If it’s not challenging enough to be concerned about the possibility of having breast cancer, and the outcome of your lumpectomy pathology results, recovery from some potentially uncomfortable surgery goes hand in hand with the process. Furthermore, if you’ve had sentinel lymph node biopsy surgery at the same time, you’ll likely be feeling pretty tender. If you do have a breast cancer diagnosis, the effects of radiation therapy on the skin will only exacerbate the discomfort that you’ll likely have to put up with at this time. Fortunately, there are some amazingly beautiful, comfortable and affordable lumpectomy bra options available these days. So, you can feel supported, comfortable and feminine.
A Lumpectomy Bra is a form of surgical bra
A lumpectomy bra can take many forms and are really just a general type of surgical bra. For you, the best bra after lumpectomy will potentially be different from the best type for someone else. This is because the extent of lumpectomy surgery can vary widely from person to person. Lumpectomy recovery can be super quick and low fuss. Or it can be more painful, disfiguring and impactful, depending on your figure and surgery requirements.
So, whilst we can’t do much about the prognosis or the surgery, there is something we can do. We can find the best information possible from which to make a wise choice for bras for after lumpectomy to ensure we’re comfortable during the healing process. And whatever comes next.
Minor Impact vs Helping Hand Required
For some women, like myself, a lumpectomy involves removing a relatively small tumor, a handful of sentinel nodes and correspondingly small incisions and material removal. Lumpectomy recovery is still painful, though, and sensitive skin will be tender. And it’s also fraught with anticipation on the outcome of the pathology results! No one wants to sit and wait to find out if they have breast cancer – or to discover how far the breast cancer may have progressed. However, as far as actual material or tissue removal is concerned, the amount is relatively small.
For other women, however, the impact can be more substantial. If a cancerous mass being removed is a little larger or the clear margins required means more tissue is removed, the resulting visual impact may be more noticeable. Afterall, a lumpectomy is not referred to as a partial mastectomy or wide excision for no reason. It is removing part of the breast. Couple this with the fact that some women start out with a little asymmetry in their breasts, and bras for wearing after lumpectomy that assist with the aftermath of this will be appreciated.
For that reason, our review here takes a slightly different approach.
Our review approach
We’ve reviewed pocketed bras as well as soft form, seamless and pullover style bras so that we’ve covered (no pun intended?) everyone’s needs more adequately. Of course, there are literally thousands of more choices than the ones we’ve provided below. But, have you heard of ‘decision fatigue’? We don’t need any more decisions to make than absolutely necessary! So we’ve done the hard work for you here. Here we present you with the best of the best for your initial needs for a post lumpectomy bra or two. Hopefully that make your life easier and support you in being more resilient and strong in the long run.
Best Lumpectomy Bra Options for 2022
1. Amoena Clara Wire-Free Front Closure Bra
2. Wear Ease Allyson Post Surgical Bra
3. Amoena Amy Wire-free Seamless Bra
4. Amoena Women’s Frances Front-Closure Leisure Bra
5. Fruit of the Loom Women’s Front Closure Cotton Bra
6. Calvin Klein Women’s Invisibles Comfort Seamless Lightly Lined V Neck Bralette Bra
7. Warners Easy Does Bra It No Bulge Wire-Free Bra
8. Hanes Get Cozy Pullover ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra
Lumpectomy Bra Buying Guide
Different Types of Lumpectomy Bra Options
Bras for after lumpectomy are really just collectively any type of bra that is suitable for wearing after lumpectomy surgery and possibly also during and after radiation therapy. Therefore, the various models of garments that could be considered your best bra after lumpectomy surgery are endless. This is unfortunate in a way because it complicates matters somewhat. On the other hand – how blessed are we to have such choice?
The best bra after lumpectomy and radiation is going to be something that:
- Your surgeon and medical team recommend or approve of
- Does not irritate incisions, stiches, tender and sensitive skin or put pressure on swelling
- Is comfortable, washable and lasts well
- Makes you feel as good about yourself as possible
- Ideally can continue to be used well after the inital healing period.
To that end, the different types of lumpectomy bra options available range from a very simple over-the-head, or front fastening soft form or seamless bra, to a more regular shaped bra without underwire but with pockets for the addition of inserts, or prosthetics.
What to Consider When Buying a Lumpectomy Bra
Because lumpectomy is also called breast conserving surgery or partial mastectomy, generally our breast will look largely the same afterwards. In fact, women can sometimes choose lumpectomy over mastectomy to avoid losing their breast. And, ideally it will appear as much as possible as it did before surgery. This is because often the general shape of the breast and the nipple area are kept.
However, depending upon where the lump is removed from and how much breast tissue has to be taken with it, a lumpectomy could change the look and feel of your breast. In fact, if you undergo a course of radiation therapy as treatment, the look and feel of your breast could continue to change during the first 12 or so months years after treatment. Of course, this varies from person to person.
To give you the best chance of selecting bras for after lumpectomy that will serve you well we’ve provided some helpful guidelines to consider.
