What Clothes to Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Today, numerous body contouring surgeries enhance people's body shapes and improve their self-esteem. One of the most popular body plastic surgeries is breast reduction, in which the breasts are reshaped and resized to become more proportioned to other body parts.

The major concern of all patients after this operation is what to do for an easier recovery. In this essay, we discuss different aspects of breast reduction recovery and provide useful tips on what to wear during and after the recovery period of this procedure.

breast reduction

What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a major operation performed for aesthetic and medical purposes. Having overly large breasts can cause numerous problems, such as pain in the shoulder, neck and back, rash under the breasts, chronic headaches, inability to exercise, numbness in fingers, and low self-confidence due to attracting unwanted attention. Many fatty and glandular tissues are removed from the breasts to eliminate the patient's discomfort. 

Breast Reduction Recovery Tips

As you recover from breast reduction surgery, it is crucial to consider some post-op tips. Applying too much pressure on the operated area can alter the surgery results and prolong recovery. Therefore, you should not wear tight clothes and bras until your wounds are completely healed. 

Doing household chores and exercises (even the light ones) is prohibited for several weeks after breast reduction surgery as they can cause more swelling, scarring, and pain. 

Getting enough sleep after breast reduction is important in recovering faster and better, but you must start walking once your pain is reduced. Walking a few minutes around the house regulates your blood pressure and prevents the formation of blood clots in your arteries.

Breast Reduction Surgery
Read more: Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery Tips

What to Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Although wearing fit clothes is tempting after breast reduction surgery, wearing loose and comfortable ones for at least four weeks is highly recommended. The best clothes to wear during recovery are button-up shirts, zip-up hoodies, and standard post-surgical bras because they would not strain your incisions or cause them to rupture. In addition, wearing a compression bra is necessary to minimize some of the surgery's complications, such as swelling, pain, and bruising.

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What to Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Wearing Compression Bra After Breast Reduction

Wearing compression garments such as leggings, bras, socks, and binders after each plastic surgery are essential to recovery. A compression bra is a kind of tight garment made of breathable and moisture-wicking fabric which supports the breasts, keep the incisions dry and clean, and reduces swelling. In the following, the main benefits of wearing a compression bra after breast reduction are mentioned in detail.

Reducing inflammation

Inflammation is an unavoidable side effect of any kind of surgery, including breast reduction. The most efficient way of controlling and reducing the swelling after this operation is wearing a compression bra all the time, except during the shower. This type of bra prevents the formation of seromas under the skin and reduces the bruising in the surgical site; therefore, wearing a compression bra for six weeks following the surgery will have less bruising and swelling.

Speeding up the healing process

As mentioned earlier, compression bras can reduce swelling and let the blood circulate in the operated part better. Doing so can transfer more nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissue, resulting in faster healing.

Protecting the wounds

Compression bras protect the sutures from stretching, opening, and getting infected. Also, they keep you from scratching and rubbing the incisions unintentionally. So, you can reduce the risk of hurting your wounds by wearing these bras for as long as your doctor suggests. 

Reducing post-op pain

The first week after breast reduction surgery is the hardest, as you will have sharp pain in your chest, back, and armpit. Wearing a compression bra prevents the tissues and muscles from stretching and moving freely, especially when you walk or move your hand. So, although compression bras may seem uncomfortable, they minimize your post-op pain to a great extent and help you move around comfortably. 

Improving final results

Although breast reduction results are long-lasting, you can have a more permanent and satisfactory result by wearing a compression bra, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising after the surgery. The bras keep your breast tissues in their new place, preventing skin sagginess. 

Wearing Compression Bra After Breast Reduction

Timeline of Wearing Compression Bra After Breast Reduction Surgery

Since compression bras are uncomfortable, most patients take them off immediately. However, wearing them for six weeks after the breast reduction surgery is advised. We divide these six weeks into two stages.

Stage 1: Week 1-3 after breast reduction

During the first three weeks after breast reduction, your tissues are vulnerable and painful. Also, the swelling is at its maximum level, and there is still the risk of developing a seroma. You should wear a compression bra day and night at this stage, but you can take them off when showering. The bra applies sufficient pressure on the breast tissue and helps the lymphatic system drain excess fluids. Also, it prevents the accumulation of blood clots under the skin (bruising) and keeps your wounds away from direct sunlight. 

Stage 2: Week 4-6 after breast reduction

In the second stage of breast reduction recovery, your wounds are healed, the swelling is subsided, and the bruising is gone. You can move and sleep more comfortably, with no risk of developing seroma. Therefore, you can only wear compression bras during the day and regular sports bras at night. Remember that sticking to a compression bra for six weeks helps your breasts to have a better shape and size. You can stop wearing them when your wounds are completely healed, and your breasts are fixed into their new position.

Features of a Good Compression Bra

Some surgeons recommend certain brands of compression bra after the operation, but if you want to choose the right bra on your own, here are a few features that a standard compression bra must have:

choose the right bra on your own

Being front closure

Front-closure bras are the best options for you as you can wear (and remove) them quickly, and you won't stretch your stitches while wearing them. 

Being adjustable

As the swelling subsides, the breasts' size changes gradually. Thus, purchasing a compression bra with adjustable straps is important for a more convenient recovery period. 

Having no wire 

Compression bras with wires press your incisions and may cause indention on your breast's skin. Since your chest has been numb for a few days, you may not notice the wires leaving a mark on it.

Having high-quality fabric

Wearing a tight bra for 24/7 makes the breasts sweaty and warm, i.e., the right place for the growth of bacterial infections. So, your compression bra must be made of breathable and antibacterial fabrics to reduce the risk of infection, skin rash, and scratching the skin. 

Having the right degree of compression

Compression bras differ based on their shape, size, and degree of compression. As your swelling subsides and your wounds heal, you need bras with less compression.

Having long strips

An appropriate compression bra should have long, wide strips because short bands oppress the breasts and are less adjustable. 

Right Age for Breast Reduction Surgery

Having the right size

After breast reduction, most women choose the wrong bra size as they do not know the exact size of their operated breasts. If the bra you choose is too tight, it can interfere with the supply of nutrients and oxygen to your breast tissue, and if it is too loose, it won't apply enough pressure to your breast and doesn't reduce your pain and swelling.

How Many Sizes Can You Lose with a Breast Reduction?
Read more: How Many Sizes Can You Lose with a Breast Reduction?

FAQs About What to Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery

1) When can I wear normal clothes after breast reduction surgery?

You can wear whatever you want from a week after the surgery, but you should keep wearing the compression or surgical bra for at least three weeks. It is suggested to refrain from wearing pullovers and slim-fit clothes until your wounds are healed completely.

2) Can I wear a sports bra instead of a compression bra?

Sports bras do not apply enough pressure on the breast tissue, so they shouldn't be worn until the seventh week after reduction mammoplasty.

3) Can I take my compression bra off when I sleep?

During the first three weeks following the breast reduction surgery, you have to wear your compression bra day and night, but in the second three weeks, you can wear a sports bra instead of a compression one at night. A sports bra is generally more comfortable and applies less pressure.

4) Are my scars visible under the bra after breast reduction surgery?

Fortunately, no. The breast reduction surgery scars can be thoroughly concealed under a normal bra or bikini top.

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