After undergoing a mastectomy or other breast surgery, many women decide to have a breast reconstruction. However, this is a significant procedure that involves another major operation, something lots of women don’t want to go through.
If you decide against surgical breast reconstruction, there are various other ways you can create your desired shape and asymmetrical appearance, such as breast prostheses, also known as breast forms.
With the help of a trained prosthesis fitter, you can find the best option for you, whether you have had a double mastectomy or want to compensate for any missing breast tissue after a lumpectomy. With their help, you can regain confidence in your body and feel happy wearing your favorite bra style.
Custom Breast Protheses and Their Benefits
A breast prosthesis is a removable form that is worn to simulate the look and feel of a natural breast. They can be made from various materials, including silicone and fiberfill foam, to suit the wearer and their intended use.
Custom breast prostheses are made and fitted specifically for each individual woman, according to:
- Whether she needs full or partial breast forms.
- Her shape, size, and unique contours.
- Her skin color.
- Whether she has any scarring that she might want to hide.
- The sensitivity of her skin.
- The type of surgery she has had.
- Her lifestyle, for instance, does she like doing physical activities and sport or does she have to wear a uniform to work?
While a standard breast form can work well for some women, they do not offer the personalized features a custom prosthesis does. Your certified prosthesis fitter is trained on how to get the right breast forms for you and can give you invaluable advice about how to wear them.
For many women, custom breast forms make them feel more confident, comfortable, and in control of their body. Breast forms can also minimize physical strain from postural changes after surgery. Breast cancer survivors who have undergone a mastectomy, particularly a full mastectomy, can experience chronic back and neck pain and even a dropping shoulder. Breast forms that have the weight and shape of natural breasts can prevent this.
If you’ve had a lumpectomy, you might find that your bras are now uncomfortable or even painful as they move around. A partial breast prosthesis can solve this issue by filling your bra cup. Additionally, breast forms can act as a protective layer between the surgical site and your clothes.
How Long Should You Wait to Get a Breast Form?
After your surgery, you may want to start wearing a breast form immediately; however, while non-weighted custom prostheses can technically be worn immediately after surgery, doctors and fitting experts recommend waiting between four to eight weeks.
Waiting until your drains have been removed, your swelling has gone down, and the surgical site has healed well can avoid unnecessary discomfort and inaccuracies with the fitting. If you hope to wear a weighted breast form, you must wait until the area is completely healed and you have got permission from your doctor.
Although you will have to wait a little while to start the process of getting fitted for and start wearing your new breast prostheses, many women decided to visit a certified fitter before their surgery. Certified mastectomy fitters are a fantastic source of reliable information and support. Having an appointment early on can allow you to ask any questions you may have and build a bond with your fitter, which can be a great comfort when the time comes to get fitted and purchase a breast form.
Breast Form Fitter Accreditations
When you get your custom-fitted breast prosthesis, you should visit an accredited fitting service for your personal fitting appointment—being accredited means that a fitting service is required to meet rigorous professional standards.
Among other things, these standards require your fitter to have an effective relationship with your referring physician. This means that we can offer care that is better in line with your needs and goals. An accredited service can also perform a diagnosis-specific clinical examination to verify if certain prescribed products are needed.
A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe is accredited by the American Board for Certification Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthis, Inc. (ABCOP), which means that our facility meets the highest standards in the profession, and we can promise you a compassionate and comprehensive service.
Breast Prosthesis Options
There are many factors to consider when selecting the right breast prostheses for your body, and your experienced fitter can advise you on the range of choices available. As well as having the option of a partial or full breast form, you can choose between shapes such as oval, teardrop, and triangular, as well as the different sizes and shades.
If you decide on a custom breast prosthesis, your fitter will use state-of-the-art American Breast Care (ABC) 3D scanning technology to achieve the perfect fit. Your ABC custom breast prosthesis can also include a realistic nipple and will be made to match your skin tone.
There are several ABC custom breast form styles to choose from. The Advanced Cooling Technology (ACT) model uses a patented blend of materials that wicks moisture away from your chest wall and transfers heat away from your body to keep you cool and dry no matter the season.
The Open Back model is one of the most popular styles available as the porous silicone liner and concave back contour to your body, creating the best fit possible. Closed back breast forms are completely sealed for easier maintenance and offer a realistic weight of natural breast tissue.
In some instances, it can be a good idea to have two styles of breast forms. For example, keen swimmers like the lighter weight, silicone-based forms designed for being in the water but often prefer an ACT style for day-to-day wear.
A Supportive Fitting Experience
After the loss of a breast, whether you have breast construction surgery or wear breast prostheses is a personal decision. If you think wearing a breast form might be for you but feel daunted by the prospect, a custom breast prosthesis fitting experience can ease your worries and answer your questions on topics from mastectomy bras to dealing with your insurance company or Medicare.
At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, our staff of experienced accredited fitters can sensitively guide you through your journey, providing support and advice in abundance.
Browse our website to find out more about the range of services we offer and arrange a consultation and personal scan session or call us today at (954) 978-8287. In addition to fitting you for a new prosthesis, we can also give you advice about an alternative to your current breast form.