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Everything You Need to Know about Buying Surgical Bras

October 5, 2014

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by ALLISON GOODLIN

When looking for a surgical bra for an upcoming breast augmentation or mastectomy it can feel like you’re swimming in a sea of confusion. Which bra will provide the support you need during healing? What are bra pockets and do you need them? What features are essential? What do you need to avoid? Let go of the confusion and let us show you the way. When you know what to look for, buying a surgical bra doesn’t have to be a mind boggling process.

Surgical Bra Essentials

These must have features will ensure that your surgical bra is comfortable and supportive from the day after surgery until your healing is complete. Every feature on this list is a must so don’t compromise. A good place to start your search is with the Royce line of surgical and pocketed bras*.

  • Soft Fabric- Right after surgery your breasts will be very tender. Rough or itchy fabric can irritate them. Look for a surgical bra that features soft fabric both on the inside and out. Remember you’ll be wearing this bra 24 hours a day so comfort is a must.
  • Wire-Free- While an underwire is the choice of bras for many women, after surgery it’s a big no-no. The wires can poke and irritate your already sore breasts. Depending on the placement of your incisions, an underwire can even sit right on the incision, keeping it from healing and in some cases causing serious healing issues. If you’re having breast augmentation or breast reconstruction, an underwire can keep your implants from settling properly. Choose a wire-free bra.
  • Lots of Support- When you think of sore breasts, support is probably the last thing you think you want, but trust us, after surgery the extra support will feel great. Dr. Stuart Kincaid, a respected San Diego plastic surgeon explains, “If you choose a surgical bra that offers compression it can reduce swelling, improve circulation, promote healing, and help hold everything in place. Look for a bra that offers support, not just lifting. You want all over support to help your breasts feel supported and secure, especially in those first weeks after surgery.”
  • Lots of Coverage- Surgical bras should cover the whole breast. Look for bras with lots of coverage. Remember, more coverage means more support and more comfort for your healing breasts.
Tips for the Right Fit

Once you’ve found the right style of bra, getting the right fit is essential. The best post-surgical bra on the market isn’t going to do you any good if it’s too large or much too small. These tips will help you get the perfect fit.

  • Try it On- The only sure fire way to know how a bra will fit is to try it on. Start with your usual bra size and work from there. With a surgical bra a little tight is better than a little loose.
  • jasmine-by-RoyceAvoid Baggy Cups- Your breast should fill the cups of your bra. If you have extra room, try a smaller bra. When looking at bra sizes the numerical part of the size (the 36 in 36B for example) represents your band size. You can get this measurement by placing a flexible measuring tape under your arms just above the bust and measuring around your chest. To get your cup size (the letter in your bra size) move the measuring tape down and measure around the fullest part of your bust. This number should be larger than your band measurement. To convert into a letter for cup size subtract your band size from your bust measurement. If the difference is 1 inch, you’re an A cup, 2 inches B cup, etc.
  • Don’t be Afraid of Pockets- If you’ve had a mastectomy your breasts might be different sizes after surgery. A pocketed bra allows you to easily add in a prosthesis after your healing is complete. These removable inserts pop right into the pockets sewn into the bra, giving you the right bra fit for both breasts, even if they aren’t the same size. Many women like the comfort and elegance of the Jasmine bra from Royce*.
  • Try Different Manufacturers and Styles- If you’re having trouble finding a surgical bra that fits, try a different brand. Bra sizing isn’t standardized which means that manufacturers alone determine how their bras will fit. Keep trying different styles and brands until you find a bra you love.

Now that you’ve got some tips, head out and start searching for the perfect surgical bra. It might take some time, but finding a good bra always does. Be patient, understand you may need to try on new sizes and styles, and most importantly don’t get discouraged. Happy hunting!

royce*Royce Lingerie is recognized as the expert in designing wirefree bras and the company’s Caress collection is a range of pocketed bras designed to give all the comfort and support ladies need after breast surgery.

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Real Reasons Women Get Breast Implants

September 24, 2014

By ELISABETH DALE

Why do women get breast implants? It’s the No 1 cosmetic surgery in the US, even though it carries with it the burden of judgment and dismissal. So what’s driving these women? Are they young and insecure? Superficial? Desperate?

The answers might surprise you.

Of the 300,000 implant procedures in the US in 2013 (up 37% since 2000 and still rising), the breakdown by age, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, goes like this:

2013 ASAP Breast Augmentations, by Age

13-19                                     8,234

20-29                                   83,638

30-39                                 105,877

40-54                                   85,516

55+                                       6,934

Note the largest group: 30 to 39-year-old women. Not recent grads. Not porn stars. Not young women on the prowl.

What could be their motivation?

