Bras and Forms
Is it necessary to wear a bra after mastectomy?
It’s not necessary to wear a bra after a mastectomy, but many find it helpful for comfort and support. The decision to wear a bra after a mastectomy is a personal one and depends on individual factors such as the type of surgery and personal comfort.
Consulting with a professional fitter who specializes in post-mastectomy bras to help find the most comfortable and supportive options.
How does a mastectomy bra work?
A mastectomy bra is specifically designed for women who’ve had a mastectomy. These bras typically have pockets in the cups to hold a breast prosthesis or provide additional support for the breast tissue. The pockets can be on one or both sides, depending on the woman’s individual needs.
Mastectomy bras are made to accommodate the changes in the body after a mastectomy, and they often have wider straps, a full back, and a more secure band to provide extra support and comfort. Some mastectomy bras also have front closures for easier access and adjustments.
How long to wear a bra after a mastectomy?
The length of time to wear a bra after a mastectomy can vary depending on the individual and the type of surgery. In general, women are advised to wear a mastectomy bra or a post-surgical bra for at least the first six to eight weeks after the surgery. This can help provide comfort and support during the healing process.
After the initial healing period, some women may choose to continue wearing a mastectomy bra for ongoing support and comfort. Others may switch to a different type of bra, such as a regular bra or a sports bra, depending on their needs and preferences.
What is the most comfortable mastectomy bra?
The most comfortable mastectomy bra is subjective and can vary from person to person. It depends on factors such as the type of surgery, personal preference, and physical comfort.
It is recommended to choose a mastectomy bra that is made from soft, breathable materials, such as cotton or a cotton blend, to reduce irritation and help keep the skin dry. Bras with wide, adjustable straps and a full back can provide additional support and comfort. It is also important to choose a bra that fits properly and provides adequate support for the breast tissue or prosthesis.
Can you wear a normal bra after mastectomy?
You can wear a normal bra after a mastectomy, but it may not provide the same level of support and comfort as a mastectomy bra.
Mastectomy bras are specifically designed to provide support and comfort after a mastectomy and often have pockets to hold a breast prosthesis or provide additional support for the breast tissue. Some mastectomy bras are also designed to reduce pressure on the chest area and provide extra comfort during the healing process.
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a painful swelling that happens when your body’s lymphatic fluid is unable to circulate properly and builds up in you soft tissues instead. It usually occurs in an arm or leg. Following breast surgery, many women experience a painful condition called lymphedema. Your doctor may recommend compression garments to ease your discomfort.
When should i wear compression sleeves for lymphedema?
Compression sleeves are a common treatment option for lymphedema, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the tissues, causing swelling. The use of compression sleeves is recommended to control the swelling and improve circulation in the affected area.
The recommended use of compression sleeves for lymphedema varies depending on the individual and the severity of their condition. Consulting with a healthcare provider for specific recommendations and guidance on the use of compression sleeves for lymphedema. They can provide information on the best options for your individual needs and help ensure a safe and effective treatment plan.
How long should I wear compression stockings?
The length of time to wear compression stockings can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated.
How do I care for my garment?
- Hand wash in lukewarm water using a mild detergent
Some garments can be machine washed in a garment bag, mild cycle
- Hang dry
- Some custom made garments can be machine washed and need to be machine dried to bring them back to original shape
- No fabric softener
- Do not use bleach, even for colour safe clothes
- Remove stains by rubbing baking soda, an environmentally friendly compound, on the area(s).
How to measure compression stockings?
Measuring for compression stockings is a crucial step in ensuring a proper fit. Improperly fitting compression stockings can cause discomfort, skin irritation, or decreased effectiveness. Below are the measurements needed:
- Ankle circumference: Wrap a measuring tape around the narrowest part of your ankle, above the ankle bone. This measurement is used to determine the size of the stocking’s ankle portion.
- Calf circumference: Wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of your calf, making sure the tape is level. This measurement is used to determine the size of the stocking’s calf portion.
- Thigh circumference: If you are purchasing thigh-high compression stockings, wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of your thigh, making sure the tape is level. This measurement is used to determine the size of the stocking’s thigh portion.
- Knee circumference: Wrap a measuring tape around the knee at the midpoint of the knee cap. This measurement is used to determine the size of the knee portion of knee-high compression stockings.
It is important to keep in mind that compression stockings should fit snugly, but not be too tight. If you are having difficulty measuring, it is best to seek assistance from a compression garment fitter who specializes in compression stockings to help ensure a proper fit.
What is lymphedema pump?
Lymphedema pumps use a combination of pressure and suction to help move fluid from the affected limb back into the bloodstream.
The pump is typically worn on the affected limb and works by applying rhythmic pressure to the limb. The pressure helps to improve circulation and move fluid out of the affected area, reducing swelling.
Lymphedema pumps are typically used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for lymphedema, which may also include manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercise, and other treatments.
Are lymphedema pumps effective?
Studies have shown that the use of lymphedema pumps can help reduce swelling and improve limb function in individuals with lymphedema. In addition, some individuals may experience an improvement in the appearance of the affected limb and a reduction in discomfort and pain.
Are there any side effects with using a lymphedema pump?
While lymphedema pumps are generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of:
- Bruising: The use of the pump can sometimes cause bruising in the affected area, especially if the pump is used too tightly.
- Skin irritation: Some individuals may experience skin irritation or redness from the pressure applied by the pump.
- Pain: In rare cases, individuals may experience pain or discomfort while using the pump.
- Infection: The use of the pump can increase the risk of infection, especially if the skin is broken or if the pump is not properly cleaned.
Appointments and Fittings
I have an appointment for my first fitting. What can I expect?
When you arrive, we will discuss the type of surgery you’ve had, your lifestyle and activities to help decide what compression garment is best for you. You’ll be measured by one of our certified fitters. We’ll then assist you in trying on compression garment to help you find the perfect fit and style. We carry a selection of different compression garment in many styles and colours.
From our personal day to day experience we know how challenging it can be for women with healthy breasts to get the right fit, a well-fitting bra is essential, especially for those who have undergone mastectomy or reconstruction after breast cancer.
Post-mastectomy and lumpectomy procedures vary. Some women opt for a prosthesis, which is essentially a breast form (silicone, foam or fiber-fill) that is placed inside of a bra or attached to the chest wall. Other women choose to undergo surgical reconstruction that will involve the insertion of an implant.
All at the end need properly fitted bra to avoid any possible complications, feel and look great. Best fitted bra and proper fitted breast form, helps bring back confidants. John Hopkins Medicine advises that mastectomy boutiques and specialty shops carry a variety of prosthetics and garments. Certified and properly trained fitters, who are skilled at fitting women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer, are big part of women’s future new journey.