A woman diagnosed with breast cancer faces many difficulties, both emotionally and physically. Doctors frequently recommend a woman with breast cancer diagnosis to go through the surgical removal of the affected breast, and this procedure is called mastectomy. Sometimes, they also advise to remove the healthy breast for prevention. Mastectomy is then followed by after-surgery treatments that include radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. It is not uncommon that many physicians suggest breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy. However, reconstruction is not the only option available for breast cancer survivors. Prosthesis and mastectomy bras are good options for women seeking alternative to reconstruction surgery. They also are a good choice while you wait for your body and emotions to heal after having a mastectomy.
Problems You Face with Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Even if you have your reconstruction surgery done by the best plastic surgeon, this surgery carries the risks of infection, anesthesia complications, bleeding, scarring and persistent pain in the back and shoulder. Sometimes, implants get ruptured, and may need to be replaced. Scar tissues often forms around implants that harden the breasts. Since this process takes several months, and the patient also has to undergo radiation therapy, so these treatments damage the surrounding skin around implants and make it less hospitable to an implant.
If you go for autologous tissue transfer (wherein muscle or fat and skin from elsewhere in the body is taken to make new breasts), there will be additional incisions, creating even more complications.
According to a 2012 study published in the journal ‘Cancer’, it has been found that upper quarter dysfunction — which include pain, immobility and impaired sensation and strength — occurs in over half of breast cancer survivors and is more common in women who undergo breast reconstruction.
Benefits of Using Breast Prosthesis and Mastectomy Bras
Many women dealing with breast cancer undergo mastectomy that alters their physical appearance. A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast that can be worn to balance the body shape and improve appearance. It keeps body symmetrical when breast cancer surgery results in an imbalance. It restores the body’s natural balance and posture while protecting your chest and scars. Breast prosthesis or forms may produce more natural look under clothes and can prevent muscle-skeletal problems and possibly lymphedema.
- Today’s lighter than lightweight breast forms or prosthesis can be worn in various ways to better suit the needs of each woman. Since it is lightweight, it is comfortable to wear under a mastectomy bra and resemble natural breasts. Another option with prosthesis, is custom prosthesis that are made just for you and can be worn with a regular bra.
- Prosthetics come in different shapes and sizes to resemble a woman’s previous natural breast. A BOC certified mastectomy fitter can measure your natural breasts if you know you will consider breast prosthesis and not reconstruction after mastectomy. It will help the mastectomy fitter to create the exact shape and size custom made breast prosthesis for your individual situation.
- A mastectomy bra is especially designed to hold in prosthesis in place, and prevent them from looking unnatural. Mastectomy bras are completely discreet, so they can be worn by any women without any fear of slippage.
“As a young, and passionate woman, I was 39, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time in 2003, I had a lumpectomy. It shattered me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time in 2006. I chose to remove both breast through mastectomy. Breast cancer twice is enough. I had already decided I would not have reconstruction because I didn’t want to consider something else at that time. I underwent 8 chemotherapy treatments and 25 radiation treatments and now I am happily using custom breast prosthesis. I wore the off the shelf prosthesis for 8 years until I was introduced to the custom prosthesis. My journey continues… and I believe my story can empower at least one person or inspire one family.”
I, Bev Ramsey, am the owner of Pink Ribbon and we are the selected retailer of the American Breast Care Custom Breast Prosthesis. Our partnership with American Breast Care allows us to offer you custom breast prosthesis that is uniquely tailored to your unique contours. We have full line of post-mastectomy products and have expertise in fittings of breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras, post-surgical camisoles, lymphedema sleeves, and other mastectomy apparel.
If you have any questions or just want to talk to me, then please call: 479-459-7324 or email me at [email protected].