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Ladies only- bras & things?

Von55's picture
Von55
Posts: 57
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi fellow girl survivors!
I am 5 weeks post-op (partial nephrectomy) and have a very long incision scar. It is healing well, but still very painful. The incision extends from above my bra-line at the back, to well below where my knickers sit in front.
I can't wear a bra at all, and even bikini pants are really uncomfortable. This makes trying to dress myself modestly really difficult (not to mention the problem of needing proper support!). I've tried the pull-on sports bra type of top, but it's too painful to get on and off, and still rubs the scar area. Any clues? There are post surgical bras available, but all have the elastic band that will rub. Please help!!!

corey50
Posts: 76
Joined: Feb 2009

HI VON55
i had a laparoscopic radical nephrectomy (left kidney removed) 12/2008.
my incisions were not near my bra area but were right where my underwear would hit. i had a reaction to the tapes used during surgery, though, and had a rash and hives all over my torso for about 2 weeks, so i couldn't wear a bra from that. i would wear camisoles the kind without the built in bra. but the ones that were a little heavier material for support. for the underwear i bought some that had what they call no waistband, so there's no elastic there to cut into skin or incisions.
hope this helps. good luck and good health.

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 438
Joined: Feb 2009

I can relate. My first surgery left a 14 inch line from below the navel to above the band line under my right arm pit. They also took out part of the liver and other cancerous nodes.
The 1970's are coming back so be a hippie. Not quite a joke, but close. Loose fit on clothes, bikini or thong underpants if you can stand what they do to the rest of the body and cami tank tops with the built in bra, even in a bigger size. And do I ever understand the support issue.
It's been 4 plus years and now the worst part is dressing for the CT. I have to have pre and post infusion for hydration and to flush the dye. I don't like to have to undress just for the CT so like to wear a bra that has no metal, hooks or underwire. Sports bras make me look like I have a uni-boob. The best thing I have found is Sweet Nothings by Maidenform. It is a nylon knit tank style with a lace edging at the neckline, and straps that are 3/4 inch wide at the top of the shoulder. And what is great is they have knit-in cups. All the edges are serged or finished and there is no chafing. Maidenform also came out with Flexees more recently. I just bought that one in a bigger size to get more cup and will shorten the straps.
Hang in there. I'm cheering for you. During my first surgery, I was in a bit of a fog. Before I recovered from the surgery, I had a pancreatitis attack, which set me back 3 weeks. When the RCC recurred, the surgery for the node was a cake walk. I helped my husband drive home from the hospital and took myself to lunch the next day.
Everyone is different, but give yourself some time. Your body has some big adjustments to make. Anesthesia, processing fluids with one kidney, muscles that were pried apart, ribs that are tender, tubes stuck in every opening both natural and man made.
It's getting late, no matter what time zone you're in, and I still need to finish packing for a trip. Stay well, and just go with the flow.
Donna

Von55's picture
Von55
Posts: 57
Joined: Aug 2010

Thank you so much for your comments- it sounds like you've really been through the mill with all your surgery's but are a true survivor- great to hear!
I'm not sure if we have Maidenform here (Australia) but will certainly check it out. I had major surgery 5-6yrs ago for a perforated stomach ulcer but that incision was from just under the bra line to just below the navel, so I havn't had the "rubbing" problem before. I've tried wearing a soft bra but after an hour or so it becomes unbearable & I have to rip it off- tricky whilst grocery shopping, let me tell you!
Yeah, the hippie thing works really well for me too. I'm not overweight but have that awkward hourglass shape with a very small waist, so anything unwaisted makes me look like a blimp. It's coming into summer here, so long flowing dresses are the go, and who knows what's underneath them all....
I had to laugh when I read your bit about the "thong"- thongs over here are what you guys call flip-flops...I had this vision of trying to strap myself into some rubber footwear!
Enjoy your trip, and thanks again,
Von

Von55's picture
Von55
Posts: 57
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks, Corey50- that's weird about the allergic reaction to the tapes! I had small blisters all over my torso from some sort of reaction also- couldn't figure out why but maybe it was an allergic thing like yours. So itchy!
I'll try to find that underwear without the elastic you've described- it sounds just right! You're right about the camisoles too- best if they're the long ones that come down way past the incision to give an extra layer between the skin and clothing.
It sounds like you've come through all this with flying colours- that's great to hear! Thank you for your help, and all the best to you,
Von

amurillo63
Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 2010

I WHERE MY BRA ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTLELY NECESSARY BUT i USE A MAKEUP SPONGE FOR PADDING FROM THE BRA STRAP.

Von55's picture
Von55
Posts: 57
Joined: Aug 2010

Yes, bras are the pits and now I only wear one if I'm out in public. That's interesting that you use a makeup sponge- will have to try that. Thanks for your reply Amurillo63!
Cheers, Von

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