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Postmastectomy – Care for Life

Green Prosthetics and Orthotics understands the array of emotional, physiological and aesthetic concerns that individuals face when they go through a mastectomy. Each individual brings their own life style needs and concerns. And it is much more than just matching physical symmetry. It’s also about your physiological balance. Improperly fitted breast prosthesis can result in lower back pain, spinal and disc issues, as well as breathing problems. On the aesthetics side it’s also clearly about “Looking Good”. Our Certified Mastectomy Fitters are dedicated to helping you make the right selections combining technology, fashion, and compassionate care as you undertake your recovery journey.

What Are Breast Prostheses or Breast Forms?

External breast prostheses or breast forms are artificial breasts that are worn after a mastectomy. They help balance your body and prevent the bra on the side of the mastectomy from riding up. They also help prevent back and neck pain and can eliminate a shoulder from sagging.  For most women breast prostheses are custom-designed.  They are made from several different types of material including silicone gel, foam, and fiberfill. They are constructed with a similar weight and feel to natural breast tissue. Some prostheses attach directly to the chest area, while others fit into pockets of mastectomy bras to hold the prosthesis in place. Prostheses can be custom designed to include an artificial nipple or they can be designed to take on a special shape.  An individual’s preferences is often determined by the type of surgery that was performed, the weight of the breast form, skin color, skin condition, comfort, and life style requirements.  Current advancements in breast forms include waterproof forms for swimming, lightweight styles for sleeping & leisure activities, and those made for highly active athletic endeavors.

Looking Your Best – An Important Role In Healing

There have been many studies done that prove that after surgery, your recovery process improves when you feel you are looking your best. When you are presenting a positive image to others they in turn produce positive reactions back to you.  This collective atmosphere does wonders for healing and aids individuals in working through their various treatment plans. At Green Prosthetics our Mastectomy Fitters can show you how attractive, fashionable, and comfortable you can be!

Before Your First Visit – Prescriptions & Insurance

You will need a prescription from your primary physician or referring physician.  You will also need to provide us with your insurance information. Most insurance carriers, as well as Medicare, cover both the bra and the breast prosthetic.  We have outlined the initial visit requirements in the Your First Visit (link to 6.1) section of this website.

Expectations – Initial Fitting

At your first visit we will discuss your concerns and life style needs.  You will be measured and presented with various options and the different products available to you.  At the first fitting appointment, it’s recommended that you wear a form-fitting garment, such as a knit top, so you can see how the shape and size of the various breast forms matches the other breast. With proper fitting, the prosthesis will not be noticeable. Once selections are made your prosthesis may need to be custom ordered or in some cases we may carry the items in-stock.  Custom orders are filled very quickly; however, it may take several visits to ensure a proper fit.  We understand that this can be an emotional time and we encourage you to bring a relative or friend with you for support and personal advice — if that is something you would like to do.

After the appropriate fitting is complete you would typically see our Certified Fitters every one or two years to ensure everything is functioning and looking as planned.  That time frame could change if you have a significant weight change or there is damage to the prosthesis or some other type of early replacement is required.