Many factors determine whether your breast cancer can be treated with a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, such as the number, size and location of the tumor(s), whether you can or have had radiation therapy, and your personal choice. While a lumpectomy is typically shorter and may involve a quicker recovery, it is possible that once post surgery swelling goes down, breasts may be uneven, in which case you may opt to balance them via an insert (also called a breast prosthesis). If you and your doctor agree on this procedure as your course of treatment, you’ll likely want to consider options for finding a bra that works for you post-lumpectomy.
What to Look for in a Lumpectomy Bra
A lumpectomy may change the way your bra fits, and there are a few key elements to look for in a post-lumpectomy bra. Many of these elements apply to other alternatives in breast cancer recovery such as mastectomy and reconstruction (for a full overview consult our guide to Bras for Breast Cancer), but some are specific to this treatment option.
Post-Surgery, You Will Be Given a Compression Binder to Wear
To help reduce swelling, your doctor will provide you with a compression binder to wear for the length of time you doctor recommends. You may not be able to completely tell how asymmetrical your breasts are post procedure until this swelling subsides. When you are ready to wear a bra, you’ll want to start it on the farthest hook and move in as you are comfortably able.
Tight and Supportive!
Once you are done with the compression binder, you’ll still want to prevent breasts from moving at all as this can cause pain. Whether you move into tighter hooks or even opt for a smaller band size, a tight, yet still comfortable, fit will provide the necessary support while keeping things in place.
Comfort to Wear All Day
If you’ve always been one to toss off your bra at the end of the day, it’s most certainly time to find a style that you can comfortably wear not just all day, but also through the night. For about two months post surgery, doctors will typically recommend you to wear a bra 24/7, which means even while sleeping.
Wireless Bra to Avoid Digging
One of the last things you want is an annoying wire poking or digging in, so it’s best to opt for wireless styles. Wirefree construction is designed to be supportive, stylish and ultimately, super comfortable, so much so that you might just ditch the underwire for good.
Formed Cups to Fit the Larger Breast
When choosing a bra post lumpectomy, look for formed cups in the size of your larger breast. This bit of structure will help even out your chest and will help cover any asymmetry.
Soft Adjustable Straps
Similar to underwires, straps that slide off or dig in are both annoying and uncomfortable. Opt for soft, adjustable straps that allow you to slide the adjuster to the appropriate position for comfortable support, and remember, even pre-procedure, these often aren’t in the same place on each side as no two breasts are exactly identical anyways. Ensuring the slide adjuster is in the right position for adequate support on each side will keep them in place and you comfortable.
Clasp or Zipper for Easy On & Off
For at least a month after breast surgery, you may have limited mobility, so pull over clothing, including bras, is out. Instead, look for a clasp, either in the front or back, or a zipper (more typically on front close bras) that you can easily get on and off without too much stretching.
True&Co Bras that Will Support You After a Lumpectomy
True&Co wants all women to be as comfortable in their skin as possible, which we know can be challenging during a difficult breast cancer journey. So that you can focus on getting well, we design bra styles that give you one less thing to worry about. Here are a few of our favorites that are well suited for post lumpectomy support:
Lifting Seamless Wirefree Bra
Wireless support and all day comfort are maximized in this seamless triangle style. Stretchy material is combined with fixed pads that are strategically placed to lift and smooth for a natural appearance. Adjustable straps and a double hook and eye back closure offer a proper fit and easy on and off.
Scoop Neck Adjustable Strap Bra
A scoop is a classic for good reason, and the Scoop Neck Adjustable Strap Bra's sleek, effortless style is an excellent example. In our smoothest True Body microfiber, this second skin fabric contours to your natural shape and the seamless design means it remains invisible under clothes. Wirefree support with adjustable, slim straps and removable pads make this a great option when you are ready to revisit a pull over style.
Lift Scoop Neck Bra
With over 1200 reviews and a four star rating, plus availability in eight colors and sizes up to 42DDD, it’s no wonder the Lift Scoop Neck Bra is one of our, and more importantly, our customers, favorite styles. The rounded scoop neckline is mirrored with a ballet back for a beautiful and versatile silhouette. A heavier weight of our softest fabric offers increased support (up to one full inch of lift!) while keeping its shape and stretch, even with everyday, all day wear.