It’s great to go into your breast operation knowing that you have everything that you will need to make a quick and easy recovery. With this in mind, here’s all you’ll need to know about this key item for your recovery plan: the post operative bra.

What is a post surgery bra?

A post surgery bra, sometimes called a recovery bra, is quite simply a sports bra that is worn after all breast surgeries, whether you’ve had a breast augmentation, reduction or uplift. There are some specialist products out there on the market, but they can come with a hefty price tag, and haven’t been shown to offer you any real benefits. So with this in mind, we recommend a quick trip to Tesco, Matalan or ASDA for a sports bra. Remember, lifting your arms above your head may be uncomfortable, so it’s always a good idea to find a front fastening option, perhaps with a zip.

Why wear a post operative recovery bra?

Wearing a good quality sports bra can really speed up your recovery process and will make you feel much more comfortable after your surgery. The recovery bra helps to give more support and compression to the area, and this is a great way to reduce scar tissue. Your standard under wired bra can create irritation and problems with the healing process, sometimes without you even knowing, as you may be a little numb after surgery.   

The key to your post surgery bra is that you choose a really good fit that is comfortable. Make sure your post op bra stays level around your body and that the straps feel firm but not too tight. Remember to give yourself enough time to try on a few different types and sizes, or to ask for a bra fitting by an assistant.

What size of post surgery bra will I need?

Whichever breast procedure you’ve undertaken, this is an exciting time, and wearing a recovery bra will speed up your healing journey and make you feel more comfortable.  You should wear them day and night, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and buy at least two for your first week, so you can be wearing one whilst the other is in the wash.

Make sure these first two bras are one back size bigger, as you will need to accommodate a small amount of swelling. This means, for example, if you wear a 34 you will need to buy a 36. In terms of cup size, you need to buy a bra one size bigger than your expected post surgery size. As you move forward, these first post operative bras may become too large, so don’t spend too much on your first purchase!  

After week one, you will have had a post op appointment and your swelling will have subsided. Now is the time to invest in some better quality post surgery bras which can be used for the final stages of your recovery. If you decide to buy a selection, keep the tags on, just in case you don’t need them all and they can be returned.

How long will I need to wear a post operative bra?

During your recovery we will be with you every step of the way. Each type of breast surgery has a slightly different recuperation period, but in general, you can expect to wear your postoperative bra for between four to eight weeks. Your bra will become like a close friend, with many women choosing to wear them for support after the recommended period.

When can I start to wear my everyday underwear?

Although your post surgery bra may have become a close friend, there will probably be a day when you don’t want to spend so much time together! Listen carefully to the guidelines of your surgeon, as only she or he can assess how quickly your body is healing. You can return to wearing under wired bras when you have full sensation along the breast skin and, if you have had breast augmentation, the implants have settled into their ‘final position’.

Other useful recovery tips
•    Remember to follow all of your surgeon’s recovery advice after your cosmetic breast procedure.
•    Immediately after surgery (for the first 48hours) don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol.  
•    Don’t smoke for the first two weeks after surgery.
•    Avoid heavy lifting in the first week after surgery.
•    Avoid sports activities (including swimming) for as long as your surgeon advises (normally around 6 weeks). Gentle exercise, like walking, is beneficial though.