Recommendations regarding post-operative support garments vary between plastic surgery practices.  In general, most plastic surgeons recommend a full-time support garment to be worn for 6 weeks after breast augmentation surgery, even when sleeping.  This may be a sports bra or surgical compression garment.  The goal to wear a bra after breast implants is to support the breasts, decrease swelling, and to secure them in position during early healing.  How long should one avoid wearing an underwire bras after breast augmentation? Many women wonder if they should wear a bra during recovery.

Avoid wearing an underwire bra for 6 weeks

I generally recommend for patients to avoid to wear a bra after breast augmentation plastic surgery for 6 weeks.  The inframammary fold incision (hidden in the fold beneath the breast) is the most common approach used for breast augmentation in my practice.  I recommend against an underwire bra after breast augmentation during early healing since the wire may irritate the incision and produce more friction in this location. If you wear underwire bras early healing may increase risk of wound healing complications or cause more discomfort.  An underwire bra is generally not as supportive as a sports bra or surgical compression garments, which is another reason to avoid them for 6 weeks post-operatively.  More supportive garments are recommended to reduce swelling and to support the chest as healing takes place.

Why is it important to wait to wear and underwire bra?

Breast implants are often placed in the submuscular plane for thin patients to lower the risk of implant visibility and palpability.  When implants are placed in the submuscular plane, they often take a few months to settle into position due to pectoralis muscle spasm.  Implants often appear high on the chest wall during early healing after breast implants when placed below the muscle.  If you wear an underwire bra after breast augmentation may prevent submuscular implants from settling into the appropriate position during muscle spasm and should not be worn for six weeks.

Can I wear bra while sleeping after breast augmentation surgery?

It is important to wear a sports bra or supportive garment while sleeping for the first six weeks following breast augmentation.  Sleeping on one’s back is also recommended to protect the surgical site and to lower the risk of developing asymmetric swelling or implant malposition.  Over the first two weeks after breast augmentation, steri strips – small pieces of surgical tape – are placed overlying the incisions.  They are removed at two weeks during routine follow up.  It is then recommended to apply paper tape overlying the incisions over the first 3-4 months after breast augmentation.  This may hydrate and increase scar temperature, which may expedite scar maturation.  At six weeks post-operatively, a patient may resume wearing an underwire bra after breast augmentation if desired.  The paper tape may still be worn with an underwire bra and removed before showering and then replaced. I would also recommend you wait a little bit before you go ahead and load up your closet with a bunch of new bras. The exciting news is you will get to purchase a new bra with a different cup size soon enough.

Please contact us if considering breast augmentation in the Toronto region to schedule a consultation with female plastic surgeon Dr. Power!

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