Soon after a breast augmentation surgery, you’ll be advised by your surgeon to wear a surgical compression bra. It isn’t something that you can stop wearing just a few days post-op. In fact, you’d have to wear it for quite a few weeks.
And it’s important that you do so because wearing a compression bra after breast augmentation will help you during your recovery. This garment will provide both compression and support to your healing breasts.
Here, it’s also important to note that you won’t be wearing just any kind of bra. It’s specifically designed for patients recovering from breast surgeries like augmentation. That’s because some bras can end up doing more harm than good.
Why Do You Need To Wear A Compression Bra After Breast Enlargement?
It’s recommended that patients wear a compression bra after breast augmentation because:
- It may help reduce swelling.
- It may align the breast and allows tissue to conform to your new contour.
- It may provide extra support to your healing breasts to reduce pain and discomfort.
- It may minimise movement to reduce bleeding and bruising.
- It may help keep the implants in place.
It should be noted that there’s not enough research on compression bras after a breast augmentation.
One clinical trial published in the peer-reviewed Aesthetic Plastic Surgery concluded that compression after breast augmentation did not have any effect on bruising and the formation of a hematoma (pooling of blood under the skin) after surgery.
Patients also complained about wearing it (37.5% of them). And some researchers concluded that it was of no value.
Still, many surgeons recommend it to their patients so they’re able to achieve the best results.
For instance, in another study published in Gland Surgery on “How to prevent complications in breast augmentation,” the researchers emphasised the importance of wearing a post-operative bra to:
- Not allow the implants to slide.
- Reduce or prevent the tissue ingrowth (into implant surface) and adherence (of the tissue to the implant).
In any case, you must follow the aftercare instructions of your surgeon about wearing or not wearing a compression bra.
How Is The Post-Op Compression Bra Like?
While the kind of surgical bra you receive can vary, it usually has the following features:
- Soft, comfortable, and breathable fabric
- Adjustable straps
- Frontal closure/fastening (so you don’t have to move too much)
- Expandable cups
Additionally, it can come with a compression belt that goes up above the bra to prevent the implants from moving up.
It may even be accessorised for drainage tubes or the placement of ice packs.
It’s also important for this bra to not have an underwire because the wires can put pressure on the breast fold (inframammary) incisions, which may cause problems in healing.
You might not even realise it’s cutting into your skin because of post-op numbness. Therefore, you need to be careful.
You might be advised against any underwire bra for 3 months after your breast augmentation. The same may apply to a push-up bra because it may prevent the implants from settling.
In any case, it should be comfortable to wear. And for this, you must ask your surgeon exactly how to adjust the bra optimally. It will be given to you by your surgeon.
How Long Do You Wear A Compression Bra After Breast Augmentation?
Usually, patients are advised to wear a compression bra for 6 weeks after breast augmentation. And you have to wear the bra at all times, except when you’re going for a wash or shower.
The goal of the bra is to support your healing as much as possible. After 6 weeks, you may occasionally go braless.
However, you must keep in mind that this recommended timeline can vary depending on the surgeon. It can even be as short as a month or as long as 3 months. So, make sure to do what your surgeon tells you.
When Can I Sleep Without A Compression Bra After Breast Augmentation?
For 6 weeks after your breast augmentation, you need to wear your compression garment even when you’re sleeping at night.
While it can be uncomfortable to sleep with this garment on, again, make sure to keep the end goal in mind.
After 6 weeks, you should further ask your surgeon if you still need to wear it sometimes.
How Tight Should Compression Bra Be After Breast Augmentation?
Your compression bra shouldn’t be too tight. Otherwise, it may put unnecessary pressure on your incisions and implants.
While it’s called a “compression” bra, it’s more for support than for compression. It should be fitted enough to feel snug yet comfortable.
More importantly, you need to make sure that the band of the bra feels okay because the cups are expandable.
When Can You Stop Wearing A Compression Bra After Boob Job?
In general, patients don’t have to wear their bras 24/7, 6 weeks after a boob job. However, you must consult your surgeon about this.
The reason for that is that your surgeon may ask you to continue wearing the bra for a while, although not 24/7.
What Happens If You Don’t Wear A Compression Bra After Boob Job?
If you do not wear a compression bra after breast augmentation, it may delay your post-op recovery because of increased swelling, bleeding, bruising, implant displacement, etc.
While the research on the effectiveness of a compression garment is not conclusive, you should follow your surgeon’s advice.
Usually, patients are advised to wear a bra, however, if based on your surgeon’s knowledge and experience it’s not considered necessary, they might not recommend it.
Wearing a compression garment after breast surgery might not seem like a big deal, but many surgeons believe that it’s important for normal recovery.
While the research on it is not so clear, your surgeon may be advising you to wear a bra based on their experience and knowledge. So, you must follow their instructions.
Usually, this bra needs to be worn for 6 weeks and bear in mind that it can’t be just any kind of bra. The one you’ll be given is specifically designed for your post-op healing.
And if any time during your recovery, you have any questions, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to Aftercare for help.
Reviewed and approved by Prof Dr Fuat Yuksel
Can I take my compression bra off for a few hours?
In the first 6 weeks after breast augmentation, the compression bra can only be removed when you’re showering or washing your bra. Otherwise, make sure to continue wearing it.
Can I wear a sports bra instead of a surgical bra?
A sports bra is different from a surgical bra in that it may be too tight and put extra pressure on your chest. Therefore, it might not be okay for you to wear a sports bra for a while. You must ask your surgeon about this.
Can I wear a compression bra all day?
After your breast augmentation, you must wear a compression bra throughout the day for as long as your surgeon recommends, except for when you’re showering.