All You Wanted to Know about Post-op Bras
Breast surgery, regardless of the purpose of the procedure, is a complex surgery that requires careful preparation and attentive aftercare. The recovery process plays a crucial role in achieving the desired results, with postoperative care often influencing the final aesthetic outcome, comfort level, and overall satisfaction with the surgery. One often overlooked yet essential part of this process is the use of recovery garments, which offer many benefits to the patient after surgery. So, here are the top 5 benefits of recovery garments after breast surgery.
Highly esteemed in the field of plastic surgery, Mr Mark Gittos is a trusted plastic surgeon performing breast surgery in London, UK and Auckland, New Zealand. With a passion for delivering exceptional patient care, Mr Gittos guides patients meticulously through the recovery period, providing comprehensive advice and professional support. His dedication to postoperative care includes advocating for the use of recovery garments.
Download Mr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Cosmetic Breast Surgery
What Are Compression Bras for After Breast Surgery?
Compression bras are specifically designed pieces of postoperative wear used after breast surgery, be it augmentation, reduction, reconstruction, or mastectomy. They are essential in the recovery process as they provide support and stability to the breast area, thus helping to maintain the shape and contour achieved through surgery. Made with medical-grade, breathable materials, these bras are typically adjustable and often front-closing to allow for easy wear and removal during a period when mobility may be limited.
The primary purpose of a compression bra is to apply consistent pressure to the operated area, assisting in reducing postoperative swelling and bruising. This pressure promotes better blood circulation and facilitates fluid drainage, minimising the risk of complications such as seromas or haematomas. Moreover, the support provided by these bras can also offer significant pain relief and comfort during the healing process, making them an invaluable part of post-surgery recovery.
Key Features of Post-Surgical Bras
Post-surgical bras, specifically designed for the recovery phase after breast surgery, have several key features that distinguish them from regular bras. These features are all aimed at maximising the patient’s comfort and promoting effective healing and recovery.
- Front Closure: One significant feature of most post-surgical bras is the front closure. This design allows for easy removal and putting on of the bra, which is particularly beneficial when mobility is limited during the initial recovery phase. The front closure also prevents unnecessary strain or twisting movements that might occur with a back closure bra
- No Underwire: Another crucial feature is the absence of an underwire. While underwires in regular bras serve to shape and support the breasts, they can cause irritation and discomfort after surgery, particularly around incision sites. Therefore, post-surgical bras are generally wire-free but are designed to provide sufficient support and shaping in other ways
- Adjustable Straps and Bands: Post-surgical bras often have adjustable straps and bands to allow for changes in breast size due to post-operative swelling. As the swelling reduces, the bra can be adjusted for a more comfortable fit
- Breathable Material: The fabric used in post-surgical bras is typically soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic. These materials help reduce the risk of irritation and allow for air circulation, contributing to overall comfort and hygiene
- Supportive Structure: Post-surgical bras are designed to provide optimal support to the healing breasts. This not only helps to maintain the new shape and position of the breasts but also minimises movement that could cause discomfort or disrupt the healing process
- Seamless Design: Many post-surgical bras feature a seamless design. This helps to prevent any potential irritation or discomfort that could occur from seams rubbing against sensitive post-operative skin or incision sites
Benefits of Wearing Compression Garments after Breast Surgery
1. Reduced Swelling and Bruising
One of the most immediate and noticeable benefits of recovery garments is their ability to minimise swelling and bruising, common side effects post-surgery. These garments provide consistent and gentle pressure, improving blood circulation, and thus aiding in the reduction of inflammation. This can significantly accelerate the healing process, making the recovery journey more comfortable and tolerable for the patient.
2. Improved Shape and Contour
Postoperative recovery garments can help guide the reshaping process after breast surgery. They ensure that the operated area heals correctly and maintains the intended shape and contour. By supporting the new breast structure and discouraging any unwanted shifting of tissue, these garments play an integral role in achieving the desired aesthetic outcome.
3. Enhanced Comfort and Support
Wearing a recovery garment post-surgery provides a level of support and comfort that regular bras cannot. These garments are designed to be adjustable to accommodate changes in breast size due to swelling, offering a customised fit that can enhance comfort during the recovery period. In addition, they are typically made of breathable materials, providing additional comfort for the wearer.
4. Reduced Risk of Complications
The consistent pressure provided by recovery garments can help reduce the risk of certain postoperative complications, such as seroma and haematoma. These conditions, which involve the accumulation of fluid or blood under the skin, can delay healing and lead to further complications if not addressed. By encouraging proper blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, post-op bras help prevent these conditions.
5. Faster Return to Daily Activities
Wearing the recovery garments can help you return to your daily routines more swiftly. By reducing pain, swelling, and potential complications, these garments enable you to regain your mobility quicker. This swift return to normalcy can significantly improve your emotional wellbeing, which is an essential component of the recovery process.
The use of recovery garments after breast surgery is a vital aspect of postoperative care that brings many benefits. It is no wonder experienced plastic surgeons like Mr Mark Gittos advocate for their use, as they significantly contribute to a smoother, safer, and more comfortable recovery journey.
Post Breast Augmentation Bras vs. Breast Compression Bands
Post breast augmentation bras and breast compression bands are both vital tools in the recovery process following breast surgery, each serving a distinct purpose. Understanding the differences between the two and when they are most beneficial can help patients achieve more comfortable and effective recovery.
Post breast augmentation bras are designed to provide support, comfort, and stability to the newly augmented breasts. Made with soft, breathable, and flexible materials, these bras aim to accommodate swelling and changes in breast size that commonly occur after surgery. They are usually wire-free to prevent any irritation to the incision sites and often come with adjustable straps and front closures to enhance ease of use during the recovery period. By offering necessary support, these bras help to maintain the desired shape and contour of the new breasts and can assist in minimising the risk of implant displacement.
