Sports Bra Too Tight After Breast Augmentation?

Hi I am a week post op breast augmentation, I was a 34AA and had 350cc implants. I bought a sports bra LARGE and I'm a little worried that it is too tight because my nipples are sensitive and there is a slight indentation on the top of my breasts. Is this pressure affecting my final result? I was moving around a lot today and moving my arms, my incisions are under my breasts and the left one showed a little bit of fresh blood, should I be worried that I did too much and hurt myself?

Doctor Answers 10

Compression after breast augmentation, its a good thing.

In my opinion, the feelings that you are experiencing are completely normal. One week post surgery from a breast augmentation will inevitably leave your nipples feeling very sensitive or numb. Don't worry about this, as it is fairly typical. Part of the tightness you are feeling is due to your skin being stretched by the implant and the swelling from the surgery itself,more than your support garment. I must emphasize the importance of the garment you are wearing to be a compression type garment. The snug fit, although perhaps slightly uncomfortable, is truly beneficial post augmentation. This sports bra or compression garment helps you to heal faster and more safely. the pressure is to help things to heal in the proper place, and to keep tiny blood vessels from rupturing. It is imperative to take it easy for the first 6 weeks post surgery. A very small amount of blood by the incision site may not be anything to be greatly alarmed by, but you should by all means take your worry as a sign to slow down temporarily so that your body can heal as quickly and as fully as it should.

Lastly, if there is anything you feel uncertain about, you should follow up with your doctor, as he will best direct you concerning these issues.

Dr. Manolis

Orland Park Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Surgical Bra After Breast Augmentation

If the bra is uncomfortable, consider increasing the bra by one size, especially in your immediate postop period when you are the most swollen.  The nipples are almost always going to be hypersensitive no matter which bra you are in.  But if the bra is snug and it is not uncomfortable, I would recommend using it because a tighter fit will reduce bruising, swelling, and help facilitate a faster recovery.  I hope that helps! Tripti Burt, MD

Tripti Burt, MD
Plainfield Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Post-Operative Sport Bras Following Breast Augmentation

Sport bras are utilized in breast augmentation patients for several reasons. In the immediate post-operative period, patients have significant pain and discomfort. These symptoms are often related to the severe swelling that may accompany this procedure.

In an effort to minimize swelling and remodel soft tissue, surgeons often use sport bras following breast augmentation surgery. They believe that compression helps minimize swelling and accelerates the recovery process.

It's important that sport bras fit snugly, but not tightly. For this reason, it's appropriate to switch to a bra that fits more loosely. Under these circumstances, it's important to discuss the issue with your plastic surgeon.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Sports bra after breast augmentation

Thank you for your question. I often recommend that patients find a sports bra that opens in the front and that is comfortable to wear. They can take breaks during the day and I also encourage breast massage after a week. It is important for your implants to move around and develop a comfortable space (or capsule) within the breast.  If you feel the bra is too tight, then get one size up and reconsider the original size as the swelling goes down.  The goal is the provide snug and gentle compression.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Numb nipple

Thank you for your post. In general, most women who have a disturbance in nipple sensation, whether it be less (hypo-sensation), or in some cases too much (hyper-sensation), the sensation goes back to normal with 3-6 months. Occasionally, it can take 1 - 2 years to be normal. Extremely rare, the sensation never goes back to normal. This is extremely rare in augmentation alone, more common in lift or reduction but less with a smaller lift like a crescent lift. Signs that sensation is coming back are needle type sensation at the nipple, itchiness at the nipple, or 'zingers' to the nipple. The number of women that lose sensation is much lower than 10%, closer to 1% in a simple augmentation. In some cases the same occurs with contraction where some women have no contraction and some women have a constant contraction of the nipples. Unfortunately there is no surgical correction for this. Massaging the area can help sensation normalize faster if it is going to normalize, but will not help if the nerve does not recover. In women with hyper-sensitive nipples, this will go away with time in most cases. Usually 3 months or so. In the interim, I have them wear nipple covers or 'pasties' to protect them from rubbing. It is unlikely that down-sizing the implant will cause regaining sensation. Down-sizing the implant may cause saggy breasts, however, and may necessitate a breast lift. Physical therapy with de-sensitivity techniques can help with this issue. The Peri-areolar incision is associated with increased risk of nipple numbness due to the fact that the nerve is in close proximity.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Support bra after surgery

You should follow the advice of your plastic surgeon. All plastic surgeons will have a different routine for post operative care. Your plastic surgeon understands your surgery and your anatomy and is in the best position for making this decision. Some plastic surgeons like underwire bras others want you to avoid their use.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Sports Bra Too Tight After Breast Augmentation?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure. The question  regarding the use of bras is surprisingly 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. 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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Sports Bra Too Tight After Breast Augmentation?

If there is any question, and since you bought this on your own, consider running by the surgeon's office to check for appropriate fit.

The bra should be snug--its purpose it to maintain the position of the implant and often to push downward on the implant. Having hypersensitive nipples is quite common, and not indicative of too tight a brassiere. 

Without a photo I am not sure of the nature of the indentation, but if it is caused by the bra, checking in out with your surgeon makes sense.

Thanks for the question, and best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Sports Bra after Augmentation

I think a snug bra is helpful in the early postoperative period to help maintain the position of your implant and to help minimize swelling.     The nipple sensation will improve as the swelling resolves.  

I would be careful with your arm range of motion if your incisions are starting to bleed again.   This may be too much activity.   


Keep in close contact with your plastic surgeon and I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Appropriate Postoperative Garments

The first point of emphasis is that your PS and his/her staff should recommend or supply you with the appropriate  bra. If they did not and you purchased one on your own take the garment over to the office and show the fit to your PS. Concerning the incisions sometimes padding them with a sanitary napkin will protect them and catch any drainage that might occur.


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.