Wearing A Bra After Breast Augmentation
When a patient comes in and ask if she needs to wear a bra after breast augmentation surgery the basic answer is 1. no, 2. yes, and 3. maybe.
What am I talking about?
1. No. Right after surgery, I do not have my breast augmentation patients wear a bra. Why not? I am obsessive about making sure that there is absolutely no bleeding before I finish surgery. Therefore, compression of the breasts with a bra or ACE bandage is unnecessary—and probably quite uncomfortable. In addition, your implants will start out too tight and too high (please see blog, “Are My Breast Implants Supposed to Be This Tight and This High?”). If your breasts are already too tight and high, they really don’t need the additional support of a bra.
2. Yes. Within a few weeks of surgery, your implants will settle to some degree. Once they look as if they “belong” on you (and no longer look “funny”), you should begin wearing a bra close to 24/7 (yes, that means sleeping in it too). Ideally, you should wear a sports bra that fastens in front and has no under wire. The bra should be worn all the time until you are 6 months post-op. Why 6 months? Your body will form a capsule (thin scar surrounding the implant) that will take approximately 6 months to mature.
3. Maybe. Once the capsule surrounding your implants matures, it acts as an “internal bra,” supporting the implants. If you had minimal breast tissue prior to surgery, regular use of a bra may no longer be required. On the other hand, if you had a moderate amount of breast tissue before surgery, you may still want to wear a bra (but not 24/7), since the capsule will only support the implants (and not the overlying breast tissues).
Summing it up, the implants will hold themselves up at first. Once the tissues relax, you will need an external bra for about 6 months. After 6 months, the scar tissue surrounding the implants will act as an internal bra.
Ronald M. Friedman, M.D.
Director, West Plano Plastic Surgery Center
Former Chief of Plastic Surgery, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas