Post Mastectomy: Making the Right Choice

It is never easy to come to terms with the fact that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and that your body is no longer the same. Coping with this realization is difficult enough and the subsequent treatment makes it worse. Surgery and chemotherapy or radiation gives the body some more beating and soon, your morale is hugging your heels. You desperately want to be up and running… away from all your woes!

Cancer, we agree, is not easy to handle but if approached pragmatically, it cannot be all that difficult, either. Proper understanding and the right choices can bring that smile back to your face.

Post breast cancer diagnosis

In most cases, the first step after diagnosis is mastectomy - wherein a part or the whole breast is removed surgically - or lumpectomy - which is the surgical removal of the malignant lump without having to take out the entire breast. These procedures are again traumatic and can make the patient feel anxious, incomplete and therefore, depressed.

But, handling the situation smartly is the need of the hour. And many take that essential step towards getting their breast(s) to feel full and the body to feel normal again. That could be one huge step towards recovery… both emotional and physical. Once the body is feeling good, the morale automatically starts to climb up again.

Post-mastectomy, the patient goes through the recommended mastectomy recovery time which could be anywhere between four and eight weeks. During this period, many wear a temporary soft breast prosthesis which is specifically designed for post-operative wear. Once the healing time is done with, most women usually move on to the next task of taking an informed decision of whether to go for breast reconstruction or opt for a permanent prosthesis.

Breast reconstructive surgery

Breast reconstructive surgery is one in which a plastic surgeon recreates a breast mound in place of the one which has been removed. The breast mound is rebuilt to closely resemble the one that has been taken out. The doctor can even add the areola and the nipple. You may ask for either prosthetic reconstruction or autologous reconstruction. In the former, artificial implants, filled with saline or silicone gel, are used to create a mound whereas in an autologous tissue/implant reconstruction, tissue from some part of the patient’s body, most commonly the abdomen, is taken to build an artificial breast.

However, a lot many women do not want to undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy, either straightaway or later. Another procedure is not desirable. So, for them the option available is breast prosthesis. This is actually an artificial breast form which is worn inside the bra cup to give it a full effect. Usually, it is made of silicone gel contained within a polyurethane skin. This material is safe and cannot be absorbed by the skin. A less expensive version of a mastectomy breast form is foam breast forms or fiberfill breast forms. These are lightweight and good for temporary wear.

Post mastectomy bras

Mastectomy breast forms are worn inside special bras, called mastectomy bras, which have cotton/spandex pockets within which the breast prosthesis is securely held. And just because you have had mastectomy, it does not mean you cannot look sexy any more or are unable to wear fancy underclothes. There are plenty of stylish mastectomy bras in the market which can go a long way in restoring your feminine shape and giving you back your self-confidence.

Amoena Nancy Wire-Free Bra Amoena Isabel Wire-Free 2118 Camisole Soft Cup
Amoena Nancy Wire-Free Bra Amoena Isabel Wire-Free 2118 Camisole Soft Cup 

Stylish mastectomy wear

Moving on, breast forms are not the only requirement of a person who has undergone mastectomy. Brands the world over have come out with gowns and recovery camisoles that are shapely and exquisitely designed. These clothes are designed keeping in mind comfort as well as fashion. And more notably, these mastectomy clothing provide maximum support and reassurance. An example is Still You Lilac Lace Gown that can almost double as an evening wear! It features an exquisite lilac lace with scalloped hem and comes with a built-in shelf bra.

And the brains behind breast forms and camisoles have opened up a whole world for mastectomy patients. Accessories like post mastectomy breast enhancers, breast binders after mastectomy, mastectomy T-shirts and pajamas, post mastectomy swimwear are being accepted as routine usage items.

Nearly Me Triangle Shape Foam Filler Enhancers Trulife Secrets Breast Enhancers
Nearly Me Triangle Shape Foam Filler Enhancers Trulife Secrets Breast Enhancers

Post mastectomy shape and support

Supports, like the Cardinal Health Surgi-Bra Breast Supports which hold dressings in place and allow for easy check-up and dressing changes, are popular. Wear Ease Triangle Bust Cups help give shape and support to the clothing and can be sewn into the bra. Prosthetic nipples can be affixed to both the natural breast and a breast form while camisole Inserts give additional bra coverage and can be sewn into the top of the bra. For those not wearing pocketed bras, Nearly Me Double-Sided Body Tape has some adhesive on both sides and provides support to breast forms and enhancers.

You will be surprised by the variety of mastectomy products available in the market. It is left to you to make the right choice.

 

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