After DIEP surgery

Hi ladies, I am due to have a DIEP reconstruction on 5th September. I’m just wondering if anyone has any advice about what sort of clothes to wear in the first few weeks after surgery. I have some loose kind of jogging bottoms but should I buy a size bigger to account for the swelling? Were you advised to wear post surgery bras or no bra at all? And is it easier to have button up clothing for a few weeks? So many questions!



Hi Debs,

While you are waiting for replies from your fellow forum users, our helpline staff will be only too happy to talk to you about the questions you have.  Calls are free, 0808 800 6000 lines open at 9am today until 5pm (Mon-Fri) and 10-2 Sat.

Take care,

Jo, Moderator

Hi Debs

Sorry I can’t help specifically with the DIEP surgery but wanted to reply as I too struggle to get replies!!! I had a mx and immediate LD flap reconstruction on the left breast 29 July . I went in Monday and was home weds with 3 drains. I could have stayed longer but hospital was not conducive to peaceful recovery!!! I lived in cotton button top pyjamas in a size bigger than normal and found front fastening soft supportive bras on ebay. I also got bra extenders which are invaluable. The first couple of weeks at home I did barely nothing- only my exercises which are very important. I had amaemia post op so tiredness was a problem- washing a lettuce in week 3 took me 35 mins and I had to have a break in the middle!!! I am now 4 weeks post op and each day is bettter despite having to have two seromas drained. The actual breast is amazing- such a talented surgeon. Everyone is different but I know I underestimated the recovery time. I had planned on being back at work after 6 weeks but the earliest I am looking at now is 8 weeks. Hope this helps a little Debs.

Jayne xxxx

HI Buzzy


I hope your DIEP goes well. I am considering this reconstruction option after being told I need a right sided mastectomy following 3 unsuccessful WLE’s. I also have invasive cancer on the left which was removed during a WLE but because it was 3.3cm and all of it didn’t show up on the mammogram they are suggesting a bilateral mastectomy. I do have a big tummy but not sure if I have enough for two new breasts.


Please let me know how you get on. I go back to see the consultant with my decision on the day you have surgery so I will be thinking of you.




hi Buzzy, I was given two anita sports bras to wear,  Anita do mastectomy wear so they are very well designed broad straps and back you may have seen them already, I know its normal practise at our hospital to get these after surgery, Michelle our “appliance” lady is fantastic and comes to the fit you before you are up and about, I seem to remember I put them on once my drains were removed.  I then wore them none stop for probably the next 10 weeks - day and night, you need the support.  With regards the rest of me,  this was the first time I actually lost weight so I continued to wear my sweaty betty legging which have no fastending or harsh waist bands and I did go and get some seam free big knickers from M & S.   Its been a while for me so am a bit vague on the clothes but I got a few cotton vests Muji if I remember correctly could put them on quite easily.  I think i was moving my arm okay, no worse than the mastectomy but it was the stomach that was the killer, got myself lots of good pillows as I could not lie flat for ages and had to sleep propped up and also with pillow under my knees, to stop the pulling.  hope this helps good luck x

I wore soft - mostly cotton different coloure d sports bras bought on Amazon and shapewear - high waist pants from Matalans.  The pants I bought in one and two sizes larger and the bras I went up one size.  I was in bed for most of the three weeks after diep, alhtugh did take slow walks around the garden a few times a day.  I bought button up the front pj’s w/bottoms in both two to one sizes larger.  It was suggested to me that if I could find pj’s in slippery material, all the better so slide across the bed.  I moved slow for the first few weeks in walking and sitting  up from a lying position.  I could make my son his packed lunch and give him breakfast before school, yet dinner, no not really and of course no driving for about 6 weeks so the school gate was out.


This new forum format makes it difficult to read dedicated past diep surgery threads, as all  current questions have been answered at one time or another and those past threads do contain some really excellent answers. I could be wrong on that because I have not really rooted around all that much, yet the compression of all active treatment rolled into one, is not as easy as it was before  - imnsho.  LB,x

Can I second this question as I’d like advice too. When I had the mastectomy I wore Royce post surgical bras which were the mot comfortable I could find. I have no idea what size to buy for post DIEP.Also re knickers and clothes…I imagine it must be fairly similar to a C section on the abdomen but not going through muscle. I wonder how long it takes to be relatively comfortable? 

Help please…

Hi, I am now almost 7 months post DIEP surgery. I found i was most comfortable in a button front in a nightie for a good two weeks post surgery. I had a problem with a leaky seroma from the tummy scar after two weeks which took a couple of weeks to heal. I wore a sports bra (with bra extenders) for a good six weeks and ‘bridget jones’ knickers for the six weeks too. My tummy scar (all 17" of it) made my tummy feel very, very tight and is probably onlt now starting to loosen up properly. My recon boob has felt more like somebody attached a Belgian Bun to my chest for that past 7 months. It has only been in the past few weeks that it has really started loosening up. It feels so much better now but I must have been rather optimistic to think it would be back to normal sooner.
I was really concerned with the way my tummy scar was healing as it felt like a length of rope under the scar line. Apparently this is quite normal and I was told that massage is very important. Shame they didn’t mention that to me when i was discharged but it needs to wait until the scar has healed before you can start anyway. I have been seeing an osteopath for the past few months and she has been massaging the scar for me and It has made a tremendous difference. I was finding that i was still very uncomfortable in bed when i tried to turn over as i was having to pivot up on my elbow, sit up and then turn over which was very disrupting to my sleep. I was like this for almost 6 months but now it is improving really well.
I thought that when they said a 6 -8 week recovery period that I would be back to normal then…oh silly me! I didn’t work for 3 months and then went back part time and even then I had a nap when I got home from work. It is more like 6 months before I started feeling anything like normal again.
Still - if I had to make the choice again I would make exactly the same decision. X