Wearing a softee and bra is irritating!


I had a single mastectomy and SNB 3 weeks ago. I have been wearing either a full cup, non-wired bra or a post-surgery bra (M&S) with a softee since the drain was removed. The problem is the bra/softee irritates the wound area. The only way I can describe it is that it’s like when you get sunburnt and clothes touch that area. Painkillers don’t make much difference and I find myself constantly adjusting my bra/softee for comfort. 

I don’t have full/normal sensation in the wound area and there isn’t any swelling there any more. I bought some bra extenders to ensure the bras weren’t too tight, but I dont know whether it would be better to have them tighter to stop the friction.

Does anyone have any tips or advice on how I can stop this irritation? It’s driving me crazy! I am doing gentle massage and trying to re-sensitize the area by gently rubbing with different fabrics.

Thanks x


I found this a nightmare, especially as I reacted as I always do to adhesive and had an appalling rash from chest to waist from the dressing! The best solution I found was a sports bra from Under Armour that had a very wide band under the breast. It anchored everything. I found some on Amazon, very cheap and too small, so I used my QuikUnpik to slice into the band at strategic points, enabling me to feel very well supported but still able to breathe. I preferred tight to loose at that stage.

I’ve never come to grips with prostheses and mastectomy bras, though I own a load of them. My solitary boob rose from a 34B to a 36DD so I needed a new prosthesis but the weight of that natural breast just pulls the bra sideways so I end up with a prosthesis pointing forward. Not a pretty sight, me constantly yanking at what I call my fortress bras. The solution came with Lockdown. Braless. I’ve embraced monoboobery, scrapped the fortress bras and if anyone is offended, tough (or as we said in the playground, tough tit!) 

I don’t know if the service is still running but knitted knockers are more comfortable than softies. They were free from www.knittedknockersuk.com (just checked, they still are). They are soft, comfortable, made to specified size in any colour you request. You can even request a nipple. There’s also a swimming version that I couldn’t do without! Swim with a prosthesis and it just weighs you downwards because it’s not attached to you, so you fear you’re going to lose it!

You’re doing the right things - all those exercises plus gentle massage of the scar site to stretch that breast muscle. Best of luck - you’ll find the solution for you by trial and error.

Jan x

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I had a therapeutic mammoplasty rather than a mastectomy, I have an appreciable size difference.  Post op I had a seroma and infection, and was going back for dressings for a few weeks.

I gave up trying to wear a bra, it was just too uncomfortable and even with a really soft one the band rubbed. It felt like it took forever to heal enough to be able to wear a bra again, but actually was only a few weeks

I bought a nice baggy shirt and a couple of scarfs which I used to hide the lopsidedness when I went out. I’m now adding to the collection as although I can wear a soft bra comfortably now I can’t seem to find the right shaped softie to stop the lopsided look. 

I have tried all sorts since my mastectomy.

I have matalan t shirt bras, taking the wires out ,there in packs of two 

they have slight padding that helps,I have attached Velcro to my softy and my bras cups ,softy stays put .

I was always taking my bra off ,I find these comfy .


Hi, I tried a few things and ended up with m and s flexifit crop top. There is a little hole where you squeeze the prosthesis in so doesn’t go walkabout. Your skin is next to the bra material so softer.

These work for me because under my mastectomy arm is a bit flabby and cup size bras right for breasts but too tight under my arm meaning the flab spilled over the top of bra side and dug in-painful after a few hours. I got the flexifit crop (not the bra) in bigger size and because it has wide side panel, it supports me rather than digs in. May be worth a try to see if works for you.

if I’m at home I’ll just go without. If I could have had double mastectomy would have taken it. Mastectomy not the problem, the lopsidedness is.

good luck


I had a bi lateral mastectomy in the end .

I had to speak with someone to see if I was of sound mind .

I couldn’t cope with having one breast ,I joked I was two different people but hated it ,as you say bras were a nightmare.
plus once it was gone it was one thing less to worry about .

im happy and quite comfortable with my matalan t shirt bras slightly padded and the softie with Velcro

i do by off the shelf tankini and shove a small silicone Bob in the side hole just to stop the tankini riding up ,change into a dry one after being in the pool .

glad you found a comfortable solution.

Hi there, 

I thought I was the only one having the same issues. Reading your chat made me realise it isn’t just me being over sensitive. Like you I had a single mastectomy ( no reconstruction as due to other surgeries they wouldn’t do it) I got fitted at M&S for one of their post surgery bras. At the time it felt super soft and comfy but then mine irritated so much it even caused the top layer of skin to rub off. That in turn seemed to cause seroma fluid to build up really badly so I had that aspirated.  My hospital didn’t put a drain in. I’ve since had more fluid build which despite pain relief it’s being relieved much and been back to the hospital. All that was suggested was not to wear a bra for a few days until it all settles down. They don’t want to aspirate again incase of infection. Like you I’m three weeks on from surgery, have tried different bras with out much success principally due to the stitches around under the arm to the back. I couldn’t believe how long the scar was !! But a friend suggested slipping in soft cushion wadding wrapped in a piece of old cotton t shirt which has proved a softer option. Later on when healed up apparently Boost do some good inserts. For the moment I’m just wearing cami vest tops and not bothering about only the one breast and wearing comfy baggy tops or dresses over the top. Fortunately my partner and family have said it doesn’t really notice. They’re just happy I’m still here ? I think once I’ve healed enough to wear a bra comfortably again I will definitely use the post surgery but also try with the Boost cup prostheses in my pre surgery bras as apparently they are supposed to look good, just maybe not in the plunge bra! Hope you get comfy again soon…and hoping I do too…I think these early weeks/months are the worst but been assured it does get better x

Hi Jan. So I am on the road to recovery following a single mastectomy. Your comments " fortress bra" and “monoboobery” brought a big smile to my face & I thank you for that! Ive been wrestling with various bras since my operation & its so good to know its not just me. I will be exploring " knitted knockers" very soon. Thank you again Jan & hope you are continuing to do well! X