Soft materials so as not to irritate the skin
Radiation therapy for breast cancer causes a sunburn type reaction over the breast area and other areas treated. If you’ve ever been sunburnt, you’ll recall how tender this can make the skin. So, imagine this week after week as radiation therapy is applied. Cheap, scratchy, poorly assembled or ill-fitting bras will just not make the grade as bras for after lumpectomy! Not that we’re suggesting you’ll need to take out a bank loan to afford a great post surgery bra. Not at all! There are some fantastic budget options.
Do make one of your top criteria that the material must be soft and gentle on the skin. When considering materials, we like fabrics with a high cotton content, as cotton is generally gentler on sensitive skin. If you are simultaneously going through menopause, whether naturally or as a result of surgical menopause then cotton will be cooler than most man-made materials.
Seamless so as not to rub tender skin or incisions
Just as bulky seams may rub tender radiation therapy affected sensitive skin, they may press on and rub over healing incisions. Ideally your bra choice can be one where the edges or shoulder fabrics don’t overlap your incisions. However, this may not be something you have complete control over. So, it’s best to opt for something with as few seams as possible.
Sometimes swelling can be an issue, so having the ability to adjust the fit over the arms with adjustable straps is a helpful feature. Similarly, being able to adjust the girth around your body, under your breasts, may be needed. If you opt for a seamless ‘over the head’ type of soft form bra, these will probably be sufficiently flexible. However, if your preference is for a more typical bra design, with cups and better support, at least three positions on the girth adjustment is something to look out for.
Lymph node extraction from under the arms will result in a wound needing to heal. So being mindful of how a lumpectomy bra you might be considering will fit under the arms will be necessary. You absolutely don’t want lumpy seams, scratchy adornments or any other unnecessary restrictions in that area. Specially designed bras for after lumpectomy usually take these kinds of factors into account.
Not a time for underwires
Lumpectomy recovery is not a time to be wearing underwire bras. Even if your surgery sites are nowhere near the underwires, the general advice is that soft form bras, free from underwires are preferable. Radiation therapy results in the skin having a sunburn-like effect which makes it particularly sensitive. It is generallyl advised to not wear restrictive and potentially scratchy seams and ridges alongside tender and sensitive skin post surgery and radiation treatment.
Typically, underwires are designed into bras to provide support. Support for larger breasted women to hold them up and a more enhanced shape for smaller breasted women – who would like to appear larger breasted. Check the next criteria to see what to shop for to achieve the support you desire.
Look for a wider under bosom band
Suitable types of lumpectomy bra have a wide around-body band under the breasts to provide support. The wide band supports means the weight is supported by the rib cage and away from breasts and any possible sensitive areas. A wide under bosom band provides support and comfort.
Front fastening is a good idea
Many surgical bras are designed to be fastened at the front rather than the traditional behind the back fastening. This is a great idea if bending and stretching and the typical range of movements is restricted after surgery. Again, depending upon where your incisions are likely to be and how extensive your surgery is, this may be a factor to consider.
Future use after the post surgical period
Some surgical bras look like surgical bras. And for some breast and breast cancer surgery, that’s absolutely necessary. (I’m thinking Compression Bras for after mastectomy.) However, bras for after lumpectomy don’t necessarily need to be specialist surgical bras, depending upon the extent of your surgery. Please do check this with your medical team. For myself, I did not lose a lot of breast tissue, as the lump was further up my chest wall. The point of entry was around my areola, so the incision was very centralized. I only had 5-7 lymph nodes removed, so the excision under my arm was only a couple of inches long. For me a soft, seam free bra was sufficient for lumpectomy recovery. I still wear these so-called lumpectomy bras two years later when I have a ‘sofa day’ or under my pyjamas at night!
Look for pocketed bras for uneven breasts
It’s completely normal to have uneven breasts. For most women with slightly uneven breasts, the asymmetry is not visible or obvious. So pocketed bras used with silicone breast forms are a wonderful and simple option for women with this situation. When lumpectomy surgery has taken a large enough amount of breast tissue that asymmetry becomes an issue, then a pocket bra for breast forms is a welcome solution. Furthermore, because radiation can affect the skin and possibly the form of the breast – even over an extended period after the treatment has ended – adjustments over the next little while may be helpful. So, after lumpectomy surgery a pocket bra for breast forms is a beautiful solution. If the unbalance is noticeable to others and bothers you, look for a pocketed bra amongst the bras we recommed for after lumpectomy. There are such clever options these days.
Manufacturer and Raw Material Details
Not everyone will care to take into consideration where the manufacturer of their underwear is located. Who even has the time to look into the practices they employ and where they get their raw materials from? However, increasingly people like to be mindful about where our consumables and products come from. In the interests of fair trade practices and decency for all, I like to always be across this type of information, as far as possible.
Why do I Need to Consider a Lumpectomy Bra?
We hope for you – and chances are – you won’t need anything too extravagant. I didn’t! In fact, I wasn’t advised about anything in particular when I went into hospital for my lumpectomy. I was offered a couple of Amoena Bras afterwards that someone didn’t need anymore and found myself wishing I’d had more information before my lumpectomy surgery! So that’s why I’m going all out to make your life easier with these reviews and research!
