Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics understands that each woman who goes through a mastectomy has unique concern and lifestyle needs. That’s why Hanger’s postmastectomy fitters offer patients caring, individualized and private service in fitting breast forms (prosthesis) and bras.
A certified mastectomy fitter works closely with each patient to find the right size and style prosthesis and bra that will restore a natural look and project a positive body image. In addition, today’s mastectomy bras are very fashionable and comfortable.
Recent advancements in breast forms include lightweight styles for leisure and sleeping, waterproof forms for swimming and others that are made for athletics and a vigorous lifestyle.
Hanger’s postmastectomy fitters are eager to show women how attractive they can be with the comfort and protection of the right prosthesis and bra.
Emotional Concerns for Mastectomy Patients
It is natural to feel nervous about being in public following a mastectomy and wearing a breast form. Your Hanger fitter can suggest local support groups and organizations that will help you and your loved ones and friends deal with the emotional concerns that are a natural part of the recovery process. Just ask your fitter for the name and phone numbers of these groups and don’t hesitate to call.
What is a Breast Prosthesis or Breast Form?
Breast prostheses or breast forms are made from safe materials that approximate natural tissue. They are similar in color, weight and texture to a natural breast and are contoured for a supple and natural-appearing silhouette. Traditional breast forms are inserted into special pockets in prosthetic foundations. Some newer prostheses adhere directly to the chest wall and require no special lingerie for security. Choice of a breast form is determined by the type and extent of surgery, the person’s skin condition, the weight of the form, lifestyle demands and comfort.
A breast form is vital to restore balance to a woman’s body, to maintain shoulder posture, to add comfort and to enhance appearance and self esteem. Establishing proper prosthetic fit also is important for good respiratory function.
Before your first visit
You will need a prescription from your primary or referring physicians and insurance information. Most insurance providers as well as Medicare cover both the breast prosthetic and the bra. If you have insurance other than Medicare please confirm with your insurance company regarding coverage and when you are entitled to a new prosthesis and bra. Medicare guidelines states that your bra may be replaced every year and your prosthesis every two years. It is likely you will find that most bras last about six months.
Your First Fitting
Our general recommendation is come in for your first fitting two to six weeks after surgery. But recovery varies for each woman, so consult with your physician.
You will be measured and correctly fitted for a breast form and you also will discuss options for bras with the fitter. It will probably take one or two visits to ensure a good fit. Your prosthesis and bra may also need to be custom ordered, unless it is an in-stock item. Orders typically arrive quickly. Then you will return to your fitter every one to two years to be refit unless you experience significant weight loss or gain or there is damage to the prosthesis.
You must also bring a new prescription with you on your return visits if we will be billing your insurance company. Insurance requires a new prescription for each entitled prosthesis for claims submission.