A mastectomy bra has slight differences to a standard bra. The main difference is they feature internal pockets, which hold the prosthesis or breast form in place. The pockets are generally made with a cotton lining, making them extremely soft and comfortable when placed against the skin. After surgery your scars and skin will be very sensitive, you don’t want anything that could irritate your skin or cause discomfort.
A mastectomy bra will also come up higher on the neckline and under the arms, making sure that when your are moving, your breast form stays in place and will not show, and also covering any chest scars you may have.
Most mastectomy bras are soft cups and do not contain any underwires. This is mainly for comfort reasons and changes in shape. A soft cup bra is more flexible with your cup size, especially through swelling and then when your size starts to settle.
Initially after surgery, women are given a foam breast form to keep until they get an appointment for their prosthesis fitting. We advise, during this time, to make sure you get a correctly fitting mastectomy bra to take to your appointment.
A mastectomy bra can be fitted the same way as a standard bra. Make sure to test your bra by moving around and bending down to check your breast form stays in place.
Take a look at How to Measure Your Bra Size.
Fitting a Mastectomy Bra
Double Mastectomy - A double mastectomy means having both breasts removed. This could mean that the size of your prostheses is entirely your choice. When fitting for a bra, make sure the band sits firmly but comfortably against your ribcage. When adding the prostheses in the pockets, check the cup size is correct. Make sure there is no creasing, or the prostheses are popping out at the side or at the neckline.
Single Mastectomy - A single mastectomy means the removal of one breast. This is generally the most common form of surgery. When you are fitted for a prosthesis or breast form, the nurse will make sure you get the same size as your remaining breast, so when you are wearing a bra, both sides look equal. When fitting for a bra, it is recommended to fit your existing breast first, so it is easier for the nurse to get the correct size prosthesis. The centre front of the bra should be sitting flat against the breastbone and should not be leaning towards your existing breast. If this happens, try a cup size larger so it sits correctly.
Lumpectomy - This is also known as a partial mastectomy, where only part of the breast is removed. Partial breast forms are available to put into the pockets, so both sides look equal. After a lumpectomy, it is likely you will be able to wear your standard bras again or you may prefer not to. You are likely be sensitive and have swelling to begin with, so it is ideal to start by wearing something soft until you settle down.
Reconstruction - A breast reconstruction means creating a new breast shape with surgery. This can be done at the same time as a mastectomy or after. Recovering from a breast reconstruction will take slightly longer, so we advise you wear a bra that is soft and comfortable until your shape settles. It is sometimes recommended to wear a compression bra after reconstructive surgery to keep the breasts in shape and aid with the healing and swelling. Make sure you check your bra fits you correctly. It is likely that your size has changed and you may find you need a different shape bra as well. Make sure you use The Perfect Fit guide to help you.
We stock a variety of Mastectomy Bras with pockets on both cups for flexibility and comfort - View all Mastectomy Bras >
Please don’t feel alone if you need help with fitting please contact our customer service team on email@example.com or call us on 01305 858847.