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What To Wear After A Mastectomy Without Reconstruction

Suggestions and tips so you don't have to figure things out alone.

Belle Lingerie25 April 2024

What To Wear After A Mastectomy Without Reconstruction

In the lead-up to and aftermath of a mastectomy, your primary concern will naturally be your health. However, it’s important to remember that there are other things to think about to ensure the best level of comfort during your recovery period. Being prepared ahead of time can help to reduce the amount you have to think about closer to the time of your surgery, which may give you peace of mind.

One thing to consider is what you’re going to wear after the surgery - and as you can imagine, your clothing is something that can have a pretty significant impact on your well-being.


Can You Wear A Normal Bra After A Mastectomy?

One thing many women want to know is how soon, if at all, they’ll be able to get back to normal following a mastectomy. Wearing a ‘normal’ bra can be an indicator of this.

In the early stages of recovery, you’ll likely experience some swelling and sensitivity in the affected areas. Your healthcare team will be able to advise you on what to do about these symptoms, and it may be that the best thing at first is to not wear a bra at all. After all, close-fitting clothing can cause additional irritation.

As your recovery progresses and the sensitivity of your skin begins to lessen, you might progress onto post-surgery or mastectomy bras. Then, at later stages, you might even return to wearing your usual bras - though it’s recommended that you get yourself measured to make sure that you wear the right size, as a bra that’s too small or too big could exacerbate any discomfort you’re feeling. This is especially important if you haven’t had reconstructive surgery and don’t want to use prosthetics or implants.


What Is A Mastectomy Bra?

A mastectomy bra differs from a regular everyday bra in that it is designed specifically for those who have had a mastectomy. These bras are typically made from soft, soothing materials, and many don’t have underwires to avoid extra irritation of sensitive skin after surgery. They might also feature front-fastening mechanisms so you don’t have to reach around to your back, as this can be more painful than usual during recovery.

The biggest benefit of choosing a mastectomy bra comes for those who haven’t had reconstruction surgery and wish to use breast prosthetics instead. Many mastectomy bras contain little pockets in the cups to hold breast prosthetics in place. You can find options that have pockets in both cups for people who’ve had a double mastectomy, or just the left or right as needed.


How Soon After A Mastectomy Can I Wear A Bra?

If you’re looking to prepare ahead of time, you might be interested to know how soon you’ll need a post-surgery bra. The best thing to do is to speak to your healthcare team about this, as they will be able to advise you on what to expect, as well as giving suggestions on what kind of bra to start with. For example, it might be best to begin by wearing a crop top or sports bra, as these are less structured than regular bras and less likely to cause discomfort. However, the medical advice you receive should be the highest priority.

Generally speaking, you should be able to get back to wearing some form of bra within the first few weeks after your operation. As always, make sure to pay attention to any discomfort, tightness or gaping in your bra of choice so you can be sure you’re wearing the right size to keep you as comfortable as possible.

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