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Do I Need a Post Op Bra after Breast Surgery?

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Benefits of a Compression Bra Post-Breast Surgery

Opting for a compression bra or a post op bra can play an important role in healing after breast surgery. The bra is designed to lend that much-needed support, helping you to avoid discomfort and reduce the risk of complications. The bra maintains the shape of your breasts, offering a gentle embrace that facilitates a smoother recovery. This garment aids in reducing swelling, a common post-operative concern, promoting better circulation and helping with the drainage of lymph fluids. Furthermore, it can assist in keeping the surgical site secure, preventing any adverse effects on the incisions. A compression bra is more than just a piece of clothing; it plays an important part in your recovery process, assisting day by day as you move toward healing, providing comfort and support where it is most needed.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna specialises in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Her expertise encompasses a wide spectrum of surgical procedures, including breast augmentation.

Types of Breast Surgery Requiring a Post Op Bra

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is performed to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. It is a popular cosmetic surgery option for individuals who desire a fuller or more symmetrical bustline. This procedure is often chosen for various reasons, including improving one’s self-image, regaining breast volume after pregnancy or weight loss, or simply achieving a desired aesthetic appearance.

  • Implant Support: Compression bras are crucial post-augmentation to provide gentle support and ensure the implants settle properly
  • Minimising Swelling: They aid in reducing post-surgery swelling, which can impact the final appearance of the augmented breasts
  • Comfort: Compression bras alleviate discomfort and help maintain the desired breast shape during the healing process

Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery, known medically as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to alleviate the physical and emotional discomfort associated with excessively large breasts. This surgical intervention is often sought for a variety of reasons, primarily medical, as it effectively reduces both the size and weight of the breasts.

  • Support and Comfort: Compression bras offer much-needed support to the reduced breasts, minimising strain on the surgical area
  • Swelling Reduction: They aid in reducing swelling and inflammation, contributing to a more comfortable recovery
  • Incision Care: Compression bras protect the incision sites, ensuring they heal properly and with minimal scarring

Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that is typically performed following a mastectomy, which is the removal of one or both breasts. The primary goal of breast reconstruction is to restore a natural-looking breast appearance, providing individuals who have undergone mastectomy with the option to regain their sense of wholeness and femininity. This procedure can be a crucial component of the emotional and physical recovery process for individuals who have experienced breast cancer or other medical conditions necessitating breast removal.

  • Implant Support: For those opting for implant-based reconstruction, a post op bra can help support and maintain the position of the breast implants
  • Tissue Flap Support: In cases of tissue flap reconstruction, compression bras offer vital support as the transplanted tissue integrates with the chest
  • Scar Management: They assist in managing scars and promoting even healing

Functions of Compression Bras during Breast Surgery Recovery

In the journey of post-breast surgery recovery, understanding the role of compression bras is invaluable. These specialised garments play a vital role in creating a supportive and healing environment after breast surgery.

  • Stabilisation and Minimised Movement: One of the foremost functions of compression bras is to provide stability to the surgical area. After breast surgery, your body is in a state of healing, and minimising movement is paramount. Compression bras offer gentle yet effective restraint, ensuring that the chest remains steady. This not only reduces the risk of complications but also minimises post-surgical discomfort
  • Swelling Reduction and Improved Circulation: Post-surgery, it’s common for the surgical site to experience swelling. Compression bras are designed to apply consistent pressure, aiding in the reduction of this swelling. By promoting optimal circulation, they help transport excess fluids away from the surgical area, which can expedite the healing process
  • Scar Minimisation and Support: Compression bras also play a significant role in scar management. They gently hold incision sites together, encouraging the formation of neater and less conspicuous scars. Moreover, they provide vital support to the breasts, especially after procedures like mastectomy, augmentation, or reduction, ensuring that the surgical area remains protected
  • Customised Care for Different Surgeries: Notably, compression bras are not one-size-fits-all; they are tailored to suit various surgical procedures. Whether you’ve undergone a mastectomy, breast augmentation, reduction, or reconstruction, there are specific compression bras designed to address the unique requirements of each surgery type. This tailored care ensures that your recovery is optimised for the best possible outcome

How Are Post Op Bras Different from Regular Bras

Compression bra after surgery

A compression bra is a specialised supportive garment designed to aid in the recovery process following breast surgeries. Let’s take a look at how it stands apart from the regular bras:

  • Material: While regular bras are often made from a variety of materials including lace, cotton, and synthetic blends, compression bras are primarily crafted from materials that offer optimum support and comfort, incorporating medical-grade fabric which is both breathable and offers the necessary compression
  • Design: Unlike regular bras that may have underwires and different kinds of paddings, compression bras are designed with the primary purpose of offering support and encouraging healing; they are often wire-free to prevent any irritation to sensitive areas and to offer uniform compression
  • Closure: Regular bras might have back or front closures, while compression bras often come with front closures to make it easier for you to put on and take off the bra, a vital feature, especially in the initial stages of recovery where movement can be limited and painful
  • Support: While regular bras offer support mainly for comfort and shape, compression bras offer a more structured and consistent support to aid in the recovery process, helping to maintain the shape of your breasts and to hold surgical dressings in place

