A breast prosthesis is a removable breast form that fits in your bra cup. A prosthesis can be used with or without a specially formed pocket inside your bra.
Images courtesy of Healthwise®.
The decision to use a breast prosthesis is very personal. It’s based on your feelings, needs, and lifestyle. You may choose to always wear a prosthesis. Or you may choose to wear one while you’re deciding about or waiting for breast reconstruction surgery. It’s your choice whether or not to use a breast prosthesis or have reconstructive surgery. You’re free to change your mind.
After breast cancer surgery you may choose to use a transitional (temporary) prosthesis. This is a soft light-form, also referred to as a fluffy or foamy, that you can secure inside your clothes or wear inside your bra. A transitional prosthesis is often used for the first 8 to 12 weeks after surgery until your incision is well healed, or when you can be fitted for a long-term (permanent) prosthesis. You may be able to get a transitional prosthesis for free. Talk to your healthcare team about where to get one.
You may choose to use a breast prosthesis long-term if you’ve had a mastectomy without breast reconstruction. A prosthesis is designed to look, weigh, and move like a natural breast. This prosthesis is made from silicone, foam, or other materials. Some prostheses temporarily stick to the skin on the chest. Others are worn in a regular bra or a mastectomy bra.
Wait at least 8 to 12 weeks after surgery, until your scar is fully healed and the swelling has gone down, before you’re fitted for a long-term prosthesis. This may be longer if you’re having radiation. When you wear a properly fitted prosthesis, your balance and posture are supported. This can help prevent back and neck problems after you have had a breast removed. Your prosthesis also prevents your bra from sliding up and gives a natural shape to your clothing.
If you’ve had your breast removed, Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) may pay for part of your prosthesis. Contact a Home Health Care vendor of your choice for an appointment. They will help you find out if you can get assistance through AADL, Blue Cross, or other private health insurance providers to cover some or all of the cost of your prosthesis. Contact your insurance provider for details.