Should I Wear Surgical Bra After Breast Augmentation?

My doctor told me not to wear any surgical bra. I'm going to have my breast implants surgery in 2 days and everybody I knew wore a surgical bra after surgery. However, my doctor to wear nothing but looseshirt for 3 weeks. Would you please tell me is that good or bad? Thank you very much.

Doctor Answers 166

Surgical Bras and BBAs

Dear Nurcan,


The short and sweet answer is that it probably makes no difference.  Having said that, many surgeons have very specific beliefs about bra usage after breast augmentation.  My approach to post-op bras is the following.


If I want the implant to drop (usually after a subpectoral or under the muscle augment), I have my patients go without a bra.  I may also use a bandeau which pushes the implants down.  This is because implants tend to ride high in the first few weeks after a subpectoral augment, and I want to get my patients to the final cosmetic result as soon as possible.  


If I have inserted an implant in either the subfascial or subglandular space, I usually have patients wear a surgical bra, as I don't want the implants do drop or distort the position of the IMF. The IMF is the fold under the breast. 


In cases where I have altered the IMF position for symmetry purposes, I will have patients wear an underwire bra to help define the new IMF.


There is no evidence for any of the above, but it makes sense to me.  I suggest you ask your surgeon for their rationale/approach to post-op bra usage.


I hope this helps.



Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Bras after breast augmentation

Thank you for your question. There is no consensus on the use of surgical bras after a breast augmentation. Some surgeons place every woman in a surgical bra, while others never use them. While every surgeon has reasons to believe that their choice is the right one, there has never been a definitive study that demonstrates if a bra is beneficial.

Personally, I place my patients in a light bra after the surgery to support the breasts. It seems to me that gentle support of the breasts would be more comfortable in the early recovery phase.

If you have concerns, I would ask your surgeon. He/She should be able to discuss their rational.

Best of luck with your breasts.

Jeff Rockmore

Jeffrey Rockmore, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Surgical Bra Post Surgery

A surgical bra is not necessary for a good result after surgery. It is surgeons preference whether or not to use a bra post surgery. Most of the time with breast augmentation I use an ace bandage to hold breasts in place and reduce swelling on the upper part of the breast. Again, this is surgeon's preference.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Wearing surgical bra after breast augmentation

Excellent question which demonstrates just how much opinions diverge among us.

I personally see NO technical or medical scientific reason to use surgical bras in the immediate postoperative period with the vast majority of breast augmentations. My patients do not have dressings that need to be held on and they are MUCH more comfortable without bras (or the use of bandeaux). After all, why would ANYONE with freshly augmented breasts enjoy the additional pressure of a surgical bra on their sore, somewhat swollen breast?

I would allow it ONLY if the request came from the patient (especially with large implants) who states that SHE would feel more comfortable wearing a bra.

In summary, I think your surgeon right.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Rationale for bra use

Every instruction should have a purpose and rationale. Immediately post-op, a bra is usually used to protect the tissues, hold dressings in place, and prevent extra movement of the implants. Pain can be helped with the bra. However, some patients will have more discomfort with a tight bra pressing the surgical area and then the bra may not be helpful. If your surgeon thinks the implants will help stretch the soft tissues and needs the implants to settle, he might want the implants to "swing freely" and thus advise going without a bra. Also, your comfort level will have an nfluence as to whether or not a bra is recommended.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

A bra is critical to the best healing

I have been doing breast augmentations for over 25 years and am currently fixing so many results from other doctors whose patients did not wear bras after surgery. The implants often drift down and out in those folks and this doesn't need to happen IF they wear a very specifically fit underwire bra with no pushup component. I have been doing this for about the last 4 years and have had zero implant malpositions in that time. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Surgical Bra after breast augmentation

In my practice we always provide a surgical bra designed by a medical company specifically designed to be worn immediately after breast augmentation surgery. This is part of the recovery and it is included in the fee for breast augmentation surgery. 
I have provided a link to my before and after gallery. It is important to carefully follow the instructions of your surgeon and to keep all of your post-operative appointments. Also report any questions or concerns to your plastic surgeon immediately. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Going Braless After Breast Augmentation is Best

Thank you for your question.

I have my patients go "bra-less" after the firts few days after Breast Augmentation.

My concern is that the bra will hold the implants in one position and that capsule will form and make the implants fell firmer.

ZI prefer that the implants be free to move freely and enlarge the naturally forming implant capsule. This will hopefully prevent capsular contracture in the future.

Should I Wear Surgical Bra After Breast Augmentation?

Every surgeon is a bit different on this topic. I recommend a surgical bra to most of my breast augmentation patients. I feel the compression helps control swelling and adds support in the early healing period. I sometimes use a stabilizing band to compress the upper pole in patients with tight skin to help with settling.

There probably is not a right answer here. Pick a surgeon you trust and then trust their judgement with their recovery protocol. If they consistently get good results with the way they do things you are in good hands.

Best wishes,

Michael Vennemeyer, MD

Michael Vennemeyer, MD
Southlake Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Surgical Bra Following Surgery

I do not place surgical bras on my patients following breast surgery.  All implants ride high initially due to swelling in the lower portion of the breast.  Implants descend as the swelling abates.  If patients desire some support or coverage, I recommend that they use a sports bra for a few weeks.  Having tried many, I find surgical bras to fit poorly and offer little other than a means to secure gauze without tape.  I prefer to cover my wounds with surgical glue and simplify matters.  This way, patients can shower right away.  I use straps and Bandeaus only in rare situations when implants persistently ride high.  I would adhere to whatever regimen your surgeon suggests as it likely works well for him or her.       

Brian M. Braithwaite, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.