A Guide on What to Wear After a Breast Reduction Surgery
About Breast Reduction Surgeries – Guidelines on what to wear after surgery
Nowadays, there’s an unlimited number of body-shaping surgeries that people can undergo, starting from Brazilian butt lifting to breast augmentation and breast reduction procedures. And although those surgeries are often associated with beauty standards, they’re critical for medical reasons most of the time.
For instance, people who undergo breast reduction surgeries often do them because they suffer from back pains and physical issues due to having huge breasts. The surgery consists of removing excess tissue and skin from the breasts, and luckily, it isn’t a high-risk surgery. But are the results permanent?
Well, the answer depends on your discipline afterward. The results can be affected by gaining weight, losing weight, and not abiding by the recovery rules, like wearing compression garments and exercising regularly.
What Are Compression Garments?
If you’ve researched body shaping surgeries, you’ve probably heard about compression garments before. They’re tight garments made from breathable fabrics, like nylon and elastin. Some are also made from moisture-wicking fabrics to ensure patients’ comfort.
Compression garments are a vital part of recovery from body-shaping surgeries, and they improve blood circulation, reduce swelling, and quicken the recovery period. Unfortunately, recovering patients often have to wear them for a few weeks or months after the surgery.
Many compression garments are available on the market, like girdles, binders, leggings, socks, and bras. However, each one of them works for a different body-shaping procedure.
They also come with many types of closure. For instance, some garments have Velcro closures, while some come with hook-and-eye ones. After undergoing breast reduction surgery, you’ll have to wear a compression bra for a while.
Why Wear a Compression Bra After Breast Reduction Surgery
Compression bras are crucial for a healthy and quick recovery from breast reduction surgery, and here are five reasons why.
1. Reduces Swelling
Swelling is an expected side effect of any surgery, and breast reduction procedures are no exception. However, you can keep the swelling at bay by wearing a compression bra regularly after your surgery. But how will it help?
It’ll apply pressure over your recently treated breasts, thus preventing fluids from building up and forming a seroma. As a result, this action will allow your disrupted tissues to get essential nutrients and oxygen.
The bra will bring post-surgery bruising to a minimum as it’ll prevent your blood from accumulating at the surface of your skin.
2. Quickens Healing
Compression bras make for a more comfortable and quicker recovery period, but how? For starters, swelling disrupts your recovery by preventing nutrients from reaching the damaged tissues. This way, the tissues take a much longer time to heal. So when compression garments reduce swelling, they quicken your healing process.
In addition, wearing a compression bra protects your sutures from stretching or opening, and it also minimizes the risk of bacterial infections due to contact with your incision site.
3. Improves Final Results
Although the final results after breast reduction surgery are often satisfactory, they might not be as permanent as you think. To maintain them, you’ll need to follow specific rules. For example, you’ll have to watch your diet, exercise more often, and wear compression garments.
Luckily, compression bras contribute to pleasing results by keeping your tissue in place during recovery. As a result, they don’t allow side effects like bumps formation and skin wrinkling. Instead, they help people with poor skin elasticity keep their contoured bodies.
Finally, people with recently healed wounds are at risk of developing keloids, which form firm lesions because of excessive scar tissue. Wearing a compression bra will help soften keloids and prevent their formation.
4. Lessens Post-Surgery Pain
Pain is a natural side effect of any surgery, especially during the first week or ten days. That said, wearing a compression bra can drastically lessen your post-surgery pain. This is because it’ll protect your recently treated tissues from being pulled or stretched by your movements. Accordingly, you’ll be able to move around comfortably.
So while many people complain about how compression garments are uncomfortable, they’re saving you from a much more bothersome recovery period.
5. Improves Circulation
Compression garments are famous among poor blood circulation patients because they apply pressure on weakened areas of your body. Therefore, they help your damaged tissues get the oxygen required for healing.
After any surgery, the risk of developing blood clots increases. However, your compression bra can bring this risk to a minimum by improving blood circulation. More so, proper circulation can help prevent bacterial infections and post-surgery swelling.
Timeline of Wearing a Compression Bra After a Breast Reduction Surgery
Most people who undergo body shaping procedures are often impatient about taking off compression garments. However, optimally, there are two stages after your surgery in which you have to keep the compression bra on your body.
Your tissues and skin are often more sensitive during the first stage of your recovery because of accumulated fluids. Also, it contains more pain and discomfort.
It would be best if you never took your compression bra off during the first stage; the only exception is during showering. It’ll deal with the fluids buildup by mediating their drainage to the lymphatic system. Accordingly, the swelling and bruising of your skin will minimize. Most patients wear their stage one compression bras for about two to four weeks post-surgery.
During stage two of your recovery period, your body won’t have as many accumulated fluids. You’ll be more comfortable with your movements and incision site.
The compression garments you’ll wear are often more comfortable and looser during this stage. Your doctor might even allow you to wear a regular sports bra. In addition, you won’t have to wear them 24/7; you can take them off multiple times throughout the day.
The primary role of stage two compression bras is to support your breast’s new shape and size to prevent affecting the surgery’s results. And since they’re more comfortable than stage one bras, you can wear them long-term under your clothes. And optimally, you should keep wearing them till you fully recover.
How to Choose a Compression Bra
Buying a compression bra might seem like a breeze, but it has many aspects that you should consider before purchasing. Lucky for you, we’ve made a list of the essential features of a compression bra.
Compression bras with front closures will be your new best friend during the recovery period. They’re insanely easy to wear and remove, and you won’t have to strain any muscles in the process.
Front Closures are essential because if you strain your arms to close the bra from behind, you might stretch your sutures too far, leading to an unfortunate event like bleeding or opening. So for maximum comfort, you should prioritize front closures in your post-surgery bra.
