How to Choose a Post-Operative Bra After Open-Heart Surgery

Posted by Heart Hugger on Apr 19, 2021 12:35:08 PM

woman holding her sternum or chest after open heart surgery

After open-heart surgery, you’re going to have a lot of questions, concerns, and emotions. 

Prior to surgery, post-operative bras might not have crossed your mind, but choosing the right one can not only provide you with a greater sense of comfort and security, but it can also aid in your recovery and get you back to living your best life, sooner.

The most important thing to do before researching and choosing the right post-operative bra is to consult your doctor. They will be able to provide you with recommendations and may even have some special instructions that you will need to be aware of in order to make the best decision, but here are some more general considerations to keep in mind.

Why is a post-operative bra important after open-heart surgery?

The thought of putting on and wearing something like a bra after open-heart surgery may seem intimidating, but in reality, most patients find it to be a comfort and appreciate the reduced healing times and lowered infection rates associated with wearing one.

Wearing a post-operative bra minimizes movement where it’s needed most, and can help keep your incision stable, reducing the risk of complications, delayed healing, and infection. Wearing the right post-op bra can also reduce pain, swelling, and provide a sense of security which can help you begin to get around again more safely and with a greater sense of confidence.

What to Consider When Choosing a Post-Operative Bra

If you were thinking that you were going to be throwing a typical sports bra on after surgery, we’re here to tell you that you would have very quickly changed your mind! A typical sports bra is a feat to get on and off during normal circumstances but will be impossible (and painful and possibly damaging) to contend with after surgery.

So what features should you be looking for?

Front closure

A front closure will not only be kinder to your incision, but will make dressing changes, wound checks, and any possible suture removal much easier. A front closer will also enable you to have more independence, and reduce the need for you to stretch and contort to fasten one with a back closure. The idea is to minimize any tugging or pulling across your chest, and a front closure will accomplish this best.


The name of the game is to spend as little time as possible stretching, straining, or being uncomfortable in your post-operative bra, and this makes adjustable straps and closures a must. It should fit snugly, but not too snugly, and be able to accommodate any drainage tubes, dressing changes, swelling, sutures, and any monitoring devices that you may need to keep handy.

Soft, breathable, stretchable

You want to choose a post-operative bra that’s soft against your skin, is breathable, and has some stretch to it to prevent binding. You want the reduce the amount of tugging, pulling, and struggling that you must go through to sleep and live with it, and get it on and off of your body. The more comfortable and breathable the bra is, the less likely you will have to fidget with it, and the longer you will be comfortable wearing it (which can speed healing).

It’s something that at one time you may have never imagined having to consider, but choosing the right post-operative bra to promote your healing after open-heart surgery will not only help you feel better but heal better.

Do you still have questions? We invite you to learn more about our surgi-support vest!

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

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