A question that many women have who are either considering a breast reduction or have already undergone one is “When can I start wearing an underwire bra?” Some are under the impression that they are not suppose to wear one any more following surgery; others have heard recommendations that involve widely differing periods of time. This can be decidedly confusing.
What is the right answer?
Well, there really is not one absolute, definitive answer. (Even this sounds vague!) One of the reasons for this is that there are no evidence based studies in the medical literature which identify one specific period of time following breast reduction surgery that is better than any other to start wearing an underwire bra again. Consequently, each plastic surgeon determines his or her own protocol based on a variety of factors including experiences with their patients. Some may recommend waiting at least 3 or 4 weeks whereas others may suggest 2 to 3 months or more.
What is my protocol for wearing an underwire bra following a breast reduction?
Upon removal of their operative dressing a few days after surgery, my patients are placed in a sports bra which they will wear for a couple of weeks. After this, they can wear any comfortable but supportive bra which they like and which includes an underwire bra. The purpose is to help to maintain the improved shape of their breasts for a longer period of time by counteracting, to some extent, the relentless forces of gravity.
With normal postoperative healing, the incision along the crease at the bottom of the breast will be inflamed and even tender for several months. During this period of time, an underwire bra may be somewhat uncomfortable to wear. As a result, most patients will wait at least 2 to 3 months before being wearing one on a regular basis.
For more information on breast reduction surgery or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule your free consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona