you’re wearing the right size bra for your new breasts. It’s also an opportunity to ask any remaining questions you have about the surgery and its effects on your movement and lifestyle.
But, before you head out to the closest lingerie store, it’s important to remember that it will take some time before you can actually wear a bra again and sometimes before your breasts have settled into their final size. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the bra section right after and as you go through recovery from breast augmentation or procedures like breast reduction, breast lift, and facelifts
Bras Right After Breast Augmentation
There’s no consensus on whether you should wear a bra or not immediately after your surgery. Some surgeons will recommend wearing a sports bra or surgical bra right after breast augmentation. Dr. Paul Vitenas, one of the country’s highest-rated breast augmentation surgeons, advises against wearing bras immediately after surgery and for up to six weeks afterward. During this time, patients should consider wearing compression bras for added support during recovery, as it can help reduce swelling and protect the newly adjusted tissue.
The reason is simple. After breast augmentation, your implants will need time to settle into place. A bra, whether it’s a push-up underwire bra or a sports bra, affects the shape and position of the breasts in some way. The pressure from the bra can provide support and increase your comfort, but it can also disrupt the final shape of the breast. It’s best to give your implants time to settle in before you start wearing bras again.
Surgical Bras: Immediate Post-Surgery Support
- Description: Surgical bras, also known as post-operative bras, are designed to provide firm support and minimize swelling right after surgery.
- Benefits: They stabilize the breasts, help in shaping, and ensure the dressings stay in place.
- Selection Tips: Look for bras without underwires, with adjustable straps, and made from soft, breathable materials for maximum comfort.
Sports Bras: Transitioning into Comfort
- Description: After the initial recovery phase, sports bras can be a comfortable option. They offer good support without the rigidity of surgical bras.
- Benefits: They provide a snug fit and support, essential for the ongoing healing process, and are generally more accessible.
- Selection Tips: Choose sports bras without underwires, with moisture-wicking fabric, and ensure they are snug but not too tight.
Wireless Bras: Gentle Everyday Support
- Description: As you progress in your recovery, wireless bras can offer a balance between support and comfort.
- Benefits: They provide necessary support without the pressure of underwires, making them suitable for daily wear.
- Selection Tips: Focus on finding bras with molded cups or structural support, comfortable straps, and a band that fits snugly without constriction.
Underwire Bras: For Enhanced Shape and Support
- Description: Once fully healed, underwire bras can be reintroduced for additional support and shaping.
- Benefits: They offer enhanced support and are ideal for achieving the desired breast contour.
- Selection Tips: Ensure the underwire sits comfortably below the breast tissue and does not press against the incisions.
Finding the Right Bra After Breast Augmentation
Once you can wear a bra again after your surgery, it’s important to find the right bra. You’re probably very familiar with what it feels like to wear a bra that’s not right for you — all you want to do is take the thing off. When you’re shopping for bras after surgery, it’s important to look beyond cup and band size. The cut and style of the bra matter as well.
But let’s start by discussing the size of the bra. The results from breast augmentation tend to come in gradually, which means that the bra size that fits you best a month after surgery might not be the same bra size you’re wearing two or three months afterward. Things like swelling can affect the bra size you end up wearing during your recovery.
For that reason, you might want to invest in bras slowly. Don’t stock your wardrobe with a bunch of new bras right away, as in a few weeks or months they might be too small or big for you. Instead of buying numerous bras at once, purchase one or two at a time and revisit the bra section of your favorite store as needed. It’s helpful to have a menu of available bra styles to make informed decisions on which garments will work best for your body after surgery, such as a breast implant or tummy tuck procedure involving round or textured implants. Be sure to consider compression bras, as they can assist with managing discomfort and complications during the healing process after breast reconstruction with options such as smooth silicone, gel, or saline implants. In addition to compression bras, a variety of other garments, such as sports bras and compression garments designed for post-surgery, may be helpful. Consulting with a doctor or reading blogs about other women’s journeys can help you keep in mind the types of bras that work best in different situations and locations, as well as the features to look for in a post-surgery bra, including those without underwire for added comfort around the incisions near the neck and chest area.
If you’re not sure how to measure your breasts to figure out the right bra size, and you can’t get help from a professional at a department or lingerie store, the process is relatively simple. Gathering information on bra sizing can be essential to finding the right garment for each patient, especially considering the decision to remove or alter breast tissue. This is particularly important after surgery, as staff at various locations might not be familiar with post-operation bra requirements.
