What to Wear After Surgery

Posted by Heart Hugger on Apr 12, 2022 1:02:35 PM

stack of comfortable clothingAfter heart surgery, deciding what to wear becomes a lot more complicated! Clothes are harder to put on than they used to be. And those fun fabrics now irritate the incision wound. Suddenly, those fashionable clothes filling your wardrobe just look daunting to wear. So, what should you wear? Let’s look at the best clothing options to wear after surgery.

Daytime Clothing

Typically, what you wear in the daytime isn’t what you lounge around in at night, so let’s start by covering the best daytime clothing options. When protecting your incision scar, loose and comfortable clothes will keep the fabric from rubbing and tugging on the wound.

Loose Shirts

Pullover shirts can pose a real problem after heart surgery! Your arm movements will be limited, so any loose-hanging shirt you can wear without needing to pull over your head will prevent you from having to raise your arms. In terms of materials, a soft fabric that doesn’t scratch or itch will keep from irritating your skin during the healing process.


Tight-fitting jeans aren’t exactly the most comfortable pants in the world, especially after you’ve spent a week in the hospital. Relaxed pants are the perfect choice to lounge around in all day, so pick up a couple of sweatpants that you can switch between in the mornings and evenings.


A dressing gown paired with underwear and socks can be very helpful for anyone who doesn’t feel like getting dressed in the mornings. For women, your choice of bra will be an important decision. It helps to have a strong support bra with a design that won’t rub against the scar, so consider a strapless, halter neck or a tank top with a built-in bra. For extra precaution and pain relief, check out the benefits of wearing a post-operative bra, which helps support your sternum and alleviates pain!

Small Towel

Coughing is a natural part of the healing process and prevents a chest infection from building up, so you want to feel free to cough without the worry of any pain. That’s where a small towel can come in handy! You can roll a towel up and hold it tight against your breastbone to ease the pain each time you cough. However, if you don’t feel like lugging a towel around all day, you can wear a patient-operated harness, which remains hidden under your clothing and supports you while coughing.

Hair Ties

When you’re feeling achy, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is trying to brush your hair. If you have longer hair, a headband or hair ties can work wonders in making you feel relaxed and keeping hair out of your eyes.

Night Time Clothing

Nighttime clothing options are much easier to figure out than what you’ll wear in the daytime. Chances are, you already wear the kind of clothing that feels comfortable after heart surgery.


Nightgowns or pajamas make for a naturally comfortable choice. Since your movement will be minimal, look for a design that buttons up the front, so you’ll have an easier time putting the gown on. This way you won’t have to reach behind your back to button yourself in.


Sometimes, a patient’s feet can swell up after heart surgery. In these cases, slippers will slide onto your feet much easier if your feet are too swollen to fit inside of a regular shoe. Putting on laced shoes can be stressful on the chest as you bend over, so slippers will be an easier option whether your feet are swollen or not.


When recovering from heart surgery, the clothing you choose can make a huge difference! So, try to strike a balance with clothes that make you feel good and encourage you to move around more to improve your strength. As your strength improves, you can look forward to the fact that you’ll soon be back to wearing the clothes you want to wear!

If you’re looking for more ways to alleviate pain during your recovery, you can learn more about Heart Hugger, which gives your sternum the support it needs so you can move around without the fear of pain.

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

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