4- Dress to Succeed during Post-Mastectomy Tissue Healing

Road Map to Recovery
  1. Mastectomy
  2. 6 weeks of tissue healing
  3. Rehab to normalize shoulder mobility and core strength –> Return to function
  4. Reconstructive breast surgery
  5. Rehab to continue shoulder strengthening and activity specific –> Return to activity/sport/work

After surgery, you will want to make sure you have these types of clothing ready for comfort and convenience!

  • Open front tops (flannels, zip ups, front button). Avoid anything where you have to pull over your head because your shoulders will not move in that motion for a bit.
  • Loose fabrics such as cotton and satin is soft on the skin and easy to maneuver. 
  • Do not wear anything fancy or expensive because you may bleed or leak into your clothes.
  • Loose underwear. If you end up getting a reconstruction that takes tissues and fat from your abdomen, make sure your underwear elastic is not at the site of the incision. You can ask your doctor where the incision will be so you can plan accordingly.
  • NO BRAS because the hospital will provide you with their special bras. Make sure you ask them if you can have or purchase a second bra so you can alternate them at home. 

How to put on your bra after mastectomy:

Don’t clasp your bra behind your back blindly, ESPECIALLY when your shoulders are sore, tender, and recently out of surgery. Try putting on a bra without cranking your shoulder this way!

  1. Clasp the bra in FRONT of you instead of behind. Cups should be on your back.
  2. Spin the bra so the cups are in the front.
  3. Slip the straps up your shoulders.

If you have more questions, please book an appointment with Dr. Ann DeGrey, PT, DPT, SCS or Dr. Lei Lee, PT, DPT for more information and to develop a plan!

Request an Appointment Online, or Contact Us