If you’ve had breast surgery then you will have to consider the type of bra you need to wear. There is a wide range specialist bras available to choose from; these cater for full or partial mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Most of the bras you will find contain pockets or cup linings to support and position one or two breast prostheses. (A prosthesis is an artificial body part – in this case a breast implant.)It is important to get a good fit as the weight of the prosthesis can pull the bra spoiling the shape of the bra and the overall look.
Most bra shops have expert bra fitters. Specialist assistance will be helpful when thinking about, and deciding which bra will best suit your shape, size and lifestyle. Buying one bra then testing the fit of this can often be useful just in case you find it uncomfortable or unsuitable. An experienced fitter has usually had specialist training and will have helped women who have had a mastectomy. It may be worth phoning the shop to ask prior to visiting.
Alternatively, bras can be purchased from online websites or mail order catalogues, allowing you to try them on in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Mastectomy bras are available in the same format as standard bras in that you can choose non-wired and underwired, sports bras and T-shirt bras.
As a general guide, a good fitting bra should be comfortable on the loosest set of hooks. This allows for you to move the hooks up if it gets baggier with washing and wear.
Mastectomy bras are exempt from VAT if bought by someone who has just had breast surgery. If ordering from a mail order catalogue there is usually a box you can tick to select this option. If buying from a store, procedures can differ between stores so it is worth checking first.
Sources used in writing this article are available on request
Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. Our evidence-based articles are certified by the Information Standard and our sources are available on request. The content is not, though, written by medical professionals and should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands, or treatments.
Information written by the talkhealth team
Last revised: 10 December 2014
Next review: 10 December 2017