The thing is, we will very likely feel different after lumpectomy surgery. And so a careful choice of a bra for after lumpectomy will aid in our healing. Mentally and emotionally we have a considerable amount of thoughts to deal with. We need to keep focused on recovery and a good outcome and to be as upbeat and optimistic about our prognosis as possible. We’ll have the after effects of surgery to deal with – incisions, stiches, swelling and possibly drains. And on top of that, some of us will have to undergo radiation therapy and the side-effects that causes.
A selection of types of lumpectomy bra that provide the support, comfort, protection and aesthetics to aid in our full healing takes a load off our mind. If we don’t have rubbing over incisions, discomfort around a possibly slightly changed figure or feelings of self-consciousness about our appearance then we’re ahead of the game.
How to Choose the Best Lumpectomy Bra for Your Needs
Underwear and particularly bras are an incredibly personal choice. After any type of breast surgery what you choose to wear as a surgical bra becomes even more so.
Follow Medical Advice
Firstly, take on board any advice offered by your surgeon and medical team. If they recommend any particular brand or style of bra, then clearly that’s the place to start. If budget is a big issue for you, though, you may like to find a product that does a similar job, but doesn’t necessarily have the same price tag. For more extensive surgery, such as mastectomy for example, this is not advisable. This is because carefully distributed compression is usually what’s needed when you’ve had a mastectomy. So ask your surgeon or medical team if you’d like to try a less expensive bra than one they might initially suggest.
Extent of Surgery
Secondly, take into account the likely position/s and extent of your surgery locations. By this we mean – have you been advised that just a small lump and margin is being removed, and a small number of lymph nodes taken for biopsy? Or, does your surgeon anticipate a larger lump size and corresponding margin of tissue will be taken? If this is the case, then they may advise that the size of the breast being operated on could be affected slightly. So, you may like to consider a pocket bra for breast forms to be able to be inserted if some imbalance is anticipated.
Of course, it’s not always guaranteed what the end result is likely to be. However, if you’re wanting to have a post surgery bra or two on hand, these are the kinds of considerations you can take on board. Don’t overthink it, or be overly concerned, as there’s plenty of opportunity to purchase something else after your surgery. You don’t need any additional load on your shoulders.
Level of Breast Support
Following that, whether you are a small frame and bosom size or a curvier lady with larger breasts will be a guiding factor. You’ll know intuitively whether you need lighter support, or whether you’re simply not comfortable without ample coverage and support to cradle your breasts.
Formal? Casual? Both?
In addition, consider the types of clothing you normally wear. After lumpectomy recovery and assuming no further surgery is needed you will be able to wear your ordinary clothes. So take into account the colors you typically wear and the necklines and armhole profiles. This consideration really comes under the wing of choosing everyday bras and is not confined to lumpectomy bra styles!
If you find something you really love, you’ll be able to wear them for a long time going forward.
See what you think once you’ve read the reviews, below.
Best Lumpectomy Bra Reviews
1. Amoena Clara Wire-Free Front Closure Bra
We’re in love with this bra! It’s fairly new to the market and so we’re sticking our necks out in claiming it to be a brilliant option – without the user reports to back us up at this point!
Why are we so certain? Well, for about the same price as any other quality bra, it ticks all the boxes. Fastens in the right place, width and support in the right places (shoulders, under bust, underarms) and is a pocketed bra with inserts included. The first bra we’ve seen that incorporates bamboo – and what a great idea. Whilst it doesn’t have fasteners for shoulders and girth, the fabric takes care of those adjustments, leaving the bra uncomplicated and beautiful in its simplicity. Supremely practical and sensible as far as a lumpectomy bra goes, we look forward to seeing this do really well in the market and come out in a wider range of colors. Definitely get one of these bras for recovering after surgery.
- Stretch material is forgiving when weight fluctuates due to treatment effects, lymphedema, or for any reason
- Bamboo! Arguably more sustainable than cotton, bamboo is an excellent fabric for clothing. It’s breathable, soft and soothing to sensitive skin and has great moisture absorption. It’s said to prevent nasty odors because of antimicrobial properties. And when you’re talking underwear, that’s a good thing.
- Amoena’s Clara wire free front closure bra is created with seamless knitted technology – so no lumps and bumps to rub and irritate.
- As per the desired requirements, the Clara has a good width of fabric passing over the shoulder and a wide underbust band. It also has good coverage at the sides and back to give comforting support all round.
- Whilst the Clara doesn’t have adjustable fasteners on the shoulders or girth, the bamboo material is stretchy and provides the flexibility needed for comfort. This is a great benefit for swelling, weight changes or for fitting over bandages or drains etc.
- It has moulded molded removable padded foam cups. This means that it works well as a pocket bra for breast forms. If dealing with uneven breasts due to lumpectomy (partial mastectomy) this allows for balancing with breast prosthesis.
