The Best Bras And Post-Op Products For Mastectomies

Breast surgeons and mastectomy patients recommend these bras and skin gels for post-op comfort.
A <a href="https://www.amazon.com/RXBRA-Surgical-Closure-Adjustable-Straps/dp/B09SB29XYN?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="post-surgical front-closure bra" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/RXBRA-Surgical-Closure-Adjustable-Straps/dp/B09SB29XYN?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">post-surgical front-closure bra</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Coobie-9060-Comfort-Comfort-Bra/dp/B074KW6GMZ?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="seamless comfort bra" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Coobie-9060-Comfort-Comfort-Bra/dp/B074KW6GMZ?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">seamless comfort bra</a> and a <a href="https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=999&u=2986930&m=90154&afftrack=-63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef&urllink=www.anaono.com%2Fcollections%2Fpocketed-bras%2Fproducts%2Falison%3Fvariant%3D40218968817753" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="pocketed front closure bra" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=999&u=2986930&m=90154&afftrack=-63562b4de4b0e376dc1923ef&urllink=www.anaono.com%2Fcollections%2Fpocketed-bras%2Fproducts%2Falison%3Fvariant%3D40218968817753" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">pocketed front closure bra</a>.

The reasons for undergoing a mastectomy or any breast-related surgery are as varied as the individuals who have them. For Sharon Wieser, a 3-year post-op patient, having a prophylactic double mastectomy at the age of 45 meant potentially saving her from developing breast cancer due to a genetic predisposition.

Since her surgery, a few things have changed for her — namely, the kind of bras she wears. “Underwire will never work for me again. [The] shape and give is not the same since surgery,” Wieser told HuffPost.

According to Dr. Kelly Killeen, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Cassileth Plastic Surgery and Bedford Breast Center, most post-op patients are comfortable with a bra that has mild compression, is thin and made of a breathable fabric with a front closure — all important things since, initially, the bra is worn around the clock during early recovery

“Thick bands and straps also make the 24-7 bra wear required more comfortable. Additionally, racerback bras are typically easier to tolerate for longer periods of time,” Killeen said.

Dr. Constance M. Chen, a board-certified plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist based in New York City, said that when shopping for postoperative undergarments, which are often covered by insurance, it’s important to take breast swelling into consideration. A bra that might fit well in the operating room might become too tight as you heal.

Chen also said that the kinds of bras used for postoperative situations will depend on whether or not long-term goals of reconstruction are in a patient’s future.

“If someone does not undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy, but wants to give the illusion of breasts in clothing, the extremely wide variety of pocketed bras makes it pretty easy to carry on and wear just about any article of clothing without calling attention to your surgery,” Chen said, adding that

people may even eventually go back to wearing regular bras, depending on their level of comfort.

In the list below, you can learn more about pocketed bras, the kinds of inserts that Chen recommends, along with some of these surgeon- and patient-favored brands that meet all kinds of mastectomy and breast surgery needs.

Wherever your breast surgery and subsequent bra shopping journey takes you, Killeen said, “Be kind to yourself and allow your body time to heal. Even if you feel fine after one week, it’s a stressful, emotional process and you deserve some time to process.”

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Masectomy-Friendly Bras And Support Garments

1
Amazon
A post-surgical front-closure bra
Killeen's favorite post-mastectomy bra is the RxBra, a post-surgical recovery bra designed to increase blood circulation to aid in the healing process. It offers comfortable lateral compression, easy-to-adjust straps, easy-access front closure and patented shape-memory fibers that contour around each individual breast, providing ultimate comfort.
2
AnaOno
A pocketed front-closure bra
"If someone is undergoing mastectomy with no breast reconstruction, AnaOno is probably the gold standard for beautiful post-mastectomy pocketed bras," Chen said of this specialty intimates brand that was made to embrace different breast shapes and surgery outcomes. Many of their bra options are also eligible for insurance coverage.

