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What are the Benefits of wearing Support Garments After Breast Surgery?

Tips & Benefits of Wearing Post-Surgery Support Garments

Post-surgery support garments, also known as compression garments, are worn post-operatively to help recovery after surgical procedures. They form an essential part of post-operative care following your breast surgery like breast reduction/lift, breast reconstruction, and breast augmentation surgeries.

The final result of your surgery is as dependent on closely following your surgeon’s instructions and using good compressive therapy as it is on the surgery itself. Aftercare counts!

Why should I wear compression Garments after breast surgery?

The use of a compression bra post-operatively following any breast surgery is a vital part of post-operative care; it accelerates your breast’s healing process and reduces pain and swelling associated with the procedure. In addition to these, the compression garment also helps in stabilizing implants following breast augmentation surgery. It also prevents excess sagging associated with breast reduction or implant removal surgeries.

Post-Surgery Support Garments After Breast Surgery Featured Image

What are the benefits of using a compression garment following breast surgery?

  • Swelling occurs post-operatively following breast surgery when too much fluid builds up in and around the breast tissue. The use of a compression garment can reduce this swelling by compressing your breast and surrounding structures.
  • Compression garments reduce the chances of bruising around your breasts. Any disruption to blood vessels during breast surgeries can lead to visible bruising. The use of compression garments considerably reduces the chances of bruising after surgery. It acts by compressing vessels around the breast and keeps the red cells from migrating towards the epidermis and resulting in a visible bruise.
  • Compression garments designed for breast promote circulation, decrease swelling around the breast tissue, and reduce the inflammatory process, resulting in less pain. It also acts directly by exerting adequate pressure in the breast and helps in reducing pain.
  • It helps to reduce post-operative sagging of skin following gynecomastia surgery.
  • Following removal of excess fat by liposuction in gynecomastia surgery, excess skin tissue is left behind; compression garments provide healthy support to your skin and hold them in place with the underlying breast structure, which reduces sagging of breast skin and helps accelerate your breast recovery.
  • Compression garments function as a physical barrier protecting your breast skin from infections. Compression garments also facilitate effective circulation and transfer of antimicrobial cells to the site of possible infection and help get rid of pathogens.
  • Plastic surgical procedures like Breast augmentation surgery with implants help add the desired size to your breast. The changes in size and shape after this surgery are maintained and kept in place with compression garments. Compression bras ensure that you retain the post-operative changes in your breast’s shape and size by keeping the implants in place.
  • Any plastic surgical procedure involves the risk of clot formations and migration, leading to devastating consequences like pulmonary embolism.
  • The use of compression garments squeezes your peripheral blood vessels and promotes circulation reducing the risks associated with poor circulation like clot formation and DVT.
  • Accumulation of excess scar tissues in the healed wound of your incision site can lead to keloid formation. Compression garments help in softening and breaking down keloids.
  • It provides maximum post-operative comfort in your implants.

Support Garment FAQs – Questions about Garments

How long do I need to wear a compression garment following breast augmentation surgery?

You will be advised to wear a compressive bra for two to three weeks post-operatively following breast implant placement. It should be worn 24/7 and removed only while taking a shower. It accelerates the recovery of your breasts following surgery and helps keep the implant in the correct position. It increases your comfort level in your enlarged breasts and makes the post-operative recovery period smooth.

What do compression garments do in breast surgery?

Compression garments help in the following ways:

  • Swelling occurs post-operatively following breast surgery when too much fluid builds up in and around the breast tissue. The use of a compression garment can reduce this swelling by compressing your breast and surrounding structures.
  • Compression garments reduce the chances of bruising around your breasts. Any disruption to blood vessels during breast surgeries can lead to visible bruising. The use of compression garments considerably reduces the chances of bruising after surgery. It acts by compressing vessels around the breast and keeps the red cells from migrating towards the epidermis, resulting in a visible bruise.
  • Compression garments designed for breast promote circulation, decrease swelling around the breast tissue, and reduce the inflammatory process, resulting in less pain. It also acts directly by exerting adequate pressure in the breast and helps in reducing pain.
  • It helps to reduce post-operative sagging of skin following gynecomastia surgery.
  • Following removal of excess fat by liposuction in gynecomastia surgery, excess skin tissue is left behind; compression garments provide healthy support to your skin and hold them in place with the underlying breast structure, which reduces sagging of breast skin and helps accelerate your breast recovery.
  • Compression garments function as a physical barrier protecting your breast skin from infections. Compression garments also facilitate effective circulation and transfer of antimicrobial cells to the site of possible infection and help eliminate pathogens.
  • Plastic surgical procedures like Breast augmentation surgery with implants help add the desired size to your breast. The changes in size and shape after this surgery are maintained and kept in place with compression garments. Compression bras ensure that you retain the post-operative changes in your breast’s shape and size by keeping the implants in place.
  • Any plastic surgical procedure involves the risk of clot formations and migration, leading to devastating consequences like pulmonary embolism.
  • The use of compression garments squeezes your peripheral blood vessels and promotes circulation reducing the risks associated with poor circulation like clot formation and DVT.
  • It provides maximum post-operative comfort in your implants.
  • Accumulation of excess scar tissues in the healed wound of your incision site can lead to keloid formation. Compression garments help in softening and breaking down keloids.

