The Benefits of Post-Surgical Mastectomy Bras & Camisoles

Comfort & Fit Are Key

Before you head to the hospital for any type of breast surgery, it's a good idea to prepare yourself for recovery mode by purchasing a post-surgical bra or camisole and packing it in your overnight bag. You might even want to buy more than one bra, as you'll likely need to wear a post-surgical bra continually until you start to heal. Plus, it's nice to have options.

What to Look For

woman bra shopping
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Let comfort be your guide when shopping for post-surgical bras. There are a few specific things to look for when shopping for a comfortably fitting bra:

  • Wide bands. Wide bands across the shoulders and beneath the breasts assure you that the bra will stay put and won't dig into your skin.
  • Adjustable straps and closures. These will give you a closer, more comfortable fit, no matter what your new shape may be.
  • No seams. Wearing a seamless bra means less irritation to your sensitive, tender skin, and especially your incisions. Choose seamless whenever you can. They're just more comfortable.
  • Good fabric. Breathable fabrics and natural fibers will give you long-range comfort.

Underwire should be avoided. Sure, a little boost is nice, but healing is your priority at the moment. Check with your doctor or surgeon before you start wearing underwire bras again.

Front-Closing Soft Cup Bras

You can feel secure and comfortable after breast surgery in a front-closing bra with soft cups. Because breast surgery sometimes affect your shoulder rotation, you may have trouble reaching hooks on a bra that closes in the back or pulling a bra on overhead. Soft bra cups will stretch to fit over surgical dressings and provide light compression on incisions. Many sports bras have zippers, hooks and slides that make dressing easy, too.

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Compression Bras & Vests

Your breast surgeon might tell you to get a compression bra or vest for wear after surgery. They offer greater coverage of the breasts, back and underarm tissues. Compression on incisions can also help prevent swelling from fluid buildup as you heal.

The right compression bra or vest will hold your skin in place and prevent the skin from shifting and stretching around your stitches. This helps reduce puckering around scar tissue, which saves you from needing additional surgery in the long run.

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Mastectomy Bras & Recovery

Whether you choose to have breast reconstruction or use  prosthesis, a mastectomy bra offers a lot of comfort immediately following surgery. Mastectomy bras also have soft inner linings and special pockets to accommodate your prosthesis. A camisole-style bra or a full cup mastectomy bra provides much needed comfort and security after breast surgery.

A word to the wise: Use a lightweight prosthesis right after a mastectomy. A prosthesis is a quick and easy way to fill the space where your breast once was, but you don't want to put any extra weight and pressure on your incisions. Wait to wear a weighted prosthesis until after you've healed.

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Pretty Post-Surgical Tops & Camisoles

Surgical Drain Holders
Surgical Drain Holders in Cool Chemo Top. Photo © Confident Clothing Company

A camisole is like a more loosely fitting tank top or sleeveless undershirt. They are often adorned with pretty lace and other embellishments, and are made of stretchy, lightweight, super soft fabric. Some post-surgical tops and camisoles come equipped with pockets that can hold surgical drains securely in place. Some post-op camisoles are designed with bra cups and prosthesis pockets built in, as well as room for surgical drains.

Look around and you may find blouses, T-shirts, nightgowns and pajama tops designed with bra cups and removable drain pockets, many of which can be worn long after you have recovered from surgery.

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