Underwired bras - any advice please?

I had WLE and 5 nodes removed and am 3 weeks post op. I was told to wear a bra day and night for 3 weeks - done that, but I’m going to a party on Saturday and was wondering if I can wear an underwired bra just for the evening? I already have one and am a bit reluctant to buy a new not wired bra yet given my current state of lopsidedness.I’m feeling quite anxious about being looked at but want to look my best and I don’t think my usual sport bra is going to allow me to wear any thing ‘party ish’!!!
Anyone had advice given about this?

Hi lynnietom,

I had almost the same dilema but was going to the party was 2 weeks after WLE. I took the wire out of the WLE side of my nice bra but only made a small cut so i can sew it back in and used a spare dressing to fill the cup.
Hope this works for you I was quite lucky as my lump was taken from just underneath the nipple towards the breastbone. I am about a cup and a quarter size smaller on my lump side so am now a 36D and 36Bish but I think we are more aware of it than other people. Just remember to be careful you will get hugged a lot if its the first time people have seen you.

Good Luck. Love Shonagh xx

Hi lynnietom,

I agree with Shonagh above. I haven’t tried it yet, but my bc nurse said that if I wanted to wear an underwired bra for a special occasion, to take the wire out of the side I was operated on. I have a reconstruction so a bit different, that side is slightly larger.

Good luck and enjoy the party

Hi everyone,

Just giggling at Shonagh’s comments about all the hugs - it is definitely a bit of a hazard!!


That’s great - thanks girls. I’ll have a look and see if I can do the same.

I think you’re right, Shonagh - we are probably more aware of it. I feel people are staring at my left boob to see if they can see what I’ve had done!! I’m hoping these feelings will fade over time.

It’s just that when I wanted to wear something a bit less casual the other day I tried 5 different tops on and couldn’t wear any as I felt they accentuated my uneveness! Don’t suppose anyone would have noticed but I did.


Hi Lynnietom and all,

I know what you mean about wearing casual clothes all the time, I actually went out the other day to buy somthing that looked less pyjamas like. I am now in my BC uniform of yoga pants, m&s vests (loadsof different colours) and various cashmere cardigans. Quite stylish but getting into real clothes again is going to be hard.

Cryst I know it was awful i kept having to hug to the left boob, really wierd it was almost like going to kiss someone on the lips and them going for the cheek. Still a bit nervous now and as I started rads today feel really odd.
Good luck. Shonagh xx

Hi Shonagh
How was radiotherapy? Did you have this aqueous cream people talk about? I’m getting tattooed tomorrow and will know then when my treatment starts. Was ot ok?
If anyone had told me at 51 I would have had a breast lift and tattoos I would have wet myself laughing!! Good job we don’t know what’s on the horizon, eh?
I’ll approach people right shoulder forward then on Saturday!
A pretty vest and cosy cardy sounds wonderful for this chilly wind.
You sound a similar size to me 36D for one and 36B for the other, (depending as its still fluidy at the moment). What do you do for bra sizing? Can’t get a quart in to a pint pot so to speak so - buy 36D and pad the other side?


Hi lynnietom,

Rads was fine, a bit of an anticlimax really didnt feel a thing and not glowing yet !!! LOL. Had my tatoos and planning done on Tuesday and started my rads today. I am being treated at Christies. I had been following the “any advice for newbies” and have been using the aqueous cream for about two weeks as the skin on my boob was a bit flakey and I am dry skinned at the best of times.
The radio was playing “The heat is on” from Beverley Hills Cop so had a bit of a chuckle over that. They are shutting down at 2pm tomorrow for an upgrade so they have booked me in for 8.45am which means I will have to leave at 7.30am tomorrow to get through the rush hour into Manchster which is a bit of a bummer.
Re the bra situation I was wearing cheap tescos sports bras and filling up the excess with spare dressings but I am now using some bra tops from Debenhams that come in 12/14 or 16/18 packs of two (one black, one white) with adjustable straps combined with an M&S secret support vest to stop the jiggling and any possible friction…if you know what I mean!!! they are made from micro fibre so am hoping I can wear them through the rads.
I am a bit itchy around the nipple but thats where my scar is too so I have just put on the cream and fingers crossed.
My BC nurse said it would be a while after the rads had settled down but I think I will be having my left side made smaller to match to duff one some time later but I have a cyst in that side which is why I went to the clinic in the first place so not sure if they will take that out at the same time.

Good luck for tomorrow. Just lots of lying on your back being felt tipped. Love Shonagh xxx

Hi everyone

I’ve been wearing underwired bras since my initial diagnosis in 1995 with no problems whatsoever.

Hope this helps.


I had a mastectomy and apart from the immediate post surgery period, I too have worn underwired bras.

If you are worried about uneveness, I would suggest you buy bras with preformed cups, they will cover up any discrepancy in size.


Thanks for your replies.
I’m 3 weeks post op (WLE) and was worried about underwired bras - think I’d read something. I’ve taken the wire out of one side and it looks ok in my party outfit ;o)

justme - when you say ‘preformed’ do you mean the padded sort or are they called ‘preformed’?
Honestly, we’ll be sooooooooooo knowledgeable about alsorts of things by the time we’ve done!