What happens if you don’t wear compression garments after breast surgery?

If you do not wear a compression bra following breast implant placement or stop wearing it before your implant settles in a new shape and size, there is a high risk of your implants dislocating from their position.
Also, wound healing, reduction of swelling will take a longer time to complete resulting in pain and discomfort. As the procedure’s final results are not discernible until all swelling subsides, your results will show late.
In gynecomastia surgeries or explant surgeries, not wearing compression garments as advised may result in excess skin being left over and associated sagging of skin around your breasts.

What are Stage I and Stage II Support Garments for the breast?

Support Garments can help during both Stage 1 and Stag 2 of your recovery

Stage One Garments

Stage one garments help in the phase immediately following the surgery. These garments should be worn for two to four weeks after surgery. These garments allow for easy drainage of excess fluid from your breasts into the lymphatic system, thereby reducing swelling and bruising in your breasts. Post-operative compressive bras have front fastening, making them easy to open without extending your arms to remove them. Stage one garments need to be worn round the clock and taken out only while taking a shower.

Stage Two Garments

Stage two garments are worn when your body does not produce excess fluid as in the early recovery phase. Stage two garments provide support to the newly contoured breast size and shape. Stage two garments are comfortable compressive sports bras. Using sports bras without underwire makes recovery more comfortable. These help in longer-term recovery following surgery. You do not need to wear these garments throughout the day. Stage two garments can be used long term and provide similar compression to stage one garment. Also, these garments can be worn easily used as under clothing. These bras should be ideally worn till you completely recover.

How to choose the BEST breast surgery support garment

Breast Surgery will require you to wear a compression garment for two to three weeks or as recommended by your surgeon. Choosing a high-quality compression garment will aid in early and smooth post-operative recovery and alleviation of post-operative pain and swelling.

A high-quality compression garment is essential for early recovery and comfort following the surgery. Six other features to consider before getting compression garments for your breasts include:

  • Bras with Front closure: These bras are easier to adjust and remove with minimal breast movement, helping in early recovery.
  • Compressive bras with no underwire: Underwire in the bra can cause discomfort to your breasts—select bras with no underwire for maximum comfort during your recovery.
  • Compression garments with breathable materials provide you comfort by reducing sweating and maintaining proper ventilation in your breasts. In comparison, poor garment materials can lead to moisture buildup and infection.
  • Bras with an Adjustable strap make it easy to adjust your bra easily during the recovery phase.
  • Your bra should hold your implants in place without exerting excessive pressure on any one particular area. So it would help if you chose bras that exert adequate pressure yet are comfortable as they need to be worn round the clock.
  • Bras made of Materials with good antibacterial properties that prevent bacterial growth on your breasts and the offensive odor that accompanies it.

A comfortable and breathable bra of good quality that can be easily adjusted and supports your new breast shape and size can help you recover quicker following breast surgeries.

Are there any other ways to reduce breast swelling in addition to compression garments following surgery?

There are a few things you can do in addition to using compression garments to minimize excessive swelling and fluid collection occurring after breast surgery; few methods that can help are:

  • Applying cold compresses around your breast for a few days following surgery. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin; rather, it should be covered in cloth and applied for a few minutes intermittently throughout the first two post-operative days.
  • Raising your upper body at an angle of 30 degrees while sitting or reducing swelling caused by fluid retention by draining it towards the heart.
  • Avoiding salty foods: Salty foods hold water and cause water retention in the body, resulting in body swelling.
  • Avoiding the use of diuretics.

What happens if my compression bra is too tight?

The compression bras should be comfortable yet be able to exert adequate pressure to support your breasts and implants in position. It should not be too tight. Wearing too-tight compression garments cause more harm than good.
Wearing too tight compressive bras can jeopardize blood supply to your breasts, thus interfering with your breast recovery process following the surgery. It may result in it discolouration and hyperpigmentation around your breasts.

Timeline for wearing post breast surgery support garments

First stage

Following a surgical procedure involving your breasts, your body sends excess blood to your breasts to promote their healing, which results in excess fluid being built up in surrounding tissues and causing them to swell. The fluid used during general anaesthesia may add up to the swelling as well.

Stage one garments help in this phase immediately following the surgery. These garments should be worn for two to four weeks after surgery. It allows for easy drainage of excess fluid from your breasts into the lymphatic system, reducing swelling and bruising in your breasts. Post-operative compressive bras have front fastening, making them easy to open without having to extend your arms to remove them. Stage one garments need to be worn round the clock and taken out only while taking a shower.

The Second Stage

In the second stage of your recovery, when your body does not create as much fluid, stage two garments are worn. It provides support to the newly contoured breast size and shape. Stage two garments are comfortable compressive sports bras. Using sports bras without underwire makes recovery more comfortable.

These help in long-term recovery following surgery. You do not need to wear these garments throughout the day. Stage two garments can be used long-term and provide similar compression to stage one garment. Also, these garments can be worn easily used as under clothing. These bras should be ideally worn till you completely recover.

Further Medical References about support garments:

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