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Why did my surgeon tell me not to wear a bra after breast augmentation?

It’s common for surgeons to recommend not wearing a bra for a period of time after breast augmentation surgery. There are a few reasons why your surgeon likely gave you this advice:

Allow incisions to heal

Breast augmentation is performed by making incisions, either under the breast, around the areola, or in the armpit. After surgery, these incisions are closed with stitches, tape, or surgical glue and need time to fully heal. Wearing a bra too soon can irritate or rub on the incisions, causing pain or even opening the wounds.

Going braless allows the incisions to heal without any friction or pressure on them. Your surgeon wants about 4-6 weeks of healing time before you resume wearing a bra.

Reduce swelling

It’s completely normal to have significant swelling after breast augmentation. Your breasts will be swollen and tender for the first few weeks. Wearing a bra can put extra pressure on the breasts and restrict drainage of fluid and swelling.

Allowing your breasts to remain free of a bra enables swelling to resolve faster. Swelling will gradually subside over the first several weeks after surgery. Your surgeon wants to allow your breasts adequate time to de-swell before you start wearing a bra again.

Improve circulation

Good blood flow and circulation is crucial for proper healing after any surgery. When you wear a bra, especially one that’s too tight, it can impede healthy circulation around the breasts.

Going braless encourages blood flow to the chest area. This provides oxygen and nutrients that are vital for healing. Improved circulation also helps prevent fluid buildup and allows swelling to dissipate.

Avoid irritation

Your skin will be extra sensitive after breast augmentation surgery. A bra that rubs or digs into the skin can cause discomfort. The underwire and clasps of a bra may also irritate the incisions while they are still fresh.

Certain fabrics like lace or silk can be rough on sensitive post-op skin. Leaving your breasts free of a bra prevents any unnecessary irritation during recovery.

Promote proper placement

Your surgeon wants your implants to settle into the ideal position. In the first weeks after surgery, the implants may sit high on the chest as the skin and tissues stretch to accommodate them.

Not wearing a bra enables the implants to descend into a natural, anatomical placement. A bra could force the implants into an unnatural shape or position. Going braless allows your breasts to take shape gradually.

How long should I go without wearing a bra?

Your surgeon will instruct you to avoid bras for 4-6 weeks after breast augmentation surgery. This timeframe allows for adequate healing of the incisions, swelling reduction, and proper implant positioning.

However, the exact timeframe can vary:

Type of incision

If you had a breast lift with augmentations, the lollipop or anchor incisions take longer to heal than an IMF incision. Your surgeon may recommend going braless for 6 full weeks.

Extent of swelling

Some swelling and bruising is normal after any breast surgery. If you experience excessive swelling, fluid buildup, or hematoma, you may need to avoid bras for longer than 6 weeks. The swelling needs to fully resolve before compression or constriction from a bra.

Initial implant placement

If your implants were initially placed too high or wide, it may take longer than 4-6 weeks for them to settle. Your surgeon will monitor their positioning and tell you when it’s safe to wear a bra.

Your personal healing

Everyone heals a little differently. Some patients may be able to resume wearing a bra sooner, while others need more time. Your surgeon knows your case best and will give you clearance based on your unique healing process.

Follow your surgeon’s instructions on when to start wearing a bra again. Don’t attempt to wear one before the 4-6 week mark without your surgeon’s approval.

What type of bra should I wear after 6 weeks?

Your first bra after breast augmentation surgery should be:

  • Soft, lightweight, and breathable
  • Free of underwire, seams, or restrictive fabric
  • Gently supportive without strong compression
  • Easy to clasp in front for comfort
  • Non-irritating to your healing skin

Recommended options:

Sports bra

A sports bra made of a stretchy, seamless fabric is ideal for post-op. Look for one that’s wireless with wide straps for comfort. The gentle compression will provide light support without constricting.


Bralettes are unlined wireless bras made of soft modal or cotton that feel almost like wearing nothing. A bralette with adjustable straps and a loose fit allows room for any residual swelling.

Camisole with shelf bra

Built-in bras in camisoles give light support without underwire. A camisole bra won’t put direct pressure on your breasts. Look for adjustable straps and a loose silhouette.

Training bra

For those who want very minimal support, a training bra is ultra-soft and comfortable. Training bras are lightly lined without any hardware that could irritate your skin.

Front closure bra

A front closure bra prevents the need to raise your arms overhead to clasp it behind your back. The front clasp makes it easy to put on post-surgery without stretching the chest muscles.

Maternity bra

The soft fabric and extra roomy cups of a maternity bra prevents compression on your tender breasts. Opt for a sleeping maternity bra for maximum comfort.

