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Do You Need A Shoulder Surgery Bra?

Springrose makes adaptive intimates for unstoppable women. Learn more >
03 May 2024

Will a shoulder surgery bra help during recovery, and what features are most important?

Shoulder surgery can be daunting. It’s really difficult to know what to expect both immediately after surgery and long term.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need to prepare and plan for ahead of time.

shoulder surgery bra: a close up of a woman with a shoulder surgery scar wearing a Springrose shoulder surgery bra

Preparing for shoulder surgery

Before undergoing shoulder surgery, it's crucial to adequately prepare yourself, both physically and mentally. 

Here’s a checklist to work through pre-surgery:

  • Inform loved ones of your surgery date. You may need some help with daily tasks for the first couple of days. Friends and family will want to help where they can.
  • Make sure that all of your daily essentials are within easy reach. This will help you to avoid reinjury when reaching for things you need. This includes medication, chargers and things like remotes if you need them.
  • Ensure you have appropriate clothing for the recovery period after surgery, including shoulder surgery bras, clothing without buttons and lace-free shoes.
  • Prepare to have some time to rest. It’s a good idea to prepare a few ways to entertain yourself while you recover. Always allow yourself a proper period of recovery after surgery. 

What should a woman wear after shoulder surgery?

Immediately after shoulder surgery, it's important to wear clothing that is comfortable, supportive, and allows ease of movement while avoiding placing unnecessary strain on the healing shoulder. 

Dresses and shirts with large arm and neck holes or those that wrap around or fasten at the front are often the best option. 

It’s important during recovery to avoid over-straining or twisting the shoulder as this can cause re-injury. 

Read more: The Best Post-Surgery Clothing

Can you wear a bra after shoulder surgery?

Many surgeons will recommend that you don’t wear a bra for two weeks immediately after shoulder surgery. It’s always best to check with a healthcare professional if you’re unsure or concerned about discomfort.

After a couple of weeks, most women can begin to wear a bra although some might find a traditional bra to be quite difficult to both fasten and wear. This is where shoulder surgery bras come in.

These bras have features tailored to accommodate the unique needs of those undergoing shoulder procedures and take into account limited mobility during recovery.

What kind of bra is best after shoulder surgery?

shoulder surgery bra: a woman wearing a sling and smiling

Choosing a shoulder surgery bra can be difficult. It’s not easy to know the movements that will be uncomfortable after your surgery. Preparation is key. 

Here are some features that might be useful for your shoulder surgery bra.

Front Closing

Front-closing bras are perfect for shoulder surgery. They prevent twisting and straining of the operated shoulder. Ideally you should try to choose fastens like soft Velcro where possible. You’ll likely need to put it on with a sling so will have limited use of one hand. Velcro fastens can easily be secured with just one hand.

Soft Fabrics

Skin can be sensitive following surgery so the fabrics you choose are important. Soft breathable materials are always best. You'll also want to avoid underwire, so stretchy fabrics will be key for support.

Adjustable Straps

Shoulder straps shouldn’t be digging into the operated shoulder. A good fit should be secure but never tight. After surgery you may need to deal with swelling in the operated area. Front adjusting shoulder straps are really important for accessible adjustments that don’t aggravate the shoulder.

Wide Underband

A wide underband helps to distribute pressure evenly across the chest, minimizing discomfort and providing additional support to the healing shoulder.

How to put on a bra one-handed

Before attempting to put on your bra after shoulder surgery, it's essential to create a suitable environment where you can keep your affected arm close to your body, either by your side or gently supported. This helps maintain balance and reduces the risk of injury. 

When putting on a Springrose Adaptive Bra there are several methods you can try, depending on your comfort level and mobility. Front-fastening bras are particularly beneficial for those who have undergone shoulder surgery, as they simplify the one-handed fastening process.

Step 1: 

To avoid straining your shoulder, approach bra fastening as you would putting on a jacket. Keep the Velcro fastenings attached on your operated side and unfasten the Velcro under the cup on the opposite side for easy front access.

Step 2:

Start by pulling the shoulder strap over your operated shoulder, as this allows for more flexibility in movement and reduces pressure on the operated area. Then, use your stronger arm to reach the other shoulder strap and pull it on, ensuring both arms are in the bra.

Step 3:

Using your stronger arm again, guide the Velcro strip from the loose cup through the loop on the operated side and secure it under the cup. 

Step 4:

Finally, adjust the Velcro fastens under both cups and the front-adjusting shoulder straps with your stronger arm, ensuring a comfortable fit without adding unnecessary pressure to your other shoulder.

Take a look at our video demonstration that shows how to fasten a bra one-handed.

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