Fitting of a breast prosthesis and mastectomy bra
Surgeons and oncologists make referrals of patient to my practice as soon as surgery is completed
Reach for recovery has then, in most cases consulted and provided the patient with soft filler prosthesis. If this was not provided, I would provide a soft sponge breast form covered with a silk cover to provide shape and a better cosmetic appearance as soon as 3 days post operative.
This sponge breast is soft against the skin and will not cause any skin irritation during the healing process even though a drain may still be present. This breast form may be used up to week six in the recovery process or until the skin has fully healed. When the patient is undergoing radiation treatment, this soft breast form will then be worn in a soft fitted shirt of cotton sport bra. I also recommend that this soft breast form be used at night time to sleep with as to comfort sleeping on the affected side.
As soon as all healing, treatment and tenderness has subsided and my patient is emotionally ready for the next step, a permanent external silicon breast form can be fit Consultation include that measurements are taken for under breast size or band size as well as breast cup size.
When a mastectomy is performed a full silicon breast form is provided.
Breast shapes include:
These can be fit unilateral or bilaterally. Individual unilateral breast forms are also available to provide a one sided fit and add more breast volume at the sides or under the arm. There is no evaluation that works for 2 patients alike. This comes with regular patient fitting experience and training.
In the case where a lumpectomy was performed, a shell ( or single layer silicon breast form ) as well as a conform (a double layer breast form) can be fit. This partial form will fill a surgical site area to provide symmetry or be used to balance out uneven breast reconstruction sites.
All breast prosthesis is made to fit into a post mastectomy bra. These bras are specifically designed to work hand in hand with the external breast form.
Designs include the following:
Thicker straps over the shoulders reduce pressure over the site of the cervical node area. These straps are rarely adjusted and just stay in place over the shoulders.
Comfortable design and secure fit over the thoracic area ensure a natural look without any risk of the prosthesis falling out during activity.
Higher fabric design and soft flexible material under the arms ensure a comfortable but necessary compression over the axillary node site.
This is the most important area to take into consideration when treating a post mastectomy lymphoedema patient.
A thicker three and four clasp fasterner at the back of the bra ensure that the bra can be adjusted under the area of the bust to provide relief if side effects of treatment occur that affect swelling over his area.
A inner lined pocket in the mastectomy bra holds the breast prosthesis secure and reduces the risk that the external breast prosthesis will move and not look cosmetically identical to the remaining breast.
Colors and styles are up to the imagination and can include standard beige, black and white to the more exentric blue, grey, red, pink, and tiger skin! Styles can include lace, smooth and padded bra’s, sports bra’s, camisole as well as front fastener bra’s.
A more body fitting style is also available and will be fit in cases where thorasic, back and axillary lymphoedema is diagnosed. In my experience any type of post mastectomy patient can be fit with a external breast form and bra that will provide a natural feel and look to the patientMost medical aids provide authorisation in order for me to fit both the prosthesis as well as 2 mastectomy bra’s.