There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right type of breast prosthesis following a mastectomy. It can be difficult to know which style, color, or material to pick. Fortunately, the staff at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe are formally trained to help you make this decision with ease and reassurance.
Breast forms are available in many sizes, shapes, and skin tones and are specifically designed to feel, move and weigh the same as your natural breast. These factors are important because your new prosthetics need to fit into your lifestyle. They are all manufactured differently using different materials. Some use silicone while others use foam or fiberfill to create and retain breast shape.
Styles of Breast Prosthetics
A standard, or full, type of breast form is uniquely designed to mimic the shape and feel of your natural breast. These types of forms can be worn inside a pocketed mastectomy bra or applied directly to the chest wall using a skin-friendly adhesive. They are available in either silicone, foam or fiberfill depending on your needs.
Silicone breast forms are crafted from a silicone outer layer that is often filled with silicone gel or beads. They offer the most realistic weight and appearance and are suitable for everyday use.
Breast forms made from foam or fiberfill with a fabric outer layer is the most lightweight option and are ideal for use at home, during exercise and while sleeping.
For women who have had part of their breast removed, partial prostheses are also available. They are often made using the same silicone material as standard breast prosthetics and designed to fill out the natural curvature of the breast under clothing.
A shell prosthetic is available for women who have breasts that are different sizes. This soft, silicone shell is worn over your smaller breast to help match the size of the larger one. If you have undergone a breast reconstruction surgery and symmetry is off, this is a great product to consider.
Women who are active or want to wear a bra with less support may find that using a stick on prosthetic is beneficial. These forms stick directly onto the skin using an adhesive and can either be full or partial depending on the needs of the woman wearing it.
Many women who have breast cancer and would like to wear stick-on prosthetics are advised by their doctors not to do so within the first 12 months following their surgery as they may irritate skin while they heal. If this is the case, it’s possible to find a lightweight mastectomy bra to wear your breast prosthesis in for that first year.
Shapes of Breast Prosthetics
There are three shapes of breast prosthetics: symmetrical, asymmetrical and teardrop.
Symmetrical forms are usually triangular or oval in shape and can be worn bilaterally, that is on the left or the right side.
Asymmetrical forms are for the woman who have had extensive surgery including a lumpectomy or lymph node removal and include extra material to fit under the arm or into the upper chest wall. These prostheses are specially designed to be worn either on the left or on the right.
Teardrop forms can also be worn bilaterally but are more suitable for women who naturally have fuller busts in the lower and outer areas of the breast and less full above the nipple.
Weights of Breast Prosthetics
When purchasing a silicone prosthetic after a unilateral mastectomy, you’ll need to find one that is similar to your natural breast to preserve your alignment and balance. If you’ve had a double mastectomy, you have the freedom to choose whatever weight may be most comfortable to you.
Colors of Breast Prosthetics
Finding a breast prosthetic that matches your skin tone can be difficult but it’s worth finding it if it makes you happier, more confident, and more comfortable with who you are. American Breast Care can make customized breast prosthetics to order and can match your skin color.
The Backing of Breast Prosthetics
Most prostheses feature the same material on the front and on the back, however due to concerns about comfort many companies have opted to cover the back of their prosthetics with soft fabric or a cooling gel panel or feature backings that allow for more air flow and better temperature regulation. Some of these different types of backings can be molded to fit unique or uneven chest walls.
Find the Right Breast Prosthesis for You at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe
At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, we are trained and BOC certified to perform personalized fittings for breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras to help you find the right style for your body.
Contact us at (954)-978-8287 to schedule your appointment and consult your insurance policy as many insurance companies cover the cost of a breast form and bra as part of your treatment plan. We can assist you with filing the necessary paperwork, so you can focus on your recovery.