Many breast cancer patients experience mastectomy (removal of one or both breasts). Recovering from breast cancer surgery can be both emotional and physical. Postoperative pain and surgical drainage can make dressing difficult.
Additionally, the experience of losing part of your body can lead to pain, anxiety, and fear. Although bras and camisoles are important for physical recovery after mastectomy, they can also improve self-image and self-confidence.
This article will review the types of post-mastectomy bras and camisoles available, as well as things to consider before purchasing. Be sure to discuss with your surgeon what type of post-mastectomy clothing is safe for you.
Mastectomy Bras and Recovery
Whether you choose to have breast reconstruction or a prosthesis, mastectomy bras provide comfort after surgery. Mastectomy bras have a soft inner lining to prevent pain or skin sensitivity while healing cuts or scars. Some post-mastectomy bras are also equipped with pockets to accommodate surgical drains. Comfort and healing are the top priorities when choosing post-mastectomy clothing.
Types of Bras
There are various types of mastectomy bras to choose from. You and your surgeon can discuss which clothing is best for your type of surgery. In general, however, look for bras with soft seams, no underwire, and breathable materials.
If you have breast implants, it is important to find a post-mastectomy camisole with breast pockets. A prosthesis is a quick and easy way to fill in the breast space you once had. The use of lightweight prostheses after mastectomy can reduce incision pressure. Wait to wear a weighted prosthesis until back You are healed.
Front opening soft cup bra
Since breast surgery can sometimes affect your shoulder rotation, You may not be able to pull the bra over your head, or have difficulty reaching the hooks on a bra that is closed at the back.
Soft-cup bras stretch to fit surgical dressings and provide slight compression at the incision. The front closure option allows you to put on and take off the bra with ease. Because of the swelling, you may need to keep the bra on the loosest hooks at first, but you can tighten it as the swelling improves.
Compression Bras and Tank Tops
Your breast surgeon may recommend that you wear a compression bra or vest after surgery. Compression garments help prevent swelling and fluid buildup as you heal. While a compression bra may look uncomfortable, the added support makes moving easier.
compression bra fit
A proper compression bra or tank top will hold your skin in place and prevent stretching of the seams. This reduces the chance of damaging the incision and requiring surgical revision.
Post-op tops and camisole
If your surgeon doesn’t recommend a mastectomy bra, or you’re not attractive, a camisole may be a good option. These soft, roomy tops are loose and should not interfere with drains or scar tissue. Also, as your incision heals, upgrading to a lace and decorative camisole is a great way to decorate and show off your personal style.
Tailored t-shirts, pajamas and pajama tops are also designed with bra cups and breast pockets.
Types of Breast Implants
what to look for
Here are some features to consider when shopping for a post-mastectomy bra and camisole:
- Wide Straps: Wide straps on the shoulders and under the chest keep the bra in place and won’t pierce your skin.
- Adjustable Straps and Closures: These help achieve the most snug and comfortable fit.
- Seamless: Wearing a seamless bra means less irritation to sensitive and rejuvenated skin.
- COMFORTABLE FABRIC: Breathable fabric and natural fibers prevent sweating.
- No Underwire: This prevents rubbing cuts and scar tissue.
- Minimal Details: At first, comfort is key, so stay away from itchy lace.
- Find your style: Just because you’ve had surgery doesn’t mean you can’t feel like yourself.
Underwire bras should be avoided as they penetrate deep into the skin. Talk to your healthcare provider or surgeon before you start wearing an underwire bra again.
where to find bras and camisoles
If possible, buy post-mastectomy products in person rather than online. Finding a board-certified mastectomy fitter can also guarantee a perfect fit mastectomy bra.
Some medical centers have their own boutiques where you can wear bras and prosthetics properly. There are also independent shops.
Many insurance plans cover post-mastectomy bras and prosthetics, if prescribed – ask your oncology nurse for information. Additionally, some organizations offer free mastectomy products.
Finding Style and Comfort After Breast Surgery
Breast cancer surgery can profoundly affect how a woman feels about her body. From mourning the loss of a breast to learning how to dress for a changing body, mastectomy has major implications.
While comfort and recovery are the primary goals, you’ll eventually be ready to dress well. Finding a professional mastectomy fitter can be a useful tool for feeling stylish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover post-mastectomy bras?
Many insurance companies will cover the cost of post-mastectomy bras and prostheses if prescribed by your oncologist (cancer doctor).
How soon can a prosthesis be fitted after a mastectomy?
Most women can have a prosthesis fitted once the incision has healed and the swelling has gone away. Consult your breast surgeon before installing a prosthesis.
Do I need a prescription to buy post-mastectomy bras?
In most cases, you’ll need a prescription for insurance to cover the cost of a post-mastectomy bra. Your oncology nurse can help with this process.
How often should I change my post-mastectomy bra?
Whether you decide to reconstruct or have a prosthesis, you’ll need to change your bra as your breasts and breasts change. Recovery from breast cancer surgery can take a full year, and your breast/breast shape and size will change during this time. Some insurance companies will pay for more than one bra per year. Check with your insurance company for more information.