Pros and Cons of Surgical Bra Vs. Sports Bra After Breast Augmentation?

Is it safe to wear a sports bra while recovering from breast augmentation surgery, or should I invest in a surgical bra? Does it depend on each person?

Doctor Answers 15

Breast Augmentation

I prefer a sports bra for the 1st 2 weeks as I commonly use the incision under the breast.  I like the ones with no formed cup as they support the breast but do not rub on the incisions.  After 2 weeks when the wounds are healed any other bras are fine.  I hope this info helps.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Surgical bra vs sports bra

Surgical bras tend to have more support while sports bras tend to be more elastic (and less supportive).   In my practice a sports bra is just fine 90% of the time.  Only when I want very precise support is a surgical bra essential.  When revisions are done and implants must sit exactly as I want them to sit, a surgical bra is essential.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 234 reviews

Surgery bra or sports bra after Breast surgery.

Essentially they are interchangeable.  I find a sports bra provides greater compression if it fits properly, but a surgical bra is easier for the 1st week or 2 after surgery.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Pros and Cons of Surgical Bra Vs. Sports Bra After Breast Augmentation?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure. The question  regarding the use of bras is quite common on this website;  there is no “standard” when it comes to the use of specific bras or garments after breast surgery. In other words, different plastic surgeons may have different practices when it comes to postoperative dressings/bras. Therefore, best to check with your plastic surgeon.   For example, in my practice, patients wake up with a surgical bra in place.  This surgical bra,  although not attractive, is supportive and used for about one month after surgery ( Some of my patients have been known to burn the bra ASAP). Then, patient's transition to a soft sports bra for about 3 months. Wired bras are used when breast implants have reached their “final position” and patients have full sensation along the breast skin.   Best wishes; hopefully, you will be very pleased with the longer-term outcome of the procedure performed.

Bra after BA

You should ask your surgeon about this, since every surgeon has their own guidelines. I normally don't recommend any bra to allow for the breasts to settle first.

Surgical Bras or Sport Bras - What Works Better Following Breast Augmentation

In the vast majority of patients, we don’t use a bra strap or surgical bra in the postoperative period. There are exceptions, but these are rare. In most cases, we place our patients in a compressive ace wrap dressing which applies mild pressure to the area. This helps minimize swelling and makes patients more comfortable. It also decreases the potential for displacement of the new breast implants within the newly formed breast pocket.

When we perform submuscular augmentation, we feel that the ace wrap dressing helps to prevent superior displacement of the breast implants. This can occur with spasm of the pectoralis muscles and result in loss of the inferior breast pocket expansion. When superior displacement of implants occurs, a bra strap may be indicated.

The vast majority of patients are switched to a sports bra one week after surgery. They wear this bra for about six weeks and in most cases are able to switch to an underwire bra at that time.

It’s important to realize that every patient’s situation is unique. For this reason the management of compression garments needs to be individualized.

Ak the surgeon

I actually prefer that the patients wear no bra for 1 month after surgery.  This will depend completely on the surgeon's experience.  Fit yourself into their system, it is what works for them.

Bras after breast augmentation

You should follow the advice of your plastic surgeon. All plastic surgeons will have a different routine for post operative care. Your plastic surgeon understands your surgery and your anatomy and is in the best position for making this decision.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Surgical Bra VS Sports Bra After Breast Augmentation

In my opinion it really doesn't matter which one you initially wear after surgery because the implants are usually high.  Once the implants have dropped into position you do need a good support bra so that they don't drop too low. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Post-operative bra

Any well fitting bra that provides support and comfort is okay with me.  I have my patients purchase their own bra so they can get a fabric and style they like.  Of course, they need to buy a bra that is stretchy and that has cups that are too large for them pre-opertively.    I recommend a  sports bra that closes in the front.  It's a lot easier than pulling a bra over your head or hooking a bra in the back after you have had surgery.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.