On the other hand, breast compression bands are a type of elastic band that is worn across the top of the breasts. These bands work by exerting downward pressure on the implants, aiding them in settling into their intended position more quickly. This can be particularly beneficial in cases where the implants are initially placed high on the chest, a common occurrence with submuscular implant placement. The continuous pressure applied by the compression band encourages the implants to move downwards into the breast pocket, helping to achieve a more natural-looking result.
It’s important to note that the use of either post breast augmentation bras or breast compression bands should be guided by the advice of your plastic surgeon, as the need for each can vary based on individual circumstances, the type of surgery performed, and the specific recovery timeline.
Top 10 Tips for Increased Comfort When Wearing the Post-op Bra
Wearing a post-operative bra can be a challenging experience for many women following breast surgery. It is crucial to ensure that it is worn correctly and comfortably to aid the healing process. Here are the top 10 tips for increased comfort when wearing a post-op bra:
- Get Professionally Measured: It’s essential to have the right size for your post-op bra. A professional measurement will ensure that the bra is neither too tight nor too loose, both of which can cause discomfort and impede recovery
- Choose Breathable Materials: Opt for bras made from breathable fabrics, like cotton or bamboo. These materials can help prevent skin irritation and offer more comfort, especially during the summer months
- Easy Accessibility: Choose a bra with a front closure. This will make it easier to put on and take off, especially when your mobility might be limited post-surgery
- No Underwire: Avoid bras with underwires, as they can irritate incisions and impede the healing process
- Adjustable Straps: Look for a bra with adjustable straps. This will allow you to customise the fit as your swelling decreases and your shape changes throughout the recovery process
- Regularly Change and Clean Your Bra: Keep your bra clean and change it regularly to maintain hygiene and comfort. It’s a good idea to have at least two post-op bras so you can wear one while the other is being washed
- Wear It 24/7: Unless advised otherwise by your plastic surgeon, wear your post-op bra 24/7. The continuous support can help reduce swelling and provide comfort
- Patience and Adjustment: It may take some time to get used to wearing a post-op bra. Be patient and make necessary adjustments to improve your comfort
- Use a Bra Extender: If the band of your bra feels too tight, consider using a bra extender. This can provide additional comfort without compromising the support the bra provides
- Consult with Your Plastic Surgeon: Always follow your plastic surgeon’s advice regarding the type of bra to wear, when to wear it, and for how long. Their advice will be tailored to your specific needs and recovery timeline
FAQs about Compression Garments after Breast Surgery
What happens if I don’t wear a bra after breast surgery?
- Skipping the use of a post-surgery bra after breast surgery can lead to complications and undesired results. The bra is designed to provide necessary support to the healing breasts and to maintain their new shape. Without this support, there’s an increased risk of implants shifting or the development of excessive swelling, which can lead to discomfort and affect the aesthetic outcome. In addition, a post-surgery bra helps minimise the movement of the breasts, reducing pain and promoting faster healing.
Do I need to wear the surgical bra at night too?
- Yes, it is generally recommended to wear the surgical bra 24 hours a day, including at night, especially in the initial weeks following surgery. This provides continuous support, helping to reduce swelling and prevent implant displacement. However, the exact duration can vary based on individual healing rates and the type of surgery performed, so it’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by your surgeon.
How do I choose the best post-op bra for me?
- Choosing the best post-op bra largely depends on your comfort, the type of surgery you’ve undergone, and the recommendations of your plastic surgeon. Look for a bra made of soft, breathable fabric, without underwires, and with a front closure for ease of use. Ensure the bra is the correct size—neither too tight nor too loose. Adjustable straps can be helpful as they allow you to customise the fit as your swelling decreases.
How long should I wear the surgical bra after breast surgery?
- The duration of wearing a surgical bra post-surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery and your individual healing process. However, it is generally recommended to wear the surgical bra continuously for the first few weeks post-surgery. After this initial period, your plastic surgeon may allow you to switch to a soft, supportive sports bra. You may need to continue wearing a supportive bra for several months to ensure the best possible results.
Should my bra fit tight?
- While your post-op bra should provide firm support, it should not fit too tightly. A bra that is overly tight can lead to discomfort, impede blood circulation, and potentially contribute to complications like lymphoedema. The bra should feel snug but not restrictive, and it should not cause any pain or dig into your skin.
Further Reading about Breast Surgery with Mr Mark Gittos
- Read Mr Mark Gittos’ Breast Augmentation Surgery Page
- Read Mr Mark Gittos’ Breast Lift Surgery Page
- Read Mr Mark Gittos’ Breast Reduction Surgery Page
- See Mr Mark Gittos’ Breast Augmentation Before and After Photo Gallery
- Read Mr Mark Gittos’ Blog about Anatomical Vs Round Breast Implants
Medical References about Compression Garments after Breast Surgery
- Seroma: Causes, treatment, and recovery – Medical News Today
- What are the Types of Elastic Compression Garments?
- Chest or breast binding: Tips, side effects, safety, and more
- Compression garment | Ask A Surgeon
About Mr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – London Plastic Surgeons
Practice locations in London & Essex, UK and Auckland, New Zealand.
With world-wide expertise Mr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women.
Mr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in London UK and Auckland New Zealand. His practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.
Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.
Do your Research
- Read the Website and Blogs relevant to your procedure
- Browse our Frequently Asked Questions including how to choose a Surgeon for your procedure
- Download the Guides to Surgery
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- Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
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