Following a mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, you may decide you want to be fitted with an external prosthesis to give your chest a natural shape. This is a personal decision based on your feelings about your body and the lifestyle you enjoy.
A permanent external prosthesis is a practical alternative to breast reconstruction surgery and is more appealing to many women seeking a natural breast form post-op. If you feel ready for an external prosthesis, you’ll need to know how long to wait following surgery for your fitting.
What is a Breast Prosthesis?
An external prosthesis, also called a breast form, is an artificial breast replacement that shapes the chest where breast tissue has been removed. If you have undergone breast cancer surgery or a preventative mastectomy, you may choose to wear a prosthesis to give a natural shape to your clothing and maintain your posture.
Types of Breast Prostheses: Why Choose Permanent?
If you are considering a prosthesis following your mastectomy, a permanent prosthesis is a solution that is specially designed to move, look, and weigh the same as a natural breast. This type of prosthesis is commonly made from silicone gel and can either be permanently attached to the skin on your chest using a special type of glue or worn in a mastectomy bra.
Although it takes time to adjust to the weight of a silicone permanent prosthesis, it can add balance to your appearance and your posture, helping you maintain even shoulders and a straight back. If you are confident that reconstruction surgery is not for you but still want to attain the shape you had before surgery, a permanent external prosthesis is a great alternative.
When to Get Fitted for a Permanent External Prosthesis
Since a permanent external prosthesis is weighted and might make contact with your skin, you must wait for a certain period after surgery to go for your fitting. Typically you can schedule your appointment with a certified fitting team about 6-8 weeks post-op.
Waiting the appropriate amount of time for your fitting allows the incision to heal and your swelling to go down. It’s important not to attend a fitting too soon because the swelling around the incision site can skew the fitter’s measurements and impact how well the prosthesis fits.
Once the surgical site heals, there may be some natural rippling in your skin; when you opt for an ABC custom prosthesis, the silicone breast form is designed to fit your body perfectly, hugging each curve of your skin for a fit that looks natural and balanced.
These custom prosthetics are specially made to match your skin tone, and the process starts with state-of-art 3D scanning for a superior fit. You can choose from open or closed back breast forms. The breast forms also feature cooling technology that transfers your body heat energy into a cooling sensation, so you can always be comfortable in your permanent prosthesis.
What if I want to wear a prosthesis right after surgery?
If you want to wear a prosthesis immediately after surgery, consider investing in a lightweight temporary prosthesis. These prostheses are worn inside of a pocketed bra that won’t rub or irritate the incision site allowing you to heal comfortably while benefiting from the shape the breast form provides.
Where to Get Fitted for a Permanent Prosthesis
It’s essential to have your external prosthesis properly fitted by licensed, accredited professionals. At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, Inc., we specialize in After Breast Surgery products, including custom breast prostheses and silicone breast forms.
Post-mastectomy care centers are measured against the standards of the American Board for Certification Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthis, Inc. (ABCOP.) That’s why we’ve chosen to be ABCOP accredited, meaning our facility has been evaluated by an ABCOP onsite consultant on over 140 areas to ensure we are providing an exceptional level of care to our clients.
The benefit of choosing an ABCOP accredited fitter for your permanent external prosthesis fitting is the standard of service that you’ll receive. ABCOP requires fitters to consult your medical records to understand your present and potential future prosthetic needs.
It can also help us to understand your goals in terms of quality of life. We also communicate with your referring therapist, physician, or other medical professional to ensure we can meet your needs.
Work With Accredited Fitters in South Florida
We provide high-quality service to the breast cancer community in Margate, South Florida, and are pleased to offer virtual fittings to women across the United States. If you can’t pick up your prosthesis in Margate, we’ll ship your order directly to your doorstep.
We make every effort to remove obstacles that prevent women from getting the custom post-surgical products they need. That’s why our office and billing staff can work with you to get a referral or prescription so we can bill your health insurance company for your purchase.
Call us today at (954) 978-8287 to schedule your fitting session. Our team will make you feel comfortable and ensure you get the fit and feel you’re looking for.