A breast prosthesis is worn after mastectomy to restore your natural symmetrical body shape. Made from silicone, it has a softly rounded shape, and fits neatly into the hidden pocket of a specially designed bra. At your post-surgery consultation, ask your doctor when you can start wearing a prosthesis: generally, you should expect to wait for approximately six weeks after surgery. This allows healing of the operation site and swelling to go down, so that accurate measurements can be done, but recovery time varies for each individual and may take longer.

Who needs to wear a mastectomy bra and prosthesis?

As women begin to get their lives back following the drama of breast cancer and mastectomy, most prefer to wear the fashions and styles they enjoy, including feminine cuts with bust-lines.  A correctly fitted bra and prosthesis helps you to maintain a good self image and the self-confidence that comes from your favourite clothes. However, style is not the only benefit; your neck, shoulders and back are accustomed to symmetrical weight across the chest and mastectomy alters this balance. A correctly fitted prosthesis helps to maintain natural body alignment, preventing or relieving muscle tension and pain.

Choosing and fitting a bra

Choose a mastectomy bra and prosthesis that has been well manufactured from high quality materials. Stability is ensured by the hidden pocket into which the prosthesis fits – you want to be able to wear the bra without being constantly aware of it, so stable support is essential whether your cup size is large or small.  Broader shoulder straps and a generous cut of underarm fabric offer superior support, creating balance.  Ensure you are fitted with the correct size prosthesis (by weight) in order to balance the healthy breast and ensure good posture.  A professional fitter will consider your natural shape, lifestyle and needs when fitting you with a bra and prosthesis.  Bras are available in a variety of attractive styles and colours so there are plenty of options for creating the look you want.

For Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas, Isabel Strydom offers an advisory and fitting service for breast prostheses and mastectomy bras, call her on 082 484 8358 or 041-3673095.