Most 30 to 39-year-olds are in the middle of their childbearing years. Many lose breast volume after pregnancy and aren’t happy with the way their boobs hang after major weight loss. There’s no way to get breast volume back, short of breast implants—no exercises or muscles that build them back up. So these women turn to implants to restore their original, and now lost, shape and size. They’re called “mommy make-overs,” breast implants combined with tummy tucks and liposuction.

Of the 85,000-plus procedures among the middle-aged population, 40-54, one can assume it has to do with staving off the march of time. There were also 92,000-plus eyelid surgeries in that age bracket. Of the nearly equal number of procedures among women in their 20s, statistics demonstrate that in that age group, 69,000 surgeries had to do with nose reshaping. So yes, there may be definite body dissatisfaction in this demographic, but it’s not just about breasts.

What about all the young girls getting “unnecessary” breast surgeries?

It’s hard to miss the media outrage over boob jobs handed out as high school graduation gifts. But, again, let’s look at the stats: board-certified plastic surgeons won’t perform breast augmentations on women under 22, since breast tissue isn’t considered fully developed until that time (though breasts can and do change in size and shape all the way through lactation and past menopause).

Even the FDA doesn’t recommend breast implants for patients under 18. Yet sometimes such procedures are necessary for young women—to correct severe breast asymmetry, genetic chest deformities, or extreme under-development. And to put that 8,000 number above in perspective, nearly 6,000 young men in the same 13- to 19-year-old age group had breast-reduction surgery for gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) that same year. Another 30,000 teens (not broken down by sex) also had nose jobs. It’s likely that with young people these events are often more corrective and remedial than solely cosmetic.

Why do women want way bigger breasts?

What is extreme and what is “normal”? Women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and their breasts don’t stay the same. Bra fitters and the intimate-apparel industry know the true size of women’s breasts, and bodies are rarely perfectly proportional. Some tiny women inherit outsized breasts, which make a much larger statement. Turns out that deep-cup bras with smaller bands (28 to 32 backs with DD to J cups) are the fastest-growing segment of the bra industry. These new sizes aren’t being marketed to young women with breast implants.

Breast implants aren’t measured by cup size but by cubic centimeter. Plastic surgeons know that a 300cc implant on one woman’s frame will look quite different on a taller or wider body. Look through theRealSelf.com forums and you’ll find plenty of breast augmentation patients who go from a B to a C cup or a D—hardly super-sizing, although there are always extreme cases. And there’s only so much physical room to place an implant under skin or muscle. You can find plenty of examples of badly botched oversized boob jobs if you search “breast implant photos.” So no; most women who get breast implants are not shooting for the moon.

Isn’t it about getting male attention and approval?

Numerous studies attempting to show male preference for one size of breasts over another all seem to contradict one other. A 2013 article inPsychology Today cited a study that men who were poor and/or hungry tended to favor women with larger breasts (as did men interested in fatherhood), while men higher on the socio-economic scale, men who’d just had a meal, and men forestalling fatherhood tended to go for a smaller-breasted ideal. Other studies claim sexist men prefer bigger boobs. Many larger busted women aren’t thrilled with the unwanted attention paid to their breast size. The bottom line? Men like breasts. They just do.

Shouldn’t women accept their breasts the way they are?

What is it about women’s breasts that make their surgical alteration more shocking than all the nose jobs, eye jobs, and facelifts combined? It’s hard to say. But women aren’t complaining, and report higher self-esteem an self-confidence after surgeries.

Some new enhancement procedures even use a woman’s own fat to build up her breast tissue (goodbye implants). Breast lifts (aka breastmastopexy) are outpacing breast implants and have jumped by over 70%, with some 90,000 choosing the procedure in 2013.*** There were also 40,000 women who had breast reductions and 24,000 who had breast implant removal surgeries the same year. It’s safe to say women are choosing to control their breasts with surgery.

Isn’t it a matter of personal preference (combined with disposable income to fund plastic surgery)? If a woman wants to adjust the size or shape of her boobs, who are we – or anyone, for that matter – to judge otherwise?

What’s your opinion? What do you think of women who get breast implants or other cosmetic surgeries?

***Author’s disclosure: read about my breast lift here.

This article was originally published on The Breast Briefs

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Surgeons Recommendations for Bras after Breast Reconstruction

September 10, 2014

By Allison Goodlin
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For many women their breasts are an important part of their identity as a woman. When cancer, congenital deformities, or other problems interfere with the breast tissue it can be an experience that challenges confidence and causes intense frustration. Luckily, breast reconstruction is an option for many women, restoring confidence and helping women to love the way they look once again.