Non-adjustable compression bras can be bothersome to wear during the first week or after your surgery. For instance, if you change your sleeping position and want to adjust your bra accordingly, you won’t be able to.
That’s why, ideally, you should look for compression bras with adjustable closures and straps. This way, you won’t have to make an extra effort while wearing or removing them.
Most post-surgical bras don’t have wires; however, you may come across one that has. So it’ll be best if you check this feature before purchasing. A compression bra with wires can uncomfortably press on your incision site and cause skin indentations. And unfortunately, you might not feel them cutting into your skin because of post-surgery side effects like numbness.
As a rule of thumb, compression garments made from breathable fabrics are always better for your recovery period. Breathable fabrics are more comfortable, reduce scratching and irritation of the skin, and lessen the risk of bacterial infections.
They’ll also come in handy if you decide to undergo your breast reduction surgery during the summer. If you sweat a lot, you won’t risk infections and discomfort.
Degree of Compression
Not all compression garments provide the same pressure; it differs according to your healing stage. To elaborate, if you had your surgery less than a week ago, you’d need to wear a tight compression bra. But if you had it a few weeks ago, you can opt for a more petite pressure bra.
You should consult your doctor to know what’s best for you because the final answer will depend on your condition.
Nowadays, many compression garments on the market come with antibacterial properties, and they protect sutures from bacterial infections and keep your skin well-ventilated as long as you’re wearing them. However, not all compression garments come with this feature.
It’s worth mentioning that although antibacterial compression garments are beneficial, they aren’t crucial to your recovery period. So, if they’re out of your budget, you’ll do well with a regular compression bra.
Some compression bras have long bands, while some have short ones. If you want to be highly comfortable during recovery, you should settle for an extended band; it won’t feel as restrictive as a short one, making for better adjustability.
More so, short bands wear out faster than long ones. And since you’ll be wearing your compression bra for quite a long time, you won’t be ecstatic if the band chafes midway through your recovery.
After breast reduction surgeries, people often choose the wrong bra sizes, and this is because they’ve become used to wearing a specific size, and it changes suddenly. Choosing the right compression bra size is crucial for your comfort and safety.
If the bra is too tight, it might affect your blood circulation negatively and impair the supply of nutrients and oxygen to your breasts. This process will lead to a much slower recovery. Not to mention, it might cause discoloration around your breasts. While it’s an average side effect after such surgeries, it’s often distressing to many people.
On the other hand, if your bra is loose, it won’t work efficiently as a compression garment because it won’t apply enough pressure on your healing tissues.
Other Tips to Follow After a Breast Reduction Surgery
Besides wearing your compression garments, you should follow those tips for a healthy recovery and reduced swelling.
Sitting and Sleeping Positions
During the first few weeks of your recovery period, you should ideally position yourself so that your breasts stay elevated. Try to avoid sleeping flat on your back, stomach, or side. Sleeping on your stomach will apply unnecessary pressure on your breasts and affect your surgery results.
Luckily, you can make yourself more comfortable by placing a pillow under your torso. Your back won’t hurt you while sleeping, and your chest will stay elevated. Finally, it would be best if you always remained upright or sat in a recliner for seating.
To help with post-surgery swelling, you should apply cold compresses around your breasts during the first week of your recovery period. But if you use ice, make sure to cover it with a cloth before applying it to your skin. Also, don’t keep the compress on for a long while. For the best results, you should use it intermittently.
Watching your diet is essential for a healthy recovery period. So, try to stay away from junk food and high-sodium meals. Ingesting too much sodium is associated with increased swelling in the body, which isn’t ideal for your health after any surgery.
For the best results, you should maintain a low-sodium, nutrient-rich diet. It’ll help if you drink large amounts of water to avoid dehydration.
For the first few weeks after your surgery, you should watch your physical activity and make sure you don’t make too much effort. It’s OK to take short walks, but intense exercises are a big no during recovery.
You might be able to exercise lightly after about four weeks of your surgery if your doctor recommends so.
As for driving, you should wait till you’re comfortable enough to place the seatbelt across your chest. Also, it’ll be best if you don’t drive while taking pain medications, and they might affect your ability to focus and make you sleepy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Take My Compression Bra Off During Sleep?
Unfortunately, no, you can’t. Generally, during the first few weeks of your recovery, you should wear your compression bra all day. It’s also essential during sleep because it’ll protect your breasts if you sleep in the wrong position unintentionally.
How Long Will I Have to Wear My Compression Bra After Surgery?
The average duration is about six weeks; this is when you’ll be able to shift to regular bras. However, the number might vary according to your doctor’s recommendation and condition.
Can I Lift Heavy Objects After My Breast Reduction Surgery?
No, you can’t. For the first two weeks, you should avoid lifting heavy grocery bags, milk bottles, backpacks, or any object that might strain your back. After the third week, you can start to lift things over your head, but make sure they aren’t too heavy.
Can I Wear a Sports Bra Instead of a Compression Bra?
Although the sports bra might give you some degree of compression, please don’t use it for postoperative recovery. As a result, it might not provide you with the needed pressure, thus affecting your results. So for the first few weeks, wear a compression bra. But after that, you can shift to a sports bra without an issue.
To Wrap Up
Recovering from breast reduction surgery is often challenging, and you need to get used to a new weight, size, shape, and overall lifestyle. However, compression bras come as a knight in shining armor during this period.
They can improve your surgery results, make you more comfortable, and protect your sutures from stretching and opening. But before buying one, you should make sure it’s the right size, has front closures and adjustable straps, and, most importantly, is manufactured from breathable fabrics.