If you have had a mastectomy, you have several options to regain your curves after surgery. Some women opt for breast reconstruction at the same time as their mastectomy. Others may need to wait several months before undergoing reconstructive surgery to allow their body to recover or to receive additional cancer treatments.
For women postponing reconstructive surgery, or those who choose not to rebuild their breasts, a prosthesis can be an excellent way to restore their breast shape after a mastectomy. However, not all breast prostheses are suitable to wear immediately after surgery.
Discover when you can wear a silicone prosthesis after a mastectomy and which other options you have to restore balance and symmetry to your body.
Benefits of Wearing a Prosthesis After Breast Cancer Surgery
There are numerous benefits to wearing a prosthesis after a mastectomy, including:
Helps ease the post-surgical transition period
Adjusting from life before surgery to life without your breasts can be an emotional experience. Wearing a prosthesis after surgery can help you regain your appearance and confidence after breast surgery.
Supports spinal health
Uneven breast tissue volume can contribute to spinal misalignment, neck and back pain as your body tries to rebalance and recalibrate its spatial awareness after surgery. A weighted breast prosthesis can reduce spinal alignment issues and preserve your posture.
Ensures clothes fit properly
If you have had a unilateral mastectomy, breast conserving surgery, or lumpectomy, your clothes may not fit the way they used to. Rather than purchasing an entirely new wardrobe, you can wear a prosthesis inside a mastectomy bra to add volume to your chest wall and help your clothes fit again.
Encourages more restful sleep
The imbalance caused by having a breast removed can make it uncomfortable to sleep, especially if you sleep on your side. A lightweight foam breast prosthesis provides additional support to keep your neck and back in alignment while sleeping to give you better quality rest.
When Can I Wear Silicone Breast Forms?
Typically, your doctor will recommend against wearing silicone breast prostheses until your surgical sites have fully recovered. Silicone breast forms are designed to mimic the look and weight of your natural breasts. This can put additional pressure on your chest wall, adversely impacting your recovery.
According to the American Cancer Society, it can take as little as four weeks to heal and resume normal activities. However, healing can take up to eight weeks, depending on your immune system and whether you need to undergo radiation or chemotherapy after surgery. At your follow-up appointments with your surgeon, they will examine your chest and sutures. Once they determine the area is sufficiently stable, they’ll permit you to wear a silicone prosthesis.
How Do I Choose the Right Post-Surgical Breast Form?
Choose the best materials
Although you may be unable to wear a silicone breast prosthesis immediately after surgery, you can still benefit from wearing foam or fiberfill breast forms. These lightweight forms are highly breathable, allowing ample air circulation around your sutures and temperature regulation to minimize irritation from sweat. They aren’t heavy enough to impede blood or lymph flow, ensuring adequate nutrients reach the surgical site and preventing infection.
The American Breast Care First Form is the ideal choice for post-surgical wear. The lightweight memory foam conforms to your body’s contours, providing an ultra snug fit and a natural appearance. The fit prevents shifting allowing you to wear it directly on your chest wall or inside a pocketed mastectomy bra.
Select a high-quality mastectomy bra
For optimal comfort while wearing a breast prosthesis, you need to choose a high-quality mastectomy bra with features to accommodate your post-operative needs. Look for a mastectomy bra with pockets to hold your breast forms securely and prevent them from moving during the day.
A mastectomy bra with wide adjustable straps allows you to create a more comfortable fit, and front closures ensure easy dressing for women with limited mobility after their mastectomy.
The Amoena Frances Leisure Care Front Closure Mastectomy Bra is the perfect choice for women who want to wear foam forms after surgery. The hook-and-eye front closure makes placing and removing the breast forms simple, and the built-in internal cotton pockets are soft against the skin on your chest to prevent irritation.
Attend a professional fitting
To ensure the best fit for your body, get professionally fitted for a prosthesis. A certified fitter understands the complexities of a post-surgical bra and breast form fitting. They’ll take special care to avoid sensitive sutures and scar tissue and take accurate measurements of key areas, making sure to accomodate any breast tissue asymmetry.
Your fitter can discuss the various types of breast forms available to help you make the right decision for your body. At this appointment, you can also get fitted for mastectomy bras and schedule an additional fitting for a weighted silicone prosthesis once your surgical site is healed.
Find the Perfect Prosthesis at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe
If you have healed from your surgery and are looking for a silicone prosthesis to provide balance and symmetry to your body, call A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe. Our ABCOP-certified fitters can fit you for a custom silicone prosthesis that perfectly conforms to your body for the most comfortable fit.
Our online insurance portal also allows you to claim your prosthesis as part of your coverage for your mastectomy. We accept coverage from numerous insurance companies, including Aetna, Cigna, and Humana. Contact us today to arrange your confidential fitting.