Pros and Cons of Surgical Bra Vs. Sports Bra After Breast Augmentation?

Is it safe to wear a sports bra while recovering from breast augmentation surgery, or is a surgical bra better? Does it depend on each person?

Doctor Answers 18

Pros and Cons of Surgical Bra Vs. Sports Bra After Breast Augmentation?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure. The question  regarding the use of bras is quite common on this website;  there is no “standard” when it comes to the use of specific bras or garments after breast 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 surgical bra in place.  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, patient's transition to a soft sports bra for about 3 months. Wired bras are used when breast implants have reached their “final position” and patients have full sensation along the breast skin.   Best wishes; hopefully, you will be very pleased with the longer-term outcome of the procedure performed.

Surgical bra vs sports bra

Surgical bras tend to have more support while sports bras tend to be more elastic (and less supportive).   In my practice a sports bra is just fine 90% of the time.  Only when I want very precise support is a surgical bra essential.  When revisions are done and implants must sit exactly as I want them to sit, a surgical bra is essential.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 371 reviews

Ak the surgeon

I actually prefer that the patients wear no bra for 1 month after surgery.  This will depend completely on the surgeon's experience.  Fit yourself into their system, it is what works for them.

Surgical Bra VS Sports Bra After Breast Augmentation

In my opinion it really doesn't matter which one you initially wear after surgery because the implants are usually high.  Once the implants have dropped into position you do need a good support bra so that they don't drop too low. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Sports bra or surgical bra

You ask a great question. First I would advise you to follow the recommendation of your plastic surgeon. In my practice I generally suggest my patients purchase a few sports bras which a much less expensive than a surgical bra. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast Augmentation

I prefer a sports bra for the 1st 2 weeks as I commonly use the incision under the breast.  I like the ones with no formed cup as they support the breast but do not rub on the incisions.  After 2 weeks when the wounds are healed any other bras are fine.  I hope this info helps.

Ronald H. Stefani Jr, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Surgery bra or sports bra after Breast surgery.

Essentially they are interchangeable.  I find a sports bra provides greater compression if it fits properly, but a surgical bra is easier for the 1st week or 2 after surgery.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Post Procedural Bra after Breast Augmentation

Its always best to follow your surgeons advice, he/she is the most familiar with your surgery and your individual anatomy. A surgical bra is worn immediately after surgery. Once you have completed your post op appointment and your surgeon has evaluated your progress you may be able to wear a sports bra. I would avoid anything with an underwire for several weeks.

Surgical bra vs sports bra

Thank you for the question.  Doctors have different views in handling post operation recovery since we also have different experiences.  It would be best to follow your surgeons advice since he or she knows your current health status and medical history well.  best of luck Dr. Michael Omidi.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Surgical Bras or Sport Bras - What Works Better Following Breast Augmentation

In the vast majority of patients, we don’t use a bra strap or surgical bra in the postoperative period. There are exceptions, but these are rare. In most cases, we place our patients in a compressive ace wrap dressing which applies mild pressure to the area. This helps minimize swelling and makes patients more comfortable. It also decreases the potential for displacement of the new breast implants within the newly formed breast pocket.

When we perform submuscular augmentation, we feel that the ace wrap dressing helps to prevent superior displacement of the breast implants. This can occur with spasm of the pectoralis muscles and result in loss of the inferior breast pocket expansion. When superior displacement of implants occurs, a bra strap may be indicated.

The vast majority of patients are switched to a sports bra one week after surgery. They wear this bra for about six weeks and in most cases are able to switch to an underwire bra at that time.

It’s important to realize that every patient’s situation is unique. For this reason the management of compression garments needs to be individualized.

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.