Questions and Answers
Concerning External Breast Forms
Dealing with the emotional and physical aftermath of breast surgery, whether major or minor, can be over-whelming for many women. Before the surgery, your femininity and self confidence were oftentimes expressed by how you looked and felt each day. Now you may wonder what do you do next. There are several options for you, one being an external breast prosthesis.
Why should I choose an external breast prosthesis?
It is wonderful that today women have options after breast surgery. Your physician may discuss reconstruction or implants, but for some women an external prosthesis is preferable to additional surgeries. Depending on your age, physical condition and remaining natural breast size, an external prosthesis may be the best solution to help balance the body. External breast forms are far less expensive than additional surgeries and a form can be easily changed if you gain or loss weight. There are now hundreds of sizes and styles from which to choose that fit all body and skin types and thousands of dealers nationwide to help in the fitting process.
How soon after surgery should I be fitted with a permanent external prosthesis?
Of what are most prostheses made?
The majority of weighed breast prostheses are made of silicone gel. The lighter weight silicone forms have an additional material added in the manufacturing process to make them lighter in weight yet still offer a form that meets the mastectomees physical needs.
Is this silicone gel the same material found in breast implants?
Similar but not the same since external breast prostheses are “cured” in a manufacturing process and are not in a liquid state. The silicone is encapsulted in a thin supple film that is soft and resilient to move with you like natural tissue.
Are there different styles of breast prosthese?
Yes, symmetrical forms suchas an oval, triangle or butterfly shape can be worn on either side of the body. A classic asymmetrical shape fits only the right or left side of the body but often times offers a more precise fit.
Your doctor will tell you when you are ready to be fitted. This may be from four to six or eight weeks after surgery. The chest wall has to heal and the soreness decrease.
What types of prostheses are on the market?
Which style is better?
Each style fits a specific need and figure type. Your certified fitter helps you choose.
If a breast prosthesis tears or is punctures, does the silicone hurt the skin or the body?
No, the silicone cannot be absorbed through the skin.
There are two basic types of breast forms, weighted (having weight to them) and non-weighted.
Weighted breast forms are generally made of silicone gel to mimic the feel and weight of natural breast from for everyday wear because they need to balance the body weight lost after breast surgery are different weight classifications… standard weight silicone gels and lighter weight silicone gels.
Your choice will be based on several factors such as the weight and texture of your remaining natural breast.
Where can I be fitted for a permanent prosthesis?
Breast forms and mastectomy bras (special pocketed bras to help hold the form in place) are sold at medical supply stores, pharmacies, department stores, wig shops, specially lingerie shops and catalogs. Look in the yellow pages, ask at the local American Cancer Society, hospital or physician’s office for stores within your specific area.
Non-weighted forms are made of lightweight material such as foam, fiberfill or other non silicone material. Non-weighted forms do not replace the needed weight to help balance the body but are often recommended for right after surgery, for wearing during athletic activities. Your certified mastectomy fitter will be able to help with which non-weighted form works best for you along with your everyday silicone breast form.
Why do I need a weighted breast prosthesis (form) after breast surgery?
A properly fitted breast form helps replace the body
What type of bra can be worn with an external prosthesis?
There are bras called mastectomy or surgical bras. These bras are designed with cup pockets to hold the breast form in place and are cut wider under the arm and across the chest. After a mastectomy it is important to be measured and fit by a professional breast prosthesis fitter. Fashion bras have not been designed to meet your specific needs.
Why should I go to a professional fitter?
Because every woman is different. There are
weight lost after breast surgery. This replacement is not merely for cosmetic or psychological reasons but for physical reason as well. When a natural breast is removed, the body is no longer in balance and will compensate with slight curving of the spine and “shoulder drop”. Both conditions may lead to chronic lower back and neck pain.
If I am very small breasted or had partial surgery such as a lumpectomy, do I still need a weighted breast prosthesis?
Yes. Even if you are small breasted you should replace the weight. You will also need the weight to help hold your bra in place around the rib cage. A light non-weighted from adds shaping in a bra but may slip up during certain movements.
hundreds of sizes, styles and shapes that have been creted to match a women’s remaining natural breast and a certified professional fitter is trained to measure and select the proper prosthesis for each individual women.
Are prostheses covered by private insurance?
Generally yes, check with your insurance company for individual coverage.
Are prostheses covered by Medicare and Medicaid?
Yes, but allowables are different by state, check with the local social security office.
Why are prostheses so expensive?
Prostheses are not mass produced. Each one is made by hand and follow several steps and procedures. Prostheses are also considered medical devices and are regulated by the FDA. Manufacturers carefully Monitor the manufacturing and sale of these types of products through on site quality assurance and warranty card information.
Compliments of Nearly Me Mastectomy Products