This classic pocketed front-closure bra, great for immediate recovery and beyond, has a wide back bridge for added support, has adjustable and convertible straps and is the brand's most popular breast cancer radiation bra.
3
Amazon
A pair of ventilated cotton breast forms
"If you are going to wear a pocketed bra, I would definitely recommend the foam inserts instead of the silicone inserts because the foam inserts are lighter, more comfortable and versatile,"Chen said.

She suggested this affordable pair of lightweight cotton breast forms that are ventilated for breathability and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

"The foam inserts stay put and don’t easily come out of a pocketed bra because they can be compressed to fit into the pocket, which makes them versatile for any article of clothing that fits removable foam pads," Chen added.
4
Amazon
A mastectomy bikini top
"Amoena specializes in post-mastectomy pocketed bras and swimwear," Chen said.

Their full and partial prosthesis bikini tops are made with soft micro-nylon fabric that is gentle against skin and also has side boning for additional support. You can also get the matching bikini bottoms starting at $15.98.
5
Amazon
A pocketed strapless bra
According to Chen, Amoena also makes the best pocketed strapless bra that holds shape and stays up during wear. This pocketed bra can be converted into a regular bra using the removable straps, and uses soft silicone at the base to help keep the bra in place.
6
AnaOno
A front-closure racerback with a plunging neckline
Made with an ultra-soft and slightly stretchy material, this deep-V bralette from AnaOno has a flattering lace racer back, a front hook-and-eye closure for easy on-and-off and seam-free pocketed cups to accommodate breast pads and forms.
7
Amazon
A seam-free comfort bra
Coobie, another company recommended by Chen, specializes in inexpensive comfortable one-size-fits-all camisoles and bras, including pocketed strapless bandeau bras that fit foam inserts.

This cool and breathable comfort bra is double-layered for low-impact support and is designed completely seam-free, without any kind of irritating tags or hardware.
8
Kohl's
A sleek medium-impact sports bra
"During recovery Danskin brand [bras] from Walmart were perfect," Wieser said. "Cost was low and the comfort of the material was great. If it didn’t work well after multiple washes, no worries, just hop to Walmart and get another one."

This longline racerback sports bra by Danskin is great for medium-impact movement and has a moisture-wicking finish to keep you cool and dry.
9
Amazon
An affordable 3-pack of basic front-closure bras
Chen said that Amazon can be a good place to find affordable, comfortable and effective mastectomy bras that fit a number of needs. These Fruit of the Loom front-closure bras are made with 95% cotton and wear like a traditional full-coverage bra, without any kind of uncomfortable underwire.

Post-Masectomy Skin Care

1
Amazon
A silicone scar-reducing gel
Killeen said that it's important to take care of your chest skin after surgery and to bear in mind that the skin might be more sensitive and less tolerant of the kinds of moisturizers or products that you used prior to surgery.

"It also is important to be prepared with products that combat bruising, pigmentation and scars," Killeen said.

For addressing the appearance of postoperative scars, this innovative silicone scar gel is her favorite. Developed by a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Skinuva utilizes selective growth factors as well as hydrating ingredients and antioxidants like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. The result, according to the brand, is a scar reduction of up to 70%.
2
Dermstore
A multi-phase serum that target skin discoloration
Killeen called SkinCeuticals' Discoloration Defense serum her "first choice" for a tranexamic acid-containing product that minimizes skin discoloration left behind by scars. An 8% blend of three different kinds of skin-loving acids work to improve brightness and even skin tone by activating natural enzymes in skin to help break the bonds that bind dead skin cells to the surface for even exfoliation.
3
Walmart
A post-operation gel that minimizes bruising
"I love Auriderm. It does a great job of helping bruises go away quickly and minimize your chances of hemosiderin staining," Killeen said of this post-op gel that combines vitamin K oxide and vitamin E to speed up cell regeneration and keep skin soft and radiant.
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