Tag Archive | mastectomy bras

Double-breasted today

I decided it might be a good idea to get myself a new breast prosthetic. At the moment, my shaped Victoria Secret bras do a decent job faking a right breast, but the shaping may eventually collapse and more fitted shirts compress the bra. So, I scheduled a new appointment at the Pennsylvania Artificial Limb and Brace Company. I wanted to make sure and get my stuff while we’re still in this calendar year and my insurance is way maxed out.

As per usual, Julie did an excellent job helping me out. It was a little tricky because apparently, most of her patients have a much larger cup size than I do. It also doesn’t help that I have to keep the straps off to the side because my port is in the way. There were few bras that I could actually try on. We did manage to find one in my size – 34AA. Yes, yes, very sad, but I didn’t like being a B cup. I’m much happier back at my normal size.

My new mastectomy bra

My new mastectomy bra. It kind of feels like a sports bra

The inside cup for my prosthetic

The inside cup for my prosthetic

I was a little leery of this bra because the straps do go right over my port. However, I wore it all day today and it didn’t bother me. The straps are wide enough that they go around the port, and I think I’ve finally gotten used to the port (over a year later).

Here’s my new prosthetic:

photo(36)We ended up going with a size four because I have a bit of concavity in my chest from the nasty expander. With this bra, it squishes it all to my chest and I needed a bit more oomph. I wore it today and felt a bit more balanced. I don’t mind going around without it, but it was kind of nice to have two breasts today instead of just one.

I’ve got another bra on order that will allow me to wear tops with a deeper dip into the decolletage. We’ll see how it works once my size comes in.

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Fair and Balanced, Again

I finally got around to ordering my breast form and mastectomy bras, and then waited impatiently for what we had decided to order to actually come in. I was more than ready for some new bras, since most of mine currently look like this:

One shredded bra

One shredded bra

I wasn’t about to buy new bras while I was in the middle of treatment. During radiation, I didn’t even wear a bra unless I was going out somewhere special. The other problem is my expander is a full cup size larger than my natural breast size, so my current bras don’t quite fit. Of course, when my breasts are two different sizes, nothing actually fits them without some help. That’s part of the reason I went back to Pennsylvania Artificial Limb and Brace. My lop-sidedness would be very apparent with most of my summer clothes without some boosting on the left side.

This is the breast form we went with:

My breast form to even up the sides

My triangular swim form to even up the sides

The breast forms come in triangular or teardrop shapes. We went with the triangular, swim form shape to add as much to the upper part of my left breast as possible, to match the completely unnatural shape of the expander on the right. Because it’s a swim form, it won’t float when I take it in the water. Now I really need to check and see if it fits in my bikini, preferably before I go on vacation and actually want to wear a bathing suit.

The breast form slides inside the pocket of a mastectomy bra and then just sits on my breast.

The pocket of one of my bras

The pocket of one of my bras

The pocket if the other bra

The pocket of the other bra

I tried on several bras, and decided on these two as the most comfortable. The biggest problem was most of the bra straps sit right on top of my port, which is not at all comfortable. With these two bras, the straps go to the side a bit.

After wearing both bras for a few days, neither bra is as comfortable as my old bras. They are quite snug in the chest (which probably just means the elastic isn’t dead) and the straps aren’t over as far as I had hoped. They also irritate the expander a bit, which I don’t really understand how. I like being even again (which tells me I made the right decision in doing reconstruction, because I wouldn’t want a breast on only one side), but the increase in cup size is surprisingly noticeable. I’m glad I decided not to increase my cup size with the reconstruction. At least keep one thing the same, right! I’m sure I’ll get used to the new bras after a while.

Mastectomy bras and breast forms

Since it will be six months until reconstruction surgery, I decided I needed to go back to Pennsylvania Artificial Limb & Brace to talk about breast forms. My lopsided breasts aren’t too noticeable with winter clothes on, but it’s harder to hide with summer clothes. So, it was off to try on bras.

The tricky part of trying on bras was when the woman who was helping me asked what kind of bras I like. I don’t know – I found a style I like on Victoria Secret (T-shirt bras) and just buy those when they’re on sale. I just want to make sure the straps don’t go over my port. So, I got measured and then tried on a couple of options with breast forms to see how they fit and looked.

A breast form is a partial breast prosthesis that is put over my existing breast to make it larger to match the expander. The expander is a full cup size larger than my natural breast, so I need a little boost on the left side. The trick is getting the boost in the upper part of the breast, so I need an oval breast form instead of the more typical triangular form. We’ll see what it looks like when the stuff comes in in a week or two.

I did ask about swimming with the breast form as well. I just need to find a bathing suit to hold the breast form. My bikini might actually work, since it has pockets in the breasts, but I’ll check out Lands End and see if I can find anything else. They have mastectomy bathing suits that I can return to Sears if it doesn’t fit.