Breast cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women, with doctors diagnosing about 264,000 cases annually.
After a mastectomy or lumpectomy, breast cancer survivors may struggle with the recovery process and the changes to their bodies. Discover how wearing a breast form can ease the transition after surgery and ensure you feel comfortable and confident.
Why Do I Need to Wear Breast Forms?
Breast forms simulate the look and feel of a natural breast, helping you feel more comfortable in your post-surgery body. Breast forms also help your clothes fit properly and avoid postural problems and spinal issues due to weight imbalance on your chest.
Breast forms offer an alternative to reconstruction or can be worn between a mastectomy surgery and a reconstruction surgery. A breast form can create balance and symmetry between cup sizes for women who have had a unilateral mastectomy.
Types of Breast Forms
The style of breast form you need depends on the type of surgery you have had, your recovery stage, and your personal preference regarding weight and appearance. Some popular breast form types include:
- Silicone Breast Forms
Silicone breast prostheses have the same weight and appearance as natural breasts. They are ideal for women who choose not to have breast reconstruction because they want to avoid the stress of additional surgeries or they are delaying their reconstructive operation due to radiotherapy.
Silicone forms are often available as contact forms, so they adhere to your skin. You can also use them in a mastectomy bra with a pocketed cup for additional support.
For a natural-feeling silicone option, try our Nearly Me Lightweight Triangle Prosthesis. It features a symmetrical design that can fit the left or right breast and comes with a contoured back that allows for optimal airflow to prevent skin irritation. It also fits in a pocket bra cup and is curved to fit the chest to create a seamless and natural look.
- Aerated Silicone Breast Forms
Aerated silicone breast forms are made with whipped silicone gel inside a medical-grade silicone shell. This can reduce the weight of your breast forms by up to 45%, minimizing pressure on the shoulders and chest wall for a more comfortable fit. Aerated silicone is often used to construct swim forms because they increase buoyancy and improve your range of motion.
The ABC Diamond Silicone Breast Form is 25% lighter than standard silicone breast forms, minimizing shoulder tension. It features the brand’s patented Diamond Technology, a specially designed back that reduces perspiration, increases evaporation, and minimizes bra shifting for an enhanced fit and comfort.
- Foam or Fiberfill Breast Forms
Foam or fiberfill forms are constructed with a breathable fabric exterior and filled with a soft interior. A foam breast form is typically washable and reusable, making it a convenient option.
There are foam and fiberfill forms compatible with adhesive pads so they can be worn without a bra. However, most foam forms are designed to be used with a pocketed bra.
Many foam forms, like our ABC Active Leisure Swim Form, can be worn for various activities. With a satin garment loop, quick-drying material, and conforming microbeads, it’s perfect to wear for outdoor activities like hiking or swimming. Its soft mesh design is also comfortable enough to wear as a leisure form.
- Partial Breast Forms and Shapers
Shapers and partial breast forms are designed for women undergoing a partial mastectomy or lumpectomy procedure. They add shape and volume to the remaining breast tissue after surgery to enhance the natural shape.
They are smaller than full breast forms but come in contact form options or as bra inserts, like the Amoena Balance Essential Shaper, designed for the lower section of the bra cup. The tapered edges hide their appearance in a bra cup and hug the shape of the chest wall for a secure fit.
- Custom Breast Forms
Custom breast forms are made from 3D scans to create an accurate and perfectly fitted prosthesis. Custom breast forms are ideal for women who want to create a perfect match to their shape, size, surgery, and skin color.
American Breast Care custom forms are made of soft silicone for easy wearability and a natural appearance. The breast form uses a proprietary blend of materials that absorb heat from your body and reflect it back towards the skin as coolness. This is ideal for women who struggle to regulate their temperature following breast cancer surgery.
Breast Form Shapes
Breast forms come in a variety of shapes to fit various body types and cater to different surgeries. For the best fit and optimal comfort, you can choose from several common breast form shapes, including:
- Triangle Shaped Breast Form
Triangle forms are symmetrical breast prostheses that fit best on women with a wide chest wall and a shallow or average cup profile. The winged sides add volume toward the center of the chest wall and under the arms and provide a secure fit.
Suitable for many types of surgery, the Classique Triangle Prosthesis uses a skin-like polyurethane film that mimics the skin’s natural texture. It can be used to balance the weight between two different breast sizes and is a full-coverage option that conforms easily to bodies with a shallow cup profile.
- Round or Oval Breast Form
Oval and round breast forms are designed to fit women with larger cup profiles and those with equal volume above and below the nipple.
To fit a full cup profile, try the Nearly Me Full Oval Prosthesis. It’s 30% lighter than a standard silicone breast prosthesis and has a matte finish and a flowable gel back for enhanced comfort.
- Teardrop Breast Forms
Teardrop-style forms are broader at the bottom and taper toward the top of the form. They are usually the best fit for women with a shallow cup profile and more volume in the bottom of the breast than the top.
For a comfortable teardrop fit, try our Amoena Energy Silicone Prosthesis. It features a three-dimensional pearl surface on the back of the form that creates space for air to flow. This increases the air ventilation and evaporates moisture quicker for a cool and comfortable experience. It tapers toward the top of the form to fit cup sizes with less volume at the breast.
- Asymmetrical Forms
Asymmetrical forms are a popular option for women who have had a partial mastectomy, lumpectomy, or unilateral mastectomy.
Asymmetrical designs typically come in left and right options to accommodate the difference in shape for women with two different cup sizes. Many come with an elongated piece or curved edge to provide additional volume.
For an asymmetrical fit, try the Nearly Me So-Soft Asymmetrical Prosthesis, which uses silicone gel to balance comfort and a realistic appearance. The contoured profile fits close to the body and adds volume to create a full shape.
How to Find the Right Breast Forms
To find the right breast form for your body, you need a personalized fitting with an experienced, trained, and certified fitter. At A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, our fitters are ABCOP-certified, ensuring you receive a comprehensive fitting, including a diagnosis-specific clinical examination to assess your skin to ensure it is adequately healed.
After taking measurements and discussing your breast surgery and medical history, your fitter can provide recommendations for breast forms, bras, swimwear, and other mastectomy products.
If you are interested in custom breast forms, your fitter will use our cutting-edge scanning technology to take 3D images of your chest wall and surgical site and use a color-matching chart to find the right skin tone. These are input into the American Breast Care software program and sent to the manufacturing facility.
Several weeks later, when your breast forms are ready, you’ll return for a second fitting where your fitter can show you how to wear your custom breast forms and provide care and maintenance instructions.
Get a Personalized Fitting at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe
The proper breast form depends on numerous factors, and the team at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe can guide you through the selection process. Contact us at (954) 978-8287 or schedule a personal fitting online.