First, measure beneath your breasts, around the torso to get your band size. Add 5 inches to this number if you get an odd number, or 4 inches if you get an even number. For example, if your lower chest measures 29 or 30 inches, you wear a band size 34. It’s likely that this number is the same now as it was before your surgery, despite any incision or swelling. Make sure to mention your surgery and specific type of procedure when making appointments for bra fittings.
To figure out your cup size, measure around the fullest part of the breasts. Subtract that number from your band size to determine which cup you are. If the difference is three inches, you wear a C cup. If it’s 4 inches, you wear a D cup, and so on.
It can take a lot of trial and error to find the right bra after your surgery. Bras can differ considerably in size and shape from one brand to the next. For example, a 36B from Victoria’s Secret can be more like a 36C from Natori. It’s always a good idea to try on bras before you buy them or only purchase bras from a company that has an easy return policy to minimize discomfort.
When to Change Bra Types
- Initial Weeks – Surgical Bras: In the first few weeks following your breast augmentation surgery, the primary focus is on healing and minimizing swelling. During this phase, surgical or compression bras are essential. These bras are specifically designed to provide firm support, reduce swelling, and stabilize the breast area. It’s crucial to wear them as directed by your surgeon, usually 24/7, except when showering. The snug fit and supportive nature of these bras play a pivotal role in shaping your breasts and aiding in a smoother recovery.
- Transition Phase – Sports Bras: As you approach the one-month mark post-surgery, your body starts to adapt to the changes, and swelling generally begins to subside. This period marks the transition phase where you can gradually shift to sports bras. Sports bras offer a balance between support and comfort, making them ideal for this stage of recovery. They are less restrictive than surgical bras but still provide the necessary support to prevent strain on the surgical area. Look for sports bras with wide bands, breathable fabric, and without underwires. The goal during this phase is to maintain support while introducing more comfort and flexibility into your wardrobe.
- Further Healing – Wireless Bras: Approximately two months after your surgery, if your surgeon agrees, you can start introducing wireless bras into your daily wear. At this stage, your breasts are more settled, and major healing has occurred. Wireless bras offer a comfortable alternative to sports bras, providing support without the pressure of underwires. They are ideal for everyday wear and can accommodate the subtle changes in breast size and shape that continue to occur as you fully heal. When selecting wireless bras, prioritize comfort and fit. The bra should support your breasts without compressing them or causing any discomfort around the incision sites.
- Full Recovery – Underwire Bras: The final transition in your post-surgery bra journey typically occurs around three to six months after your procedure, depending on your healing process and your surgeon’s advice. This is when you can start reintroducing underwire bras. Underwire bras offer enhanced support and shaping, which can be beneficial as you return to your regular activities and wardrobe choices. However, it’s important to ensure that the underwire does not irritate or press against your incisions. Always opt for bras with soft underwire casing and ensure a perfect fit to avoid any discomfort.
The Underwire Issue
If you decide to wear a bra before the first six weeks of healing are over, whatever you do, don’t wear an underwire bra. Although underwires can be synonymous with support, they can cause complications for women after breast augmentation. The wires can irritate any incisions in the crease beneath the breast, which can make scarring more visible.
Wait until your surgeon gives you the go-ahead before you start wearing underwire bras again.
Caring for Bras After Surgery
Once your new breasts have settled in and you’ve stocked your wardrobe with the perfect bras, it’s important to take care of those bras so that they last a while. Don’t wear the same bra two days in a row. Wearing a bra a lot will cause it to stretch out and lose elasticity so that it doesn’t provide as much support.
Start out wearing your bra on the largest hook. As it loses elasticity, you can move to the smaller hooks to create a tighter, more supportive fit. Your bra’s at the end of its life once you’ve started regularly wearing it on the tightest hooks.
To keep your bras as long as possible, wash them with care using cold water and a delicate cycle. Try not to dry your bras in the dryer, as the heat will damage the elastic.
Your surgeon can provide more advice about bra shopping and sizing after your surgery. To learn more about breast augmentation and implants, schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Vitenas today. Call 281-484-0088 to make your appointment with the experienced and knowledgeable staff at his practice.