Mar 24, 2017 07:06PM MinusTwo wrote:
Here's the list for Breast Implants 101. Be sure to read the entire heading before posting.
Posted on: May 25, 2010 06:30PM - edited Feb 15, 2013 07:16AM by val61
BRAS.......whether you love them or hate them, they are often part of our reconstruction journeys. Whippetmom and I decided to share some information that we discovered throughout our respective journeys through breast reconstruction. There are different practice styles and philosophies among plastic surgeons (PSs), and this extends to their feelings and recommendations about bras after exchange. Some of our PSs have very specific instructions regarding underwire/wireless bras; some say no bra is necessary, and some say nothing on the subject. It seems that a great number of PSs fall in the latter category.
Please note: We are NOT physicians or medically educated....just fellow bc sisters who have researched this subject and want to share what we've learned :)
If you have lymphedema or have been told you are at risk for it, please discuss the issue of bras and supportive breast wear with your physician. Risk factors:
Why would I need a bra after reconstructrion? To keep those lovely implants where your PS placed them. Because underwire bras provide such excellent implant support and stabilization (when properly fitted), many plastic surgeons advocate the use of them soon after the exchange surgery. The wire provides "encapsulation" to help prevent implant migration. This was my experience. My PS sent me for a professional bra fitting (at Nordstrom) as soon as the drains were removed. I wore that underwire bra 24/7 (I bought two :) - worn VERY tightly in both band and straps - for the next 3 1/2 months.....yes months! That is the time it generally takes for scar tissue to form the "capsule" around the implant. Until then gravity and arm movements can cause the implants to migrate.
Some have asked if underwire bras could harm the new sutures and pocket work after exchange. While those of you whose incision line is along the IMF (inframammary fold) will likely be unable to wear underwire for awhile, most of us with traditional trans-aerolar incisions will be allowed to wear them. My PS's belief is that an underwire is absolutely necessary to provide adequate support for the implants, as there is little else to support them initially. We need to think about what's supporting our implants. Many of us here have had TE's [tissue expanders], so our implants are essentially held in place by our (often very thin) expanded tissue coupled with the various chest muscles and sutures. (Not the case for those who've had flap procedures.) Eventually (3-4 months according to most PSs) scar tissue forms the capsule, which then adds some additional support. Despite rumors, there is no need to fear about missing the often discussed "drop and fluff" of the implants; wearing a bra will not interefe with that. Even with support from a bra, the implants will settle into the pockets - promise! The degree of "drop and fluff" is greatly influenced by the expansion process (style of TE & fills), so there is a lot of variability among us.
There are some PSs who believe that reconstruction patients need never wear a bra - a topic hotly debated around these forums, for sure. As with much of the reconstruction process, philosophies differ among physicians. There are some PSs (mine included) who feel that reconstructed breasts will ALWAYS need the support of a bra except for short periods. And yes, that includes during sleep - especially in the first several months - perhaps much longer for many of us. Believe it or not, many of us actually discover that it is more uncomfortable to NOT wear a bra :). Gravity is not a friend....to faces, fannies, or foobs!
We realize that not every PS or sister with reconstructed breasts is as "pro-bra" as we are. But for those of you who want to maximize your reconstruction results by minimizing implant migration-and have no contraindicating factors- hopefully this information will be useful. Of course, we want to clarify that the quality of the bra is essential. Not all underwire bras are appropriate for the purpose of encapsulating and supporting the implants on the chest wall. A high quality bra, which uses better fabric and wires in the construction, will provide superior fit and longevity while doing its job of providing proper implant support. Many insurance companies offer coverage for even non-surgical bras, so be sure to check.
What about size? A HUGE question! Sizing is a bit tricky with implants because they are wider and flatter than natural breasts. If you don't have access to a well-trained professional bra fitter (Nordstrom fitters are famous, but many other department stores and small boutiques are good, too), then here's a good place to start: www.herroom.com/bra-fitting-ad... Sizing with implants is very much a trial and error process, but this technique is generally pretty darn close. ***Please note: These are different from the conventional "just measure around your ribs, then your chest" instructions, but I think they result in a truer measure of size for many people. Implants are much wider and flatter than natural breasts, so sizing is a bit iffy, though the technique described at herroom addresses these issues. Just as with clothes, sizing differs between manufacturers, so be prepared to try lots of bras!
