Type of bra to wear after WLE?

Hi Julie,

I had WLE for invasive lobular about 19 months ago. Prior to this I always wore underwired, pretty etc bras. For after my op I bought some non wired ones from BHS. They were not particularly attractive but very comfy - in fact so comfy I’ve not long since got back into my wired nice bras. They didn’t have a lot of padding but enough to give me decent support and I still wear them for the gym!
I bought them in my normal size and was lucky as my WLE hasn’t made a lot of difference to my size. I think I wore them for so long as the wire in wired ones hurt at the side of my breast just under the arm I think according to consultant where I had SNB and this can be tender for several years.

Hope you find something suitable and that all goes well with your operation.
Take care
Shorty xx

I had WLE for ductal tumour in Jan and I recall being told sports bra or non-wired. I had a soft bra that I had picked up in Asda for about £3 so just took that. I am very small chested and my lump was at the side of my boob so most of the swelling was outside the area covered with the bra anyways … a lot of ladies have commented on the secret support vests from M&S … this might be an option as they are less restricting.

good luck with your surgery, hope you are soon on the mend.

Hi Jools

I bought a couple of bras from M&s they do a range for post op. If you cannot get there a company called Royce do them on the internet. Alternatively you can get very cheap ones from Tesco (£5.00) - I used these after rads because I needed to go up a back size for a while.

I had my WLE 2/3/07 - sorry to say my scar catches where the wire is on underwired bras so it has been goodbye to them forever. It is pretty difficult to find really interesting nonwire bras if you are over a C cup but I have discover a pretty lavendar made by Evans.

Good luck with your op - it isn’t that bad. do start doing physio if you are given exercises ASAP it really helps.

Love Jacqui

Hi Jools,

Good luck with everything. I had WLE and axillary node clearance on 5 July, but also had reduction on other side too. As a result I have a scar running under both my boobs, so I may have had different advice from you, but I was told to wear a sports bra 24hrs/day for several weeks, and no underwiring for about 6 months! I found swelling is mostly around bottom of breast, but almost underarm, so cup size not that affected - more the back size ie 34 to 36. I bought some bra extenders which gave me the flexibility to wear some of my existing sports bras (in a range of sizes!); this may save you buying several new bras (to keep rotating in the 24hr wear!!) especially when your size may change.

Like you, I always wore pretty underwired bras and was quite concerned about it all, but actually now that I’m smaller it’s not that big a deal. Sports bras aren’t always very flattering, but I have several different styles so its learning which looks best under which top. If you want to be more feminine, you could always stitch on some trim or something? I must admit I’m looking forward to some new - more feminine but non-underwired - bra shopping in the next week or so!!

All the best,

PS I’ve heard some folk still use underwired bras, but remove the wire on the operated side - don’t know how well it would work tho?

Hello Jools

Don’t worry about the radiotherapy tattoos. They are almost too small to see – just the size of blackheads – only blue.

I was given conflicting advice about bras following my WLE. The surgeon and breast care nurse told me not to wear underwired bras – ‘because they irritate the breast’ but the lymphoedema specialist – and I have lymphoedema in my affected breast – said that it is OK to wear underwired as long as they don’t hurt you. What is important is to wear some support day and night for several months following surgery.

These days – 18 months after surgery – I wear blissfully comfortable non-wired M & S bras most of the time and balcony type underwired for ‘best’ as long as they are comfortable.
Best wishes
Anthi x

I got a cheap one for my lumpectomy in Marks about £6.00. It wasnt a post op bra, but it was a cheap bra without a wire. I did me fine and I wore it for a few weeks. I didnt want to spend much because I knew I would not be wearing it again!

Jules xxx

Hi Julie,

Shorty here again - yes for a couple of weeks I too wore a bra for bed and non wired are quite hard to find.Like Anthi says the tattoos are hard to see - one on each side covered by bra / swimwear and one in middle of cleavage which can occasionally be seen but my girls (age 12 and 16) say it looks like one dot of a blue biro pen!
Pleased to hear you went to hosp today in nice bra and top - if anything 19 / 20 months down the line I wear lower tops and still manage bikinis etc (while I can - think every one expected me to cover up!) . Am sure you’ll be the same.
Thankyou, I am on the road to recovery physically but not always mentally / emotionally as you often think about what has happened although that improves with time. I had op and SNB (no nodes ) so radio (no chemo), and 5 years tamoxifen and it will be 2 years post diagnosis this xmas.

Once again take care and let us know how it goes.

Shorty xx

I’ve had 4 WLE, going in on Aug 29th for my 5th op, and up to the last was comfy enough with my usual underwired M&S.
However, the wire started to irritate and so I went to Nicola Jane shop in London for a proper fitting by ladies who specialise in breast surgery, not just the lingerie dept in M&S / John Lewis or wherever. My fitter, Lisa, was fantastic, very caring and professional. Check out their website for mail order and addresses of other shops.
I was there for about an hour, trying on lots of bras and camisole tops etc. and came away with exactly what i need and am extremely comfortable now.

Good luck.