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Topic: Do I need to wear bra after mastectomy?

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Aug 29, 2011 03:43AM

stcc wrote:

Just had BMX with tissue Expandar. I has been wearing a mastectomy bra 24/7 since the surgery, it is so tight and uncomfortable. Now I understand why people say it is like rocks on the chest. That is exactly how I feel.

I am wondering whether I need to wear this mastectomy bra or not? if yes, for how long I should wear? During the whole process of fills/refills of the Tissue Expander, I assume the "foob" will get bigger and bigger, so do I need to buy various size mastectomy bra as I get refills?

If I don't need to wear mastactomy bra, will it cause trouble to the TE or incisions? How long will the incisions heal so that I can take bath/shower regularly as before?

Please share your experience with me. Thank you very much!

Dx 7/14/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Aug 29, 2011 04:04AM Jellydonut wrote:

You're correct in that the foobs gets bigger & bigger with each fill.....

I wore a bra to work in the beginning (with prosthesis), until the foob fills were large enough to no longer need to do that.  No, you do not have to purchase different bras for different stages.....at least, I did not.  If I did not work, I may have not worn anything but felt self-conscious going to work "bare." 

There are no rules for what to do, only what you're comfortable with in your daily life.

It's unfortunate that we need to be concerned with such things....

Best to you,


Dx 3/2002, IDC, Stage IV, 3/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 29, 2011 04:17AM ibcmets wrote:

I believe all PS's have there own requirements.  My PS said about 6 weeks in mastectomy bra with expanders & after exchange.  It also felt very tight for me as well with the bra & TE's.  After 6 weeks, I wore camisoles or shorter sports-like camisoles that were very comfortable.  Since your boobs aren't going anywhere with the TE's (because they are like rocks); I think it would be more important for proper support after exchange.

I had 2 exchanges---1 with saline implants & one with silicone gels recently.  The saline implants were almost as hard as the TE's.  I love the silicone gel implants as they look & feel like natural breasts; they are much softer.


6/2009 stage IV diagnosis w bone mets ,Xgeva , 2015 brain mets, liver metastasis
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Aug 29, 2011 10:25PM NatsFan wrote:

My ps did not require a bra after my bmx with t/e placement, so I didn't wear one the entire time I had t/es.  They were placed with alloderm slings and didn't move a bit!  I did a DIEP recon, so I don't know about requirements after implants. 

Mary Dx 12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 30, 2011 02:13AM stcc wrote:

Thank you all for sharing your experience with me! I think I will be more conservative, I will wear a mastectomy bra for 6 weeks and then see what my PS will say. Thank you!

Dx 7/14/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Aug 30, 2011 02:42AM joiedevivre wrote:

I do not wear a bra.. I feel more liberated that way...and as long as it looks good with my clothes on, I do not want to feel the restriction I feel with the bra. So, for me it's NO Bra...Smile
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Aug 30, 2011 02:43AM geysermom wrote:

I bought a mastectomy bra in the size that I wanted to end up being.  At first I wore it with a lot of padding and when I got fills, just reduced it a little at a time.

Now that I am done with recon (except tatoos) I can wear the same mastectomy bras without any padding. Cool

Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomies for Diffuse ADH Dx 12/2007, Stage 0
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Aug 30, 2011 08:39AM 2Xsenough wrote:

I did what geysermom did and used fiberfill for the padding, you know the stuff you buy in a craft store. It was soft and comfortable and I just pulled bits of it off after each fill. I'm glad I kept the mx bras because they are so comfortable, albeit ugly as sin.Laughing
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Aug 31, 2011 12:54AM Psal70 wrote:

stcc- I hope you are getting better and better after the surgery. Your PS will tell you when to take off the bra. when I had my surgery I had a nurse come to the house everyday to change my dressing and went back to the PS 2 weeks later to remove the drains and this is when you can take a real shower, until you get the drains removed you can only do sponge baths.....I was told I can wear regular bras after I got my drains removed.

Dx 8/4/2009, IDC, Stage II, HER2+
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Nov 1, 2013 12:01AM DarkKiss wrote:

Every doctor has own requirements; for the most I've read 6 weeks and you are good to go! After those 6 weeks I have only used sports bras, I feel liberated after all cancer gave me something good a good pair of firm foobs!!! ;)

Be careful when you get your nipples done, make sure you protect them with the plastic protector or with a ring made of gauze to avoid flattening. Best of luck!

May God Keeps Us Strong! Dx 11/13/2012, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/8/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, HER2+ Surgery 2/4/2013 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Tissue expander placement Dx HER2+

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