Breast reconstruction isn’t a choice that all women make after cancer and for some, it isn’t an option. While some women choose to undergo a bilateral mastectomy, others get only one breast removed. If you are not undergoing breast reconstruction after a double or single mastectomy, then mastectomy bras and prosthesis are the right option for you to live a confident life. But, before you consider purchasing prosthesis, here are some important things that you should keep in mind:
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR – Whether you are seeing a plastic surgeon or your mastectomy specialist, you should know when your measurements need to been taken. In some cases, it takes about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery, but everyone is different so check with your surgeon to make sure that all of your swellings has resolved as this will change the way your prosthesis fits. You can use the lightweight foam or fiber-fill puffs right away after surgery. Being a certified mastectomy fitter for the last 4 years I have discovered that your chest wall will continue to change for 6 months to a year. The light weight prosthesis is a great option for the first 6 months. Also, if you are considering reconstruction, it would be beneficial to purchase a prosthesis that will give you the exact size breast you want to have. This helps your surgeon know exactly what size you are wanting to be.
ACCURATE MEASUREMENTS – Accurate measurements by a certified mastectomy fitter is required if you are looking for a proper fit. At Pink Ribbon, we have licensed, professional American Board for Certification or BOC Certified Fitters, who have years of expertise in fittings of breast forms, mastectomy bras, post-surgical camisoles, swimsuits, lymphedema sleeves, and other mastectomy apparel.
TYPES OF BREAST FORMS – Mainly there are two types of breast forms: One that fits into the pocket of a mastectomy bra and the other is a custom breast prosthesis, one that adheres directly to your chest wall. Before using a breast form that adheres to your chest, make sure you have healed completely from any radiation or skin issues. Most breast forms are made of silicone, and if kept under proper care can last for 2 years. The 2 most common form shapes are triangular and teardrop.
1 PROSTHESIS = SIMILIAR WEIGHT – If you are using only 1 prosthesis you need to make sure that most of the time you are using a form that is similar in weight to your remaining breast. If there exists a vast difference between the two, it can end up causing neck and back pain as well as shoulder droop. It does not create as many issues with the women using 2 prostheses as they can choose lighter breast prostheses of the same size.
BE EXTRA CAREFUL – Often perfumes, body mists, lotions and deodorants end up causing deterioration of the outer layer of the prosthesis. Be extra careful while you are wearing mastectomy bra or prosthesis. Pocketed breast forms should be protected from these products. Also, you need to be extra careful while using sharp objects or playing with your pets, they can puncture the form.
Pink Ribbon specializes in providing personalized, professional and discreet fittings for breast cancer survivors. We provide a full line of post-mastectomy bras and prosthesis that allows us to solely cater to women after any type of breast surgery, including radical mastectomy or reconstruction.