- 50% Viscose (Bamboo), 26% Nylon, 21% Cotton, 3% Spandex mostly Bamboo and Cotton for breathability and comfort, with Nylon and Spandex for stretch and flexibility.
- The early adopters who have invested in this bra find it a pretty true fit to size, excellent quality and extremely comfortable.
- Clara is claimed to be suitable for Breast Reconstruction, lifting, augmentation, reduction, oncoplastic surgery (link) and lymphodema. It’s not spelt out specifically, but it’s perfectly suited for post lumpectomy as well. It’s also soft enough and convenient enough to be suited to wear during the radiation treatment process.
- I’m fairly conservative and don’t like to be too ‘showy’ – particularly with underwear! But, even for me, the Clara is a little, well, tame. Not exciting, not sexy, not really pretty. Just down right sensible. And that’s okay. If that’s the worst thing we can come up with….
- Only comes in one color – Rose Nude. That’s not going to suit everybody.
- The bra cup size is for an average fit, so is unlikely to suit larger bosomed ladies.
- This is a more recent product on the market – coming available not even 12 months ago. It’s challenging to find ladies who have worn it and so to get their feedback. This is so disappointing and frustrating because on paper, it’s a winner! Okay, except for the one color not exciting thing.
2. Wear Ease Allyson Post Surgical Bra
We think this is a bra and a brand to watch. This bra ticks most of the generally recommended features of soft cotton, wide under band, front closure, pocketed bra and adjustable straps. We’ve questioned whether the relatively narrow shoulder strapping will be wide enough to for larger breasted ladies (and have been unable to uncover any feedback on that, so far – but stay tuned). Also, we’ve commented that the color range is limited, but we do acknowledge that the color range is completely adequate. We love this product for its suitability for purpose and it’s US, women owned, specialist product designed and sewn factors. You couldn’t go wrong with this bra.
- Another beautifully cotton bra! Said to be 92% Combed Cotton, 8% Spandex. Cotton is regarded as ‘good’ as it tends to be durable as well as soft and breathable.
- Wide under breast panel to provide softness, comfort and support – good design for a surgical bra.
- This bra has adjustable straps – great! – in a soft and smooth satin.
- A convenient front closure with a zipper. The zipper is described as cushioned, meaning it has layers of soft fabric over any hard functional parts (like the ‘puller’) so they don’t dig into your potentially sensitive skin.
- Recommended to Machine wash on a gentle cycle (in a lingerie bag without bleaches or softeners) and air dry – so no tumble dryer. Easy washing is good.
- Available in 8 sizes ranging from XS to 3XL, so should cater for most figures.
- Suitable to sleep in and also for day wear. Suitable for wearing out, as it gives good coverage and good support with the option for modesty pads (or any inserts needed).
- There is the option to buy this bra with removable drain pouches. Whilst less likely to be a requirement after lumpectomy, it may be an added benefit for after mastectomy surgery.
- Designed and sewn in the United States. Gotta love that. The brand, Wear Ease, is women owned! For more details on the company behind the products, we reviewed Wear Ease over HERE (link – to be written)
- Very limited in colors – white, black, nude. No room for frivolity or prettiness here!
- The shoulders aren’t especially wide. For smaller body and breast sizes this is unlikely to be an issue, but for ladies with larger breasts, these narrow shoulders are likely to cut in. The addition of shoulder pads to wear under the shoulder strapping is recommended.
- Not a budget option, but considered a good value option.
3. Amoena Amy Wire-free Seamless Bra
The Amoena Amy wire-free seamless bra has comparable benefits to other pull-over style options reviewed. An added benefit, in our opinion, is that it’s been designed and crafted with women with breast cancer as the highest priority. Not brand name, not cheapest option for mass market. So, whilst the specialist breast cancer surgical bra company approach may mean this isn’t a budget option (dearer than some, but still within the same price bracket as most) we’re comforted by the intelligence and integrity put into it. If we wanted a pull-over style post lumpectomy bra, we’d go for this one.
- The Amoena Amy bra is designed with no seams and is wire free. It’s pull-over style and is intended to feel like a second skin. Which, by all accounts, it does!
- With soft material and wide shoulder straps and absence of seams, this Amy bra will be one you’ll want to wear for the duration of radiation therapy while the skin is particularly tender.
- There are no closures to bother with or to dig in or cause irritation. The stretch of the fabric provides the adjustment rather than additional fasteners.
- This is a pocketed bra so that modest pads can be inserted or a breast prosthesis can be used. Customers like that the pockets open towards the top, so inserts are easy to place and keep in place.
- This bra is popular under the umbrella description of mastectomy bras and has been available on the market for coming up to 5 years.
- It’s significant that this pull-over style bra is designed and produced by Amoena a company we closely looked at. Amoena are known for their surgical bras and they’ve been around for decades. We find it particularly reassuring that they focus on developing products to assist women with breast cancer.
- This is a bra with an average fit, so ladies with extra curves and larger breasts may not find it suitable for them.