What kind of bra do I need and how should it fit? Well, the main goal of the bra post-recon is to stabilize the implants both laterally (from the side) and vertically (from the bottom). Some of us may need a bra that also does not allow the implants to move too much toward the center - the dreaded "uniboob." For most of us, though, the main goal is to find a bra that does NOT push the implants out to the side. I can't stress this enough! This is one of the leading reasons for revisions. This can be very difficult to find, especially in a non-wired bra. Be careful of any trim along the center edge of the cups, as even this can push the implants out. The best type of bra is an UNLINED one - yes, no lining or padding at all - because these can interfere with optimal positioning of the implants. Here's the clincher: ideally the band should be extremely tight and the straps pulled as tightly as possible so there is no "vertical play" in the implants. We Americans are all about comfort, and we wear our bras far looser than our European friends! You should initially be "aware" that you are wearing a bra, which is a nice way of saying its going to be snug :). In fitting an underwire bra, be especially careful that the wire completely encapsulates the implants, especially on the outside. The wires should sit just on the outside edge of the implant (under your arm). In the center, be careful that the wires sit slightly AWAY from your chest and don't touch the implants, which could push them to the outside. If the center wires push into the sternum (a common complaint), the cup is too full. If the wires sit more than about 1/4" away from the sternum, the cup is too small. Our upper-pole fullness depends on our implant style. Some bra brands tend to run fuller in the cup than others. The idea is to keep the implants contained in the proper position on the chest wall, and most importantly, to keep them from migrating laterally or medially on the chest wall. If you engage in high-impact exercise (running, aerobics, etc.) the same instructions apply, plus one more: the implants should be held snuggly against the chest with NO BOUNCE! This may require two sports bras - one for encapsulation and one for compression - but it'll be worth it in the end.
Some of our "Bras 101" favorite brands are:
Freya, Fantasie, Chantelle, Marena, Wacoal, Anita, Goddess, and Soma.
Good luck! And remember - this is just ONE point of view!
Some of our favorite bra websites:
Thanks for stopping by and checking out our thread! Hugs!
Posts 5371 - 5400 (5,465 total)
Mar 24, 2017 07:06PM MinusTwo wrote:
Here's the list for Breast Implants 101. Be sure to read the entire heading before posting.
Mar 24, 2017 07:09PM MinusTwo wrote:
I think you would have a better response to your question about 'drop & fluff' on one of the Exchange threads. Here are the links to two of them.
TE's a Beginner's Primer
Mar 25, 2017 09:36PM Molly50 wrote:
Eschindler, thank you for the mention of the Anaono bras. Mine came today. Hopefully it keeps from leaving makes like my sports bra seems to.
Jun 15, 2017 04:42PM RG59 wrote:
I had a left mastectomy recently, reconstruction in process, and was in desperate need of a front closure bra with good support for my remaining 40D breast, The first 10 different stretchy bras I tried were terrible--no support, saggy, not enough coverage, etc. Then I tried the RxBra, size L/XL.. BLISS! Lots of support but not snug, good coverage, front closure, COMFORTABLE, and a nice 3 inch band underneath. I wish I could go braless, but it is just not an option! Even the post-op camisole was pretty useless for walking around b/c it gave my remaining breast no support. As soon as the drain was out I started looking for a comfy supportive bra and the RXBra is amazing.
Jun 15, 2017 07:55PM MinusTwo wrote:
Thanks for the recommend. I see they are $89 on Amazon. It wouldn't work for me because I need more coverage up my back & my underarms due to truncal LE.
Sep 14, 2017 08:43AM EastcoastTS wrote:
I'm one week post-exchange and reading prior posts with interest. My question: my PS recommended sports bra, NO wire (I have IMF incisions) but I question: how much compression? She said not too tight and not too "loosey-goosey". Yes, really. I have two sports bras -- and one I feel is too tight, the other maybe too loose. Omg. I ordered a couple of things from Amazon and am headed out to shop a little today. Right now, I kinda need front zipper or closure due to some pain/tenderness.
