Buttons, zippers, and clasps will become your best friends post surgery. Around the house, I wore my scrubs with buttons. When I left the house, I wore button down shirts. Wearing shirts with buttons made it easy at the doctor’s office when I had to change into a gown.
After surgery, my surgeon gave me a compression bra to wear, but it was very uncomfortable. I purchased post mastectomy bras from Amazon with clasps. I also purchased sports bras from Amazon with zippers. I was unsure about what size to order after surgery, so I bought and washed various bras so that I would be prepared to wear them at home. Looking back, I would have ordered the bras from Amazon not so far in advance and would have not washed them until I knew that they fit, so that I would have been able to return them before the 30 day limit. The problem was that none of them fit, so my mom had to go to Dillard’s to purchase bras that fit. Dillard’s has a line of bras for women that have had mastectomies. A friend and breast cancer survivor said that she wore a tank top with a self bra post surgery.
Women’s Health Boutique works with my insurance company. There are several locations within the Houston area, some stores are under a different name, but they all generally carry the same items. I was unaware that my insurance covered bra purchases until recently. My oncologist wrote a prescription for bras and I had an appointment at the Women’s Health Boutique. I felt very comfortable with my bra specialist, Charlene. Charlene did a great job helping me find bras that I liked. I got two bras that fit well for everyday wear and a tank top with a durable built in shelf bra. My experience was enjoyable, for bra shopping, ha ha! They also have sleeves for women with lymphedema.
Nordstrom has a Breast Prosthesis Program with trained staff to help you with purchasing a bra. They also work with many insurance companies. You can call the Nordstrom in your city and make an appointment to meet with a bra specialists. In addition, they will alter bras to fit you properly.
Several weeks after surgery, my plastic surgeon said that I could wear bras without an underwire instead of the post mastectomy bras. If you choose to not go to a specialty bra store, Soma Boutique has a few bras without an underwire. I purchased a strapless and wireless bra from Amazon.
(I do not have a medical background, this post was written based on my personal experience. I received information about Nordstroms from the Young Survival Coalition Facebook page. Young Survival Coalition is a fantastic resource that I will write about in an upcoming post. I also received information regarding the Women’s Health Boutique from MD Anderson.)