- As there is no front fastening on this pull-over the head style bra, do be mindful that if you have any restricted movement or you find stretching painful after your surgery. Potentially this isn’t one of the available lumpectomy bra styles that is going to work for you. You might get it on, once, but maybe not get it off again!
- 72% Polyester, 28% LYCRA so not cotton, if that’s what you’d prefer.
- Recommended handwashing and no tumble-dryer, so requires a little extra care.
- A limited range of colors – just the essentials of nude and black.
- Not a budget or cheap option, but a you-get-what-you-pay-for option.
4. Amoena Women’s Frances Front-Closure Leisure Bra
We think nearly everyone should have at least one of these bras for after their surgery. Whether you’re looking for a lumpectomy bra or for something for after mastectomy, this is a great bra. It ticks nearly all the excellent boxes. That is – high cotton content, front closing, pocket for inserts, soft, carefully designed by specialist surgical bra company, wide shoulders – and more. This bra is an all time favorite over many years. Cons? Perhaps a little ‘sensible’ and a touch ‘frumpy’ (but not quite ugly) and the color range could be better. However, we’re talking potentially life and death. So, who cares that much if we’re not wearing a surgical bra that would suit the front page of Vogue?
- First and foremost, this bra is designed and produced by Amoena who we have closely researched. This company are known for their Amoena Mastectomy Bras and have been around for decades. They focus on developing products to assist women with breast cancer.
- The Amoena Women’s Frances Front-Closure Leisure Bra has been on the market for 10 years at the end of 2022. That’s a great track record. If it weren’t popular and selling, the company would not continue with it.
- This is almost a fully cotton bra – excepting for a small percentage (6% according to the Amazon listing, 10% according to the product information on Amoena’s website) of Spandex for stretch.
- The over shoulder straps are nice and wide. In fact, the shoulders are made increasingly wide as the size of the bra increases. This is one of the beneficial features of buying from a specialist brand such as Amoena – they don’t just ‘scale up’ the sizes. They consider each size and the requirements the wearer will have at each different size.
- Similarly, there are 4 hooks and eyes at the front closure for the smaller sizes of this bra, but as the size increases, additional hooks and eyes are provided. Such that for the very largest size (2XL equivalent to DD/DDD) 7 hooks and eyes are provided.
- The post lumpectomy bra front closure design suits from straight after surgery. You don’t have to be a contortionist (or have good arm and shoulder movement) to be able to put it on.
- Most customers find this bra has a really good fit and relatively good support. We put that down to the fact that it can be purchased in dedicated sizings and cup sizes.
Breast Forms can be inserted
- This is a pocket bra for breast forms. The cups of the bra (which are cut and sewn, not just gathered) contain cotton pockets to hold a breast form, modesty pad or other breast prosthesis as needed. Inserts not included.
- Fine for a sleep bra and also suits for a daytime bra. There’s also no reason why this can’t be worn in public. It gives good coverage and good support with the option for modesty pads (or any inserts needed).
- It does not have an extra wide under breast band. For a standard sized person, this may not cause too much of an issue. But for those requiring more support it may be a drawback.
- This bra is sewn and does have seams. Being a specialist surgical bra, all efforts and focus are on ensuring seams are soft and smooth. However, if you’re a highly sensitive person who cannot bear any seams or joins whatsoever, do take this into account.
- The shoulder straps are not adjustable straps.
- Washing instructions recommend hand washing and no tumble-drying. Because this isn’t a bargain-basement priced bra (although it’s not premium priced, in our opinion) a little extra care when washing is a good idea. Having said that – it’s probably only the same care one would give to our ‘pretty, lacy, underwired bras’ anyway!
- The range of colors is modest. There are the standard white, black and skin-tone. Some variety of patterns and colours are available, but if I’m honest, they’re a little … uninspiring. I had this bra after my lumpectomy (I was given one) and it wasn’t a particularly appealing color to me, although the pattern was nice.
5. Fruit of the Loom Women’s Front Closure Cotton Bra
Mixed feeling about this bra! How can something so cheap be so amazingly loved by breast cancer patients? This is such a popular bra (not a surgical bra) that a huge number of women have used it for a post lumpectomy bra front closure option. They’ve also used it and loved it during radiation. Furthermore, women have worn it following mastectomy surgery and reconstruction. Now, definitely, definitely do run this by your surgeon and medical team. Requirements after major surgery are quite particular and a simple cotton bra simply may be inadequate to provide the level of compression and support needed.
Our recommendation: if your surgeon approves it and you love it, we don’t have a leg to stand on. However, having been a breast cancer patient and having worn a special compression garment for (what seemed like forever but was only) 6 weeks I suggest this bra be saved until after the initial recovery period for mastectomy. As far as lumpectomy bra styles go, this is a good option if you don’t need the pocket option for modesty pads or to hold prosthetics.
- Front hook-and-eye closure where the hook-and-eye count vary by band size. So additional support is provided for the ladies who require it.
- An extremely popular sports bra made of 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex.
- The fabric is very soft and comfortable on sensitive skin and women have been happy wearing this style during radiation therapy. Furthermore, the front opening has been found to be easier to manipulate/operate than a zip up style.
