One of the biggest questions for women with breast cancer who have had a mastectomy is whether to undergo breast reconstruction or to use post-surgery breast forms to balance their silhouette. There are many reasons why a woman may choose not to have additional surgeries, including health risks or age. Many breast cancer patients find that breast forms are the ideal alternative.
Wearing a breast form is an excellent option for achieving symmetry after breast surgery and allows you to continue comfortably wearing the clothes you love. Wearing the proper breast form size can also help you avoid posture and back strain from body imbalance.
Before buying post-mastectomy breast forms, remember a few tips to help you choose a suitable prosthesis for your body.
What is a Post-Mastectomy Bra?
If you’ve had a mastectomy, it can be hard to know what type of breast form will work best for your body type and lifestyle.
No matter what type of surgery you may have undergone, such as a double mastectomy, partial mastectomy, or reconstruction surgery, different types of prostheses are available. However, not all of them are designed specifically for women who have undergone a mastectomy. The right bra to hold your breast forms can make a huge difference in how comfortable you feel after surgery, so choosing one that fits properly is essential.
The first step in finding the perfect bra is determining if you need a full or partial coverage bra. Full coverage bras offer more support than partial coverage bras, which means they may provide better shape and comfort. Full coverage bras also offer more security for your breast forms than partial coverage bras.
Consider your natural breast shape or the shape of your breast form before choosing a mastectomy bra. Women with large breasts or breast forms with more volume above the nipple should choose full coverage bras without additional padding or molding.
Women with more volume under the nipple or wider chest wall can benefit from a balconette-style bra or a model with molded cups to lift and enhance their shape.
How Do You Select the Right Type of Breast Prosthesis?
After breast cancer treatment, including a mastectomy, you must choose the correct breast form to fit your new body. Many types of breast forms are available, so choosing one that will give you the most natural look and feel is essential for your comfort and confidence. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a breast form:
Your Body Type
There are various types of breast forms available for different body types. If you have had surgery conserving your breast tissue, you may only need partial breast forms or shape enhancers. These breast forms sit under the remaining breast tissue or armpit to add volume and definition to your chest wall.
If you have had a bilateral mastectomy, choose a breast form that matches the shape and size of your remaining breast.
Women who have undergone a bilateral or radical mastectomy should choose breast forms proportional to their body shape. For example, if you have a wider chest wall or a naturally shallow breast projection, choose triangular-shaped breast forms with a wing that wraps under your armpit.
Choose round or teardrop breast forms if you had naturally larger breasts or a fuller cup profile.
If you are active and participate in sports, choose a breast form for active women. Breast forms are available with special support panels to help keep them in place during physical activity.
You want a breast form that gives you a natural appearance. Your body shape and skin tones affect the choice of a suitable prosthesis. You can choose an ABC custom breast prosthesis that uses 3D scanning technology and precision skin tone color matching to help you achieve the most natural appearance.
Your Insurance Coverage
Breast forms can range in price, and most health insurance companies cover part or all the cost of a breast form and mastectomy bra. According to the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), if an insurance company offers coverage for breast surgery, it must also cover the cost of breast prostheses as part of your treatment.
Depending on your insurance provider, you may be eligible for one or more breast forms annually. Always check your policy to determine the exact coverage level, and use the convenient online portal at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe to file your claim.
Types of Breast Prosthesis or Artificial Breast Form
Knowing what types of breast forms are available can help you decide which might suit your needs.
Silicone breast prostheses are the most popular style as they afford the most natural shape, weight, and movement. Filled with silicone gel, a silicone prosthesis comes in various breast shapes to fit your body type, with or without nipples, and with different kinds of backing.
The Nearly Me So-Soft Full Asymmetrical Breast Prosthesis is designed to precisely fit on your body’s left or right side. The medical-grade silicone has a contoured back to fit close to the body while allowing optimal airflow.
A common type of non-silicone breast prosthesis is a fiberfill or foam breast form. This external breast prosthesis is lightweight and designed to be worn while exercising or sleeping. These Jodee Featherweight Leisure forms are a good option for women still in the recovery phase. Foam and fiberfill forms are usually more affordable than silicone.
Perma-forms are breast forms that are sewn directly into bras or camisoles. While they don’t offer the same flexibility as other forms, they provide better security because there is no risk of shifting or slipping during activity. The Jodee Seamless Molded Perma-Form Mastectomy Bra is the perfect everyday bra. It can be worn under tight-fitting garments, including t-shirts and tank tops, and features lightweight polyurethane foam prostheses sewn directly into ultra-soft nylon cups.
Finding the Right Breast Forms
Once you have decided on the type of form, the key to finding the perfect post-mastectomy breast is to schedule a professional fitting. At the breast form-fitting, the certified fitter takes your measurements and suggests a selection of forms that add volume to your chest wall and where you need to achieve symmetry.
Don’t be afraid to try on multiple styles and sizes to find the perfect fit. Your priority is to find breast forms that are comfortable and feel natural. Your certified fitter will also help you find a mastectomy bra that supports your breast prosthesis and assists you during your recovery process.
Wear a tight-fitting top on the day of the fitting to see how the forms look under your clothes.
Regain Your Confidence With A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe
Breast forms are an excellent alternative to breast reconstructive surgery and afford the symmetry you need to wear your clothes comfortably after a mastectomy. Each woman is unique, and all bodies are different.
The best way to find the correct breast forms and mastectomy bra for your body is with a professional fitting at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe. Contact us at (954) 978-8287 to book your fitting appointment.