When is It Recommended for One to Go Bra Shopping After Surgery?

I had a reduction on Feb. 10th. I'm 5'4, 140 lbs. I asked to be in the fullB/smallC range. It is now two weeks later and nothing fits! I've tried anywhere between 38B-38D. 34C fits cup, but is too tight every place else. I'm going to be fitted tomorrow, but already feel discouraged.

Doctor Answers 4

Breast Reduction and Resulting Cup Size?

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Thank you for the question.

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure; it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

I would suggest that you wait approximately 6 months before spending a lot of money on expensive bras. You will find that the breasts will change in size and shape during this time.


1. Bra cup sizes will vary from one bra manufacturer to another.

2. It will not be wise for you to base your happiness/satisfaction with the results of breast surgery on a specific cup size. It is better to pay attention to the improvement  and size/position of the breasts  as well as overall proportions of the upper and lower body.

3. Although you asked to be a specific cup size, plastic surgeons can never promise and/or guarantee a specific cup size after any type of breast surgery. Again, discussion of cup size  is somewhat arbitrary and a source of miscommunication and subsequent disappointment.

In the meantime, I would suggest continued follow-up with your plastic surgeon.  Hopefully you will be pleased with the long-term outcome of your breast reduction surgery.

Bra size after breast reduction

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If a C cup fits, then you may need a 36 or 38C. Don't be discouraged and don't spend a lot of money on bras yet. You should be able to discount shop for a couple of bras and remember that every manufacturer's "sizes" are different. The important question is how your breasts look and how you feel. At this point postoperatively, I would advise against underwire bras as they may irritate the surgical scars.

Bra shopping after breast reduction surgery

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Two weeks is too early to be bra shopping!  You most likely still have swelling, not only of the breasts but also of the ribcage area.  It would be best to wait 6 weeks from surgery.  Even then the size of the bra will depend on many factors, such as how you like to wear your bra, the style of the bra, manufacturer, etc.  Do you feel satisfied with the visual proportion of your newly reduced breasts?  Sometimes the size they look on your body will not conform to your expectations of bra size.  Sometimes in reduction surgery it is not possible to go as small as you would like and still maintain shape and optimal healing/protection of nipple blood supply.  Please do not be discouraged.  Allow your body to heal and swelling to fully resolve before making any judgements.

Bra shopping after breast reduction

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It's only been two weeks since your surgery, so I would definitely advise patience.  It can take several weeks, and sometimes upto 2-3 months for your breasts to settle and for the swelling to go down after surgery.  I usually advise my patients to wear a supportive, inexpensive sports bra with individual cups that opens in the front for the first few weeks after surgery (or the surgical vest they receive at surgery); and I advise them to wait at least 2 months before going "bra shopping."

Another thing to keep in mind is that cup sizes and bra sizes will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and will even change depending on who sizes you.  Cup sizes are a construct for bras; surgeons usually measure the tissue removed or added to breasts in terms of grams or cc's.  Because of this variability, it is difficult to predict what bra/cup size you will be after surgery.  Good luck!

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.