Breast prosthesis is an artificial breast form that takes the place of breast tissue that was removed during surgery. For some ladies breast reconstruction following surgery may not be something that they wish to do and so a breast prosthesis is used to provide a balanced silhouette.
Breast prosthesis can be used by ladies whose breasts are different sizes naturally or post breast reconstruction if the size and shape of the breasts is different. They can be a temporary measure for some prior to breast reconstruction and alternatively some ladies will chose not to wear breast prosthesis post surgery.
Types of Prosthesis
There are many different types of prosthesis: different shapes, weights and skin tones. They are designed to move, weigh and feel similar to natural breast tissue where possible. When choosing a breast prosthesis it is important to keep in mind the activities that you undertake and that you may need a different prosthesis at certain times.
Some ladies will choose to continue to wear a soft or temporary breast prosthesis instead of a full or permanent prosthesis.
Temporary or Softie Breast Form/Prosthesis
Initially after breast surgery your breast care nurse will provide a temporary or softie prosthesis. This is a soft fabric covered prosthesis that is filled with medical fleece. It is soft to allow for healing. After approximately 6-8 weeks post surgery or when all wounds have healed and swelling has reduced, you can start to use a full or permanent prosthesis.
Permanent Breast Form/Prosthesis
A permanent prosthesis is generally fitted 6-8 weeks post surgery once wounds have healed and swelling has reduced. Full prostheses are made from silicone and can vary in shape, size and weight.
It is recommended to have a fitting for a mastectomy bra prior to being fitted for a prosthesi. Most mastectomy bras have pockets to hold a prosthesis. These pockets provide support and concealment for the prosthesis.
Talk to your bra fitter about any concerns or issues that you are experiencing so that they can provide you with the most appropriate breast prosthesis. For ladies who had a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy a partial prosthesis can provide shape and replace the tissue that was removed during the procedure. A full prosthesis is used for ladies who have undergone a full mastectomy.