Bra Strap After Breast Augmentation Cause or Reduce Swelling?

Does it really help swelling or make you swell more? I was informed to wear it at night, but I noticed it helped the right breast and the left is still swollen not to mention sore now.

Doctor Answers 19

No appliances after surgery

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I do not use postoperative appliances.  If the operation is performed correctly, they are unnecessary.  They do have a tendency to cause discomfort, and I don't think they help.

Not for swelling, to allow the implants to fall

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Immediately after breast augmentation the implants tend to "ride high." This is the result of the pocket dissection and the muscle spams. I have my patients wear their bras with strap to help the implants fall faster. In addition the implants don't always fall correctly without help. The only thing that helps swelling is time. The swelling following breast augmentation is usually gone by 7-10 days after surgery.

So the long and short is that the strap doesn't cause swelling but may help the implants fall. There's no need to wear it after 3 weeks.

It depends on the breast augmentation patient

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Wearing a bra and different types of straps are used in each patient depending on the post surgical goal. Patient with tight lower breast pole might have more tendency for a high riding implant. I would place a strap on top of the breast in this patient and vice versa. Regarding swelling i do think it will affect swelling.

Bra Straps help position implants

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The bra straps help position the implants while the tissues and implants are settling. They do not contribute to swelling. If fact, they may actually help reduce swelling. However, you should discuss any garment that you wear with your surgeon and follow his or her recommendations. Good luck.

Bra strap helps position implants and expand lower half of breast

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There are many different bra straps and your photo does not adequately illustrate a "bra strap".

Traditionally, bra straps are used to encourage implants to settle in the bottom half of the breast especially in women who have small breasts preoperatively or have never nursed. During the day, gravity helps accomplish this goal but at night, gravity is eliminated and therefore the implants tend to move to the upper part of the breast which has least resistance. Use of the bra strap at night tends to keep them in the lower half of the breast.

The strap may contribute to limiting swelling in the upper halfo fo the breast making the lower portion look more swollen (relatively). If the strap is too tight, it can cause edema (swelling) in the lower half of the breast similar to the way a tight sock contributes to your ankle swelling.

Bras Following Breast Augmentation

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         In the vast majority of patients, we don’t use a bra strap or surgical bra in the post- operative period. There are exceptions, but these are rare. In most cases, we place our patients in a compressive ace wrap dressing which applies mild pressure to the area. This helps minimize swelling and makes patients more comfortable. It also decreases the potential for displacement of the new breast implants within the newly formed breast pocket.

         When we perform sub muscular augmentation, we feel that the ace wrap dressing helps to prevent superior displacement of the breast implants. This can occur with spasm of the pectoralis muscles and result in loss of the inferior breast pocket expansion. When superior displacement of implants occurs, a bra strap may be indicated.

         The decision to use a bra strap following surgery depends on multiple factors. If you have concerns about implant position, make sure you discuss the use of a bra strap with your surgeon. 

Bra strap after surgery

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Honestly I am not sure it really matters.  I essentially tell most of my patients to just wear something comfortable.  If they are small they can choose to not wear anything.  If they are particularly big I might encourage them into a supportive garment a little sooner.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

You may have early capsular contracture

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I can not tell for sure without examinning you, but from the picture you have high position of the left implant and what you feel is early sign of capsular contracture. You may notice that your right breast is softer and more mobile compare to the left side. Please go back to your doctor to examine you .

The bra isn't involved in swelling isues

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Post operative bras are used to splint the implants lightly and for support and comfort. They don't reduce swelling and shouldn't accentuate it either. It is common for one side to be a bit more swollen than the other regardless of bras.

Upper pole straps are another issue. Please note that you don't have one. These are used occasionally to help reduce upper pole fullness and encourage implant settling.

Bra Strap After Breast Augmentation Cause or Reduce Swelling?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! You are still early post-procedure. Your appearance looks typical at this stage and will continue to improve as the swelling subsides and the implants continue to settle into their desired position. This usually proceeds over the next several weeks as the lower pole skin/breast stretches to accommodate the implants. Follow-up closely with your surgeon for additional restrictions/instructions and the potential use of bras/garments or massage that may encourage the implant to settle appropriately. If still displaced after this time, a surgical procedure may be necessary to further open the pocket and bring the implant(s) down. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

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.