What is a breast prosthesis?
Many female breast cancer survivors have to undergo mastectomies (the removal of one or both breasts). Whether preventive or as part of a treatment plan, this surgical intervention can be very traumatic. Meintjes and Neethling strives to restore the beauty and confidence of our patients who have undergone mastectomies with sensitivity and empathy.
A breast prosthesis is designed and made to replace either the complete breast that was removed or part thereof. They fit into the pocket of a specially-designed mastectomy bra, or can be made to be attached to the skin and worn with a normal bra. Breast prostheses are made of soft silicone gel that is coated with a thin film layer. The outside is soft and smooth and may contain a nipple outline.
First weeks after surgery:
Breast surgery – and sometimes radiotherapy – can make the chest area extremely sensitive. That is why you will probably wear a fabric-covered temporary prosthesis (some people call this a “softie” or “comphy”) in the first few weeks after your surgery. You can make it look more natural and feel more secure by adjusting the stuffing and either stitching it to your bra’s bottom or keeping it in place with a safety pin. Remember that your shoulder may feel stiff and sensitive at first – we recommend a “softy” that fits comfortably and is easy to put on.
Once your scar has healed completely and the swelling has subsided (this takes between six and eight weeks) we will fit you with a permanent breast prosthesis and provide you with a properly fitting bra.
Orthotists / Prosthetists are professionally qualified people with tertiary qualifications who can assess and treat the physical and functional restrictions of people with illnesses and disabilities, including a mastectomy.
Variety of breast prosthesis:
Mastectomy swimsuits are swimwear designed specifically for women who have undergone breast surgery. They sometimes include sewn-in breast pockets for prostheses, pockets for swimming prostheses, as well as altered features like higher necklines and armholes to help women feel more confident and have more support where they need it.