We fit and deliver external breast prostheses, mastectomy garments, and other breast care products to treat physiological asymmetry as a result of mastectomy, trauma, or congenital defect. We work directly with the patients to assess their needs, formulate a treatment plan and provide follow-up care to ensure a successful outcome.
About six to eight weeks after breast surgery, it will be time come and see us for a post mastectomy fitting. Women who have had a mastectomy should be able to wear a weighted prosthesis at this time since their incision should be healed. Women who experienced breast conserving surgery will also benefit form a post mastectomy fitting as there are partial prostheses to help fill in the missing portion of their breast and provide symmetry. Medicare and most private insurance plans have coverage for breast prosthesis and bras. If you are in doubt of your coverage, call the number on your insurance card and inquire. Some policies have network provider restrictions to consider that can influence coverage benefits.
We will first assess the condition of the skin at the mastectomy site. There should be no drainage or open wounds at the surgery site, or incision. Either of these conditions would require permission from the patient’s physician before proceeding.
We will then determine the proper bra size by taking measurements at strategic points on the chest wall and around the rib cage. The fit of the bra is crucial to how well the prosthesis will be tolerated, and how natural the fit will be. Mastectomy bras today are pretty and feminine while providing the support needed to keep the prosthesis in the correct position. Although it is not manditory to use a mastectomy bra with a prosthesis, it is recommended.
We will note the shape and drape of the existing breast and try a prosthesis that beast approximates those dimensions. Prostheses come in many shapes such as teardrop, and triangle. Some taper the material into the underarm area to fill in missing tissue there. Some prosthesis are assymmetrical making them side specific. For women who have lost both breasts, we will suggest prostheses that are flattering to the patients body dimensions.
While trying the bra and prosthesis on, we will place a soft drape on the patient to show in the mirror how she looks with the items. This is where the patient should let us know if she is happy with the results or if she wants to try something else. As the patient, please speak up if you are not satisfied so we can try a different alternative.
A yearly visit to our office is a good idea. Women’s bodies change in response to weight fluctuations and hormonal changes. The natural breast will change in response to these factors and a change in bra size and prosthesis may be needed to maintain comfort and symmetry.
There are many websites available to order Mastectomy supplies. If you would like to take a look and see what is available, check out the links below.
Nearly Me: http://nearlyme.org/
American Breast Care: http://www.americanbreastcare.com/consumerhome.html