If you have decided to forgo breast reconstructive surgery, you have the option to buy a breast prosthesis to help you regain your curves and your confidence post-mastectomy. But many women are unsure about the cost of breast forms or if their insurance plan covers them.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Breast Forms
The cost of breast forms varies between brands and depends on the type of breast forms, the materials used to manufacture them, and whether you have health insurance.
Types of Breast Forms
The type of breast form you need depends on your body’s proportions and the type of breast surgery you’ve had. Breast forms come in multiple styles, including symmetrical and asymmetrical designs, partial forms, and shapers.
Full breast forms, whether teardrop, oval, or triangle, cost more than shapers or partials due to the amount of material used in their construction. Partial forms are smaller prostheses primarily used for adding volume to areas on the chest wall and under the arms after a lumpectomy.
Shapers are a hollow shell that fits over your remaining breast tissue to create symmetry and are typically used by women who have undergone conservative breast cancer surgery.
You can also find swim forms designed specifically for water activities. These breast prostheses are made from silicone to prevent water absorption and feature a hollow, ribbed backing to allow water to drain away easily and minimize suction against the chest wall.
While you can find numerous high-quality breast forms of all types and shapes, custom breast forms are a worthwhile investment because they are made to match your exact contours and skin tone, renewing your self-confidence.
At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, we offer American Breast Care custom breast forms. Custom breast forms offer the perfect fit and blend with your skin tone to achieve the most natural look. We use state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology to measure the contours of your body and send the data to a lab where your specially-designed breast forms are fabricated from high-quality silicone to your specifications.
While custom breast forms are more costly than other types, they are more durable and last longer, so you need to replace them less, making them a more affordable long-term investment.
The materials used to fabricate your breast forms have a significant impact on the overall breast form cost.
The most expensive option, silicone breast forms, also offer the most natural appearance and feel of full breasts. A silicone prosthesis consists of a pliable silicone shell filled with silicone gel or aerated silicone to offer the weight and drape of a natural breast.
You can also find breast forms made from foam or fiberfill inside a fabric cover for a lightweight option, ideal for exercise, sleep, or wearing around the house. These models are usually inexpensive but lack the durability and realism of silicone breast forms.
If you don’t have health insurance, you will need to pay the entire breast form price upfront, which can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on whether you have had a single or double mastectomy.
For individuals with health insurance, the out-of-pocket costs include copays for a doctor’s consultation and coinsurance of approximately 10-50%, depending on your healthcare plan.
According to the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act, insurance companies are obligated to provide coverage for a breast prosthesis if the policy also offers coverage for mastectomy surgery. However, you need to get a prescription from your doctor to ensure the insurer fully reimburses you for the breast forms.
Health insurance plans also cover the cost of buying a mastectomy bra. Our fitters recommend purchasing a selection of mastectomy bras along with your breast form rather than wearing your regular bra. Mastectomy bras feature built-in bilateral fabric pockets to hold your breast forms for added security to prevent slipping.
Most comprehensive health insurance policies include one new breast prosthesis and two to four mastectomy bras per year.
Tips for Buying High-Quality Breast Forms
- Attend a fitting with a certified fitter at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe. The better your prosthesis fits, the longer it will last.
- Try on as many styles and shapes as possible to find a model that matches your remaining breast.
- Purchase several prosthesis types, including a swim form and lightweight exercise form, for different situations. Perspiration, chlorine, heat, and prolonged exposure to water can degrade standard breast forms faster.
- Buy a storage case with your prosthesis to protect it from wear and tear while not in use.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and maintenance. You can purchase a specially-formulated breast form wash that is gentle on your prosthesis yet effective at removing build-up grime.
Visit A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe for High-Quality Custom Breast Forms
Our compassionate team at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe can help you manage the cost of buying a breast form by billing Medicaid, your HMO, PPO, or other insurance company on your behalf.
We can work with you to verify your health benefits and obtain a prescription or referral. We also have a HIPPA-compliant online portal where you can fill out all your claims paperwork.
Visit our store for a professional, personalized fitting with our BOC-certified fitters to find the ideal breast prosthesis for your body, and explore the range of high-quality mastectomy products we have available for a more comfortable recovery.