What is a Post Mastectomy Bra?
A post mastectomy bra is very similar to a fashion bra. It”s the design of the bra that makes it is a little different. A good mastectomy bra provides both comfort and support. They are generally pocketed on both sides to allow for the use of prosthesis if it is needed. There are many styles of mastectomy bras, so it is important to try different styles to find the one that is right for you.
Should I wear an underwire or non wired mastectomy bra?
This is often a question that ladies often ask? It is advisable to wear a non-wired mastectomy bra especially for the first year after surgery. This allows time for wounds to heal and for any skin irritations or changes post radiotherapy to settle. Post surgery you may find that you experience numbness of the chest area and so you may not be aware if the wire is causing irritation. It is important to reduce the risk of skin breaks thus reducing your risk of developing lymphoedema.
What to look for in your mastectomy bra?
A mastectomy bra must feel comfortable to wear and cause no irritations to the skin, have soft seams, wide under band, full cups and adjustable straps.
Some mastectomy bras have wide straps however if you prefer thin straps you can wear Bra Strap Cushions to make the straps comfortable on the shoulders and to help your bra stay in place. These cushions allow for weight distribution thus reducing shoulder and neck pain.
Different style of bras
Post surgery bra
These bras are designed to wear after breast surgery and during the recovery stage. Initially after surgery you may experience swelling in the chest area. A soft non restrictive bra is best to use during this period of time.
The under band should be soft, the straps and closures adjustable to allow for you to create a comfortable fit. The fabric such be cotton or cotton blend as these are soft breathable materials that can regulate the body temperature and allow for air circulation which will encourage healing of wounds.
Front fastening initial post surgery bras allow you to dress easily especially if you have wounds that need to be cleaned and dressed.
Your surgeon or breast care nurse may recommend using a compression bra post surgery. Compression bras reduce the risk of lymphoedema; aids wound healing and can speed up recovery. Lymphoedema is the build up of lymph fluid and this can occur if you have had lymph nodes removed. A compression bra decreases the risk of fluid build up by applying gentle pressure to the chest, underarm and back.
Compression bras are used for the management of lymphoedema. Advice on the use of these bras should be sought from your MLD Therapist or Breast Care team.
Most initial post surgery bras can used as radiation bras. The bra you choose to wear during radiation should be seamfree in order to reduce the risk of skin irritation, it should be made from breathable material, be soft and non-wired.
Sports bras post mastectomy
Sports bra can be used as initial bras as they provide support which is important in the recovery stage. A low to medium impact bra would be of use during this time.
After surgery and wounds have healed, it is important to remain active as this has a positive impact on health and well-being. Sports bras are designed using breathable materials to help with moisture control and have bilateral pockets to hold a breast form.
Special mastectomy bras
There are many different mastectomy bras that combine comfort, support and femininity all together. Depending on the style, they can used as an everyday bra or a bra for that special outfit.
There are plain bras, patterned bras, colourful bras, lacy bras and padded bras. Speak to your bra fitter or supplier if you need a particular shape or colour bra.
For ladies who have had lumpectomies a padded mastectomy bra can be a good option to give a balance and symmetrical appearance.
If you have scarring high on the chest area due to surgery or radiation a camisole bra provides coverage due to the high lace insert design of the bra.
Here’s a link to a quick video discussing different types of mastectomy bras and examples of when to use them.
For more information on how to measure yourself for a mastectomy bra or find out about our range visit www.linnoco.com email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 053 910 6190