- Many women have chosen this bra to wear as a lumpectomy bra post surgery. In addition, many women have claimed to prefer this bra over prescribed surgical bras after mastectomy. Their claims have been based largely on comfort. Not every person finds them suitable, but by far the greater number of reports are favorable. Whilst they’re not a medically designed garment, if you’re on a really tight budget, you might like to check with your surgeon and medical team if this bra is an option for you.
- If a bra is required to be worn 24/7, this one has been reported to be a dream to wear for that purpose.
- Wide shoulder straps and a wide back band.
- Can be carefully machine washed (cold) and tumble-dried (warm and not too long) so super easy to care for.
- This bra has well over 35,000 reviews on the Amazon platform with a rating of 4.3 out of 5. An amazingly popular, long-time selling favorite (over 4 years), which is why we’ve chosen to include it in our list to review! It is one of the highest ranking in the women’s sports bras category, despite not having a great amount of support features built in.
Potentially Good for those with LATEX allergy
- Some ladies have allergic reactions to substances in elastic (primarily LATEX) yet have found that the elastic in this bra design is encased in the fabric (the cotton fabric wraps around the elastic) so the skin does not contact the elastic. Consequently, these ladies are real fans of this bra for that reason.
- Unlined and no pocket for modesty pads or breast prosthetics. But at this price point (typically around the $10 per bra mark) there’s not much room for added details!
- Fruit of the Loom is a US brand. Their website states pride to have been a leader in affordable undergarments for more than 160 years. This is a pro if cost is the prime consideration. But for a bra that needs to function as a surgical garment, it’s a different focus. If budget is the prime consideration, then this high cotton-content bra with front closure, wide straps and incredible popularity over many years will be a great option. However, it does lack the flexibility of other pocketed bras. And it may not provide the comfort and support beneath the breasts and around the torso that other options offer.
- This is not a compression bra. So we’re a little concerned about the number of women reporting that they’re wearing it after mastectomy and reconstruction. Typically a suitable compression bra is recommended by surgeons and breast care nurses.
6. Calvin Klein Women’s Invisibles Comfort Seamless Lightly Lined V Neck Bralette Bra
We have mixed thoughts about this one! It’s not designed as a surgical bra and has no front opening. However, if the pullover design is not an issue for you, and you’d rather a choice of colors and something without seams that is still a soft and comfortable and also popular choice, have a look at this one. It has the softness, width of straps and bands, decent coverage for ‘average’ sized bodies and is lined, giving the option for modesty pads or breast prosthesis to be inserted. It’s not going to suit every body, but for those it suits, they’ll likely love it and love it forever.
- For those wanting seam-free, this Calvin Klein ‘Invisibles’ item is an option. Described often as being like a sports bra, but without the tight constriction and bulky seams.
- Looking at the preferred guidelines of wide shoulder straps and wide torso band under the breasts this one provides those features. The stretch of the material provides the adjustment rather than additional fasteners (so not adjustable straps).
- Super soft and smooth material without any bulky seams.
- This pull-on bra is lightly lined and so has a pocket area for modesty pads or other inserts. Some ladies don’t like the modesty pads included with the bra – but they can be removed or replaced. Ladies have used this bra for wearing with breast prosthesis, even though it’s not a specialist bra designed specifically for that purpose.
- Due to the soft and flexible fabric this bra is used by some ladies having undergone breast biopsy, lumpectomy or post mastectomy. It’s not necessarily a surgeon or medical team recommended one. But if your condition is well managed and you are free to choose your own garments, know that some have used this bra for this stage of their breast cancer recovery.
- The soft material and wide straps and absence of seams means this bra lends itself well to being a suitable garment for the duration of radiation therapy while the skin is particularly tender.
- This bra has been selling for over 3 years and has a 4.3 out of 5 rating over almost 4,500 reviews given in that time. It ranks really highly in popular ‘everyday bras’ on the Amazon marketplace, so will be one you can wear forever well after you’ve recovered from surgery.
- Comes in an amazing range of colors.
- This isn’t designed specifically as a surgical bra, so do check with your surgeon and medical team for their recommendations for what to wear during recovery.
- There is no front fastening on this pullover model – so be mindful that if you have any restricted movement or you find it painful to stretch after surgery, this isn’t going to be a good option. Soft once on, but not worth damaging yourself to get it on.
- Those who love this bra adore it but those who have an issue with primarily report that the wide around-the-body-band can roll up on them. This is largely something that is going to be an issue for certain body shapes, as you can imagine. If you taper down, or inwards, below your breasts to waist, and are long and straight, it will be unlikely to roll upwards. However, if your figure is curvier and has any tendency towards movement beneath the bosom, rolling may be on the cards. Keep this possibility in mind if you’ve never worn a bralette style garment like this previously.
- Recommended to be hand-washed. Not a major problem, but if you prefer to ‘chuck everything in the wash’ it may not last as long as it could!
