Bra post reconstructive surgery

Hello ladies - I’m new to this site, having just had mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction of left breast following diagnosis of DCIS. I’m a small breasted person, but find myself with a size D (new breast) on one side and a size B on my ‘normal’ side. Does anyone know of a bra that is designed specifically to accommodate a-symmetrical boobs post surgery? I know that the swelling will go down, but wearing a size D bra is not ideal with my size B looking rather lost and unsupported! Thanks xx

Hi Meg ,welcome to the site .Cant help with your particular query myself but I’m sure some ladies will have some helpful advice .I’m sure there are bras with pockets that you can buy that can accommodate a partial prosthesis which you will be able to request on NHS .All the best Jill.

Hi MegzyD,

Firstly welcome to the forum. I joined a few months after my diagnosis since I felt I needed to help others in return for all the useful info I had gained from the forurm before I joined! In reality it was a bit of helping others and a bit of mutual support.


Having spent 3 years being lopsided…


1 - If you are temporarilly lopsided due to swelling but expecting things to even out M&S do some good seemless over the cup sports bras, which may pivot and stretch around you enough to accommodate both the bigger and smaller breasts. Depending upon the swelling angle your surgeon/onc may have advised a sports bra to help reduce swelling. I used this type of bra (it comes in a 2 pack for about £32 - unfortunately one white) after my op to try to reduce the bigger non bc side to nearer to the bc side and the breast care nurse and onc said they thought it had reduced the amount of swelling I would otherwise have had post op. I appreciate you are B/D but for any larger cupped women out there this bra does actually come in larger cup sizes (wow - what a rarity for the bc post surgery world!)


2 - If the size difference is likely to be longer term (ie not just as a result of post op swelling which can take a few months or even, according to my surgeon/onc, up to a year to subside) you may need a prosthesis (your breast care nurse should be able to assist and you should be able to get this free on the NHS), or alternatively you could try knitted knockers (I know, haha re name) but in all seriousness it may provide the size difference you need and all in soft knitted cotton, supplied with a bag of fluffy stuffing so you can adjust accordingly! Many shops provide post surgery bras with pockets built in, including JL, M&S, Nicola Jane etc. For other women above D cup M&S seems to have a slightly bigger range and I understand JL offer a pocket fitting service(?).

Post surgery bras or mastectomy bras are exempt from VAT (theoretically due to them being more complex to make with the concept of why should a woman with bc pay more because of the bc)


3 - If you can get away without a prosthesis but want the flexibility to add some stuffing later on (sorry, for want of other words and a Friday glass of gin), M&S post surgery total support non-wired bra is fairly accommodating of different sized breasts, and has a soft cotton pocket lining. It’s also available in larger cup sizes, which are in short supply in the post op bra world. To which I must add - come on bra manufacturing companies, sort it out, women with large cup sizes get breast cancer too, and yes (shock horror!) in one breast too! And yes, some of us are young and don’t want to wear white bras!


Anyway, I really hope the above assists you (and hopefully a few others). I spent over 2.5 years wonky, found I was one in a million or billion who is allergic to the prosthesis (having tried 3 I was told not to wear it in contact with any skin), eventually had a reduction on the non bc side and may need another. Unfortunately the only bras I can find which accommodate my degree of wonkyness and size are those mentioned above. Ok, groan and rant at bra companies over, for now anyway, I may start a lobby group!


All the best,


Do let me know how you get on. I’ve just passed my 3 years on mamo but have been referred for a bone scan due to rib pains…I think/hope purely due to muscular over exertion but there is that slight nagging “what if” in my mind…hence the gin and being on the forum at this time of night again!




Hi MagzyD,

thank you for posting this…im booked in for my mx with reconstruction at end of month and like yourself will be going from a B to a D.  planning to have my B side increased at later date and have been looking for firm support bras to accommodate .


Hope you are keeping well and healing quickly :slight_smile:


Hi, I’m 2 weeks post DIEP reconstruction, I’ve got reasonable size symmetry at the moment but the new boob is much fuller and wider so doesn’t fit in any of my extensive range of bras! I have discovered that M&S offer a fitting service for their post surgery bra range (3 years post diagnosis and mastectomy and I’ve only just found this). I’ve booked an appointment (via website) for Saturday so will report back on my experience.

Good morning ladies.   Hope you are all well    Yes had my mx and diep recon on 30th august :).   Home after 5 days. Recovering and healing well, although have slight leakage from abdo wound, nurse happy with it  … MegzyD… like yourself I’m planned to have radiotherapy.   Not had my results yet :frowning:  hope will be back by next week when at Breast clinic. 

Riversidedawn.  Think I have gone from B to C+ but obviously still swollen.    Bra wise…I bought   Couple from Matalan Nd one from eBay…the eBay one fits better with fuller cup gives better support.   


