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Finding a bra after your breast augmentation

Finding the right bra after breast augmentationMany patients ask me about bras after they have had breast augmentation surgery. As I tell every patient who comes in seeking this enhancement, breast augmentation is an inherently unnatural thing to do. Breast implants, while good, are not perfect in duplicating what is naturally missing so the final result will rarely look and/or feel 100%  “natural”, although very nice none-the-less. One aspect of this “unnaturalness” (is that a word?) will be how the augmented breasts fit into a bra. Fitting for bras normally can be a challenge. Trust me on this: there is no standard out there for cup size. If you buy the same cup size from ten different manufacturers, they will all fit you differently. I do not use bra cup size as a measure of breast size because there is so much variation. There are numerous formulas for fitting bras and they may give very different results. Victoria’s secret, for example, will size most women a full cup size large than anyone else. I think they feel this makes their customers feel better. When performing breast augmentation I try to use an implant size that will achieve a result that will satisfy my understanding of the patient’s desires, make them look as natural as possible, produce a visible increase in fullness, and, hopefully, avoid unnecessary problems for them, now and in the future. Women often don’t realize that the result will be with them for years, or even the rest of their lives, and I try to look down the road.  But, I am getting off track. Back to bras……..

My advice regarding post operative bras is to wear comfortable sports bras, without underwires or thick seams, for the first month or so after surgery. The breasts may be sensitive and the implants will not have fully settled, so fitted bras will probably not fit well, underwires may be uncomfortable, and sizing may be inaccurate. Once the implants have settled and the breasts assumed their final shape, that is the right time to get fitted. The bottom line is that the best bra for you is the one that fits you well and gives good support. This may require a little trial and error. Most large department stores and lingerie stores have people trained to fit customers for bras. Admittedly, some women just happen to have that combination of chest circumference and breast shape/size that makes them very difficult to fit after breast implant surgery.  There is one brand, Le Mystere (, that makes bras specifically for women with implants. The are a bit wider along the curve of the underwire and have some other modifications to better fit these individuals. They are available in many department stores, such as Macy’s and Neiman Marcus. They are not cheap at $76 each but if they are your best fit, they are worth it.

Sports bras are great but some don’t give enough support for women with larger breasts. One of my patients is a runner. A week after her augmentation, she ran 20 miles in a long distance relay! I don’t recommend this, but she was committed and did not have any problems. She searched extensively and came up with two sports bras that she felt were excellent. One is the Enell sports bra ( and the other is the “Tata Tamer” (no, I am not making this up) ( She states that both were extremely comfortable and gave “the girls” great support when she ran.

Many of my patients express a desire for superior fullness from their implant surgery. This is very difficult to produce on purpose and, usually, when there is superior fullness due to the implant, it does not look natural and can look a little strange. The best way to get that fullness is with a good “push-up” bra. The same thing applies to cleavage. Most small breasted women do not have much cleavage. I can try to enhance this by bringing the implant pockets closer together but I have to do this very carefully. Too close and I risk disrupting the skin attachment to the breast bone. This can produce what some call “bread loafing” and others call a “uni-breast”, where the implants are too close together and, again, look strange. This is VERY difficult to correct. Cleavage after breast augmentation has done what it can, is best produced with a good bra to push the breasts together.

I do recommend that my patients limit how much they go braless. The only support your breasts have is the skin and some fine ligaments that connect the skin to the muscle. The ligaments are called Coopers ligaments (in medical school, we called them “Coopers Droopers” because they stretch out with age and allow the breasts to sag). You will sag more over time if you go braless a lot. A comfortable, well fitted bra is your best defense against sagging.

If you discover any great bras out there please let me know  so I can pass this on to patients.

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