After breast reconstruction that go-to favorite bra you loved before probably won’t fit the same way you remember. Reconstructed breasts may look and feel natural, but the implants and surgical techniques used do change the way that bras fit, making bra shopping a whole new experience. Dr. Steven Robinson, a breast surgeon at Ohio Plastic Surgeons, Inc. has put together some … Read more

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Dos and Don’ts of Bra Shopping after Breast Augmentation

August 14, 2014

by Allison Goodlinafter-augmentation
One of the things women most look forward to after breast augmentation surgery is getting brand new, stylish bras to show off their enhanced figure. Many dream of a trip to their favorite lingerie store to pick up the latest fashionable looks. Bra shopping after breast augmentation is an exciting time; here are some tips from Dr. Nina S. Naidu, a New York plastic surgeon, to help make your bra shopping a success.

Bra Shopping after Breast Augmentation Dos

Wear the Right Bra at the Right Time ~ While fancy lace undergarments might start calling your name soon after your bandages are removed; wait until you have your doctor’s approval before you start wearing a regular bra. A support bra may … Read more

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Five Signs It’s Time to Throw Away Old Bras

July 28, 2014

By Elisabeth Dale

CIMG0004-210x210I hate having to throw away old bras. I’m not even sure why it’s so hard. I know they don’t last forever.

Yet many feel like good friends, and it’s tough to let go of these formerly supportive relationships. Sometimes I remember where I bought a particular bra, in what city or store, who I was with, and if I wore it on a special occasion. I’ve got some great personal memories stashed in some of my old bras.

But there’s no way to make room for new lingerie friendships without clearing out some of the tired and messy bra clutter in my life.

If you are reluctant to throw away old bras, these five signs may make the job a little Read more

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Meeting Changing Breast Cancer Patient Needs ~ Amoena

May 21, 2014

By Elisabeth Dale

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Despite all the breast cancer “awareness,” there’s little discussion about how modern breast cancer treatments impact a woman’s day-to-day life, especially when it comes to post-surgical intimate apparel. Too often there’s an assumption that the end result of a breast cancer diagnosis a new set of perkier boobs. But that over-simplification is at odds with the reality of today’s breast cancer treatment options.

Some patients have immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Others must wait and go through multiple surgeries over the course of months, or even years. Not everyone who has breast removal surgery is eligible (for any number of medical reasons) for breast reconstruction. A woman might have one reconstructed breast, and then must have her healthy breast cosmetically altered … Read more

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Will Affordable Care Act Change Nursing Bra Design?

December 16, 2013

By Elisabeth Dale

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It’s hard to imagine that a medical insurance plan could change the way nursing bras are designed. But the Affordable Care Act, in an effort to increase overall breastfeeding rates, may lead the way. Why? Because new mothers will have greater access to expensive ($250 and up) but more efficient electric breast pumps. And nursing bras that make it simple to latch on to baby or a breast pump could be the next best bra solution.

Breast pumping bras have been around for a few years. Brands like Simple Wishes and Pump Ease have created a convenient way for lactating mothers to keep breast pumps attached to their chest, leaving their hands “free” to do something else. They are not “bras” in … Read more

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Elisabeth Dale

 
BREAST BRIEFS ~ All about breast health and breast related topics
 

Contributing Authors Include:

 

 
ELISABETH DALE is an internationally renowned breast expert and author, and the founder of www.TheBreastLife.com. She has appeared on Good Morning America, The Tyra Banks Show, BBC World News, NPR, and has been featured in The New York Times, Cosmo, Glamour, Men’s Health, and the Sunday London Times.
 
In her book, bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls, and on her website, Elisabeth entertains, educates and encourages AAA through KK cups to learn more about their bodies and support the changes their breasts go through from puberty to motherhood and menopause.
 

 
At TheBreastLife.com, women can bare and share their intimate feelings and stories about their bodies (mammoirs), and experience a safe haven to explore new and innovative products, services, clothing, and surgical options. You can visit www.TheBreastLife.com to find the best breast gear and garments that have earned The Breast Life Seal of Approval from a trusted community of product testers, and share your finds and feelings with an active community of other smart, stylish and interested women.
 

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ALLISON GOODLIN

Allison is a professional writer, who enjoys writing about health, beauty tips, and s kin care. She has written for several beauty blogs and fashion publications, but has recently found an interest in the plastic surgery industry. After overcoming breast cancer, Allison has focused her research on breast surgeries, with emphasis on patient lifestyle after breast augmentation, breast lifts and especially breast reconstruction for cancer patients. She is dedicated to informing seasoned and future patients on the how-to’s after breast surgery.
 
She truly feels that each patient should experience the excitement of purchasing lingerie once your new look has finally healed and with the experienced surgical advice, patients will be equipt with the information to enjoy their buying experience.