Take care…heal well…love and hugs xxxxx

Hi maggymoon, I was 8 nights in hospital waiting for drain to reduce enough to remove it, you did well with 5. I met one lady who came out after 3 days. At that point I was in far too much pain and bloated beyond belief! Guess we’re all different.

That’s bad luck to have a leaky wound, hope it heals quickly. It’s my belly button that I am very squeamish and anxious about. It looks really nasty. Had to call the community nurse out on Saturday to check it and redress it, then I cleaned it yesterday. Dressings clinic tomorrow.

How long did it take for your’s to heal Megzy? And did you have to have stitches removed or were they dissolvable? Have you got a date for rads yet?

It’s not ideal having rads after reconstruction but needs must. I had mastectomy with immediate implant 3 years ago followed by chemo and rads. My wound was very slow to heal and broke down during chemo so had to have the implant removed. I then had an expander implant inserted between chemo and rads. This was replaced 6 months or so after rads had finished - march 2016.

The rads made the skin tighten a bit and shrunk the boob. From what I’ve heard from others it’s worse for implant than DIEP, so fingers crossed you’ll both escape without too much damage.

Good to have found you going through this together.

Take care, keep up those exercises! I’m desperate to walk my dogs on my own but one of them tugs too much for my poor tummy and arm to cope with.

Thanks Megzy. Taking photos is a really good idea. A friend of mine suggested it before my mastectomy but I thought it was a silly idea! I really wish I had done it now. I was blissfully unaware of my cancer - an 8cm tumour plus a 2cm one and 26 affected lymph nodes!!! I would love to have a photo to look back at to see how I could have missed it. I do have a photo of my implant boob complete with 3D nipple the day before the DIEP, and I took photos in hospital of the wounds and belly button. It’s reassuring to see the progress I’ve made.

Dressing clinic today, they were happy with boob and belly, tummy button is very scabby. Nurse removed the stitches (non dissolvable) when disturbed some of the scab so started bleeding. I’ve got to be brave and leave the dressing off tomorrow.

Enjoy your holiday, that’s a good idea, you should be feeling relaxed and strong and ready to sail through rads. The worst part is travelling to and from the hospital everyday. I also had to learn to snorkel for mine - I had to wear a noseclip and breath through a snorkel like device whilst watching a monitor which showed me when to hold my breath as the zapping took place. All very scientific to help protect the heart as mine was left side.

My husband booked a holiday for 3 days after rads finished and another one 2 weeks later. I was petrified about having a bad reaction to the rads and took a huge first aid kit with antibiotics, dressings, wipes, swans, cleaning fluid, burn cream etc etc which I fortunately didn’t need at all. The only good thing was oncologist told me no swimming for a couple of weeks which kept me out of the freezing Cornish sea with my kids!!

Make sure you recover full movement in your arm as you need to lie with your arms above your head for the rads. And ask your hospital for a parking permit or refund for parking which most hospitals do when you’re there everyday.

Hope all’s well Maggymoon.

Sleep tight all x

Well ladies I am the proud owner of two gorgeously pretty non-wired M&S bras, plus a not so pretty, but unbelievably comfy post surgery one (and some matching support knickers!)

Spent a small fortune but very impressed with the fitting service. We’ve a new shop which has only been open a few months, the dressing rooms are lovely, very discreet.

After taking my measurements we had a good look round to see what I fancied and what the fitter thought would be good. She suggested 36 or 38 C/D. Now I know I’ve put on weight, but I’ve also had a breast reduction, since having kids I have always worn 34B (pre kids was C)! We plumped for a variety of 36 Bs and Cs and low and behold, she was right with all her choices and mine were wrong! The beauty was I’d try one on then whilst I put the next one on she’d pop and get a different size or style so I didn’t have to keep getting dressed then queue for the changing room.

Definitely recommend it. X

Oh and the post surgery Ines had pockets so if you’re lopsided you can add padding or prothesis.

Oh and the post surgery ones have pockets so if you’re lopsided you can add padding or prothesis.

Morning Ladies. Hope you are well. Abdo wound leaking slightly, have antibiotics and dressing Received results yesterday…all gooooood ??Just rads, tamoxifen and tablet for bones to look forward to. Awaiting appointment to see oncologist for start date.
Any advice on looking after new breast during and after rads please? Take care. Sending ??

Good news maggymoon!

You’ll get lots of information at your rads planning meeting, plus some tattoos so that they can line you up correctly each time.

You’ll be told to use deodorant with no aluminium (yes, strange, I didn’t know they contain this!) I used Pitrock from Boots.

My radiologist gave me E45 moisturiser to use on the affected area. You mustn’t use anything perfumed.

Hope the leaking stops very soon.


Hi maggymoon

Not sure who your latest post was aimed at?! I had rads back in July 2015 x 15 sessions.