Can a bra provide too much compression?

Following breast lift/fat transfer augmentation required to wear surgical bra and then sports bras for several weeks - to provide 'some' compression to stabilize breast tissue while healing. Wondering if it is possible to have too much compression, not just after surgery (especially with fat transfer) but in general when there has been no surgery/augmentation?

Doctor Answers 9


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I appreciate your question.

I perform a liposuction breast lift that removes tissue from the areas you don't want such as near the armpit and the lower portion hanging near your stomach. Once I use this to shape the breast I then remove the skin to tighten the breast and create a better shape with nice cleavage. Since I perform this less invasively the recovery time is faster. The size would depend on the proportion with your body versus going for a cup size.

It takes 6 weeks to heal and I wait 12 months before any scar revision.

I use cotton wraps and ace bandages for comfort and protection.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.  Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery.


Best of luck!


Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Post-Op Bra

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Here is the basic information I provide patients about post-operative healing and treatment:

The patient will go home in a bra or with only light dressings over the incision lines. Sutures are dissolvable but an ending knot, if present is removed within 1-2 weeks. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Light activities may be started in 7-10 days.

If you find yourself concerned at all about the healing process or the bras you are wearing then it would be good to schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to have the area examined and make sure that healing is going well and what bra(s) will provide the most helpful compression and support. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Too much compression

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your bra can provide too much compression for sure.  The most delicate part of a breast lift is that bottom middle area where the vertical and horizontal scars meet.  You don't want too much compression on this area.

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Can a bra provide too much compression?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes, a bra may cause too much compression. Ensure that the bra you are wearing was properly sized in your surgeon's office and follow directions for wear closely. The correct bra is an important part of recovery and healing process to ensure a beautiful result. 

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

An ill-fitting bra is not good.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

an ill-fitting bra can do harm after surgery, particularly fat grafting. Wear the bra in to see your surgeon or his/her nurse and they can advise you on proper fit. 

Mary Gingrass, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Supportive bra

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question.  I recommend for my patients that they purchase a comfortable sports bra or soft cup bra that fits well and provides support without being too tight.  You want a nice fit....not too tight and not loose.  Hope this helps!

Bra with Breast Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There is no consensus on breast surgery and use of bras in the post-op period. There are some plastic surgeons who have their patients use a sports bra for support and comfort, and other plastic surgeons who do not want their patient's to use a bra in the immediate post-operative period. Personally, I have my patient's use a soft sports bra that will provide them support and comfort.

Helen Perakis, MD
Nanuet Plastic Surgeon

Compression on chest

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I do not usually use compression garments for breast surgery.  This is something that you should ask your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Can a bra provide too much compression?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi-Too much compression on fat grafts is not ideal and it reduces their survival. Buy a sensible bra that supports but does not suffocate.

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.