- Not cotton fabric, but 77% Nylon, 23% Elastane
- With this purchase (which is not a small investment) we’re pretty sure you’re paying for the Calvin Klein brand, as opposed to many years of development and dedication to medical quality designs for women dealing with breast cancer. This may or may not have any bearing on whether the bra is comfortable or assists with your healing. But it’s something to be mindful of.
7. Warners Easy Does Bra It No Bulge Wire-Free Bra
Possibly not one we’d recommend for immediately after surgery as far as lumpectomy bra styles go. However, as a day-to-day bra with NO underwire, this bra is immensely popular with many women around the globe. If you dread the thought of getting back into restrictive shapes and underwired bras after you’ve survived and recovered from surgery, then this one is a great option. By all accounts they are supremely comfortable. Fans say they last well, and they come in an array of colors at an affordable price for most.
- A superbly popular everyday style bra which happens to be wire-free. This bra has well over 35,000 reviews on the Amazon platform with a rating of 4.4 out of 5. This is about the highest we’ve seen of any of the bras we’ve reviewed!
- A beautiful array of colors are available!
- We’ve noted rear closure in the ‘Cons’ as there’s no front closure, but we do acknowledge that there are three hook and eye closure on the larger sizes and two hook and eye closures on the smaller sizes. In addition, there are three settings for the girth around the torso, so the bra is nicely adjustable (if you can reach a rear fastener).
- Women have purchased and worn this bra for post lumpectomy surgery as well as after mastectomy and have claimed to be very happy with them. Despite the lack of pocket for inserts or prosthetics, women with some asymmetry issues have still found themselves happy with this bra. It’s a good all-rounder.
- Even many women who say they hate wearing bras love this bra.
- The shoulder straps are adjustable straps for length.
- Machine washable, which is always popular.
- No front closure – back closure only (two hook and eye closures on the smaller sizes, three on the larger sizes).
- The bra is promoted as having wider shoulder straps. We agree that they are marginally larger from the perspective of standard everyday bras. However, when it comes to surgical bras, the straps are narrow in our opinion. If you are a larger breasted woman or anticipate requiring good support from wider straps post lumpectomy surgery, then this bra probably won’t be a contender.
- 94% Nylon, 6% Spandex but no cotton.
- This bra has (and is promoted as having) extra coverage under the arm area to prevent the under-arm bulge that many women seek to avoid. We chose to review this bra as a wire free non- surgical bra option due to its affordability and incredible price point. In hindsight, had we focused in on this feature we may have left it off the list, as good clearance under the arm for avoiding rubbing on lymph node biopsy incisions is important in a lumpectomy bra model.
- The bra has very light padding that is not removable but considered comfortable. It does not cover the full breast area but is sufficient to provide modesty and a smooth line. There is no pocket for prosthetics, so don’t get this bra if you have any asymmetry challenges to balance up.
8. Hanes Get Cozy Pullover ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra
We don’t mind suggesting this bra as a possible option for small to medium sized women (body size and breast size) with no uneven breast issues. We wouldn’t suggest it as the best bra after lumpectomy and radiation, but it is certainly a low-cost option for women with ‘average’ body proportions. This Hanes Get Cozy Pullover ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra has been likened by wearers to a low support sports bra in style and design. So, if it’s purchased with that in mind, it shouldn’t disappoint. It is soft and gentle on sensitive skin. Having no front fastening or pockets for breast forms or modesty pads it will not suit many people. An option for some, but not the top of the list of recommended lumpectomy bra styles to consider.
- This is a tremendously popular and highly reviewed and rated bra that has been on the market for almost 8 years. Products that just keep on selling remain on the market for a reason – a good reason!
- One of the top sellers for ‘everyday’ bras, so if you get one and love it, you’ll probably get wear out of it well after your treatment and initial healing period.
- Because it’s a stretchy style, it will ‘give and take’ as any changes in size or swelling occur in your chest and body area.
- It is thin and soft and perfect for “lounging” and comfort and recovery. There is unlikely to be anything that will ‘dig in’ or pinch. It is non-wired.
- Many different colors are available, and they’re lovely. So that’s a bit of fun and can add a touch of brightness and joy to your life when you might appreciate it.
- Despite the relative lack of support and modesty provided for larger breasted ladies (see Cons) wearers have reported that it is immensely comfortable. Some were surprised to find such a comfortable garment for such a little price, when they’d tried ‘everything’ and were used to paying up to $100 for bras that caused pain and discomfort.
- Does not look or feel like an ugly surgical bra (because it’s not!) which may be emotionally significant to some people.
- Most wearers reported the fabric to be extremely soft and comfortable. Those who wore it during radiation treatment said it was soft enough to not (further) irritate their radiation therapy affected and sensitive skin.
- Which leads to the next benefit – this bra has a tiny price tag.
- This bra has little support or padding. For larger breasted ladies it may not provide the coverage, modesty and support you may be looking for when you leave the house. For smaller breasted women this may not be so much of an issue, so long as it’s not for under, say, a tight t-shirt.