Tips for Choosing the Right Compression Bra

Selecting the appropriate compression bra should be easy. Here are some tips to guide you in making the right choice:

  • Consulting with your plastic surgeon: Before making a purchase, consult with your plastic surgeon to understand the specific requirements based on your individual health condition and the nature of the surgery undertaken
  • Taking proper measurements: Ensuring that you have the correct measurements is fundamental in selecting a bra that will offer the right level of support without causing discomfort. Consider getting professionally measured to find the perfect fit
  • Reading reviews and seeking recommendations: Leveraging the experiences of others can be a valuable resource. Read reviews and seek recommendations to find a product that has worked well for others with similar needs

What to Look for in a Compression Bra

Here are the essential factors to consider to find the bra that meets your needs perfectly:

Material and fabric

  • Breathability: Opt for materials that allow your skin to breathe, reducing the risk of irritation and discomfort
  • Hypoallergenic properties: Choosing hypoallergenic fabrics can prevent allergic reactions, ensuring a comfortable wear throughout the day

Support and comfort

  • Firm yet gentle support: The post op bra should offer support that is firm yet gentle, holding the breasts securely without causing discomfort
  • Preventing unnecessary movement: It should prevent unnecessary movement of the breasts, which could potentially disrupt the healing process

Adjustability and closure system

  • Accommodating changes in breast size: A good bra should allow for adjustments to accommodate changes in breast size that occur during the recovery process
  • Easy to use: The closure system should be user-friendly, allowing you to put on and take off the bra with ease

FAQs about Compression Garments after Breast Surgery

FAQs Anca Breahna

Why do I need to wear a compression bra after breast surgery, and how does it help with recovery?

  • Wearing a compression bra post-breast surgery is crucial as it provides gentle yet firm support to the surgical area. It minimises movement, reduces swelling, and stabilises the chest, promoting a smoother and more comfortable recovery. This support aids in the healing process, helps minimise pain, and can contribute to better cosmetic outcomes.

Can I wear a regular sports bra instead of a compression bra after breast surgery?

  • While regular sports bras may offer support, they lack the specific design and compression features of compression bras. Compression bras are tailored to meet the unique needs of post-surgery recovery. They provide the ideal balance of gentle pressure and support, ensuring optimal healing conditions and minimising potential complications.

How long should I wear a compression bra after breast surgery?

  • The duration of compression bra usage varies depending on the type of surgery and individual factors. Typically, Anca recommends wearing a compression bra for several weeks to a few months post-surgery. Your plastic surgeon will provide personalised guidance on when it’s safe to transition to a regular bra based on your healing progress.

Are compression bras uncomfortable to wear?

  • Compression bras are specifically designed for comfort during the post-surgery phase. They use soft, breathable materials and avoid underwires to minimise irritation and discomfort. While you may experience some initial tightness, most patients find them quite comfortable, especially considering the support and benefits they offer during recovery.

Can I purchase a post op bra on my own, or should I rely on the one provided by the surgical centre?

  • It’s advisable to consult with your plastic surgeon before purchasing a compression bra. Anca can recommend specific brands or types of compression bras that suit your surgery type and individual needs. In some cases, the surgical centre may provide a compression bra as part of your post-surgery care package, ensuring it meets the necessary specifications for your recovery.

Further Reading about Breast Procedures with Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna

Medical References about Post Op Bras

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About Anca Breahna – Consultant Plastic Surgeon

top UK cosmetic surgeon anca breahnaMs Anca Breahna, PhD, MSc, FEBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast) is a highly regarded Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in the field of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Anca performs a range of breast, body and face surgery and minor skin procedures.

As one of the very few female Plastic Surgeons in her region, she is able to offer that unique female perspective, with empathy, attention to detail and personalised care.

Anca Breahna’s surgical training has been largely undertaken within the United Kingdom. She began a rigorous training programme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999, after achieving her medical degree from the University of Bucharest. Miss Breahna attained her PhD degree at the same university in 2007 for her medical research. She then relocated to the UK to further extend her qualifications and training.

Anca’s NHS practice is now focused on Breast Reconstructive Surgery, Skin Cancer Surgery, Hand Surgery and soft tissue reconstruction. Over the last 15 years, through her pursuit of further training and education, Anca has developed a special interest and expert practical experience in a range of Aesthetic Breast and Body Surgery.

It is Anca’s true dedication and commitment to her field, that sets her aside from her peers. Her extensive surgical training means that you are in safe hands. She is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Anca will treat you in a straightforward manner, with respect, consideration and empathy to ensure you are comfortable with your choice.

 

 

Your Next Steps

Do your Research

  • Please read our website pages and blogs to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read more about the risks of your surgery.

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • A Medical Referral from your Doctor before your consultation is not compulsory however  it is recommended.
  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Anca – Car parking is available on-site at all hospitals.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly read all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Please call to find out more about availability, pricing and medical payment plans or to request more information about the procedure, contact us.

How to Book your Consultation with Anca Breahna – Plastic Surgeon

You can book your consultation with Anca by paying the £130 cosmetic consultation fee when you make your appointment. This fee covers further consultations about the same concern.

Contact Anca’s Secretary

Call Clare on 07538 012918 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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