If I Don’t Want to Have Reconstructive Surgery, What Are My Post Mastectomy Options?

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If I Don’t Want to Have Reconstructive Surgery, What Are My Post Mastectomy Options?

Many women opt not to have plastic surgery for breast reconstruction following their mastectomy procedure. If this is your decision, there are other post mastectomy options that can give you a natural appearance while allowing you to maintain an active lifestyle.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, your treatment can include radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, medication, targeted therapy, and surgery. If your oncologist recommends surgery, options can range from a lumpectomy to a full mastectomy of one or both breasts. Following a mastectomy, the decision is yours whether to have reconstructive surgery or explore other post mastectomy options that may better fit your lifestyle.

Is Reconstruction Surgery Right For You?

There are many reasons why declining reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy may be the better option. For example, women who are very active and enjoy exercise or playing sports may find that the procedure will weaken their chest and abdominal muscles, boosting their risk of injury.

The surgical risks of getting breast implants, plus the extra time and costs involved, is also a concern. Although the success rate for these surgeries is usually very high, there is also the risk of infection or dissatisfaction with the aesthetic results following the reconstruction procedure.

Know Your Post Mastectomy Options

If you are not considering reconstruction, a custom prosthesis is a fantastic post mastectomy option for maintaining a natural appearance. There are several types available to choose from, and you do not have to limit yourself to just one option.

  • Silicone Breast Forms. A silicone breast form is a good choice if you are looking for the weight and texture of natural breasts. They are available in different sizes and colors, with some options having added prosthetic nipples to obtain a more natural look.
  • Lightweight Breast Forms. If you do not want the added weight, lightweight or “non-weighted” breast forms are also available. These prosthetic forms are made from a fiberfill or foam product and their light weight make them a good choice when exercising.
  • Bras and Camisoles. Breast forms are generally held in place with a post mastectomy bra, but many women whose primary concern is comfort choose a soft-form camisole. These camisoles have built-in pockets where the weighted or non-weighted forms can be placed.
  • Other Options. If both the bra and camisole options do not work for you, your breast forms can be attached to your chest using as special adhesive. If you enjoy swimming, custom swimwear is also available. For your convenience, silicone prosthetic breast forms are not negatively affected by swimming pool chlorine or ocean salt water.

Getting Fitted for Your Prosthetic Forms

Standard breast forms are available for purchase via the Internet or within our clinic, but for the most satisfactory results you should always be custom-fitted by a professional. This will guarantee not only that you get the size and shape that you want, but also that your bra or camisole will be perfectly compatible with your prosthetic forms.

The professional staff of certified prosthesis fitters at Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics will be happy to help you learn more about your post mastectomy options and provide you with a custom fitting. There is never a fee for a consultation and it only takes about 45 minutes to complete the process. Additionally, the cost for breast forms, bras, swimwear, and camisoles is covered by Medicare and the majority of other insurance plans. Contact Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics for a post mastectomy consultation or call 501-683-8889 to make an appointment today.