Before your breast surgery, your doctor may recommend that you purchase a compression bra to wear during your recovery period. However, many women wonder whether a post-surgical bra is really necessary? The short answer is yes. A compression bra is an essential wardrobe item that is necessary to prevent further health complications and aid healing. Here are some ways that a compression bra can help you to heal faster.
1. Reduce the Risk of Lymphedema
Lymphedema is a major risk with any breast surgery and occurs when lymph fluid, a clear fluid that removes bacteria from the wound site, builds up in the tissues around the surgical sites and, in some cases, can spread to the extremities causing swelling in the arms and legs.
A compression bra from MastectomyShop.com is an effective way to prevent lymphedema by encouraging the flow of lymph away from the tissues, which is especially important in women who have had lymph nodes removed from their underarm during surgery.
2. Minimize Infection
Infection is another potential risk for women following breast surgery, and a compression bra can reduce the likelihood of developing infection by facilitating blood and lymph flow to remove harmful bacteria around the area and by allowing easy access to drainage ports, if present, and easy cleaning and changing of wound dressings.
3. Increase Blood Flow
The gentle compression points strategically located throughout the bra work to increase the circulation of blood around the surgical site. Increased blood flow aids healing by flooding the site with nutrients, plasma, and platelets that are essential to building new tissues and facilitating the proper immune response by removing harmful bacteria and infection.
4. Reduce Inflammation
The body’s natural immune response to trauma is inflammation. However, when inflammation persists, it can lead to a host of other health complications which can prolong the healing process. A compression bra prevents swelling and inflammation to the chest and underarm by controlling the blood flow and reducing the risk of infection.
5. Retain Breast Shape
For women who undergo simultaneous mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries, a compression bra is essential to ensure your implants retain their proper shape and position. In some cases, breast implants can shift or slip after surgery, causing an unnatural appearance or noticeable imbalance.
A compression bra applies gentle pressure under the arms and around the chest and features a more rigid shape than standard post-mastectomy bras which help to support newly reconstructed breast while they heal.
6. Facilitate Dressing
Because of initial tenderness after surgery, it can be challenging to move your arms to put your bra on and off making a post-surgical bra more suitable than a standard bra. Overexerting yourself can burst stitches and reopen wounds, leading to longer recovery time.
Many styles of compression bra feature front closures with zippers or hook-and-eye fasteners that are simple to slip on without needing to stretch your arms too much. These bras often also feature over the shoulder Velcro straps to make dressing even easier and to allows better access to drainage ports and for changing wound dressings.
Getting Fitted for a Compression Bra
To ensure your compression bra offers the best support and the right level of compression for your body, it is crucial to go for a professional fitting with a certified fitter. Using your exact measurements, a fitter can work together with you to estimate the correct size of your compression bra after surgery, and which type of compression bra suits your body type.
A compression bra is more than a simple addition to your wardrobe, it is an essential and effective part of the recovery process and should be worn day and night for the first couple of weeks after surgery or as recommended by your doctor to aid healing and speed up your recovery process.