Why Can't I Wear Under-wired Bras After Breast Augmentation?

i'm 2 weeks post op, 270cc saline implants (behind the muscle) with incisions beneath crease of bust. i've tried on an under-wired push up bra and experienced no pain, is it safe to wear these bras now? or will it affect the shape of my breasts? cause indentations?

Doctor Answers 18

I use underwire bras as the surgical "dressing"!

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I've used underwire bras as part of the surgical dressing for over 20 years without any problems.  In other words, I purposely place the patient in an underwire immediately at the conclusion of the surgery- literally in the OR over the guaze dressing- and recommend this bra for 4 weeks. At that time the swelling has usually resolved and the patient can go bra shopping for the best fitting bras for her new shape.   In my opinion, the underwire helps define the inframammary crease and helps with the position of the implant.  The classical thinking of postponing their use has always puzzled me and I have never had an issue becaue of this.  To the contrary, rather than taping the skin or using a superior strap, the underwire handles these jobs very well.  

Jupiter Plastic Surgeon

Underwire Bra Usage Following Breast Augmentation

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We generally avoid using underwire bras for six to eight weeks following breast augmentation for two reasons. With patients who have undergone submuscluar placement of implants the pectoralis major muscle may undergo spasm in the early postoperative period. This may force the implant in an upward direction and lead to malposition. When this situation arises, we utilize compression to force the implant in a downward direction. An underwire bra would have the opposite effect.

Another reason for avoiding an underwire bra in the immediate postoperative period is the potential for it to irritate a fresh surgical incision. An inframammary incision would be directly under the underwire and this might irritate the incision.

After six to eight weeks, wound healing and muscle spasm should no longer be an issue. In most breast augmentation patients it’s reasonable to resume the use of an underwire bra at this time.

Not good for recovery

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It is typical that surgeons advise patients to not wear underwire bras for the first few weeks of surgery. Of course, it really depends on the surgeon, though, so you should probably ask yours for their advice. I normally recommend patients don't wear an underwire bra for the first couple months because they can delay your healing, especially if you have incisions in the inframammary crease. You don't want any friction on your incisions which could be caused by an underwire bra.

Undrewire bra after surgery

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The type of bra worn after breast implant surgery depends on the the type of surgery performed

If the scar is in the breast fold or the implants are in a high position, an underwire may prevent the implants from naturally falling into a  lower position .The underwire may also irritate the scar

However with a circumareolar incision an underwire bra may certainly be worn

If the inplants are low, or a double bubble deformity has been corrected ,an underwire bra  in fact is often  advantageous

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Bra with wire after augmentation

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I usually have patients avoid under wire bras especially if they had an inframammary incision for at least 6-8 weeks.  I would not want the wire rubbing on the incision and potentially causing problems.

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

Don't wear underwire right now

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I don't recommend that you wear any underwire bra, even if you don't feel pain. Your incisions can get irritated and the scars can worsen in appearance by wearing these bras. It's best to stick to sports bras that your surgeon recommends.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Bra choices after surgery

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Thank you for your question. My patients will have a surgical bra that I place at the time of surgery. They normally wear this for the first week or two and then transition to a sports bra that opens in the front. By six weeks, if their implants have sufficiently descended, I let my patients know they can start wearing a normal bra (including a push-up bra). They may still undergo some changes which can change their bra preferences a few months later.

Underwire bra after breast augmentation

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Especially with an incision below the breast, there can be somewhat prolonged numbness around the incision. This may prevent a patient from feeling the bra edge or underwire if it was causing an abrasion or even cutting into it. Each surgeon has different techniques of post op care, including surgical bras and garments, and when regular bras can be worn, so it is best to discuss this with your surgeon.

This information is for general education only and is not a substitute for a consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Follow Your Surgeon's Advice

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Underwire bras should be avoided for the first two months following surgery, but ask your surgeon to find out what their advice is because it may be different. Related complications include irritation caused by the wire rubbing against the skin (something that you may not notice due to possible numbness). Patients who have an infra-mammary incision, like you, should be especially careful as an underwire bra is capable of displacing the implants if it is worn too often or too soon.  

Bras after surgery

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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 20 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.