How to Choose a Bra After Mastectomy

Understanding the Importance of a Well-fitting Bra After Mastectomy or Breast Cancer Surgery

Dealing with breast cancer and having a lumpectomy, bilateral mastectomy, or any kind of breast surgery is a life-altering event that requires special care and attention. Adapting to this new reality and choosing a well-fitting bra after a mastectomy is important for physical comfort and self-confidence. An ill-fitting bra can lead to discomfort, pain, and further complications, however, with the right information, choosing a bra after surgery can significantly improve your well-being. At the end of this guide, you will be able to find the perfect post-mastectomy bra, take care of your sensitive skin, find great mastectomy pillows to ease your pain, and embrace your new body image.

Finding the Right Bra Size and Style

Finding a bra to wear

Seek Advice from a Professional Bra Fitter

After a breast surgery, your body undergoes significant changes, resulting in a different bra size or the need for a breast prosthesis. It is recommended to seek advice form a professional bra fitter specializing in mastectomy bras.

A professional bra fitter will measure and assess your size and shape, considering any asymmetry or scarring resulting from the surgery. The size and shape of the remaining breast, along with your type of surgery will determine the style and size of the bra that will work best for you.

Choosing the Right Bra Style for Comfort and Support

In addition to finding the right size, it is essential to consider the style and type of bra to ensure comfort and support after a mastectomy. Bras with a wide band and adjustable straps are great for distributing weight evenly and reducing strain on the shoulders. Choosing bras with a higher center front can provide more coverage and support. It is advisable to opt for soft and seamless bras made from breathable fabrics to avoid irritating sensitive skin.

The different types of surgery bras available include:

  1. Soft cup bras: Bras that are comfortable and accommodate breast prostheses.
  2. Underwire bras: These bras provide better support and shaping.
  3. Sports bras: These are bras designed for physical activities and they provide additional support.
  4. Camisole bras: These bras have built-in camisole-style tops for added coverage.

Before purchasing a bra, consult a healthcare professional, like a breast care nurse or a prosthesis. They offer valuable advice on the best type and style of bra that suits your post-surgery needs.

They may also recommend a specific brand or give a breast prosthesis prescription that will help restore balance and breast shape. They could even recommend a mastectomy pillow you could use to ease the pain for weeks after surgery.

Features to Consider in a Post-Mastectomy Bra

When choosing a post-mastectomy bra, there are specific features that you should consider:

Adjustable Straps for a Customized Fit

Mastectomy bras with adjustable straps allow you to adjust the fit according to your support requirements.

Compression Bras for Post-surgical Recovery

Compression bras are designed to provide gentle and targeted compression to the chest area, aiding in post-surgical recovery. These bras can help reduce swelling, promote healing, and provide additional support during the initial stages of recovery.

Bras with Pockets for Breast Forms or Prosthesis

Many post – surgery bras come with built-in pockets to hold breast forms or prostheses. These pockets provide a secure and discreet way to wear these forms, helping to restore symmetry and provide a natural-looking silhouette.

Tips for Wearing a Bra After Mastectomy

How to find a great bra to wear

Here are some adjustments that can be made while wearing a post-surgery bra for maximum comfort and optimal well-being:

Switch to Soft Material to Protect Your Sensitive Skin

After a breast surgery, you may have tight and sensitive skin. It becomes important to use bras made of soft, breathable materials such as cotton or bamboo to avoid irritation. This means you should prioritize soft materials over rough fabrics like lace. You can also apply moisturizers to your skin while avoiding friction will keep your skin healthy and elastic.

Manage Fluid Buildup with Drains

During the post-mastectomy recovery phase, some individuals have to use drains to remove excess fluid build-up. Bras with front closures or adjustable features can accommodate these drains without compromising your comfort in any way.

Gradually Increase Bra Support and Activity Level

As you heal, professionals recommend that you increase the bra’s support level and physical activity. Start with soft bras with minimal compression and move towards bras that provide more support that suits your comfort level. Always listen to your body and seek expert advice to determine the perfect timing for moving to another bra.

Resources for Finding Mastectomy Bras

Finding the perfect mastectomy bra can be overwhelming, but there are resources available to help you.

Breast Care Nurses for Personalized Assistance

Breast care nurses, with their wide knowledge of different brands, styles, and sizes, offer personalized guidance and support when it comes to post-mastectomy bras.

Specialized Lingerie Shops and Online Retailers

Specialized lingerie shops and online retailers offer a wide range of mastectomy bras related to wide band breast reconstruction, compression bras, and breathable fabrics.

Insurance Coverage for Mastectomy Bras

Some insurance plans cover the cost of mastectomy bras, including post-surgical breast cancer surgery, post-mastectomy front closure bras, and surgical drains. Before buying, check with your insurance provider to know if you qualify for coverage. This can help reduce the financial burden associated with post-mastectomy undergarments.

Bras for Specific Post-Mastectomy Needs

Different situations call for different bras. Here are some options:

Bras with Gentle Compression for Sensitive Skin

For individuals with sensitive skin, bras with gentle compression and seamless designs provide the necessary support. Use bras made from soft, breathable materials that are less likely to irritate the skin.

Sport Bras for Active Lifestyle

Staying active after a breast surgery is important for both your physical and mental well-being. Sport bras offer the necessary support and compression during physical activities, with features like moisture-wicking fabric, adjustable straps, and a wide underwear for comfort and support.

Leisure Bras for Resting

Leisure bras have soft fabric and wire-free designs to reduce restriction and increase comfort, allowing your body to heal and recover effectively.

Embracing Your New Body Image with the Right Bra

Adjusting to changes after mastectomy is faster when you embrace your uniqueness, focus on self-care, and use bras that make you feel comfortable. Choosing the right bra after a breast cancer surgery is a personal journey that involves finding a balance between support, comfort, and personal style. It may take time to find the perfect bra.

Remember to be patient with yourself, seek professional assistance when needed, and celebrate the progress you make in embracing your new body image. Finding the right bra after mastectomy will take some time and experimentation. Make sure to choose a bra that not only supports your physical needs but also makes you feel comfortable and confident in your new body. By understanding the importance of a proper fit, considering the features of post-mastectomy bras, and following the tips provided, you can navigate this journey with confidence.







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