ANSWERED: I’m not going to have any boobs – do I really need a bra?

Some of you may remember my post that asked the question, if I’m getting my boobs lopped off, do I really need a bra? http://www.imgettingmyboobsoff.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/

Despite having done quite a lot of research, at that point I did not have a definitive answer. So as I went to my last pre-op appointment with my plastic surgeon, I was keen to get the answer.

I like my plastic surgeon, as much as anyone needs to like their plastic surgeon. He’s pretty straight up, honest and seems to have my best interests at heart. As a result, I trust him and that’s what’s important for me. However, am I going to invite him and his family over for dinner? It’s unlikely. Does he laugh at any of my ‘I’m a really positive patient’ jokes? No. Not even one.

I arrive at my appointment with my bra questions printed out on a piece of paper and wait for my cue…

Plastic surgeon: “So Trisha, do you have any questions?”

Me: “Yes, do I need to wear a bra after surgery?”

Plastic surgeon: “No”

Me: “Oh, I thought you might give me one?”

Plastic surgeon: “No”

Me: “Oh, I see. I read somewhere that I won’t ever need to wear a bra ever again?”

Plastic surgeon: “No, you don’t.”

Me: “I’m not sure about how I feel about that. I quite like wearing a bra.”

Plastic surgeon: “You can choose to wear a bra, but you don’t need to.”

I probably cracked a bad patient joke here and that was that. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit disappointed. As we have discussed before, whilst I haven’t been the best lingerie buyer to date, I was keen to treat my new boobs a little better. So I left with the answers to my questions, but a little despondent.

That was until I received a call a few days later from one of the breast nurses at the hospital. She was calling to introduce herself and let me know that she’ll be getting me a bra to take home with me from the hospital.  HURRAH!

She explained that whilst you don’t need to wear a bra, lots of women want to, and so they get you a bra for when you’re ready to wear one. What’s more, as I’ll have the chest of a prepubescent girl during the beginning of the filling process, they also give you some soft foam to fill the bras with to give you some shape and confidence until the new boobs come into play.

With the encouragement to go forth and wear a bra, regardless of whether I need one or not, I am ready to go lingerie window shopping again.

Post Surgery Bra Shopping

Before you start, this article is a good checklist for what you need to bear in mind when buying a post-surgical bra. http://breastcancer.about.com/od/lifeduringtreatment/tp/bras-camis.htm. Key points are, focus on comfort and look for wide bands on the shoulders and beneath the breast.  Underwires are a no no until your surgeon says so, avoid seams and choose front fastening, especially for the months immediately following surgery.

Across the pond, the great British institution that is Marks and Spencer, has pulled together a video lingerie guide to post surgery, which is good to watch before you buy anything:  http://www.marksandspencer.com/MS-TV/b/311612031?intid=emtv_2_42_1375671779001

They have quite a good range of bras, very reasonably priced, but their post-surgery ones do look a bit like my grandma would wear. It might be worth looking at some of their non-wired options, which are much prettier, for a bit further down the track.

I like this Carefix Post-Op Bra, Alice that I found on http://www.undiewarehouse.com.au (which has loads of options BTW). It does up at the front, is wireless and recommended for post-operative stage, immediately following surgery.

alice-_front_

Another one from Carefix that I found on Westfield is also pretty cool. Again it does up at the font, holds dressings in place and says it’s great for use in the recovery stage after breast augmentation, reduction, reconstruction, mastopexy, lumpectomy or radiation. Sounds pretty comprehensive to me? http://www.westfield.com.au/au/search?sq=post+surgery+bras

CarefixWestfield

This Berlei wirefree post-surgery cotton bra looks a bit ‘surgical’ and asexual, but I like Berlei and you can trust they’ll probably be good. It has both front and back opening and cotton inner pockets to accommodate prosthesis. http://www.berlei.com.au/bras/shop-by-range/post-surgery/

Berlie

Finally, another great site for Aussies is Zodee http://www.zodee.com.au/search/?w=Post+surgery. They start from just over $25 for a basic wire free bra, and go up to around $60 for something more special.

 

7 thoughts on “ANSWERED: I’m not going to have any boobs – do I really need a bra?

  1. My plastic surgeon also said I wouldn’t need a post-op bra, and then they gave me one in the hospital! Sometimes I think the surgeons don’t really know what goes on after they leave the room. Mine is great, but still a few contradictions (he said I’d never need an underwire again, but now he wants me wearing one – I had tissue flap recon).

    • hi bsf, I know. I also find my breast and my plastic surgeons contradict each other too. I guess it’s good to be inquisitve so you can ask the right questions.
      How soon after your op did you start wearing your bra?

      • immediately after the surgery, i wore a post-op bra which was about ten sizes too big, so i don’t know what it was supposed to do! about two weeks later, he said i should start wearing an underwire bra – i think because i was reduced a lot, still have extra skin, and he’s worried about them not being supported early on.

      • Thanks bsf – how was the underwire? Did it stress your scars at all?or are you finding it OK?
        I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. I am looking forward being able to purchase new bras – even if they are big mastectomy bras – as it’s been about a year since I bought a new one. My current ones are about to disintegrate.

      • at first the underwire did rub against my scar, but I have an keyhole incision, not an anchor incision, so there is no scar in the crease under my breast. at the bottom of the anchor incision, i was able to just tape some gauze to keep the underwire from rubbing. other than that, it was fine. don’t go burning those bras just yet – you might need them when you’re post-op, and you won’t want to waste money on new bras until all of your swelling goes down – several months. Good luck tomorrow!

  2. Oh, the great bra/no-bra debate! I also had DIEP flap reconstruction and was fitted for a post-op camisole BEFORE my surgery, which I did not wear post-op because I couldn’t get it done up the front (being sore from the mastectomy). While in the hospital, I wore no bra at home. When I was sent home, I was given another mastectomy bra that was velcro up the front with adjustable straps. I had to fasten it in a V-shape because I had so much swelling. During recovery, I used “leisure bras” when my range of motion was better and I just needed a little support.

    Too bad your surgeon is a stick in the mud. Maybe you can show up on your surgery date with some false nipples stuck all over you and see if that brings a snicker.

    • So really, there is no answer! Which I find is the case A LOT with this breast surgery thing. Do you have loads of temporary mastectomy bras you don’t use now?
      I love your idea of false nipples. My friends bought me some boob stress balls the other day. (I’ll post them up later…) They are disgusting, but may add a little black humour to the proceedings x

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