For most of my breast augmentation patients I recommend a “stabiliser” band, in addition to their normal surgical bra. The reason I do this and what this means for these patients is outlined in this article.
What is a stabiliser band/garment and why do I need to wear it?
It is an elasticised band with a velcro closure that is used to provide support and stability post breast surgery. It is suitable for patients post breast augmentation or breast lift with implants. The stabiliser is just another tool alongside the post op surgical bra garment in the recovery process and it is used to help position the implants in the desired location. It provides a gentle external force that moves the implants down and stretches the skin under the breast.
Does every patient need it?
I recommend stablisers to most of my breast augmentation patients as it helps the 'Drop and Fluff' effect (more about this below) so the results look better sooner and it reduces the risk of a strong scar forming under the breast before the implant fully dropping into the pocket. Stablisers are especially important for women who need a little extra pressure to help the implant expand the lower part of the breast such as women with laxity caused by pregnancy or weight loss and we are relying on the shape and texture of an anatomical implant to expand out the excess skin in the middle to base of the breast.
How do I wear it?
It should be worn on the skin over top of the post op surgical bra garment, high on the chest wall on the upper slope of the breast so that it sits under the armpits. You can readjust the stabiliser throughout the day to avoid bunching of the band in the armpit region. Be sure to monitor the skin for any irritations and if this occurs use a soft pad to protect any areas prone to breakdown. You can even make a hold in the toe end of one of your old socks to create a padded 'tube' to thread the stabiliser through! Alternatively, you can wear the stabiliser band over the top of a firm fitting tee-shirt (with your post-op bra over the top of both).
How long do I need to wear it?
It is essential to wear the stabiliser at all times and it should only be removed for showering and then reapplied. You can expect to wear it for at least the first 6 weeks post op however the progress and directions for wear will be assessed by the nurse at each of your post op appointments.
Does it help with “Drop and Fluff”?
Yes, if I feel you need it. Drop and fluff is the process of the implants settling into their final position and generally means the journey from square and high straight after surgery to more curved and defined over the weeks that follow. For some breast augmentation patients, gravity is enough to help this along, but for selected women, the stabiliser will help. More about “Drop and Fluff” is here.
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Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Specialist Plastic Surgeon
About Dr Moncrieff
Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and body lifts.
He is one of only a handful of Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.
Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than two decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.