Bra advice please?


Can anyone please give me any advice as to what kind of bra’s to get for my up and coming reconstruction at the end of April.
Ive had a mastectomy on my right breast and am going to have a preventative mastectomy on my left breast then bi-lateral recon using trams flap.

I want to start preparing myself by buying the things im going to need.
I know that I will need soft bras, no underwire & preferably front fastening…but not sure where to get them from or even what size to get???

Can anyone offer any advice please?

Hi Julie,

I was advised to get sports bras as they offer the best support and have a wide band underneath which was what my surgeon wanted. I bought my normal size, but the recon is usually bigger to begin with so a larger cup size might be better. I got mine from M&S, and they are cotton lined so quite comfy. There are lots available, Matalan, asda, BHS etc all do them cheaper so shop around.
Hope this helps


Thanks for your reply.

I find that I cannot really find sports bras in my size as I am a 38E cup, (especially in cheaper shops) so not sure about availability of a larger size?
Im hoping that im not as large as that when the recon has been done as I have asked to be smaller!
(im hoping that I dont have that much fat on my belly to make another 2 E cup boobies!!)

The sports bra that you bought, were they front fastening ones?

Ive asked my surgeon & breast care nurse about bra sizes but havent had a straight or even informative answer so im a bit stuck at the mo.


Hi, on recommendation of a friend I have a Triumph Triaction sports bra (from John Lewis). My M+S sports bras are OK too, but the Triumph one gives better support. They are not front fastening. Did they say why they recommended this?

Hi there
I had mastectomy and diep flap reconstruction 3 weeks ago. I was told by my BCN to get sports bras but they turned out to be too tight and affected my lymph node clearance. I have discovered post-surgery bras (you can google it there are loads). Just wish I knew they existed before I wasated my money on the sports bras!!! The ones I got were from Figleaves front fastening and really comfy with fully adjustable straps. They even tell you how to measure yourself and have a size calculator on their website. my recon is really swollen though and it would have been difficult to guess which size I would be before surgery. If it helps they did come only about 2 days after I ordered them.
Good luck with the surgery, hope this helps.

I was advised by my BCN to buy crop tops a slightly smaller size than normal. I bought mine from BHS, £7 for 2. I started wearing them 24hours, 2 days post op and they were very comfortable and did not interfere with drains. They are soft and stretchy and go over your head with no fastenings. In the early days I pulled them upwards from my feet, which does look funny!

I am now 9 weeks on and still wear them at night to give just that little bit of support. I have bought a normal non wired bra for the daytime but still cant wait to get into my croptops when I get home. I also wore vest tops with inbuilt support as I found these supportive on my back when I had seroma (LD recon). Sports bras can be quite expensive and when I tried one on in the shop I found it uncomfortable.

I think it is a case of finding what is comfortable for you.

Good luck for your op.
Jackie x

Thanks for you replies.

It appears that people have been advised to purchase different types of bras?

I was advised to get soft, front fastening bras as they will be easier to get on/fasten up after having bi-lateral breast & abdominal surgery. Plus its easier to unfasten them at the front if and when I need to be examined/looked at.

It would help if I knew what size to aim for?! Seems pointless buying them if they are gonna be too tight or even too big.

Im considering ringing my breast care nurse and asking her (AGAIN) her recommendations.

Thank you all for taking your time to reply to this post. X

Can I add that I have been advised that I will need to take some bras into hospital with me so I really need to get some prior to surgery rather than after.

That is another advantage of the crop tops. they are stretchy so you do not need an exact size. They come in 8-10, 10-12 etc rather than chest and cup measurement. I am having my recons done one at a time so will not have a clue what size i am going to be for some weeks after my second op and I am uneven at the moment.

Hi again,

The sports bras I bought are not front fastening, but I had no problem getting one of the nurses to do mine up.
It is best to check with your surgeon what he recommends as they are all different. Mine insisted on a well supporting bra such as a sports one day and night for 6-8 weeks. He actually fitted mine on me a couple of days after surgery.

Dear Julie

I was told to bring a couple of comfortable, worn, nonwired bras for after the op. These were just about okay for very short periods (breast care nurse got me into one couple of days after, I think), but really very tight particularly once the swelling and seroma (underarm, and on my back from LD recon) developed. After I got home, like Jackie, I wore crop tops day and night. Plastic surgeon, at first clinic appt afterwards, suggested getting a bra a cup size bigger than usual, but I went for a size bigger (ie 38dd rather than usual 36dd) and this was the best solution for me. I bought several from BHS and M&S.

Good luck and best wishes

hi julie
i bought 4 sports bras out of primark a size bigger than i usually wear and bra extenders out of la senza 3 for £6. i was really swollen after ld flap and i found these really comfy. im still wearing them 5 weeks post op and i can sleep in them.

good luck with op

Hi Julie, I had bilateral tram reconstruction 4 months ago and the surgeon told me I would probably end up a b cup, but I am larger! I took a selection of my original bras and a soft b cup (not worn much), and found that my size did change afterwards and I spent a fair amount of money afterwards trying different sizes and styles that were comfortable. I did not feel too comfortable for a few weeks because of the swelling and bruising. My partner bought a bag of ( my original) bras up to the hospital during my stay, as I found I was more comfortable with one on.
Different hospitals and surgeons do seem to have their own preferences and advice.
I found the support girdle/ corset needed different options too. Good luck!

support girdle/ corset? I havent been told to get any of those?! Oh now you have done it! more confused now!!! :o)

You have my sympathy. I was not given any information before going into hospital for my recon. It seems surgeons vary drastically in what they wish you to wear. I had to phone a friend to go out and buy mine.

Some hospitals ‘issue’ bras & corsets, some say wear sports bras and some leave it up to you. After reading various threads on here it would also appear the advice varies regarding other things, such as when to drive again, how much stretching & exercises to do and other things!!! I think it proves there is no ‘right’ way to do anything.

Good luck.

hi julie10270,

i am 10 weeks post op from dble mast tram diep flap, i asked to be smaller,was a 38c came out 40dd!!,they told me to buy bras the size i wanted to be but none fitted me! i only tried one on the day b4 i came hme but it didnt fit,the consultant said to but vest tops with secret support and they are sooo comfy,i got them in m and s.good luck to you hope all goes well for hoping they will make mine smaller going back to east grinstead on tue to ask!!!