Is the point to just keep the implants from shifting/moving? (Again, I had pocket work to bring the TEs closer and get them out of armpit -- and one had dropped and was lifted. Also had some scar tissue removed.)
I plan to get a proper fitting at Nordstrom in a couple of months or so. My insurance covers something.
Thanks for the advice!!!
Sep 14, 2017 09:24AM MinusTwo wrote:
EastCoast - I got inexpensive sports bras at WalMart. Most were Danskin. The front closure variety that I wore at first were Fruit of the Loom I think. I did wear my surgical bra/camisole from the doc for several weeks before switching. And I didn't go to Nordstroms for a couple of months just to make sure all the swelling & healing was done. Good luck.
Sep 14, 2017 09:28AM Legomaster225 wrote:
My PS would not allow me to wear a bra for quite a while because I had nipple sparing direct to implant. He did not want any pressure on my breasts at all. When he finally said ok to a light support bra he said it should feel just like you are gently cupping your breasts. So you can feel it but not really compressing anything. I found the jockey bras at Target with the cup removed work great. They are very soft. Not sure I feel that will work for you since it is not front close.
Sep 14, 2017 09:33AM MinusTwo wrote:
It's so hard to figure out why every PS has different rules. Lego's said no bra. Mine said bra 24 hours a day with firm support.
Sep 14, 2017 09:44AM VegGal wrote:
I'm just back from follow up with PS. She wants firm compression 24/7 for 6 weeks following implant revision and fat grafting. I ordered a couple of zip front Jockey sports bras from Amazon. They are $34 each and have no underwire as that is contraindicated until my new implants soften and settle.
Sep 14, 2017 10:57AM TrmTab wrote:
I have been mainly wearing Carefix Mary style bra since last Saturday when the PS removed bandages from the Friday surgery. Once day I wore an Amoena front hook cotton post op bra but is doesn't have the compression and the swelling got out of control that day...all bras available on Amazon
Sep 14, 2017 06:00PM EastcoastTS wrote:
Thanks, guys, for chiming in. I got a zip front Danskin Sports and one that is not zip front -- and 2 Genie type (step into) that are fairly conforming but not totally uncomfortable. All Walmart purchases. Darn, they have a ton of bras!
Part of my dilemma is that before BC, I did not have to wear bras (small-chested) unless I wanted to and after NP-BMX, was told the same as Lego. Nothing to touch them. No bra, etc. That because it could compromise the blood flow to the nipples and remaining skin, I think. So I've been no bra for a long time - just tank tops and camisoles. Feel constricted now. But part of that is healing from pocket work, too, I'm guessing.
But anything better than TEs!!!!!!!!
Sep 15, 2017 08:01AM TrmTab wrote:
Hi Eastcoast, the genie bra looks a lot like to coobie bras I got post MX as my go to sports bra for exercise class...never thought of that as something I could step into...I should try that as it would increase my rotation of compressiony bras. I have another week of 23/7 bra wearing...only not while I shower. I don't see PS until 2 weeks after that, so plan to move to less confining bras, but continue wearing one as much as I can stand for some time to come...
Sep 17, 2017 07:30PM Imkopy2 wrote:
I'm 6 months post exchange Ive got my coobie bras, sorts bras w front zipper, and even the wireless warner bras from kohls. My doc has cleared me for everything bra...I have some with wires even but it has been a def process. The cotton wireless warners are one of my favs because of the cut it doesn't show regardless of my shirt.
Oh yeah I do have one to step into as well, it just depends on the day and how I'm feeling. I can tell you this much my implants are still changing, I noticed some settling in the last couple of weeks...they seem to have evened out.
Nov 10, 2017 10:11PM - edited Nov 10, 2017 10:15PM by OG56
I too am 6 months sense my Exchange and I just got a call from Vinnie Myers to get my 3D tattoos and all of a sudden I have a big divot in my right breast that was the one that I previously with my first breast cancer had radiation so my plastic surgeon says that he can do it with just a scar revision that it's really just underneath this scar that has the divot so bummer I have to be Barbie for I don't know how long I have to wait for nipples. I have not been fitted yet but I'm wanting to have an underwire bra. I can't believe how well my breast finally look at first they look like square Bob sponge pants now they've softened they've rounded out and they have just come down a little bit. So I am here to testify it they really take months to do their final reveal!
