Every woman has the right to look and feel her best after she has undergone a life-changing breast cancer surgery. Some women choose to undergo breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Other women opt out of the reconstructive surgery, as the thought of a second invasive procedure can be overwhelming.
For those women who do not want to endure yet another surgery, it is important for them to know there are other options as far as regaining your feminine shape and style. Breast prostheses offer a simpler solution and come in different shapes, styles, and sizes. Here are some tips for women who are contemplating breast prostheses.
1. Check-In with Your Doctor – Prior to your breast cancer surgery, talk with your doctor about your considerations. If you are leaning toward wearing breast prostheses as opposed to reconstructive surgery, they might be able to write you a prescription for insurance purposes. Additionally, if you have received any treatment including radiation or chemotherapy, your doctor might advise you to hold off on wearing a prosthesis until the sensitivity of the area subsides.
2. Talk With Your Insurance Company – Often, insurance companies will cover the costs of some post-mastectomy items such as breast prostheses. Speak with them prior to making any purchases to find out what they require as far as reimbursement goes for monies you will pay. They may require a prescription from your physician as well.
3. Learn the Basics – Learning the fundamentals of breast forms can feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of resources available online to help you understand the different options available to you. Breast forms come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials, and there is a wide selection for every woman to choose from.
4. Schedule a Consultation – Even if you are leaning toward wearing breast prostheses, finding out what they look and feel like in person can help greatly with your selection process. A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe looks forward to working with women who are new to the process. We have been in the business for over 30 years, and we pride ourselves on our friendly and compassionate services.
5. Join a Support Group – Many women are on the same path of rediscovery following breast cancer surgery, and no woman should have to feel alone during this process. There are many online and in-person support groups available as well as online forums for those who prefer to remain anonymous but still have questions. You might make a new friend in the process or find inspiration for your post-surgery style and comfort.
6. Meet With a Certified Fitter – Board-certified mastectomy fitters are professionals trained in the area of sizing and fitting breast prostheses. A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe certified fitters are a compassionate and knowledgeable resource for you to utilize in your breast prostheses shopping process. They will not only ensure that you choose the best fitting and most comfortable prostheses for your body, but they will be happy to answer any of your questions in regards to the process.
7. Consider Your Lifestyle – While there is certain to be a breast prosthesis for each individual woman that best fits their lifestyle, it is important to consider a few things before you make your purchase. If you prefer a lightweight feel, you will probably feel better with a foam or fiberfill breast form. If you are looking for a more natural-looking and realistic breast prosthesis, silicon might be the best for you. Speak with your fitter about your lifestyle and they will make a recommendation for you.
8. Take Timing into Consideration – While you may want to wear your breast prosthesis right away following your surgery, it is important to give the body adequate time to heal before making any big adjustments to your wardrobe. That being said, foam and fiberfill breast forms are often lightweight and soft enough that they can be worn a week or two after your surgery. The best thing you can do is check-in with your doctor for their personalized recommendation.
9. Consider Multiple Styles – If you are a multi-faceted woman who likes to get dressed up and go out on the town, but who also likes to be as comfortable as possible while at home, you may want to consider more than one style of breast forms. Silicone breast forms are heavier but provide a more realistic simulation of a breast. These come in handy when wearing a formal dress or a business outfit. Foam and fiberfill breast forms are ultra-comfortable and work well when lounging around the house.
10. Invest in a Mastectomy Bra – Mastectomy bras are designed specifically to be worn with breast prostheses. They remove the stress and worry of the prostheses moving around or slipping out of your bra. They are designed with sewn-in pockets that you can easily slip your breast forms in and out of, whether to clean them or swap out your styles. In addition, mastectomy bras are designed with wider bands and straps and soft materials to provide you with the utmost comfort and support during your healing process.
Whether or not you decide to wear a breast prosthesis, you should know that you deserve to look and feel your best following your breast cancer surgery. If you have any question in regards to the fitting process or would like to schedule a personalized fitting with us, use our online contact form or call us today at (954)-568-8904. We look forward to working with you for all of your post-mastectomy needs!