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What are the best clothes to wear after a mastectomy?

A mastectomy is a life-changing experience for any woman who has gone through it. It is a process of removing one or both breasts due to medical reasons. Following a mastectomy, one of the biggest concerns for many women is dressing appropriately. It is a time when you need clothes that are comfortable, soft, and easy to put on and take off. That being said, picking the right pieces of clothing can help boost your confidence and aid in your recovery journey. In this post, we will explore the best clothes to wear after a mastectomy.

Soft and Breathable Fabrics

After surgery, your skin may be extra-sensitive, and you would want to avoid anything that could rub or irritate it. That’s why soft, breathable fabrics like cotton, bamboo, or silk are ideal options. They keep you comfy and allow your skin to breathe, reducing any risk of skin irritation or infection. It is essential to check the clothing tags and ensure they are comfortable and non-abrasive. You can also consider loose-fitting clothing to ensure an ample air supply.

Recovery Wear

Post-operative clothing has evolved to meet the needs of people healing from surgery. Special recovery clothing, including robes, jackets, and loungewear items, typically come with specialized pockets designed to hold surgical drains. These recovery clothes ensure comfort, easy access to the surgical site, and modesty. Many women choose to invest in specially designed recovery wear or “brobes,” a combination of bras and robes with sewn-in drain pockets.

Button-Down Shirts

While most women opt to avoid bras after a mastectomy, you can still wear button-down shirts. They provide easy access to the surgical site, especially during post-operative check-ups or accessing drains. When shopping for button-down shirts, choose shirts made from soft, breathable materials. You can also opt for oversized shirts to ensure comfort, modesty, and easy access to the surgical site.

Midi Dresses and Loose-Fitting Tops

Many mastectomy patients prefer wearing loose fitting tops or dresses that do not cling to their bodies. This helps to minimize any discomfort or sensitivity around the surgical site, as well as aid in accommodating any fluid build-up from surgical drains. Loose-fitting tops or dresses are trendy and come in different styles, meaning that you do not have to compromise on your fashion.

Post-Surgical Bras

Post-surgical bras are designed to accommodate post-surgery needs. They provide enough support and comfort to aid in the patient’s healing journey. You can either go for a soft bra, which will not irritate the surgical site, or a compression bra, which compresses your breasts to minimize swelling. Some of these bras can also hold breast forms or prosthetics. It would be best if you waited until your surgeon clears you to wear a bra to avoid any complications.


As you can see, comfort is essential when picking clothes to wear after a mastectomy. Soft, breathable fabrics, loose-fitting tops, post-surgery bras, and recovery wear are all ideal options. You don’t have to compromise your fashion sense as well since these pieces come in different styles and designs. Remember to take all the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth recovery journey.


How long after mastectomy can you lift your arms?

After a mastectomy, it’s important to take proper care of your surgical site in order to promote proper healing and prevent complications. One common concern that arises after mastectomy is knowing when it’s safe to lift your arms again. The exact answer will depend on the individual, their recovery progress, and the specific post-operative instructions given by their surgeon.

In general, it is recommended that you avoid lifting your arms above your head or performing any repetitive motions with your surgical arm for at least the first two weeks after surgery. This is because your body needs time to begin the healing process and excessive movement can disrupt this process. After the first two weeks, you can begin to gently move your arm and do some light stretching, but still avoid heavy lifting for at least four weeks. This allows your body more time to rest and heal.

It’s important to note that every person’s body responds to surgery differently and some may need longer recovery times before resuming regular activities. Always follow the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon, and be sure to consult with them if you have any concerns about your recovery or are unsure when it is safe to resume certain activities.

It is important to give yourself time to properly recover after a mastectomy before attempting to lift your arms or perform any strenuous activities. By taking things slow and following the recommendations of your medical team, you can help ensure a smooth recovery and the best possible post-operative outcomes.

Can I go braless after mastectomy?

After undergoing a mastectomy, you may find yourself wondering if it is possible to go braless. The short answer is yes, you can go without a bra after a mastectomy. However, there are a few things to consider before making this decision.

Firstly, going braless after mastectomy may be uncomfortable due to swelling or soreness in the area. If this is the case, it may be more comfortable to wear a soft, seamless bra or camisole in the weeks following your surgery. Your surgical team will be able to advise you on what type of clothing will be most comfortable for you during your recovery.

It is important to note that going without a supportive bra for extended periods of time can cause pain or discomfort, especially if you have had reconstruction surgery. A bra can help to support your chest and keep any prosthetics or surgical sites in place. Some women may find that wearing a bra gives them a sense of security and helps to feel more confident during this transitional time.

That being said, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether you want to wear a bra or go braless after your mastectomy. If you do choose to go without a bra, there are many options for clothing that can provide support and coverage, such as camisoles or tops with built-in shelf bras.

It is possible to go braless after a mastectomy, but it is important to consider your comfort level and speak with your surgical team before making this decision. They can provide guidance on the type of clothing that will be most comfortable for you during your recovery. the most important thing is to do what feels right for you and your body.

Can I take my surgical bra off for a few hours?

After undergoing breast surgery, a surgical bra is usually recommended for patients to wear during the recovery period. The purpose of the surgical bra is to provide support and compression to the breasts as they heal. However, it is natural for patients to feel uncomfortable with wearing the bra all the time and wonder if it is okay to take it off for a few hours.

Typically, it is safe to take the surgical bra off for a short period of time, such as while showering. During showering, the bra can be temporarily removed, but it should always be put back on immediately afterward. It is not recommended to keep the surgical bra off for longer than necessary as the compression and support it provides are essential for optimal healing.

It is important to note that the length of time for wearing the surgical bra varies by individual and the specific surgery performed. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with your surgeon or healthcare provider regarding the appropriate time frame for wearing the surgical bra. They can give you specific guidance on when and for how long it is safe to take the surgical bra off.

Furthermore, wearing the surgical bra consistently can help maintain the proper shape and fullness of the breasts after surgery. It can also help to minimize potential complications such as excess swelling or bruising. Therefore, it is strongly advised to wear the surgical bra as much as possible during the recovery period.

While it is okay to take the surgical bra off for a short period of time for showering, wearing the surgical bra consistently is important for optimal healing and maintaining proper breast shape and fullness. It is best to consult with your surgeon or healthcare provider for specific guidance on wearing your surgical bra.