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    No.23: Bras To Wear After Your Lumpectomy

    What to Wear After A Lumpectomy

    When preparing for your lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, the bra you need will be radically different than the ones you have spent your entire life getting used to. We know how daunting and frustrating it can feel bra shopping before your surgery when you are already dealing with a host of other stressful pre-surgical decisions. 

    If you are in the stress boat pre-lumpectomy, allow this blog to help guide the way. Read on for the key bras you will need as you heal from your lumpectomy and continue into your treatment.

    What Is The Difference Between A Lumpectomy and A Mastectomy? 

    The kind of breast surgery you have depends entirely on your diagnosis, your doctor’s recommendation, and what you feel is right for  you.According to  The Mayo Clinic, a lumpectomy is “...a surgery to remove cancer or other abnormal tissue from your breast. During a lumpectomy, a small amount of normal tissue around the lump (also described as clean or normal margins of breast tissue) also is taken to help ensure that all the cancer or other abnormal tissue is removed; unlike a mastectomy only a portion of the breast is removed.” 

    To be brief, lumpectomies are less-invasive surgeries and preserve more of the appearance and feeling in your breast than a mastectomy does. According to BreastCancer.Org, if you opt for a lumpectomy, you will also likely need to undergo radiation therapy in order to ensure that the cancer is gone.

    By comparison, having a mastectomy will mean  the permanent loss of your breast or breasts. Mastectomies are much more extensive surgical procedures than lumpectomies, require longer healing time, and have more post-surgical side effects. Some women opt for mastectomies over lumpectomies for more peace of mind. The decision to remove your entire breast is wholly up to you and your doctor. 

      Gather your friends, family and support system to be there for you when you need them. 

      What Kind Of Bra Do I Need After My Lumpectomy?

      If you’ve had a lumpectomy, chances are you will most likely have radiation treatment as well. And if you’re having radiation treatment, you’ll want a bra that will soothe your skin. When looking for a bra to wear after your lumpectomy and radiation treatment, steer clear of underwire bras. Painful skin burns and friction don’t exactly mix. Instead you’ll want a wirefree bra made of the softest material possible, constructed with seams that don’t irritate your most delicate areas.

      Woman in three bras

      lumpectomy bras

      Look for fabrics that will promote your recovery. Modal fabric stretches enough for you to step into your bra while also maintaining the bra’s crisp shape and design. Having a garment you can step into will make your life post-treatment so much easier, because you won’t have to strain your body when your range of motion is restricted. Modal is not only flexible, but breathable and cooling as well. It is sure to keep you comfy on those long days in bed recovering. The softness of modal will not irritate your skin post radiation—it is so soft you will forget you have anything on in the first place!

      AnaOno’s collection was designed with the aesthetics of lumpectomy and the side effects of radiation in mind. Both The Monica and The Molly bras are pocketed for lightweight breast forms like the AnaOno F(oo)Bs®. If you are looking for shape and symmetry post-lumpectomy, forms provide you with both! With a doctor’s prescription, the bras may also be covered by insurance.

      How Do I Recover From A Lumpectomy?

        • Clear Your Calendar. Even though lumpectomies are less extensive than mastectomies, you will still need ample rest and healing time. Take it easy and give your body the break it needs. 
        • Schedule a pre-surgery and post-surgery blowout.Having great hair pre-surgery will give you more confidence. After surgery, your range of motion will be pretty restricted, so showering will be tough. Getting your hair done is a treat you deserve after surgery.  
        • Call Your Gang.Call up your support system and see if they can spend a day in bed with you watching movies while you rest and heal. They'll take your mind off of what you're going through and help get you anything you may need. 
        • Arrange a meal delivery service or meal train.Making sure you and your family’s meals are taken care of while you heal from surgery will relieve so much stress. 
        • A good sports or support bra. You’ll want a supportive bra to wear both day and night for a while, to minimize movement that could cause pain. If you have larger breasts, you may find it more comfortable to sleep on the side that has not been operated on, with your healing breast supported by a pillow in front of you.
      Dana Donofree

      Dana Donofree

      Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.