Under What Circumstances Does One Wear a Compression Bra Post-op?

Hi, I had a tummy tuck and what I thought would be a breast reduction two weeks ago, but what I believe I ended up with was just a tummy tuck and a lift. Now I am desperate to get my breasts to be noticeably smaller, and not the small degree of difference that I ended up with. Some women on this site mention wearing a compression bra, given to them by their doctor or hospital. I was given a flimsy front-closure bra that is very gentle, and NOT supportive. Would buying a compression bra help?

Doctor Answers 6

Breast swelling after surgery

Swelling for two weeks after any breast surgery such breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation is very normal and part of the normal healing process.  In most cases a breast lift is part of a breast reduction and results in a similar scar pattern.  To give you peace of mind, consider asking your surgeon exactly how many grams of tissue were removed during the breast reduction.  Regarding your question about a compression bra, I don't actually recommend or give garments to our patients that are tight or changes the position of the breast.  Our policy is "snug but not tight" for all garments.  I think a good strapless, lightweight garment such as garment used for supportive purposes during pregnancy works well  for breast lift patients.  In your particular case, giving it more time for the swelling to resolve is likely the best answer.  A general time estimate for swelling to resolve is 3 months after breast surgery. 

Mommy Makeover Bra

It takes more than a few weeks for the post-operative swelling to resolve after breast reduction surgery. Initially the breasts appear very high and full and the shape improves with time as the tissue stretches and the edema goes away.  Give your breasts time to heal and communicate with your surgeon your concerns.

Bra recommendations  by your surgeon should be followed.  I am not a fan of compression breast garments and suggest more comfortable bras for our patients.

Heal well and give your surgery more time for your final result to be obtained.

Best Regards,

Douglas J. Raskin, MD
Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews


Usually with a Breast reduction a lift is included. You are very swollen still and you need to give your body time to heal and for swelling to go down to see a dramatic difference. Use whatever your Doctor gave you for support. In our practice we usually like our patients to wear a camisol for the first 6 weeks.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Bra post op

Every doctor has different post op instructions so you should ask your surgeon what would work for you.
The dressings vary from patient to patient. Some patients may be placed in a sports bra; others will wear a stabilizing elastic support strap. Your doctor will decide after surgery and in subsequent weeks, which dressing will suit your needs and how long you would need to wear them.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Compression bra after mommy makeover

At two weeks, swelling can make your breasts look larger than they should be. If you were told to wear a bra rather than compression bra, you should probably follow the instructions of your surgeon. However, if you have doubts about whether you were given the right thing, you can always contact your surgeon to make sure.

Too Early to Judge Breast Reduction Results

Thank you for your question.

At 2 weeks post op, it is too early to evaluate the results of your breast surgery. Anyway, the use of a compression bra will not change the results of your surgery. I would suggest that you wait 3-6 months to see the final results.

Keep your follow up appointments with your surgeon.

Best wishes.

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.