Life After Mastectomy

Breast Cancer Survivor Advice on the Best Mastectomy Bras and Breast Health

Welcome to Life After Mastectomy. Your source of rigorously researched in-depth reports on mastectomy bra, surgical bra and post surgery garment options. Designed to save you time, money, discomfort and frustration. Our articles will help you choose the right products for your optimum comfort, recovery and health.

Check Out Our Most Popular Reviews:

Check Out Our Most Popular Reviews:

Prosthetic Nipples

Prosthetic nipples haven’t always been available. But thank goodness now they are. The difference these simple items can make to a woman’s peace
of mind can be enormous. Being able to use prosthetic nipples after loss of one’s own can help with healing the heart and soul, which will help heal the body…

Although all mastectomy surgeries are likely to be unique to each lady, chances are a compression bra after reconstruction will be recommended.  There are several reasons for this and we’ll touch on each of them here.  Essentially in this review we want to look closely at the Amoena Sarah Surgical Bra…

This Underworks compression bra, suitable for various surgery types including double mastectomy, caught our eye. Because of the nature of its US manufacturer, Underworks, it has a good pedigree. It also has many features that provide benefits to women who have undergone mastectomy, without a top shelf price…

Our Mission

Life After Mastectomy was started with a simple mission in mind. We wanted to make life easier, more comfortable, more hopeful and less lonely for women traveling the breast cancer journey.

As a breast cancer survivor myself, there were aspects I found easy but many I found difficult, scary, lonely and some downright frustrating – like trying to find a bra that looks good and doesn’t drive me wild from discomfort! From my experiences was born this online project, with that aim of providing comprehensive, unbiased, up to the minute, verified, helpful information.

So, please take your time to browse and view our articles which are designed to help you with issues specific to your needs.

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Breast Health

 Surgical Bra Facts

What is a surgical bra used for?

Any kind of breast surgery – and that even extends to other types of chest surgery – benefits from the wearing of a surgical bra for a certain period after the operation.  Whatever your type of surgery, your medical team will likely advise you of the best approach for a successful recovery journey and post op comfort.

Whether you have breast augmentation, reduction, mastectomy, lift or reconstruction, surgeons will want you to protect your chest and breasts with compression bras to stabilize the surgical site and minimize swelling.

Is a surgical bra the same as a sports bra?

Surgical bras are most definitely NOT the same as sports bras. In fact, they lean more towards the category of medical device. Depending upon the extent of surgery, the surgery site may be very small (as in the case of a small lumpectomy) and you may be given the all clear to wear something soft and comfortable – and it may not actually need to be a post surgical recovery bra.  However, for more extensive surgeries, such as a reconstruction, the type of garment worn during the recovery period is critical.

To ensure the healing process is successful, the surgical site must be supported with the right amount of support and light compression in the right places. A post surgical bra should not only be the right fit, it should have adjustable straps and give wire free support.  Wearing a sports bra during this critical post op period could be detrimental to a successful outcome.  Be sure to seek advice from your medical team.

How to choose the right post surgery bra for you:

First and foremost, the advice and recommendations of your specialist medical team should be sought and followed, as they know your specific circumstances.  We do not. Although the intended outcomes of various surgeries are common, the idiosyncrasies of each of us as humans are not always common!  So, your medical professionals will be the best guide for your post surgical needs.

Following on from that, recommendations for choosing the right post surgery bra are:


Comfort is as important as ever, so your bra should be close fitting but not too tight.  Some light compression may be beneficial, it should not be excessive to the point of painful. Whilst ‘I’ve got clothes on’ type impressions on the skin are inevitable, any deep or reddened marks on the skin indicate the garment is probably too tight or ill-fitting.  Be careful to check shoulder straps, under arms and around the chest for marks after wearing.

Wire free

Post breast procedure bras will generally be free of underwires.  No narrow pressure points should be introduced by garments, so be sure yours is/are wire free.

Wide bands

Over shoulder straps are ideally wider in post surgery garments, but in particular note that the around body band is best worn wider (longer) to avoid narrow pressure bands around the body.  Not only is it advisable to have narrow or sharp pressure points, it’s also important to realise that some surgeries may result in incisions under the breasts (in the case of reconstruction for example) and so a longer band that can be worn well below the under-breast area will be more comfortable. Pressure on incision regions needs to be avoided.

Skin friendly fabrics

Manufacturers are increasingly being careful to choose soft fabrics for post surgery garments.  Fabrics that not only wash and wear well, but that also hold their shape, are soft against the skin, moisture-wicking and breathable. If you tend to have any sensitivity to particular products, like latex, be sure to check the fabric content before wearing and ideally before purchasing!


Because our bodies are not all the same shape and size a post surgical bra will be more comfortable and a better fit if it has a good level of adjustment.  Over-shoulder straps are best with sufficient adjustment.  The ability to select from several options of tightness around the chest for fastening is important to look for in your first post surgery garments.


If you require compression bras immediately after surgery, this may not be the same garment as your pocketed bra post recovery.  If breast forms are going to be worn, choose your bra with pockets – and be aware that just because a bra has pockets for breast forms does not mean it’s going to be able to get the breast forms in and out!  Some pocketed bras have small holes for inserting breast forms and some have larger openings that are easier to deal with.  So be sure to check this feature out as well!

Sustainability and other personal choices

Depending upon how you’ve coped with your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, you may or may not give a hoot about the source of your garments or how they’ll be disposed of after their life with you!  And you’d be forgiven for putting that out of your mind!

However, if you have the headspace to consider where the fabric comes from, how its processed, where the garments are designed and manufactured and the impact of various fabrics on the environment, these are other considerations when choosing your post surgery garments.  Where possible, we’ve endeavored to cover these issues in our reviews and buying guides.