Is a Post Surgical Support Bra Supposed to be This Uncomfortable?

I had an explant with lollipop breast lift, 1 week ago. I Went from a D cup back to my A cup. I had to get the smallest bra size support bra since I am only 29 inches around my rib cage. After I had the bandages removed and the support bra put on in the doctors office, the nurse said "it feels tight now because youre still swollen". Well it still feels very tight. VERY very tight. It's hard to sleep and it feels like the circulation in my breast area is being cut off. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 14

Bra is too small and too tight

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It is quite evident that the bra that you are wearing is the problem - it is far too small, causing excessive compression and should not be this tight. You should remove it and contact the plastic surgeon who performed your surgery as he may be unaware of this issue. 

Often, you can find supportive bras in a variety of stores including even in some sports stores.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Post-surgical bra for breast surgery

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The surgical bra should be snug but not uncomfortable. If it's too tight you need to have your plastic surgeon replace or adjust it.  The bra is merely for comfort and support, it does not change your final outcome. It also helps hold some of the bandages in place.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Bra Uncomfortable after Surgery?

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Thank you for the question.

The postsurgical bra should not be uncomfortable;  if so it can cause problems with skin irritation, pigment changes, blisters,  and/or irritation of incision lines etc. Bring this issue up again with your surgeon's office who will be able to advise you or provide you with a larger bra.

Best wishes.

Post surgical bra is too tight.

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The postoperative bra should be snug, but not painful. If you are experiencing this much discomfort, I recommend calling your physician. Particularly in the case of an explant/mastopexy, blood supply to the nipple should not be compromised by the bra. Your physician will likely order you a new, slightly larger bra which should be much more comfortable.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Bra,bandage tight after surgery

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If any patient experiences tightness, then they should immediately return to their plastic surgeon to have it looked at. Any tightness can cause a dimiishment of blood supply to an area and may result in complications like loss of tissue from what is caled necrosis which is rare but possible. It is best that the patient be vigilant. Watch my videos!

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Post surgical bra should not cause you great discomfort.

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The bra should not be causing you distress.  Talk to your surgeon or the nurse and explain that you are in serious discomfort from it.  I am sure they will help you out.  Call asap. 

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

Post-op bra should be snug but comfortable

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Hi Acup33

Your bra should be comfortable post-op.  Yes, your normal size may be too tight because you are swollen but you should not suffer.  if the band is too tight, you can get band extenders or just get a larger bra to wear temporarily.  Get a bra that is comfortable and supportive, the "size" does not matter; what matters is what fits. Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MD

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Your bra is too tight

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Take off that bra and get a larger one.  Right after surgery your breasts are swollen and need a larger size than they will in a few weeks.  It should be snug, but comfortable.  I usually use a band size or two larger for just this reason.  We give our patients a second, smaller bra for later on.  Save the one you have for then.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post Surgical Bra

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Your post surgical garments and bra should feel snug but certainly not feel like it is cutting off circulation.  I would suggest going to your local surgical supply store that sells post-surgical garments and they will be able to find you an appropriately fitting bra.


Good Luck.

A bra should not hurt!

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A bra should feel supportive not too tight. Ask your doctor for advice. In general it will take a few weeks for the swelling to start to subside

Joshua Korman, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 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.