Post surgery is probably one of the most underrepresented periods of breast surgery – we looked and looked but couldn’t find any blogs with legitimate post surgery bra reviews. No one medical related told me what to expect at all. But luckily for me, I had a Sian, who ensured me that there were such things as post surgery bras, and that I needed one …
It can get bloody confusing though, it’s difficult to know what you need, and I can only really speak on my experience. My operation (for anyone who hasn’t read my pervious posts) was a lumpectomy, which is probably a pretty radically different operation to other kinds of breast surgery. Regardless, what I know for sure is that you need a specialist bra, and they’re well worth investing in.
I know this because I had to endure the car ride home from hospital sans-bra. Aside from the inevitable nausea from the anaesthetic-hangover (the least pleasant of all hangovers, since it’s preceded by surgery as opposed to a night of revelry), I felt every single lump and bump – and, for once, I ain’t talking about the breast kind. I’m talking about the road.
A Post-Surgery Tip
Take a cushion / pillow for the car ride home. Not for your head – for your lap. The seatbelt is going to lie uncomfortably tightly across your chest. But the pillow / cushion / (in my case) screwed up coat somewhere below your wound-site, to keep the seatbelt at a safe distance. This probably isn’t road-safety-approved, but meh. Yeah, I have no better response to that than ‘meh’.
You’d think that, especially in the immediate hours after surgery, nothing at all is probably better than something, but that isn’t the case. As soon as I put on my post-surgery, I felt an immediate relief. I don’t know if it’s simply to be with support, pressure, or anything else, but I can assure you that wearing something is better than wearing nothing. What I had was the Silver Post Surgery Bra from Royce Lingerie – I’m not sure why they call it silver, because this baby’s worth its weight in gold …
The bands only go down to a 32 in this bra (oh, bad bra, so I thought when ordering) and wasn’t available in a B (my go-to letter 32 bands), so I ended up with a 32C. The best way to describe it is as almost-longline – a jolly good thing, considering my scar sits just a few millimetres from where an ordinary bra’s underwiring would be. OUCH. The post surgery bra goes an inch or so lower and, because of this, would probably have been too tight in a smaller band size, or at least less comfortable, because I obviously have ribs. For women out there without ribs, I would recommend aiming for your normal band size, but for those like me who still sustain a ribcage – go one band higher.
Throughout the course of the day (not that I was moving around much in the days after) the band can tend to wriggle up a little, which perhaps does indicate that it could have been tighter, but 32 is as low as they go.
A ‘C’ was definitely on the large size for me; you can tell by the way the fabric wrinkles up a little over the fold (not on the pictures, but in real life). However this wasn’t much of a problem because the bra itself isn’t moulded in the same way as a normal bra – it’s more of a crop top fit. Although it doesn’t give the same kind of support a normal bra would, it does a lot in terms of comfort fitting. More like a ‘strap me in’ kind of supported. Think new-born baby being swaddled. They like that, right? Same here. The cups are double-layer, for super comfort, and can also be used for a prosthetic if required.
– is magic. Must be. Breathable, infinitely comfortable, doesn’t make you hot / cold / sweaty. I actually think they call it something like 82% polyester, 15% elastane, and 3% X-Static silver polyamide. The last ingredient is the magic one, claiming to be ‘Anti-bacterial Anti-odour; Thermo-regulating; Permanent – will not wash or wear out; 100% natural and safe’. I can’t vouch for all of these (I haven’t worn it for 100 years, yet), but I can certainly nod for the first two. I was trying to avoid this unpleasant detail, but in the name of transparency … I wore this bra for a whole week post surgery – day and night – and it didn’t smell AT ALL. Ok, ok … a week and a half. I know. Pretty grim, but honestly, I couldn’t do without it!
Which leads me on to …
Post Surgery Tip Number 2
Again – this isn’t medically sanctioned or road-approved, as far as I know – but if you find it comfortable, wear your bra to bed. The worst sensation I found was lying on my side (either deliberately, or accidentally rolling over in the night) and having your boob naturally fall to one side or another. Just sort of weird feeling, uncomfortable, and possibly painful – but totally avoidable if you keep them strapped down.
And things I wouldn’t have even thought of. The bra is ‘front fastening’, meaning you put it on like a cardigan. There are also poppers at the front, which is actually really helpful. You feel kind of weak in the arms after surgery; stretching behind you to do up hooks would certainly be an effort, and a lot of soreness comes from the armpit area. (Referred pain? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor). Anyway – having the poppers just makes it that bit easier when you’re strapping yourself in; due to it being ‘longline’ and working by almost binding your boobs, it does take a small amount of stretching and pulling to get it done up. Not much, but any effort can feel like effort after surgery. Poppers can be a right bugger at the best of times (see duvet covers for example), but these are really well made and easy to use.
The straps are also Velcro – another feature of ease and comfort, meaning you can adjust them easily, often, and to whatever length you need.
Overall, this bra was a lifesaver and I’d recommend it to anybody in the immediate aftermath of surgery. I’d also particularly recommend Royce Lingerie as a company, because my bra arrived the very next day (booming voice: surgery day) after I ordered it, and I see from other reviews on their website that this wasn’t an exception. I just wish this particular style was available a cup size smaller, as I think this would have particularly supported my small-bust-case.
Bloody gorgeous, don’t you think? I felt pretty darn sexy …