Is a compression bra best for breast explant? And why?

I'm due to have my implants removed next month. I've researched which bras to by. Do I need a compression one or just a normal cotton post op bra? Does compression help with skin to retract?

Doctor Answers 5


This question needs to be addressed by your PS. The answer will be determined by the amount of breast tissue you have after explantation, position of the scars and the amount of dead space after removal which is dictated by the size of your implants. Personally there are some patients I don't recommend any compression, some that need compressive wrapping and some that need a support bra. Ask your PS.

Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Best Surgical Bra

Hello there.  It is always best to address these queries with your surgeon as they may have a specific recommendation.In my practice, I recommend a supportive bra that is comfortable and we supply and sell bras that I have found to be the best.  However, you may be able to use a comfortable, well fitting sports bra which could be just as good.  I do not think that compression will help the skin to retract but it will help with comfort and it may help to close down the pocket that will be present after the implants have been removed.The best thing to help the skin to retract is to look after your skin by not smoking, avoiding too much sun exposure and drinking plenty.  Good luck.


Every surgeon has their own protocol for recovery.  My preference is a sports bra for compression to promote healing.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews


I would suggest asking your surgeon what bra he/she prefers. Every surgeon has his/her own preference for a variety of reasons. This is the surgeon you chose, so please follow the post operative instructions. I personally use a soft compressive sports bra the day after surgery for my patients, after removing the compression dressing.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Is a compression bra best for breast explant? And why?

There is no “standard” when it comes to the use of specific bras or garments after breast implant removal 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 "compression" dressing  and surgical bra in place (I also use drains).  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. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,502 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.