I am 14 months post op (WLE) and most days , every day I still wear non wired bras, which I never did before.
I got these from BHS and they are fantastic. If we are going for a night out usually at weekends I put an underwired (nicer) bra on but can’t wait to take it off as it feels uncomfortable. Consultant thinks this is normal.
Take care

Shorty xx

Hi Lynnietom

Just a quick one to say hope you have found an outfit you are happy with but more imporrtantly have a great time and watch out for well meaning hugs.
Enjoy. Love Shonagh xx

Hey Custard
I did find an outfit, thanks. I got a cerise cami and a floppy shirt from Per Una in M&S which I felt quite happy (ish) in. I took the wire out from the left side and it felt quite comfy. My boob has been really tender and highly sensitive all over for a few days now. Did you get that? It seems to be giving me more hassle now than when I first had the op.

On the hug front, I watched for people coming to say hello and stuck my right side forward so that worked well!

Take care and have a good Sunday.


Hi Lynnietom,

Well done you and great that you had a lovely time. Yes I found it more uncomfortable at about 10 days after. At first the breast didnt bother me at all and any discomfort was due to the SNB but as that became more comfortable I think I was moving around more and found the movement of the breast itself unfomfortable and took to wearing a sports bra and support vest all the time to stop any jiggling. I found once I could sleep on my side again the weight of the the breast was a bit uncomfortable too so slept with a pillow underneath to stop gravity if you know what I mean. I as finewith this until Friday when I started the rads and have been told not to wear abra if at all possible to avoid irritation and rubbing. I presume its to do with the rads but my scar is on the edge of the nipple and I have woken up with a very hard nipple and the scar for the SNB and WLE have both kind of sunk inon themselves. Ah joy!!!

Glad the hug warning worked for you. I am a left breast forward girl now as the lump was on the right. The per una shirt sound lovely some of their stuff is lovely and I love the fact that they change the stock all the time.

Enjoy your Sunday too, Love Shonagh xx

Hi Shonagh,
How you doin? That sounds just like my experience! I found sleeping with a pillow underneath very good and it also kept my arm off my boob too.
When I was in M&S looking for a cami I noticed some garments called ‘skin kind’ (I think). They have vests, camis and T-shirts made from fab soft fabric and I think they are endorsed by the Skin Foundation. I wondered about them for when I start rads. I’ll have to have some support, as you say, to stop the jiggling ;o) I put a crop top on once but it tended to squash everything and I worried I was distorting my shape. Honestly! The things we girls worry about.
Wonder if we should design a 2 part bra. Then we could have different cup sizes for each side!
You on early shift for rads tomorrow? How many sessions have you got?
Take care,
Lynne x

Hi Lynne,

No I’ve got 11.30ish appointments all week next week and about 2.30 the following week and so on which is a good job as I actually fell asleep in the waiting room. I found my gown made a lovely pillow. Bless them they have given me appointments around the OH shift pattern. He is insisting on coming with me to every appointment although I must admit the parking is so bad it will be handy if we cant get a space at least he can circle the block until I am zapped. I am 2 down 17 to go so not long now just 3 and a bit weeks. I start my zoladex tomorrow too. I started tamoxifen 4 weeks ago and so far so side effects but I gather the zoladex is
!!!menopause here I come!! The oncologist mentioned having my overies removed so I dont have to have the injections and go through the menopause twice (I’m 39) so am thinking seriously about it. One less thing to worry about.

The Debenhams tops I found have adjustable straps and stitching to give a bit more shape but even those the rads lady said try to go bra less as much as possible as us fuller cupped girls can get irritation from underneath (I think it may be that old gravity thing just pulling us south…LOL!!) There are loads of bras out there with either left or right pockets to fill with a fillett but I object to buying one yet as my BC nurse said the rads may well shrink and lift by breast further and they wont mould me for a sliver?? (I think thats what she called it) until then so I am on the Debenhams crops and support vest until rads are done. If the treated one gets much smaller I think it will be easier to get the ok one reduced at this rate I will be back to my 18 year old bust size. Who says you cant turn back the clock!!!

To be honest the way I feel at the minute (it could change and frequently does) I dont mind that I am lobsided. I look down and think thats not too bad. May change my mind come summer when the layers peel off not that I’m in the habit of stripping off.

When do you start your rads? and how many. Love Shonagh xx

Hi Lynnitom,

Sorry for late reply, have only just come back to this thread!

I’m not sure whether or not I mean padded or pre-formed…! Aren’t they the same thing, lol? I have had a mastectomy so wear a prosthesis and the padded/pre-formed type of bra means I can wear skinny rib jumpers etc, and no-one would know I have a breast missing. I am a 32DD.


Yo Shonagh!
Hope rads went ok. I don’t start till 17 March and am down for 16 sessions (zupped up stuff, apparently).
Are you expecting your ‘done’ boob to change shape with rads? I was hoping having chosen WLE over lumpectomy that would happen. I suppose we just have to wait and see.

Thanks for taking time to reply, justme. We’ll be experts on underwear for all occasions!!

Hope you’ve all had an ok day.


Just a line… Has anyone tried ‘Emu Oil’ whilst having rads? I didn’t, only heard about it afterwards, but read a lot of good things about it’s affect during treatment. I’m using it to try and improve the texture of the skin on my breast from which the tumour was removed, hoping to have Liposculpture. Anyhoo… Just wanted to put that into the pot really…

Good luck with the treatments!

Warm hugs!