The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Help please - bras post surgery

Hello, I was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of weeks ago and I’ve just come out of hospital after an operation to get biopsies to determine exactly what type of cancer it is. I can’t wear my bras - even comfy non-wired ones - because they fit very close to the site of the incision and drains etc. Can anyone recommend somewhere to get post lung surgery bras, or advise what you did to get round this? I’m a 34E so going out in public without a bra or some form of support is not really an option!

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Hello, M&S do post surgery bras but you have to go in for them to fit it properly, I still have discomfort after 4 years but you learn to live with it ! hope this helps.

Julie

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Thank you Julie. I’ll go into M&S. Sorry to hear you still have discomfort

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I have got stretch sport bra. No support really but better than nothing. Im still wearing them and its 6 weeks after op cause my scar has been infected. Im still going to nurse st surgery.

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Me too! 2 months post surgery now and drain wound has been restitched twice; been infected twice - the first time requiring I/v antibios and a hospital stay; required packing and dressings for 7 weeks until second restitch last week when surgeon managed to miss a bit so there is still a hole! (Hospital nurse couldn't find second string at drain removal so did a bodge which burst open day after leaving hospital). My skin is now so sensitive that I cant tolerate any dressings - so its air plus TCP and hope!

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Oh dear youve had it bad. In hospital they put another stitch in me but it didnt cure it. Came home with drain in for 5 days then to nurse to get stitches removed after another 5 days nurse took swab and infection came back. Still going nurse now .

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I really am so sorry to hear this. I really feel for you and hope all is resolved soon

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Oh my this sounds awful. Poor poor you. I hope you’re finally on the mend now and have no more issues

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At last...wound suddenly decided to heal after a very painful couple of weeks after second restitch and within a week it had closed - 3 months since surgery. I was at a real low by that point and now feel so much better I cant tell you. I think there is something about an unhealing open wound with fear of infection that really drags you down. I never appreciated the value of skin so much!

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Oh crikey I should stop feeling sorry for myself because I’m healing well so far. I hope you’re scar is much better now

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Hello Peonyrose,

It can be difficult to find the right bra with a comfortable fit after surgery, many of the department stores such as M&S and Debenhams offer a fitting service and have a good range of post op Bras. Asda George also have a post op Bra range at very reasonable prices not all stores have them in stock they are available online.

Kind regards

Roy Castle Help line

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Thank you. This is very helpful. I’ll check them out

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I had a lobectomy in June this year and still can't wear a bra.Instead I am wearing vests I buy them in M&S they really are pretty and very comfortable.

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Thank you for the tip. Do the vests have built in support? I’ve been wearing normal vests and I saw M&S does some with support but it looked like they came up high under the arm so I’ve been waiting until the scar healed more to try then

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No the ones I am wearing don't have support and don't come high up I could not stand the rubbing. I also only bought cotton The model number is 05410583 I did buy a far bigger size than i needed so its loose.Hope this helps and all the best to you xx

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Try Bravissimo or maybe a soft sleeping bra but in bigger size.

Chin up things can only get better.

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Thank you for the tips! I’ve crashed the last couple of days but all the messages I have seen this morning are really helping me pull myself together

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I hope you are feeling better or will do soon. You've every right to feel sorry for yourself. I've had many a good howl, last time on the GP's shoulder.

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Hi, I am 6 years on and it is still too painful to wear an ordinary Bra so I use the soft sport ones which are more like crop tops. They do give some support,but at least they don't hurt! I wish you all the very best for your recovery x

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Thank you. It never occurred to me that the discomfort could be long term. I feel for you all and need to pull myself together!

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I took the wire out of an old bra and then used a bra extender from my local haberdashers and tucked a soft dressing between the wound and the bra. It still only worked for the occasional day but it made me feel better for going out on those days. Mostly I go without now, 2 months post surgery. I wish you well.

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Thank you these are great tips

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I was also an E or DD cup so like you going without wasn't an option especially as I work! I visited a specialist lingerie shop near Street and the assistant told me to go up a band size (for more comfort/less chafing on the scar) and sold me a wonderfully comfortable bra (Felina) with wide straps and non wired. It was the most expensive bra I'd ever bought but was certain supportive and comfortable. A couple of years later I lost 6 stones in weight so the problem was then at the other end of the scale (so had Triumph amourette padded 34b!) but now regained some of this weight. I find Bella di Notte (an online catalogue and shop up north England) has a good selection of non wired bras. If you ask for surgical bras, lingerie fitters in Debenhams etc only think you mean pocketed bras for breast surgery. I have written to several department stores asking them to stock greater selection of non wired bras as we're not all teenagers, nursing or breast surgery patients but there are other reasons that women would require them. Nobody has responded to this need that I see frequently in online posts. I don't like sports bras as they tend to compress the chest area which isn't a good idea if you're having any issues with tightness feeling when breathing so well designed, pretty and choice of non wired is what I look for and seem to find that with Bella di Notte's selection that features several brands (Royce, Felina, Triumph etc). good luck.

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Thank you! This is all super helpful

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Hi The only thing that worked for me were bra extensions and ibuprofen gel initially .I was a 36B at that point .It gets better in time so take heart.Diane

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Thank you Diane

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Thanks for your reply , i feel like the moaner about my scar not healing and being infected and still going to nurse 7 weeks later. I have had half lung took away and been through the surgery and drains leaking air and coming home with flutter bag but at the end of the day my results come back good so i shouldnt be moaning about scar. I hope all will be well for you xxxx

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