You don’t need to wear a specific post-surgery bra (or ‘surgical bra’) after breast surgery such as a mastectomy or lumpectomy, unless you are advised to by your surgeon or breast care nurse. If you’re advised to wear a surgical bra you may be able to get financial assistance to pay for it.
Breast surgery, and sometimes radiotherapy, can make your chest area feel particularly sensitive, so in the first few weeks after surgery most women wear a soft bra that isn’t too restrictive. You may find a front-fastening bra easier to put on.
The type of bra you need will change in the first year after surgery. Read more about bras after breast surgery.
If you have had a mastectomy without immediate reconstruction, your breast care nurse or one of the ward nurses will usually give you a fabric-covered temporary breast prosthesis known as a ‘softie’ or ‘comfie’ to wear during this time. You may find that the softie rides up because it’s so light. It may look better and feel more secure if you adjust the stuffing and either stitch it to the bottom of your bra cup or keep it in place with a safety pin.
Once your scar area is fully healed and any swelling has gone down (usually within six to eight weeks) you can be fitted for a permanent silicone prosthesis if you choose.