Underwire Bra Required After Getting Breast Implants?

Is wearing an underwire bra essential after implants? 

Doctor Answers 14

You need good support

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All breasts, whether augmented, reduced or natural, need to be well supported. This prevents tissue stretching and helps to control the natural aging process of the breasts. I recommend to all of my patients to buy well made bras from boutiques that specialize in sizing. Bras don't have to be underwire but they do need to be made well to provide good continuous support. You spent good money to get great lookin breasts, spend a little more to keep them looking great.

No underwire bra

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I'm not quite sure where you are in your recovery.

Immediately post-operatively, my breast augmentation patients wear either the surgical bra that was placed on in the operating room, or a soft sports-type bra. I ask them to buy one that clasps in the front, so that the act of putting it on is not too difficult.

I tell my patients to avoid underwire bras completely for six weeks after the operation. If the implants were placed through an inframammary incision (immediately below the breast), the underwires can rub this and lead to wound healing problems.

I generally don't encourage underwire bras, and the pressure they can place under the breast can be quite uncomfortable.

Hope this helps!

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Underwires after breast augmentation depends on the procedure

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It commonly depends on the surgery performed.

In the instance of performing a corrective breast augmentation for constricted or asymmetic or secondary breast augmentation procedures, it is not uncommon to have to adjust the height of the breast crease. In these specific cases and especially capsulorrhaphy, I may request that the patient wear an underwire bra 24/7 for 6 weeks and avoid strenous excercises or activity that may disrupt the repair.

In conditions of primary breast augmentation of relatively symmetric breasts, I actually prefer that women avoid or minimize use of the underwire bra to avoid upward displacement of the implant in the breast pocket.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

The bra does not make much difference

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To Sara,

Hi.  The key is to place the implants in just the right pocket.  After surgery, we either use a sports bra or no bra.  You certainly don't need an underwire bra.  Some women like to wear an underwire bra, and then we tell them to start one month after surgery.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Underwire not required

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In fact, most plastic surgeons forbid underwire bras for the first few weeks after a breast augmentation.  Thereafter, most plastic surgeons, myself included, allow you to wear whatever is comfortable for you.  Good luck!

Ultimately yes you do need them!!

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Until you are fully healed, soft bras are the way to go as Dr. Chang mentioned. However, adding the weight of an implant to your normal breast weight puts additional force on the skin of your chest wall and your back muscles. Good support is very important to avoid undue descent of your implants and to avoid undue stress on your back. Also, when you are out exercising, in my practice, I have patients wear two bras (one underwire and one sports) to keep the implants well supported. If you have sun damaged skin or a large number of stretch marks on your breasts, you could find that the implants eventually sit too low on your chest. Then you would need a Miracle Bra. Good luck.

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Bras after Breast Implants

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Thank you for your question.  In the immediate post-op period, I have my patients wear a light weight compression sports bra for the purposes of comfort, support and swelling.  Once patients are at least one month out from surgery, it is right back to patient preference when it comes to the use of a bra (underwire or otherwise).  Some patients never wear a bra again, some wear bralettes, others wear underwire and/or push-up bras.  

If you have already undergone a breast augmentation procedure or are considering having this done, I would recommend discussing your operating surgeons specific philosophy when it comes to the use of bras post-operatively.  I hope you find this helpful!

Sports bra after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. I often recommend that patients find a sports bra that opens in the front and that is comfortable to wear. They can take breaks during the day and I also encourage breast massage after a week. It is important for your implants to move around and develop a comfortable space (or capsule) within the breast.

Breast Compression Garments Following Breast Augmentation

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In the vast majority of breast augmentation patients underwire bras aren’t necessary following surgery. In this group, support bras without underwires may be helpful but even this recommendation may be controversial. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus amongst plastic surgeons regarding this issue. In fact, many plastic surgeons don’t even recommend a bra following breast augmentation surgery. Unfortunately there are no scientific studies that clarify this issue.
A complex relationship exists between breast tissue, wound healing biology, breast implants, and gravity in patients who have undergone breast augmentation surgery. It makes sense that breast implants can exert significant downward pressure on the soft tissue of the breasts. Over the course of time, this might lead to soft tissue stretching and bottoming out of breast implants.
For this reason, we feel it’s appropriate to wear a bra for support following breast augmentation surgery. This is especially true when larger implants have been used and placed on top of the pectoralis muscles. In some cases, the use of an underwire bra may add additional support.
It’s important to remember that each patient’s situation is unique. For this reason, post-operative care should be individualized. Under these circumstances, it’s appropriate that you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that’s appropriate for you.

You don't have to wear an undewire bra after getting breast implants

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You absolutely do not have to wear a bra with underwire after getting breast implants. The best bra to wear is something with good support, especially during your recovery. This is generally a sports bra.

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.