The prosthesis industry supplies products for survivors of breast cancer and its related surgeries. Forms can recreate body symmetry, and peace of mind after a the devastating effects of breast cancer. There are a number of accessories and products available to unfortunate to say – an increasingly growing market.
It is essential to have the area operated fully healed. It depends on the person – everyone’s healing process is a little bit different and a doctor can tell you exactly when you are ready for a breast prosthesis. Aside from healing, radiation may leave the area feeling sensitive and the constant application and removal of prosthesis may cause irritation and pain. Time also allows for swelling to go down so an accurate breast fitting can be taken.
There are a few materials used for breast forms – below is the good and bad points of the materials uses:
The perks – gives the natural weight, look and movement of a real breast. The silicone can be colored to match skin tones; realistic nipples and arioles can be added. Material warms to your body temperature and feels very comfortable; not the same silicone used in breast implants and if breast form is punctured the silicone cannot be absorbed into the skin to cause health problems.
The drawbacks – expensive and can sometimes only be found in one to three shades; although there is a large variety of sizes, shapes and weights – it can be difficult to find the right one for you; built in or attachable nipples will not take on temperature therefore it maybe not be the same as the natural breast in (I.e) cold conditions.
The perks – cheaper alternative to silicone, while still maintaining most of the qualities found in a silicone breast form.
The drawbacks – cannot match silicone perfectly in the weight, movement and look in relation to a natural breast; some people are allergic to rubber and latex.
The perks – cheap and can be homemade; cannot be punctured or ruptured like silicone forms; holds shape well even in restrictive wear such as sports bras. The drawbacks – will not have the drape, weight or movement of a natural breast. Goal is more to approach the natural shape of a breast.
The perks – cheap and homemade; soft and comfortable against post surgery; and healing tissue; good to estimate what kind of cup size best suits you for your frame and body. can restore the visual and dimensional balance of a missing breast. The drawbacks – very light, and has no draping qualities; can become lumpy and distorted over time; especially if under filled; this form will not move like a natural breast does.
While temperature extremes should not adversely affect a form for a short period of time, storage temperatures should stay at more moderate levels. You can sleep in your forms, but it is not recommended.
The original boxes for most forms are designed to protect the form and help keep its shape. You should wash your form every day you wear it. Use warm water and a very mild soap (possibly unscented dish soap). DO NOT use soaps with perfumes or moisturizers – one fitter singled out Dove as an example of a bad soap to use. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
Remove all jewelry before handling your forms. The edges and stones of rings could damage the form. If you plan to wear a pin or brooch, put it on your clothes before putting your forms in place.
You can wear your forms for pretty much any normal activity, but be careful around pets – their claws could puncture your forms through your clothing. Don’t use perfumed deodorants. Even better, stick with antiperspirants, as sweat can damage the form over time.
Depends on the fashion you choose to wear. Most retailers carry a line of bras with a pocket that the breast form can be slipped into for the natural look to continue. This is something that can be discussed with a certified fitter who can let you know your options with your new breast forms to make it as natural looking as possible.
If it has been custom fit for shape size and look then no. The forms available on the market are remarkably realistic. Breast forms made for water related activities are clear versus being skin toned to react and hold up in chlorine water. Due to being clear they exhibit the wearers skin tone in the clear form.
Most silicone forms have a two year warranty. You should be able to get that much life out of your breast form. Inspect your forms regularly for any defects that can be repaired within the warranty time.
Most insurance companies insure one breast form every two years and two mastectomy bras every year for those who have had breast cancer surgery.