Life After Mastectomy

Amoena Sarah Surgical Bra – Compression Bra Review

Although all mastectomy surgeries are likely to be unique to each lady, chances are a compression bra after breast 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.  Compression bras are often talked about in relation to sports bras.  And, indeed, many women seek firm support for working out.  However, compression bras in the context of breast surgery takes on a whole new meaning.  Let’s have a close look at the Amoena Sarah.

Amoena Sarah

What Surgeries is the Amoena Sarah Recommended for?

This garment is one of the types of compression bras recommended after breast or chest related surgery when compression is needed. So, that means breast reduction and augmentation as well as breast cancer related surgeries.  Here, we’re interested in its suitability for after lumpectomy or mastectomy.  In particular, we’re interested in the use of the Amoena Sarah after mastectomy and immediate reconstruction.  This is the phase when tissue expanders are in place.

Why is compression needed after mastectomy with immediate reconstruction?

After such a significant surgery, the body is naturally rather ‘traumatized’ so to speak.  Not to mention the mental and emotional effect such a large surgery has on a person!  But, let’s just stick to the physical aspect!  Appropriately applied compression helps to minimize risk of post-operative bleeding and swelling.  With these side effects managed, the pain that would come along with them is also able to be somewhat alleviated.

As well as this, a good compression bra after breast reconstruction helps to stabilize the breast or breasts. So, by providing excellent support and coverage, wounds can heal and expanders can do their job.  Later, when the expanders are exchanged for implants, the same benefits apply.

So by gently holding everything in place post-surgery compression bras, like the Amoena Sarah, assist with healing, minimization of pain and even protection in the case of an unavoidable cough or sneeze. Or laugh ????

Why won’t a Sports Bra do? They provide compression.

Surgical bras are designed and manufactured with recovery from breast surgery in mind.  So, they utilize special features, manufacturing techniques and materials.  Sports bras won’t address these requirements of a compression bra after breast reconstruction. Seams, coverage, where and how compression or pressure is applied and durability and stability of materials is all important.

Lymphatic Drainage is Important During Recovery

The lymphatic system has a lot of work to do after major surgery, so the flow of the system shouldn’t be impeded.  This isn’t in the forefront of the designers mind when they’re designing sports bras, you can be sure!  Any disruption to the flow of the lymphatic system could be detrimental to recovery.  Lymphedema is a very real risk following breast surgery and sentinel node biopsy.  So, absolute care has to be taken during recovery.  The Amoena Sarah is a design that takes these requirements into account.

Amoena Sarah is a Medical Device

When you’ve had a serious medical procedure, you want a dedicated medical device to aid and assist your full recovery.  It’s important to have a quality compression bra after breast reconstruction.  Be sure to ask your surgeon and medical team what your options are.

Amoena Sarah

What makes the Amoena Sarah Surgical Bra Stand out?

The Amoena Sarah Compression Bra is considered for a few reasons. It is significant that Amoena specializes in women's medical supplies and have always done so. The company maintains focus on the needs of their customer. A lot of information about women experiencing breast cancer and their particular garment needs is taken into account. As we outlined in our review of Amoena HERE, real-life feedback from their customers is central to their product development process.

Pros of the Amoena Sarah Surgical Bra


1. High Cotton Content

A high cotton content is favored for breathability, softness and moisture-wicking properties, as well as durability.  Compression bras are often worn 24/7 for the first few weeks after mastectomy and reconstruction.  Then, again after the implant exchange they’re worn for a similar period.  So you might have two or more and they’ll end up being washed quite a lot!

2. Double Layer Front

This provides softness and support.  Note that this is not a pocketed bra.

3. Molded cups

A special manufacturing technique is used to weave the cups in a mold to achieve the right sizing and compression.  So, no joins or stitching.

4. Flat seams

Seams are avoided in many cases due to the manufacturing techniques.  In other locations on the Amoena Sarah – where seams are unavoidable – they are designed on the ‘outside’ to sit away from the body and skin and incisions. Seams are designed to be as flat and smooth as possible so as not to cause irritation.

5. Front opening

Like any good surgical bra, a compression bra after breast reconstruction needs a front opening.  It’s the only logical way to get into and out of a garment when you’ve been through surgery and are tender and healing.  Even more-so, when you’re battling with drains and the like, you need to be able to see what you’re doing!

6. Broad Shoulder Straps

Broad shoulders of breast cancer survivors require broad shoulder straps and that’s what the Amoena Sarah has.  They are also front adjustable with VELCRO® fastening.

7. Hook and Loop Fastener Front Closure

Smaller sizes (34) have 7 Hook and Loop Closures, and this incrementally increases to 12 Hook and Loop Closures for the largest sizes.  So, the garments are carefully designed for each size, and not just scaled.  Sizes range from 34A to 46DD and ideally this would cater for most ladies.

Cons of the Amoena Sarah Surgical Bra


1. May not be claimable on insurance

Check this with your own insurer.  Because, as this garment does not have cup pockets, it would generally not be individually billable to insurance.

2. Only Available in Black and White

No fun and exciting colors for this post-surgical bra, ladies!  Just black and white.  However, in reality, we’re to be taking it easy for quite a few weeks at this stage of our treatment and recovery.  So, that likely means not too many party clothes and no swimwear for a little while, so we’ll be able to make do with black and white!  Personally, I had hoped for a nude, or blush type color, as I don’t wear black or white!  But I chose white (for both of my garments) and made it work.

3. Between 7 & 12 Hook and Loop Closures vs Zipper Closing

From personal experience, having to do up several hooks and eyes (and then a zipper) was a little difficult, especially in the beginning.  7 hooks and eyes are quite a lot and 12 is a huge amount!  I don’t know about you, but I’m reminded of a corset!  I’m wondering if a zipper may not be more user-friendly, even if combined with a few interior hooks and eyes first.

Amoena Sarah Surgical Bra - Compression Bra Review Wrap Up

Whilst it’s okay to wear a surgical bra as a compression bra for sport, it’s not advisable to wear a sports bra for post-surgery.  A specialized compression bra after breast reconstruction is generally recommended. So, do check with your surgeon and medical team.  The Amoena Sarah Surgical Bra is specifically designed for post-surgery and is backed by 40 years of history, skills and experience.  The Amoena Sarah is beautifully designed, soft, supportive and comfortable to wear.  It will stand the test of time for your surgeries without loss of effectiveness or condition.

Color choice and sexy features aren’t a high priority for this compression bra, because healing and comfort are number one.  This is also a versatile bra because it pairs with Amoena's ‘compression belt’ if needed.

For a well-designed, comfortable, supportive and resilient surgical bra, the Amoena Sarah should be on the list to consider.