Nov 10, 2017 10:31PM MinusTwo wrote:
Linda - thanks for posting. It's always good to reinforce that shapes do resolve with time. Sorry you have to wait on the trip to Vinnie's. As for bras, I was so relieved to finally get rid of the things that I just wore bralettes for a long time. But eventually I did make an appointment with Nordstroms and had a great fitter bring me a ton of bras to try that I never would have thought about.
Nov 10, 2017 11:15PM - edited Nov 10, 2017 11:17PM by mrssoul
I like True & Co "body" bras (not the push up styles) Especially to sleep in. So comfortable! https://trueandco.com/bras/true-co/true-body-v-neck-bra/5607
Jan 24, 2018 12:12PM GardenGirl11 wrote:
I’m 5 days post recon and my PS sent me home in a Marena Recovery 3436 that I’m supposed to wear 24/7 until my appointment tomorrow, andmaybe longer. They told me to keep the bra on the tightest setting, but goodness I'm uncomfortable. The bra is so tight (or I’m swollen) that the decorative gathering in the center are leaving dented impressions on my boobs. I hope my PS is one that tells me I can go braless after healing. I didn’t like bras before breast cancer and now I can’t stand anything pressing into my sides (which is where I have the most pain). Post bmx and pre-recon I finally found a bra I like after trying several: the Miel bra. I found it on Anthropologie’s website during their Christmas sales. I hope to get back into it soon!
Jan 30, 2018 03:40PM notthrilled wrote:
I have two reasonable condition Anita 42 B/C compression bras white style 1094 (velcro straps, zipper front). I'm usually a 38, so not sure why it is such a large size. I would be happy to send one to the first two people who ask - send a private message on this site with your address. I paid enough for them and I'd be happy to gift them to a sister warrior instead of just giving them to GoodWill. I couldn't find another place to donate them. I wore them for a couple of months..
Jan 31, 2018 01:05PM EastcoastTS wrote:
I got my prescip for post-BMX bras. Aetna apparently pays for 2-4 a year. And making the appt with Nordstrom.
Thanks for the advice here. Check your insurance to see if it's covered. Nordstrom submits and does all for you. Some may not even need the prescrip. That is insurance based decision.
Jan 31, 2018 04:20PM notthrilled wrote:
Great advice EastcoastTS! Insurer says they will pay for the "extra" bra I paid out of pocket for at hospital store ($130). And I'm going to make an appointment at Nordstrom too.
Jan 31, 2018 07:03PM EastcoastTS wrote:
We deserve cute/well-fitting bras after all this BS!!!
Feb 1, 2018 06:59PM Shoregirl wrote:
^^ Amen!! ^^
Feb 20, 2018 09:29AM Lalala1 wrote:
After my surgery i was given a berlei post op bra which was great and easy to put on with clasps at the front and back and no wires.
Since bilateral reconstruction i have found that my old wire bras do not fit at all. They all sit kind of lower which was very uncomfortable.
I have since found that a bandeau top is all i need. I will have a look into some wireless bras in the future. One benefit of the mastectomy and reconstruction is not having to wear a underwire bra!
Feb 28, 2018 12:39PM MinusTwo wrote:
Shimmer - every doc gives different advice so it's important to check with your BS & PS. I didn't have alloderm, but I was told I wouldn't need a bra after the first 3 months. I wore only bralettes until my recurrence. Since the second surgery I have continued to wear a compression bra 24/7 due to lymphadema.
Mar 3, 2018 11:25AM notthrilled wrote:
Anthem just denied paying for my extra post mastectomy bra from the hospital's "boutique" as Out of Network. Don't you just love it?
FYI now that my pecs are settling down, I am really liking these tank tops (link below) for sleeping. They make me feel pretty. Not alot of support if you are bigger than me(38B) but really comfy (get xxl for size 16).
Mar 13, 2018 06:50AM Sweet_Pea wrote:
Has anyone tried the PillowBra for sleeping or sports?