I am 2 weeks post op from breast augmentation. I was told I can wear any bra I'd like as long as its underwire free. I would like to know what the effects would be if I keep wearing the sports bra?
What Are the Effects if I Keep Wearing my Sports Bra After Breast Augmentation?
Doctor Answers 17
Here are some ill effects of wearing a sports bra after breast augmentation.
Some surgeons apparently like the immobilization and gentle compression that a sports or stretch bra allows, as this can help reduce bleeding and bruising. But wait, I thought that was the job of the surgeon in the operating room! I personally recommend as perfect hemostasis (control of bleeding) in the operating room as possible, and then no bandage or compression bra--not needed. I start with implant position a bit higher than ideal (gravity works on what % of patients???), have my patients use an elastic bandeau at night, and have them go braless during the day (they can wear a camisole or tube top--built in light bra is OK, but no tight or push-up bras (yet).
The problem, however, is that the breast pocket is created surgically to be centered beneath the nipple/areola complex, and the chest in cross-section is an oval, with the breasts actually "pointing" slightly to the sides. In other words, the chest is not flat facing forward with the nipple/areola complexes pointing straight ahead. Yet a snug (non-cup) elastic sports or jog bra compresses the breasts inward, pushing the implants together in the midline, stretching and perhaps tearing a few of the fibers that connect the pockets to the breast bone centrally, and potentially creating or worsening symmastia (uni-boob). The not-yet-healed (for that aforementioned 6-12 months) pocket can close down laterally and seal shut, malpositioning the implants too far to the center. If worn too much and too long, this malposition and potential symmastia can become permanent.
And surgery is the only way to correct this when it occurs.
The only way to avoid this unfortunate turn of events is to advise patients that for the first year or so until their breast pockets have healed completely, they should NOT wear any sports or stretch bra day and night, and in fact should probably go braless for a part of each day. I also have my patients move their implants in the surgically-created pocket to keep the capsule from becoming the exact same size as the implants. This allows the pockets to stay slightly larger than the implants, minimizing capsular contracture and enhancing softness and natural movement. Some surgeons feel implant movement exercises are not necessary, since there is always some movement of the implants, and if submuscular, the normal contraction of the muscles "massage" and move the implants "enough." Perhaps true, but I like to ensure the pockets stay open and the breast softness and movement "natural."
Like most of my colleagues, I advise no underwire bra until 3 weeks after surgery, or until the (crease) incision is not irritated by the wire. (Surgeons who use other incisions may not have this requirement).
Bottom line: ask your surgeon what his or her recommendation is (and perhaps why), since most of us have given this much thought and have actual reasons why we recommend what we do! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen
No bra for 1 month
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The management of support garments following breast augmentation varies from surgeon to surgeon and depends on a multitude of variables. In the immediate postoperative period we place our patients in a soft comfortable sports bra that’s worn for about six weeks. After six weeks we allow our patients to switch to an underwire bra.
Each patient’s situation is unique and for this reason the management of this issue is modified when necessary. In the majority of patients, we see no long term problems with the extended use of sports bras.
If you’re concerned about this issue, it’s important to consult your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon has information about your procedure that might impact this decision.
Sport bra? underwire?
Thank you for your post. I do not believe in not wearing an underwire bra after augmentation or lift, and actually recommend it. I do not feel like it causes a problem with the incisions as long as they are taped and the bra fits well. I am very protective of my patients with augmentations who are runners. I recommend that they buy the athleta underwire sports bra with the front adjustable straps. My patients really like this bra for running and find that it holds them very stable. It is cupped instead of compressing the breasts together. Some patients use an additional regular sports bra on top of this for extra security. Some like it for everyday wear in the initial post-operative period. Using a regular sports bra that just compresses the breast together rather than cups that keep their shape can cause flattening of the breasts especially in the early post operative period and wearing a bra that doesn't have enough support, especially when running or any bouncing type activity, can cause bottoming out or stretching of the breasts.
Pablo Prichard, MD