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Breast Prosthesis – Mastectomy Bras – Post Surgical Bras
Personalized Service in a Private Atmosphere
After a mastectomy, it's important to find those special items that make you feel good about yourself. We pride ourselves in having new, quality products as soon as they are available. While recovering from breast cancer surgery and treatment don’t forget to take care of you. You are the most important person in the picture.
We work closely with the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Support Groups, and local hospitals to ensure we are meeting the needs of our cancer patients.
As the owner of Houston Wellness Boutique, my staff and I are committed to helping women recovering from a devastating disease that compromises their femininity. We help women choose the proper fit that meets their needs; we care about the way you feel and look. Our goal is to offer you the very best choices. We want you to feel feminine again. ~Terry
Immediately after surgery Post-Mastectomy Products provides gentle support while going through recovery. Our post mastectomy camisoles and leisure bras will help you feel comfortable and confident.
We recommend purchasing these garments prior to going for your surgery. This way, you will have something to wear immediately, which will aid in your comfort.
Please call and ask any questions regarding what to buy. We are here to help you.
Certified Mastectomy Fitter On-Staff
This staff member has comprehensive product knowledge and information that will help you with your lifestyle and surgery needs.
What is a prosthesis?
There are various types of post-mastectomy and lumpectomy prostheses, also called breast forms. Manufacturers make a wide selection of types, shapes, sizes, and colors.
The type of prosthesis required is determined by the amount of breast tissue that is removed. A prosthesis can be worn against the skin, inside the pocket of a mastectomy bra, or attached to the chest wall. Prosthetic devices are designed to look feminine while ensuring comfort.
External silicone breast prosthesis: An external silicone breast prosthesis is a weighted prosthesis, made of silicone, which is designed to simulate natural breast tissue. Because this type of breast prosthesis is weighted, it may help your posture; prevent shoulder drop, and problems with balance.
Non-silicone breast prosthesis: A non-silicone breast prosthesis is a light-weight breast form, made of foam or fiberfill, which may be worn following a mastectomy. Non-silicone breast prostheses may be worn during exercise, swimming, and hot weather.
Attachable breast An attachable breast is a self-adhesive breast form that attaches securely to the chest wall with adhesive strips.
Post-surgical soft form in camisole: A post-surgical soft form in camisole is a light-weight, removable breast form that fits into a camisole garment (a soft, stretchy garment with lace elastic straps that can be pulled up over the hips if raising the arms is difficult). Post-surgical camisole is often worn immediately following a mastectomy, lumpectomy, radiation therapy, or during reconstruction breast surgery.
Partial breast prosthesis, also called a shaper or shell: Partial breast prosthesis, also called shaper or shell is a breast form made of foam, fiberfill, or silicone. This type of breast prosthesis is designed to be worn over your own breast tissue to enhance the overall size of the breast and to create a fuller appearance. A partial breast prosthesis can be worn with a regular bra or a post-mastectomy bra.
What is a Mastectomy bra?
Mastectomy bras resemble regular bras but have spandex stretch pockets on the inside which help hold and keep the breast prosthesis in place. A certified mastectomy fitter, who is trained and experienced, can assist you in selecting and fitting the appropriate prosthesis and mastectomy bra that meets your individual needs.
Frequently asked questions about breast prosthesis:
Q: Where do I go to be fitted for a prosthesis and a post-mastectomy bra?
A: There are many mastectomy boutiques and specialty shops that carry all types of prostheses and post-mastectomy garments. Most specialty shops employ certified fitters who are specially-trained to fit women for breast prostheses.
At your first fitting appointment, remember to wear a garment that fits properly (possibly a knit top), so that you can see the shape of your breast when trying on your new prosthesis.
Q: How soon can I be fitted for a breast prosthesis after a mastectomy?
A: After surgery, your surgeon will recommend the appropriate time for you to start wearing a prosthesis. This will depend upon your medical condition, the post-operative healing process, and the type of mastectomy that was performed.
A physician's prescription for your breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras is necessary for insurance purposes.
Q: Will my insurance pay for my prosthesis and mastectomy bras?
A: There is some variance among insurance companies regarding coverage of prosthetic devices and mastectomy bras. Medicare, and some other insurance plans, will pay for one silicone breast prosthesis every two years. Most insurance companies will cover 2 to 4 mastectomy bras per year, provided that you submit a prescription from your physician.
Always check with your insurance company to determine which post-mastectomy products are covered under your plan. Mastectomy bathing suits are generally not covered by insurance companies.
Q: Will people be able to tell that I am wearing a prosthesis?
A: No. With a proper fit, no one will be able to tell you are wearing a prosthesis.
Q: How long does a breast prosthesis last?
A: Always check first, as this will vary with the type of breast prosthesis and by the manufacturer. However, most breast prostheses have a two-year warranty.
Q: What happens if my body changes in size and my prosthesis no longer fits properly? Can I get a replacement, and is it covered by my insurance?
A: Most insurance companies will cover breast prosthesis replacements for this reason, provided there is a prescription from your doctor stating the reason for the replacement. Always check with your insurance company to determine what is covered under your plan.
What is Cancer?
In a healthy body, natural systems control the creation, growth and death (called apoptosis) of cells. Through the natural cycle of life, cells divide to make new tissue as older cells die. When tissue is injured, say by a cut on the hand, the body's cell growth regulators react by speeding up cell division to create new tissue in the injured area as fast as possible. When the body has healed, the creation of new tissue goes back to the normal pace.
Cancer is a condition where the natural systems do not work right and cells do not die at the normal rate. As a result, cell growth exceeds cell death. Cancer cells divide without their normal control and make a mass of extra tissue—a tumor.
As a tumor grows, it promotes the formation of new blood vessels (called angiogenesis) to bring in the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Cancer cells can also leave the tumor site and travel through the blood stream and lymphatic system (the network connecting lymph nodes throughout the body) to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs or bones. This process is called metastasis (meh-TAS-ta-sis). In the new site, cancer cells again may begin to divide too quickly and create a tumor.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast divide and grow without normal control. Between 50 and 75 percent of breast cancers begin in the ducts, 10 to 15 percent begin in the lobules and a few begin in other breast tissues.
Tumors in the breast tend to grow slowly. By the time a lump is large enough to feel, it may have been growing for as long as 10 years. However, some tumors are aggressive and grow much more rapidly.
It is important to understand the difference between invasive breast cancer and non-invasive breast cancer, called ductal carcinoma in situ (kar-sin-O-ma in SY-too).
Invasive breast cancer
Invasive breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells from inside the ducts or lobules break out into nearby breast tissue. This allows the cancer cells to spread to the lymph nodes and, in advanced stages, to organs like the liver, lungs and bones (a process called metastasis). Cancer cells can travel from the breast to other parts of the body through the blood stream or the lymphatic system. They may travel early in the process when the tumor is small or later when the tumor is large.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS, non-invasive breast cancer)
When abnormal cells grow inside the milk ducts, but have not spread to nearby tissue or beyond, the condition is called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The term "in situ" means "in place". With DCIS, the abnormal cells are still "in place" inside the ducts. DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer (you may also hear the term “pre-invasive breast carcinoma”).
Although the abnormal cells have not spread to tissues outside the ducts, they can develop into invasive breast cancer.
Warning Signs of Breast Cancer
Due to the increased use of mammography, most women in the United States are diagnosed at very early stages of breast cancer, before symptoms appear. However, not all breast cancer is found through mammography. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge. Warning signs you should be aware of are listed below:
For more information on support offered to breast cancer patients in the Houston, Texas area visit The American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/index