Generally, six to eight weeks after breast surgery will be a realistic time to see your post-mastectomy fitter. Most women who have undergone a mastectomy should be able to wear a weighted prosthesis at this time. This should only be done when the incision is healed. There are now partial prostheses to help fill in the missing portion of your breast and provide symmetry. Medicare and most private insurance plans have coverage for breast prostheses and bras. Always call your insurance provider for specific coverages and benefits.
Who does the fitting?
At Bits of Lace, our mastectomy fitter is Ruth Brennan, the store owner and registered nurse. Please call us at (843) 577-0999 if you wish to set up an appointment to be professionally fitted by Ruth.
The Fitting Process
Fitting for a mastectomy bra should be always make you feel comfortable and secure in your settings, and should offer complete privacy.
To properly fit you, your fitter will first assess the condition of the skin at the mastectomy site then determine your correct bra size. This is done by taking measurements at the strategic points of your chest wall and around your rib cage. Remember as with any bra, the fit is crucial to how well you will be able to tolerate the prosthesis and how natural the fit will be. Bits of Lace provides mastectomy bras that are pretty and feminine, but also provide the support and comfort needed to keep the prosthesis correctly positioned. It is highly recommended to use a mastectomy bra, although it is not required.
Next, your fitter will take note of the shape and drape of the existing breast and try a prosthesis that best fits your natural shape. Prostheses come in many shapes, including: teardrop, triangle, heart shaped, and others. Prostheses can be made to taper the material into the underarm area to fill in missing tissue. Some are symmetrical, and they can be worn on either side, and others are asymmetrical and just for one side. For women who have lost both breasts, your fitter will make sure your prostheses are flattering to your body's dimensions and your desires.
Your fitter will place a bra on you and show you how the various shapes and sizes look. This is when you should speak up and make sure your fitter knows what you like or if you want to try something else.
We recommend an annual visit to your fitter. As women, our bodies change in response to hormones and weight fluctuations. Naturally, our breasts will change and a different prosthesis may be needed.
Before leaving the store be sure to get instructions on use and care, as well as the retailer's return policy.