Your clothing options following a mastectomy are continuing to grow, offering more options in a variety of styles, colors, and designs.
Mastectomy stores today carry a variety of products and clothing options designed to make transitioning into life post-mastectomy easier and more comfortable. In addition to providing needed supplies, mastectomy stores also offer mastectomy bras, mastectomy swimwear, and other specialized clothing like camisoles and sleepwear not available in traditional retail stores.
Many women choose to use prosthetic breast forms following a mastectomy. To help hold a breast form in place, mastectomy bras are equipped with interior pockets that securely contain and anchor the prosthesis. Similar to the way a sports bra provides support during rigorous physical activity, mastectomy sports bras also allows you to perform all forms of exercise without worrying about the prosthesis slipping.
Following a mastectomy, you should wait until swelling has subsided before being fitted for a mastectomy bra to ensure correct sizing and ideal comfort. While mastectomy sports bras need to fit snugly, they should also permit ease of movement and not chafe your arms. If a mastectomy bra moves upward when you raise your arms above your head, the bra’s band size may need adjusting or you may need a different size.
Designed to wear following a mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery, or lumpectomy, mastectomy camisoles to optimize comfort and convenience. Benefits of mastectomy camisoles include:
- Material is typically no-pill, soft cotton with no inside seams to rub or chafe
- Provides strong, underbust support
- Drainage tube pouches (removable so that camisoles can be worn during radiation therapy or for leisure)
- Easy to step into or slip on
Today’s mastectomy swimwear is becoming more stylish and colorful, mimicking current swimwear designs so it is more difficult to discern that you are wearing a specialized suit. Swimwear material is usually 20% spandex and 80% nylon for the ultimate in comfort and flexibility. Built-in shelf bras have pockets for your breast form and side ties allow you to adjust skirt lengths.
When you visit a mastectomy store, work with the mastectomy fitter to meet your correct measurements:
- Bust—measure at the fullest width.
- Waist—to find your natural waist, bend to one side, stand straight, and then measure the crease. Make sure you can fit one finger easily between the measuring tape and your body.
- Hips—starting at your waist, measure about eight inches down. Measure your hips from that area.
- Torso—run the measuring tape from your shoulder down over your bust, through your groin and back up to your shoulder. If you have a long torso, purchase a mastectomy swimsuit one size bigger than your real size.
Mastectomy nightgowns are designed to eliminate gaping when you bend forward with hidden bust darts that fit perfectly over your bust regardless of your cup size. Most nightgowns come with two polyester breast forms and a breast form pocket on the requested side. Inside these pockets, fasteners keep the breast forms securely in place to prevent them from shifting while you sleep.
More about Post Mastectomy Clothing
After your surgery, you will probably experience stiff, sore arms and shoulders. Stock up on soft cotton tops, mastectomy camisoles, and mastectomy sleepwear that offer front closures or have extra room so that you can pull them easily over your hips. Choose breathable fabrics such as cotton, rayon, or silk that are comfortable, absorbent, and machine-washable.
To explore your clothing options post-mastectomy, schedule an appointment with a mastectomy fitter at Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics. Call 501-683-8889 to learn more about our selection of mastectomy bras, camisoles, active wear, lounge wear, and sleepwear.
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