- Choosing the right sizing has proven to be tricky for some who purchased these bras. Because the bra cups are so stretchy they tend to expand/contract as needed to form to the breast. So, customers have recommended choosing your sizing based on band (around the ribs, under the breasts) size rather than anything else.
- Made of nylon and spandex, so not a natural fabric – this may or may not be an issue depending on personal preferences.
- When buying online take care to check the seller and that they are selling true Hanes brand items, as there appear to have been some quality issues in recent times.
- There is no front or rear fastening for this bra. It’s over the head or possibly step in and pull up, depending on sizing and proportions. If you have full movement of arms and shoulders, chances are this won’t be a problem. However, for anyone with limited movement, arthritis or other issues that suggest a front fastening lumpectomy bra would be better, this garment won’t suit.
- No lining, no padding (to conceal nipple) and no pockets for inserts. So, not terribly versatile in this respect.
- Not going to be suitable for someone with uneven breasts wanting to use a lumpectomy prosthesis.
Best Lumpectomy Bra Options for 2022
1st Recommended Lumpectomy Bra
Clara ticks all the boxes! Beautifully designed for breast cancer patients, so plenty of sizes to choose from so you get the right one. Wide straps, wide band around torso and front opening, so easy to get into and out of. Its a pocketed bra, so you can insert whatever modesty pads or breast forms you’d like – or none. Soft, sustainable bamboo and suitable for day wear or to sleep in.
2nd Recommended Lumpectomy Bra
Wear Ease Allyson
When you’re going through what is likely one of the most challenging times of your life, it’s good to know you have a team of clever and dedicated American women watching your back. When wearing the Wear Ease Allyson bra, that’s what you’ve got. This thoughtfully designed bra, which is sewn in the United States by women in a women owned business, ticks all the boxes for a lumpectomy bra. You’ll have the support you need, the ease of dressing and undressing required and the softness you’ll crave. This is a pocketed bra to take care of uneven breasts. It even caters for drains, if needed.
3rd Recommended Lumpectomy Bra
Eighty percent of the time a front opening bra is going to be the easiest thing to deal with – especially immediately after lumpectomy surgery. However, for those other times (and there will be plenty more other times as you recover fully) the Amoena Amy pull-over seamless style bra is a recommended option. Wide straps and support under the arms and around the torso where needed. Stretchy, soft and seamless, with pockets for breast forms or modesty pads. Designed as a specialist surgical bra, you know you’re in good hands with this option. If you’d like a seamless pull-over style bra and you fit into the ‘average sizing’ categories, this is the one to try.
Lumpectomy Bra FAQs
What exactly is a lumpectomy bra?
Good question. In reality there’s probably not a specific design of bra intended for post lumpectomy surgery only. A straightforward lumpectomy procedure is ideally minimally impactful. So the type of bra that can be worn afterwards has some requirements, but they are probably not rigid. That is, it needs to be soft, supportive and easy to get into and out of. In contrast, however, after mastectomy and reconstruction, the impact on the body is major and the style of garment to be worn after that has some pretty specific requirements. So, we suggest that a lumpectomy bra is a general design of surgical bra that you might also like to wear well after the initial healing period, because it’s just a great bra to wear.
Will I be able to wear my lumpectomy bra once I’ve recovered?
We think so, yes. (I do! – Shona)
The types of bras advertised as for wearing after lumpectomy are generally simply great, comfortable, well designed and versatile bras that suit a number of purposes. They don’t necessarily have special compression features (such as post mastectomy and reconstruction bras would do), so they look ‘pretty normal’.
If you give some thought to the features of the lumpectomy bra style or styles you purchase now (using our reviews and buying guide, we hope!) then chances are you’ll still love them longtime!
How much does a lumpectomy bra cost?
Like all women’s underwear, prices vary considerably. In general, the more purposefully designed and sewn surgical bras are at a higher price point than mass produced low-spec bras. It costs more to produce a garment with close detail and tight quality requirements than it does to run off a more free-form garment. So, consequently the bras that have been designed for the specific purpose of wearing after breast surgery are going to cost more. However, they will probably be more versatile, serve the purpose better and give you greater peace of mind that some considerable thought has gone into the outcome of your wearing it! You get what you pay for, so to speak. But if it rubs you up the wrong way to pay for a higher priced item, we’ve provided a few potential options (check with your surgeon and medical team) for you to consider.
Wrapping Up Our Lumpectomy Bra Guide
We wish for you that your lumpectomy is minimally invasive, easy to recover from and no further surgery or treatment is necessary. To provide you as much comfort as possible and have you feeling as good about yourself as possible, we’d love you to consider what model or style of lumpectomy bras might serve you the best during and after treatment.
There are literally thousands of options that could possibly be worn after your lumpectomy surgery and during radiation therapy (if you have it). You may even have something in your drawers at home that suit. But I didn’t and I needed to find something to keep me sane. And who needs to trawl throught tens of thousands of options? So, we’ve brought you some great options in this product review and suggested how to go about choosing yours with our buying guide.
It is our great hope that this is helpful for you and you love what you end up choosing – even if it isn‘t one from our list! Let us know what you get!
Sending Love, Shona x