What Are the Best Bras to Wear After Breast Augmentation?

Woman in Sports BraFollowing breast augmentation with implants, the types of bras patients wear can often have a significant impact on the overall results of their procedure. For women who have received smooth-wall breast implants, I typically recommend wearing a bralette or shelf bra so as to not misshape the breasts or alter the location of the implants once the creases have set. In contrast, for patients who have received textured implants, I generally advise wearing a soft-cup sports bra. This is because textured implants need to remain securely in place in order to affix to surrounding tissues (which takes about three months), and soft-cup sports bras provide the right amount of pressure and support to hold the implants in correct position for the necessary period of time.

Regardless of the type of implant, I do not advocate the long-term use of underwire bras for the majority of breast augmentation patients, as the upward support these bras provide may also elevate the scar tissue around the implant, ultimately changing the shape of the breast(s). (The same is often true for any bra that holds the breasts in an abnormal position, such as a push-up bra designed to create more cleavage.) This is not to say underwire or push-up bras can never be worn, however. If somebody has a particular outfit they wish to wear, it is typically fine to wear these kinds of bras for a short period of time. My general rule for patients is not to wear a bra that changes the shape of the breasts more than the implants do on their own for longer than two hours at a time. Doing so on a frequent basis may lead to a permanently distorted breast shape.

The exception to this rule would be for women who are seeking to set/reposition their breast creases and/or alter the shape of their breasts. In these cases, an underwire bra could be used to help establish breast creases and an ideal shape within the first six weeks to two months of surgery, after which time a bra that does not put too much pressure on the breasts should be worn.

Ultimately, the best bra to wear after breast augmentation will depend on the particular implants you receive and the overall results you desire. At the time of your consultation, a board certified plastic surgeon should be able to make proper recommendations based on the specifics of your procedure.

Daniel C. Mills, MD

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