Are surgical bras needed after surgery and also is it safe to return to work after 2 1/2 weeks?

How long do i wear the bra if needed? I'm going through the nipple as well. I work in childcare and need to be able to transport a 17lb baby to and from crib and activity mat. Also, I broke my collar bone in 3 places and had it repaired, so I'm well aware of how I've had to alter picking up and carrying a baby. Thoughts and concerns are appreciated.

Doctor Answers 9

Are Surgical Bras Needed After Breast Surgery. When to Return to Work.

If you are having a breast augmentation in my practice, no special bras are needed. Patients are instructed to start raising their hands above their head five times and hour starting right after surgery. This loosens the pectoralis muscle and makes for a more rapid recovery. Since the surgery is done without any bleeding, using cautery, there is also no need for drains.  Most patients are able to return to normal activity including washing their hair, lifting normal weight packages, and driving in four days. For an active job such as hairdresser or a server lifting trays, about two weeks, but often less. For a breast lift, I do recommend a bra worn most of the time for three weeks after surgery.

Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Are surgical bras needed after surgery and also is it safe to return to work after 2 1/2 weeks?

I usually suggest a patient wears a sports type of bra for the first three weeks following a breast augmentation and/or breast lift procedure.  The light compression that the bra will provide will make the post operative recovery more comfortable and help decrease swelling and bruising.  In most cases it should be safe to return to work in 2 1/2 weeks post op.  However, check with your surgeon for their recommendations in your particular case.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.  

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Breast Augmentation Questions

You can wear any bra that is comfortable and supportive under the breast (inframammary fold).  Two and a half weeks off is more than enough time to recover. Don't go through the nipple, it leads to the highest risk of the most common complication, capsular contracture. You will be better served with an inframammary incision.
Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Breast augmentation

This is really something you want to discuss with your surgeon. Garments are really important for post op healing. They can push the implants out of place. They can be used to keep the implant appropriately positioned.

Tracy E. McCall, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Are surgical bras needed after surgery and also is it safe to return to work after 2 1/2 weeks?

A good support bra is all that is needed. You should be able to return to work in 2 1/2 weeks.
Thank you for your question.

Fred Suess, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 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 will be healing following surgery.

For my patients, I recommend no heaving lifting or strenuous activity for 6-8 weeks following surgery.

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 breast surgery.

best of luck!

Dr Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

Lifting restrictions and surgical bra

Hi Courtey,

Thanks for your question. The Surgical bra helps to support the shape of breast as they heal after surgery and the capsule forms. It terms of lifting, I limit my patients to 10lbs or less for about 6 weeks as this is how long it takes for the scar to mature to point of being able to tolerate the weight and not tear internally. If you lift heavy items, like babies, you could potentially tear and cause your result to be less than idea. Ask your plastic surgeon for specifics. Good Luck!

All the best,
Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS
@breastlift @lfiting @docmata #drcarlosmata
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


The surgical bra is important wear post surgery. I advise my patients to wear it for at least 4 - 6 weeks. Patient may return to work within one week but heavy lifting is NOT recommended. I would strongly advise against lifting any children for at least 4 weeks. When you feel ready and comfortable lifting your arms above your head, you can start slowly. Please by careful and follow up with your plastic surgeon for appropriate recovery and healing instructions. Best of luck.

Post Op Instructions


These questions are best discussed directly with your Plastic Surgeon. They may or may not ask you to wear a post op surgical bra. They may provide one and they will let you know how long you are expected to wear it. Commonly, underwire must be avoided for at least 6 weeks post op. As for safe lifting and lifting limitations, you will also need to discuss your specific case with your Plastic Surgeon so that they can instruct you.

All the best

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.