When you have breast cancer, you may be recommended to have surgery as a treatment. After the surgery, the changes in your breast make it hard for you to continue to wear your old bras. If you are wondering about a suitable bra after breast cancer surgery, this article is for you.
Changes in your breast
You may have a surgery to remove cancer and another surgery to reconstruct the breast. Cancer removal surgery includes mastectomy and lumpectomy. In the mastectomy, surgeons remove the whole affected breast. In the lumpectomy, the surgeons remove the cancer and some healthy tissues around it. And in reconstructive surgery, surgeons will help you create the shape of the removed breast. After that, you will have changes in the shape, size, or loss of sensation of your breast and chest, sensitivity to touch, burning, tingling in the chest (because the nerves are affected).
You may have implant or prosthesis in your breast.
How to choose a suitable bra?
Because of the changes in your breast, the bra should meet these demands:
- Be soft and easy to open;
- Fit you but has a wide under-band;
- The straps can be adjusted;
- The cup should be full. You should not wear half-cup bra. It does not provide good support for your breasts;
- Does not have too many details;
- Does not have underwires.
Your demands on bra will change over time because your breast changes over time after surgery. After surgery, your doctor may recommend you to use to special surgical bra to support the recovery of your breast.
For all types of bras, you should not wear a bra that has underwires. These wires can put pressure on the implant in your breast and affect the prosthesis.
After the surgery, your breast may be swollen so you should choose a bra that fits the loosest part of the breast. Then you can adjust the band and straps when the swelling decreases.
After the wound and skin in the chest and breast are healed, you can wear other types of bra that have less restriction. But you should still wear full-cup bras because it can provide support to the prosthesis.
When you go the bra shop, you should try the bra first or check with the staff to find out if it fits you. You can also by the special bra that is designed for women who have breast removal surgery. You may find it easier to make a bra yourself if you can sew.
Bras are important for women. Choosing bras is complicated, especially for women who have just had a breast cancer surgery. However, your health care provider will provide you proper support to help you choose your suitable one.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: March 20, 2017 | Last Modified: March 20, 2017
NHS choices. Breast prostheses, bras and clothes after surgery.
After surgery. https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-treatment-breast-cancer/surgery/after-surgery-change-in-sensation. Accessed February 12, 2017.
What happens after surgery. http://about-cancer.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/treatment/surgery/after-surgery/what-happens-after-surgery. Accessed February 12, 2017.