When it comes to bras after breast implants, there is a lot of conflicting information, especially when you speak to friends who have them. Some say that you can’t wear a bra, while others say you should stick to bras that don’t have an underwire. You may rely on your friends’ advice for everything else, but when it comes to implants, the only opinion that should matter is your doctor’s. So, we asked our experts to chime in.
Most doctors agree that wearing any bra is better than no bra at all. Bras support the breasts as they heal and prevent sagginess in the future (yes, even implants cannot escape gravity). Immediately after surgery, your doctor will likely place you in a surgical support bra, and two weeks later, a sports bra might be recommended for comfort and support.
Some doctors, however, believe sports bras improperly mold the breasts into place. “They are training the breast into a position that reduces the central cleavage that breast implant surgery is all about,” says Las Vegas plastic surgeon Mary Herte, MD. “Pushing and holding the breast (and implant) to the side with a sports bra encourages the extra space between the breasts.” Dr. Herte suggests that her patients wear a bra with an underwire as they heal because it helps create a more ideal cleavage. “An underwire should never touch your breast, it is designed to sit on your ribs as a support for the breast,” she says. “They are perfectly fine if you fit the cup properly and keep the wires where they belong: settled on the rib, not on the breast.”
In addition to underwires, Dr. Herte says she actually prefers that her patients choose push-up bras with side support. This helps position the implants toward the middle of the chest and also helps form good cleavage.
Weston, FL, plastic surgeon Charles A. Messa, MD, on the other hand, recommends that his patients wait a few weeks after surgery to resume wearing underwires. “Usually after four to six weeks, if comfortable, any type of bra including underwire is sufficient,” he says.
Ultimately, a doctor’s preference in bra type really depends on the shape they want to achieve but there is one rule for bras that is best, says Dr. Messa. “The ultimate bra type and style is dependent on what each patient feels most comfortable with [and which ones] provide support without excessive tension or pressure in any one particular region of the breast.”
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