Bra too tight and swelling - what is or is not normal? (photos)

Hi, I went to surgery 3 days ago (I had tuberous breast) and my bra is very very tight. I find it dificult to breath and I Just want to take it off but yesterday I went to the clinic and I was told this is normal and that I can't take off the bra. Furthermore I am very sore and my breast are very swollen. Is it normal? Please I would be very thankfull to hear further opinions

Doctor Answers 7

Bra too tight

Your bra should not feel too tight - it may be the wrong size - release or remove the band over the top and see you surgeon for further advice

Follow your surgeon's instructions

Soreness, swelling and bruising are very common after surgery. Your bra shouldn’t be so tight that it makes breathing difficult, however if you had this checked out by your surgeon it’s best to follow their instructions. Fortunately, the swelling will gradually subside as you recover, making your bra less constricting.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Bra Post Surgery


Assuming that your bra was fitted properly beforehand, Having it temporarily tight at the moment is expected and you can also expect it to relax over the next week or two as your swelling goes down. If you have loosened it as much as possible and still feel that it is causing you unbearable pain, contact your Plastic Surgeon.

All the best 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Tight Bra and Swelling

Always contact your plastic surgeon if you have concerns about post-operative infection, bleeding, swelling, fever, excessive bruising, or any new and sudden changes in the feeling or look of your implants, breasts or incisions.

Now, healing will typically go on for 2-3 months for the early period after surgery. There may be some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation will be abnormal. Scars will be changing. If my patients have concerns that something is unusual about their healing process, it is important for them to call the office and discuss these concerns or come in to be examined. You should do the same with your surgeon if you find that you are concerned with your tension and swelling or anything else with your healing.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Post-op care after breast augmentation

Thank you for your question and photos.  Each plastic surgeon has its own unique "likely anecdotal" post-op care plan.  I place most all breast augmentation patients in a sports bra and light ace wrap immediately after surgery.  Depending on the patient, I may additionally use a bando support.  The morning after surgery, I remove the ace wrap and continue the use of the sports bra 24/7.  At one week I commonly allow patient to wear a soft bra if desired.  I encourage no underwire bra until week 3.

Based on your photos, your bra and bando support appear normal.  It is definitely not uncommon to have swelling this early after surgery.  If your bra discomfort becomes intolerable, notify your surgeon.  They should be more than willing to address your concern and come up with an appropriate solution.  Kind in mind, each day will get better.  Congratulations on your surgery and best wishes.

Dr. Mooty

R. Clark Mooty, MD
Lubbock Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Post op edema

Swelling after surgery is annoying, uncomfortable, but generally predictable.  The swelling after breast augmentation will usually increase during the first three days and be at the worst the third day after surgery.  Starting on post op day 4 or so, the swelling should start to decrease and by day 6-7 it will be much improved.  

Unfortunately, during these first three days the pressure and tightness can be uncomfortable, but not dangerous as long as there is no infection of hematoma.

Samuel Beran, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 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.