Following breast cancer surgery women are presented with several options to restore their natural breast shape. For women who want to avoid the added trauma and recovery time required for a breast reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy, a breast prosthesis can mimic the look and feel of natural breast tissue to help you achieve balance and symmetry.
While you can wear some types of breast forms directly on your chest wall using skin-friendly adhesive, mastectomy bras come with pockets to hold different types of breast prostheses securely without the risk of shifting throughout the day and causing unevenness.
To achieve the most natural appearance and comfortable fit it is important to find the right type, style and size breast prosthesis and mastectomy bra for your body. Here is our guide to breast prostheses and bras for cancer patients after breast surgery.
Types of Breast Prosthesis
Just like the women who wear them, breast prostheses come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some of the most common types of breast prosthesis include:
Foam or Fiberfill
Lightweight and suitable for use immediately after mastectomy surgery, foam or fiberfill breast forms consist of a foam or fleece core covered by a soft fabric outer layer. They are perfect for exercise, sleep and for using in leisure bras worn around the house.
Silicone breast forms are the most popular type of artificial breast prosthesis because they provide the most natural weight and look. They are constructed from a silicone shell filled with silicone gel or beads. Some models come with aerated silicone for an ultra lightweight option.
While you can wear standard foam or silicone forms in the water, swim forms are ultra-lightweight and specifically made to withstand UV rays, chlorine and saltwater. They also have a ribbed concave backing that allows for optimal water and airflow to prevent skin irritation and allow the form to dry quickly.
Partial Breast Forms and Shapers
Partials and shapers are created for women following breast-conserving surgery or a lumpectomy. They are meant to provide volume and definition to enhance your remaining natural breast tissue.
These types of forms are perfect for women who have undergone a radical double mastectomy and have an even shape that can be worn on both sides of the body. You can find them in a huge range of shapes including teardrop, oval, and triangle.
Asymmetrical forms are designed to be worn either on the left or right side of the body and are ideally suited to women who have had a unilateral mastectomy and lymph node removal. These forms often feature a tapered end that can be positioned under the arm to add volume along the side of the chest wall, or pulled up toward the top of the chest to create the appearance of fullness at the base of the breast.
Wearing a Prosthesis Correctly
Although you can wear your breast forms adhered to your chest, you run the risk of slipping or shifting if the adhesive deteriorates due to sweat or movement. A mastectomy bra offers the safest way to wear your prosthesis for better confidence and comfort.
There are a variety of mastectomy bras available. Building your post-mastectomy wardrobe with a wide selection of bras ensures you will always have the right bra for the right situation or activity.
Post Surgical Bra
Post surgical bras are recommended by doctors for use immediately after breast surgery because they provide gentle compression that can reduce the risk of lymphedema and encourage blood flow for faster healing. They also feature font closures and Velcro straps for easier dressing if you experience a reduced range of motion.
A leisure bra is constructed from ultra soft materials with improved air permeability to help with temperature regulation. They can be worn during low impact exercise, around the house or to sleep.
A mastectomy bra features sewn in pockets to hold breast forms, adjustable straps to provide a better fit, and wide bands for added support. Look for seamless styles to wear under tight fitting garments and molded cups to enhance your shape.
Exercise is an important part of your physical and mental recovery after breast cancer. A high-quality sports bra supports your body by reducing breast bounce and keeping you cool and dry with moisture wicking technology.
Find the Perfect Breast Prosthesis and Bra at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe
To find the right breast prosthesis and bra for your body, schedule a prosthesis fitting with a BOC certified fitter. At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, our certified fitters take accurate measurements and consider your lifestyle, so we can make the best recommendations for you.
We can also bill insurance companies directly to help make choosing your post surgical garments as easy as possible. Please check with your insurance provider to verify your mastectomy product benefits.
For more information about our services or to schedule your private fitting with one of our certified fitters please call us at (954) 978-8287.