Dressing comfortably after a mastectomy can be challenging. For some women, this can be overwhelming and can even cause anxiety. Although a post-surgery body serves as a reminder of how far one has come in their breast cancer journey or gender transition, seeing the changes may make one feel self-conscious.
Also, many women weren’t made aware of the different options available for dressing after surgery in the past. However, today, there’s a wide availability of t-shirts, camisoles, and other garments that can help deal with such concern.
Dressing Tips After Mastectomy
Whether they’re mastectomy swimsuits, shirts, or undergarments, many options are available for post-mastectomy patients.
1. Wear A Sports Bra
Wearing a sports bra won’t only help in mastectomy recovery, it also helps to minimize the visibility of scars and can help someone gain confidence. In addition, sports bras are more comfortable than traditional bras because they have less contact with the fabric of the skin. There may be scarring around the chest area after a mastectomy surgery that could cause the skin to become dry or irritated. Traditional bras usually have underwires, which may rub against these areas and make the situation worse. Therefore, wearing a sports bra can help alleviate this concern.
2. Try Wearing Clothes With Pockets
Wearing clothes with pockets can make post-mastectomy dressing a little less of a challenge. The pockets can help hide the chest area, which means that it won’t constantly be on display for all those around you. This is especially useful if you’re in that stage where you feel like people are staring at your chest area to see the surgery’s results.
Also, an alternative thing you can do is to use a bandana or scarf. These items can help you avoid feeling too conscious and keeps your fashion sense on. You can also wear a cardigan—but again, these will only go so far in terms of hiding any discomfort you might be feeling at the moment —until you’re ready to try the SIEA breast reconstruction procedure.
3. Consider Buying Clothes That Are One Size Larger
Purchasing clothes that fit better after mastectomy is a great way to ensure you’re comfortable during the recovery process. Thus, buying clothes one size larger than usual, so they can easily be worn on and off while doing daily activities may be crucial to your healing and comfortability. Clothes that are one size larger than your pre mastectomy size can also give you enough room for post-surgical swelling.
Stretchy tops are also a good option, especially in the first few weeks after surgery. They’re great for physical comfort and preventing lymphedema. Also, they may help you with the initial psychological impact of seeing your body differently.
Moreover, there can be a lot of pain in different areas depending on what type of mastectomy you had. Thus, it’s also helpful to avoid buttons or zippers that may require you to move specific parts of your body.
4. Get Clothes In Darker Colors
The mastectomy can cause some feelings of self-consciousness, as the clothes you wear may affect how others perceive your body. Therefore, for some people, finding an outfit that makes them feel comfortable and confident in what they’re wearing remains their first task. They see it as a way to help with any lingering anxiety or concern about a mastectomy scar.
This is where darker shades of clothing come in. Many recommend them to be more comfortable than lighter ones because they can camouflage any remaining stitches on the skin surface.
5. Buy Clothing Made From Natural Fibers
A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the breast. This can make wearing clothes for comfort and style difficult for some people. However, by simply being conscious of your clothing material can already help a person feel comfortable.
Clothes made from natural fibers, such as cotton, are usually breathable and won’t irritate sensitive skin post-surgery. This is because natural fibers are less likely to retain moisture than synthetic fabrics, which may result in minor irritation and dry skin. This makes them good options for post-mastectomy clothing.
6. Go For Mastectomy-Designed Clothing
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, then you’re probably concerned of the changes that may happen to your body and life. One thing many women ask is how they can dress after a mastectomy surgery.
Many clothes are designed explicitly for post-mastectomy patients. You can find these items in many different stores, and they’re also available online too (though shipping may be expensive). Some options even include clothes with elastic bands in the waistline. These may provide more support for your back and chest area, which may have been affected by surgery.
If you’re struggling to dress post-mastectomy, there’s hope. The tips provided above may help make your experience more comfortable and less stressful. The question is, are you ready to try something new?