A breast cancer diagnosis can be a truly overwhelming experience. Chances are, if you or a loved one has gone through breast cancer, then you are probably familiar with the different types of surgeries performed as a preventative measure. From diagnosis to surgery, breast cancer is a life-changing medical diagnosis that can bring about emotional upset and anxiety for many women.
After surgery, there will be decisions to be made, such as whether or not to get reconstructive surgery or wear breast prostheses. While the decision is quite personal and up to each individual woman, we have written this guide in order to educate and help remove some of the stress from your post-mastectomy shopping decisions.
When Can I Start Wearing a Breast Prosthesis?
First and foremost, speak with your doctor and let them know you are planning to buy and wear a breast prosthesis. There is no set answer as to when you can start wearing your prosthesis as each woman will go through a different healing process.
There are soft and lightweight breast forms gentle enough to wear during the healing process. Typically the wait time is about six to eight weeks to wear a standard breast form after surgery. If you have had radiation therapy, your skin will most likely be extra sensitive and you may have to wait a bit longer than that.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Wearing Breast Prostheses?
As with anything, choosing to wear a breast prosthesis post-surgery has advantages and some disadvantages. For those women opting out of breast reconstruction, it can be a relief not to have to prepare and undergo a second major surgery.
Breast prostheses are helpful in restoring confidence by reestablishing a woman’s feminine figure. In addition, breast forms enable you to wear your pre-surgery clothes without having to worry about them fitting properly.
One of the most important reasons to consider wearing a breast prosthesis after breast cancer surgery is that they can restore balance and symmetry to your body, which is important in preventing chronic neck and back pain.
Breast forms do require maintenance and care. Luckily, mastectomy bras make it easy to remove your breast forms for cleaning with built-in pockets. Breast prostheses can be expensive, so check with your insurance company before making plans to purchase as sometimes they do cover the costs.
Sometimes breast forms are uncomfortable, heavy, and warm. The good thing about this is that you can simply remove them and take a break from wearing them.
Types of Breast Prosthesis
There is no shortage of variation when it comes to breast prosthesis and there is almost certainly something available for women of all shapes and sizes. Whether you find yourself shopping online or in a store, knowing what you are looking for can save you time and money. Breast prostheses come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and materials.
Full or partial breast forms are available depending on how extensive your breast cancer surgery was. Silicone material breast forms are on the more expensive end of the spectrum. They look and feel like a natural breast, however, they are heavier and sometimes less comfortable to wear. Foam and fiberfill breast forms are lightweight and more affordable, but they may not always be able to achieve the look you are going for.
At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, we understand the life-changing effects that breast cancer surgery has on a woman. Our goal is to take the stress out of shopping for your post-mastectomy needs. Our certified fitters can help you to achieve the look you’ve always wanted and help you feel comfortable in your new skin. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your fitting.