When can I start wearing underwire bras again?

Your surgeon will assess your healing at your postoperative appointments and let you know when you can transition to wearing underwire bras. This is typically around 8 weeks after surgery but varies by the individual.

Wearing underwire too soon risks:

  • Irritation around the incision sites
  • Discomfort from pressure on swelling
  • Misshaping the implants or breasts
  • Worsened scarring

Make sure your surgeon confirms your breasts have completely healed before wearing underwire bras. Even after you get the green light, ease into it slowly. Wear the underwire bra for only a few hours at first. Make sure it’s professionally fitted to avoid excess pressure.

What bras should I avoid after breast augmentation?

Steer clear of the following bras during your recovery:

Push-up bras

Push-up bras put extra upward pressure on your breast implants that can force them too high or cause them to migrate. Avoid wearing anything that presses your breasts together like a push-up bra.

Bras that are too small

Your bra size is likely to change after a breast augmentation as your breasts settle into their new shape and volume. Don’t try to fit into your older bras that are now too small. Wearing a bra that’s too tight will be uncomfortable and inhibit healing.

Underwire bras

As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to hold off on underwire bras until your surgeon says it’s okay, usually 8 weeks post-op. The wire and constriction can irritate your healing incisions.

Heavy, rigid bras

Steer clear of bras that have a lot of structure, hardware, padding, or rigid fabrics. Opt for supersoft lightweight bralettes at first. Your healing breasts need gentle support, not constraint.

Bras that close in back

Avoid any bras that clasp behind your back in the early weeks post-surgery, as this requires uncomfortable stretching of the arms and muscles. Seek out bras that close in the front.

Adhesive bras

Never wear adhesive bras that stick directly to your skin during recovery. The adhesive could rip off healing scabs when you remove them. Adhesive pull directly on the skin can also displace the implants.

Sleep bras

Although they seem harmless, many sleep bras still have some compression that could inhibit circulation. Stick to extremely soft bralettes with no restrictive elastic when sleeping.

Sports bras for exercise

During your recovery, you’ll need to avoid any strenuous exercise that requires a supportive sports bra. No high-impact cardio, weightlifting, etc. Ask your surgeon when you can resume more intense workouts.

Are there any symptoms I should watch out for?

Most patients feel some discomfort and experience common symptoms like swelling, bruising, and tightness after breast augmentation surgery. However, call your surgeon right away if you notice:

  • Signs of an infection like fever, increasing pain, pus, or redness/heat around the incision site
  • Implants feeling hard, misshapen, or extremely painful
  • Sudden onset of extreme swelling or fluid buildup
  • Expanded rippling, folding, or popping sensations in the implant
  • Severe asymmetric swelling between breasts
  • Incisions appear to be opening or blood/fluid leaking
  • Pain, tingling, numbness that radiates down your arm

Your surgeon wants to monitor your progress closely after surgery. Follow all their instructions carefully during recovery. Keep all your scheduled follow-up visits, during which your surgeon will assess your healing and let you know when you can start wearing bras again.

When can I sleep on my stomach after breast augmentation?

Sleeping on your stomach isn’t recommended for at least 6-8 weeks after breast augmentation surgery. Sleeping prone puts direct pressure on the breasts, which can:

  • Compromise implant placement
  • Cause implant displacement or distortion
  • Increase discomfort and swelling
  • Alter the shape of the breasts
  • Worsen scarring

Your surgeon will monitor your progress at follow-ups and advise you when it’s safe to resume sleeping on your stomach. This largely depends on the degree of healing, how well the implants have integrated, and overall comfort levels.

Sleep on your back using pillows for support until your surgeon says you can sleep in other positions. When you do start sleeping on your stomach again, invest in a soft down pillow that won’t put excessive pressure on your breasts.

Tips for maximizing your recovery

Follow these tips for smooth healing after your breast augmentation:

  • Take at least 1-2 weeks off work to rest
  • Avoid lifting your arms over your head
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 5 lbs
  • Walk daily to promote circulation
  • Sleep propped up on your back
  • Follow your pain medication schedule
  • Wear loose, front-closure shirts
  • Gently clean incisions daily
  • Attend all follow-ups as directed
  • Wear sunscreen if incisions are exposed


Going braless after breast augmentation surgery is essential for healing. Allowing your breasts to remain free of bras or constriction for 4-6 weeks enables proper recovery.

Your implants need time to descend into position and your tissues require adequate circulation to repair. Any bra can put unwanted pressure on swelling or irritate incisions.

Listen to your body and ease into wearing the most comfortable, wireless bras only after your surgeon’s approval. Take things slow to ensure the best possible outcome!