Breast cancer treatment would often be followed by mastectomy in most women, where a part of the breast tissue or the entire breast needs to be removed. In some cases, both the breasts need to be removed. After successful surgery and removal of cancerous tissues, you may go ahead with breast reconstruction surgery, or attempt to use a breast prosthesis.
POST SURGERY CLOTHING
Immediately after the surgery, your chest and armpits area might feel extremely sensitive. So, for the first few weeks after surgery, you should try to avoid brassiere and wear loose fitted cotton clothes.
If you have not chosen immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy, you shall be recommended a soft cotton fabric based prosthesis by your breast cancer care nurse.
You can choose to wear a brassiere once your chest area has healed and scars have reduced.
POST MASTECTOMY BRASSIERES
In the first year of surgery, choose a brassiere which is:
- Softly seamed
- Not underwired
- Fully cupped
- Fully adjustable straps
- Minimal detailing
It can take up a year from the completion of surgery for the scars to head, nerves to repair and any skin irritations happening due to radiotherapy to settle down.
There might be weight changes in your body during this time of recovery. Thus, your brassiere size and clothes size may frequently vary during this time.
Choose brassieres that have high cotton composition. This will help your skin breathe and you would be comfortable in case you experience hot flushes.
Make sure your brassiere fits you on it’s largest size, so that with the swelling getting reduced, you can use the tighten the hooks for best fit.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BREAST PROSTHESIS FOR YOURSELF
After the drains have been removed after surgery, you may choose to go for a temporary breast prosthesis. While choosing a breast prosthesis, ensure to choose a prosthesis which is made of high quality material so that with constant direct touch with your body, you can be comfortable. A silicone based prosthesis Also, be confident about the size and shape of your breast so that the prosthesis you choose fits you well. Consider changing your prosthesis in case you feel irritation, or develop any kind of allergies while wearing the same.
You may initially wear a pocketed brassiere. In such a brassiere, there is a hollow space made in both the cups, to adjust a breast prosthesis which in turn can be worn under your clothes.
Breast prosthesis are available in two forms:
- Polyfill or foam based: This is a lightweight prosthesis which can be worn immediately after surgery. This is suitable for warm weather and can be machine washed.
- Silicone based prosthesis: This is a more realistic form of breast prosthesis, which matches the texture of human breast tissue.
Using a breast prosthesis has multiple benefits. In case one breast has been removed, the weight distribution becomes asymmetric. This can lead to posture imbalance, shoulder or cervical pain. Lightweight silicone prosthesis are helpful in reducing the strain on the shoulder strap area and ease pain. On the other hand, it shall imbibe in you the confidence to meet and greet others.
“Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” Make sure when you choose a piece of clothing after you have been through so much and defeated something as deadly as cancer, it brings you good feelings, peace of mind and body and confidence to enrich the world with your story!