Women may have many questions as they begin the process of buying breast forms following a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or other breast surgery. Your specific questions about your unique situation can be addressed by your certified fitter at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe, but the following round-up of general questions can give you an idea of what to expect.
What is a breast form?
A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast that is used post-mastectomy. Whether you are awaiting breast reconstruction or have chosen to forgo further breast surgery altogether, wearing a prosthesis can give the appearance of natural breasts and balance out your silhouette.
What Styles and Types are Available?
There are various types of breast prosthesis to choose from, including full and partial breast forms, to cater to the needs of women who have undergone various types of breast surgeries.
Breast prosthesis also come in different shapes to ensure a proper fit for each woman, including triangular teardrop, oval, and partial breast prosthesis. The different shapes and sizes available make it all the more necessary to visit a certified fitter for your breast prostheses needs, as they can help you determine the best fit and even work with you to develop your very own custom forms.
What are Breast Forms Made From?
Breast prostheses are made from a variety of materials, but silicone is the most popular because of their ability to replicate the weight, movement, and feel of natural breasts.
Other high-quality options include foam breast forms and fiberfill forms, which are a great, lightweight alternative to silicone breast forms for sports and leisure.
Why are Breast Forms Needed?
Shoulder, neck, and back issues are common after mastectomy surgeries. Breast prosthesis can be weighted to mimic your natural breasts, helping you regain balance and prevent back problems.
Additionally, some women experience the dropping of one shoulder after surgery. Weighted breast forms can help to resolve this issue, and some women feel that wearing a breast form with a bra helps to keep their shoulder in place.
Breast forms also help women regain confidence and maintain mental-wellness after surgery.
Can I Swim in Any Breast Form?
There are special breast prostheses that are specifically designed for swimming, such as the Jodee Style 72 Breast Form – Perfect Shape. These prostheses are designed to be hydrodynamic, waterproof, and do not break down after repeated use in chlorinated water, salt water, and the high-temperature water of hot tubs.
How Do I Keep a Breast Form in Place?
There are several types of breast forms and different methods of securing them. Standard breast forms are designed to be worn with a special pocketed bra that holds them securely in place. Perma forms are less versatile and come pre-sewn into bras or camisoles. Adhesive breast forms come with a sticky backing and can be adhered directly to the skin for security.
Do I Have to Wear a Breast Form with a Special Bra?
Mastectomy bras are designed specifically for women who choose to wear breast forms. They feature pockets sewn into the cups to hold breast prostheses securely in place. The Anita Venecia Mastectomy Bra provides security and confidence with a beautiful design and secure pockets for your breast prostheses.
How Do I Prevent Overheating?
In the summer months, many women find that a silicone breast prosthesis can become uncomfortable and cumbersome, causing an excess amount of sweat between the skin and the breast form. It is ideal to have a set of foam or fiberfill breast forms for these warmer temperatures. They are lightweight and breathable and can help to prevent uncomfortable overheating.
Does Insurance Pay for Breast Forms?
Often, insurance companies do reimburse or cover the cost of postoperative necessities such as quality breast prosthetics and mastectomy bras. It is important to check in with your insurance provider prior to making any purchases.
How Do I Take Care of a Breast Form?
Breast prostheses require special care and handling. Most times you will be provided with specific care instructions directly from the manufacturer. Basic guidelines for the care of breast forms include washing daily or every other day with mild soap and warm water, gently drying with a towel, and storing them in the box or container they came in.
When Can I Start Wearing Breast Forms?
Before buying or even getting fitted for a breast form, it is important that you get the go-ahead from your doctor.
The healing time varies from woman to woman, and you can only be fitted for a set of forms once your surgical sites have healed and your stitches have been removed.
For most women, this means the fitting can take place six to eight weeks post-surgery.
How Do I Get the Right Fit?
Your fitting with a certified mastectomy fitter can help you find the right products for your specific and individual needs.
Mastectomy fitters are trained to help you find solutions that are tailored to you, whether you have undergone a lumpectomy, double mastectomy, or any other breast cancer surgery.
You may be wondering: is there a breast prosthesis store near me? The answer is likely, yes! BOC certified experts, like those at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe in South Florida, are often located near to the hospital where you underwent surgery and can help you find the right products for you.