What type of post op bra should I wear after a lift and implants?

I'm having a breast lift & implants for volume. I need to purchase extra bras because I want to have at least 3 or 4. I don't know what type to buy. Please help.

Doctor Answers 10

My most popular answer is to this question.

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All of my colleagues have given answers that are thoughtful and
informative, but they all seem to lack information about one problem I
have seen in a few of my patients who wear a sports bra "too much" after
surgery. I would define "too much" as most of the day and night, as in
some patients who tell me when I ask them to remain braless during the
day (when not exercising, jogging, etc.) and they respond with "But I
HAVE to wear a bra!" Some patients are apparently raised that wearing a
bra is essential for feminine modesty, and they feel so uncovered or
psychologically "wrong" about being braless, they would actually violate
my recommendation rather than go without a brassiere. Complete healing
takes 6-12 months after breast augmentation, and things can change for
that entire period, not just for the first few weeks or months.

Some surgeons apparently like the immobilization and gentle compression that
a sports or stretch bra allows, as this can help reduce bleeding and
bruising. But wait, I thought that was the job of the surgeon in the
operating room! I personally recommend as perfect hemostasis (control of
bleeding) in the operating room as possible, and then no bandage or
compression bra--not needed. Drains should never be used when implants
are involved--too much potential for bacterial contamination leading to
capsular contracture. I know--drains are used to evacuate blood that can
lead to capsular contracture, but how about better hemostasis so drains
aren't considered "necessary?" 

I start with implant position a bit higher than ideal (gravity works on what % of patients???), have my
patients use an elastic bandeau at night, and have them go braless
during the day (they can wear a camisole or tube top--built in light bra
is OK, but no tight or push-up bras (yet). As the implants drop into
their desired positions, then the nighttime bandeau is discontinued, and
a supportive (not push-up or jog/stretch bra) bra is added to slow the
rate of implant dropping into position. Remember, this takes 6-12 months
until "final" position is achieved.

But, how about position and width of the implants side-side? (This is about position beneath the
nipple/areola complex to give proper cleavage and "side boob.") Too high
a profile for your breast base diameter and you get "Grand Canyon" wide
cleavage--not good. Too close in the midline and you get uni-boob (and
"wall-eye" nipples.) So what does this have to do with jog or stretch
bras being worn too much?

The problem is that the breast pocket is created surgically to be
centered beneath the nipple/areola complex, and the chest in
cross-section is an oval, with the breasts actually "pointing" slightly
to the sides. In other words, the chest is not flat facing forward with
the nipple/areola complexes pointing straight ahead. Yet a snug
(non-cup) elastic sports or jog bra compresses the breasts inward,
pushing the implants together in the midline, stretching and perhaps
tearing a few of the fibers that connect the pockets to the breast bone
centrally, and potentially creating or worsening uni-boob (known as
symmastia). The not-yet-healed (for that aforementioned 6-12 months)
pocket can close down laterally and seal shut, malpositioning the
implants too far to the center. If worn too much and too long, this
malposition and potential symmastia (loss  of cleavage) can become

And surgery is the only way to correct this when it occurs.

The only way to avoid this unfortunate turn of events is to advise
patients that for the first year or so until their breast pockets have
healed completely, they should NOT wear any sports or stretch bra day
and night, and in fact should probably go braless for a part of each
day. I also have my patients move their implants in the
surgically-created pocket to keep the capsule from becoming the exact
same size as the implants. This allows the pockets to stay slightly
larger than the implants, minimizing capsular contracture and enhancing
softness and natural movement. Some surgeons feel implant movement
exercises are not necessary, since there is always some movement of the
implants, and if submuscular, the normal contraction of the muscles
"massage" and move the implants "enough." Perhaps true, but I like to
ensure the pockets stay open and the breast softness and movement

Like most of my colleagues, I advise no underwire bra until 3 weeks
after surgery, or until the (crease) incision is not irritated by the
wire. (Surgeons who use other incisions may not have this requirement).

Bottom line: ask your surgeon what his or her recommendation is (and
perhaps why), since most of us have given this much thought and have
actual reasons why we recommend what we do! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

I Don't Use A Bra

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I have never found the need to have a post surgery bra.  That early post operatively there is really no need for "support."  I use loose dry dressings for a about a week, then light fabric bras, then in a few weeks allow the patient to shop for regular bras when the swelling has deceased.Gordon Telepun, MDDecatur, Alabama Plastic Surgoen


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Thanks for your inquiry.  In my practice we provide the first bra and give recommendations for the next set.  I suggest you call your doctor to discuss.  

Bra Choice

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I provide bras for my patients, as I'd assume most surgeons do, and put them on while the patient is in the operating room. You shouldn't need to be bra shopping-- just discuss it with your surgeon. If a patient wants extra bras, I provide them in my office for the cost I pay for them, usually at the first post-op visit to be sure that the patient is comfortable with the bra size selected. There are post-surgical bras (I use Marena), but essentially the bra should provide good support and some compression, without an underwire initially.

Andres Taleisnik, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Bra after a lift and implants

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I prefer that patients wear a sports bra that is not too tight. Best to ask your surgeon because he may like something different.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

What type of post op bra should I wear after a lift and implants?

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I like the Marena group bras, as well as an online company called hourglass angels.  It is important to be comfortable as well as supported.  Contact your surgeon for his recommendations.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

What type of post op bra should I wear after a lift and implants?

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Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast augmentation/lifting procedure. 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. 

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, patients transition to a soft sports bra. Wired bras are used when breast have reached their “final position” and patients have full sensation along the breast skin. 

Generally, the longer I have been in practice, the more I appreciate the long term use of supportive bras after all types of breast surgery.  This additional support may be especially helpful when patients are lying down and/or engaged in strenuous exercise. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Breast lift and implants - what kind of bra after surgery?

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Thank you for asking about your breast lift and implants.
  • Most surgeons will order you a surgical bra after surgery.
  • You can ask your surgeon to order extra ones.
  • I recommend that my patients buy inexpensive cotton non-under wire bras to wear start two weeks after surgery if they don't find the surgical bra comfortable any longer.
  • Ask your surgeon if you need to do this - or if you should wait and buy them later.  
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

What type of post op bra should I wear after a lift and implants

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It is always best to ask you surgeon just to be sure what he/she may prefer. Usually any kind of sports bra without underwire works just fine. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


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Ask your surgeon.  It is he or she that is in the best position to answer your question because each surgeon has his/her own preference.  Good luck with your surgery

Elliot Duboys, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

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.