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Topic: what bra should I get?

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

Posted on: Jan 9, 2020 06:30PM

aprildawn714 wrote:

Hi everyone. I had my exchange surgery last Monday and I just saw my Dr. She wants me to wear underwire bras! I am still healing and it's painful to wear these things. I have bought 5 different bras and they are just horrible. She says I need to wear them to prevent my implants from moving outward. There has to be another kind of bra. I have been looking online but I can't seem to find one. Anyone have any suggestions or brands they use. I like sports bras. Anything that would push my boobs together? I am new to this bra thing. As I was small before this and only wore cheap sports bras my whole life.

Thanks for any input!

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Jan 9, 2020 08:57PM SpecialK wrote:

Here is a link to a thread with lots of discussion about bras. The link should take you to the last page with the most recent posts, but you can go back through the previous pages and see if anything is helpful, in addition to the info in the header of the topic. Good luck!

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/44/topics/753120?page=182#post_5459775

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3
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Jan 9, 2020 10:37PM - edited Jan 9, 2020 10:40PM by MinusTwo

aprildawm - some plastic surgeons like yours specify only underwire. Others say NEVER underwire. Check out the link Special sent.

BTW - from what I've seen, most docs want you in a surgical bra for at least two weeks - and it sounds like you are only 4 days past surgery. Also conventional wisdom says to wait at least a month before buying bras until the internal swelling is down. Call the doc or his nurse and tell them what you're feeling.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jan 12, 2020 11:09AM SuQu31 wrote:

aprildawn,

I just wrote you a wordy (too wordy) post and then promptly lost it when I went back to see what other treatments, etc. you have had. UGH! I will summarize it here: you are not alone! Bras are a difficult issue for many after exchange surgery and the link has much helpful information. Talk to your plastic surgeon's office about the underwire - I'm sure they do not want you to be uncomfortable. However, my PS said no smushy sports bras - they do not have good support and they also will smush everything down and together, and especially during initial healing, you want your breasts to be lifted up and separated, so that they can retain placement and shape. You do not want to wear anything that leaves marks on you when you remove it - if you have had fat grafting to the top part of your breasts to make things look more natural, apparently smooshing is even more of a no-no.

Proper bra fit after reconstruction is just difficult and I have had many struggles. Sweet MinusTwo was so kind to me during my struggles, just as she has been to you. I just wanted to make sure my new breasts stayed looking good. I had a difficult time because things we all agreed (bra fitters and me) fit fine in the store left marks on my breasts where they dug in after more than 5 minutes or so. My solution for this: on-line ordering. I have found that my local department stores don't have a great selection in any one size, but they do on-line. (and although I wear all the same clothes, my bra size went from a 36C to a 36DD - ah, just another oddity of breast reconstruction). I can try on each bra at home for 15 minutes or so, in my house, where I don't feel so exposed, then take my huge bag of bras back to the store for returns. (I'm sure they love to see me coming). Bare Necessities (on-line) also has free shipping and free returns if your order is over a certain amount. They have many brands and sizes not available in most stores. Well-made bras can be quite expensive, so it is not hard to meet this minimum order.

I have mild lymphedema in my arm and side, so that impacted fit too. You would think that a nice firm, "elasticky" soft bra would be best. For me, it made matters worse and overall, I've found that a well-fitting underwire is most comfortable for me and also keeps down the swelling in my side.

I haven't solved things yet, but I have found (after more hours than I can count), two different underwire bras that fit and do not leave marks on my breasts. (One has been discontinued, of course!) I will move on to sports bras next. For now, I've been wearing two less supportive bras at the same time when I exercise. (That, by the way, took much longer for me to figure out than it should have!)

I'm not on this site as much lately, but I'm happy to answer questions if I can - please send me a private message. Most importantly, you've got this. Or, more likely, you will get this! I refuse to let BRAS defeat me when breast cancer did not. (and we just won't talk about the fact that I've cried way more over the inability to find a bra than I even thought about doing over breast cancer and losing my breasts). Hugs to you!

Re-excision for close anterior margin 10 days after BMX. Dx 10/31/2018, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 12/10/2018, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/19/2018
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Jan 12, 2020 06:16PM MinusTwo wrote:

AprilDawn - forgot to mention that Nordstroms has fitters trained to deal with mastectomy patients. You need to make an appointment, but they are usually very knowledgeable and will bring many things for you to try. And check to see if your insurance will pay for at least some. But call it a 'prothesis' and not a bra.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jan 12, 2020 06:32PM OnTarget wrote:

My hospital and others nearby have bra shops with professional fitters and they also will process your insurance for you, which makes it easy. I get 3 bras paid for by insurance each quarter, and I think that most plans give at least 4 free bras a year (up to $45 each).

That's one place I'd start if I were you.

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jan 12, 2020 11:43PM WC3 wrote:

I'm not sure if they make them with an under wire but I really like the Elizabeth Pink Surgical Bra by Masthead.

Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jan 13, 2020 06:25PM aprildawn714 wrote:

Thank you everyone for all of the info! I truly appreciate it. It's strange that some Drs want you to wear wires and some don't. go figure. I have to call tomorrow I have stitch sticking out that it driving me crazy it keeps getting stuck on my bra. ouch.

Thanks again


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