Can I be fit if I did not have breast surgery?
Yes, of course you can be fit at Jay Ann Intimates. We have the widest variety of bras and undergarments ranging in size from 30A to 54N and XS to 8X. Our specialty is fitting you so regardless if you are looking for an everyday t-shirt bra or corset for a special occassion we can help you look and feel good. Call today for an appointment.
What is a mastectomy?
A mastectomy is surgery that removes all of the breast tissue, either to treat breast cancer or to prevent it from developing in people at high risk for the disease. Surgically removing one breast is called unilateral (or single) mastectomy. Removing both breasts is called bilateral (or double) mastectomy. Some lymph nodes from the underarm on the side of the tumor are usually removed as well to see if the cancer has spread beyond the breast. However, lymph nodes are usually not removed when mastectomy is done to prevent breast cancer. With mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery is usually an option to restore the shape and appearance of the breasts. Breast reconstruction may be done at the same time as the mastectomy (called immediate reconstruction) or at a later date (called delayed reconstruction). If you have immediate reconstruction, you may be able to choose a type of mastectomy that leaves most of the breast skin intact (called skin-sparing mastectomy) or a type that leaves the breast skin, nipple, and areola intact (called nipple-sparing mastectomy). If you don’t want to have breast reconstruction, you can choose to “go flat” after mastectomy. You can ask your surgeon to perform a procedure called aesthetic flat closure that creates a smooth, flat chest wall. Prosthetic breast forms are an option for women who don’t have breast reconstruction but want the appearance of having breasts. After a mastectomy, most women lose sensation in their breast area. This is because the nerves in the breast skin, nipple, and areola are damaged or removed during a mastectomy. It’s important to know that your breasts may not be symmetrical (matching in size, shape, and position) if only one breast is removed and reconstructed, or if both breasts are reconstructed and afterwards you have radiation therapy to one breast. Usually, surgery to make your breasts match better in size, shape, or position is an option. Take the time you need to learn about all your surgical options, get your questions answered by your doctors, and do your own research. You may feel like you should start treatment as soon as possible, but in most cases, you have time to carefully think through your options. Together, you and your doctors can figure out what will work best for you.
What is a lumpectomy?
A lumpectomy usually removes the least amount of breast tissue needed to get the tumor out and a margin of healthy tissue around it. The surgeon removes the cancer and a small portion or margin of the surrounding tissue, but not the breast itself. Even though the lumpectomy is the least invasive breast cancer surgery, it can still be very effective, and further surgery may not be needed.
What are the three main types of breast forms: leisure forms, silicone forms, and custom-made forms?
There are three main types of breast forms: leisure forms, silicone forms, and custom-made forms.
What type of breast form should I wear if I had a lumpectomy?
A partial breast prostheses (triangles, ovals, curves and shells) is a great option for women who have had breast-conserving surgery and want to regain breast symmetry. These are also called balance shapers or parial breast prostheses.
When should I be fit for a breast prosthesis and bra?
After the scar tissue of surgery has completely healed and the swelling has subsided, fitting for a silicone prosthesis can take place. This healing process typically takes between four and eight weeks. In the interim, there are soft, comfortable leisure bras, camisoles and postmastectomy garments available which can be worn with a foam or fiberfill breast form with no complications whatsoever. Fitting is done by a certified fitter who is specially trained to fit women for a breast prosthesis in a warm and caring environment. At the first fitting appointment it is recommended that women wear a form-fitting garment such as a knit top, so they can see how the shape and size of the breast form matches their other breast. It is also important to plan adequate time — up to an hour, for discussing all the options with the fitter. Body type, breast shape and lifestyle are all areas that should be considered. Any additional questions or concerns with regards to insurance, billing, prior authorizations, and obtaining a prescription can also be addressed at this time.
How long will my prosthesis last?
Most breast prostheses are warranted against manufacturer’s defects for two years from the date of purchase (silicone prosthesis). The warranty does not cover damage to the form from punctures or from erosion to the outer layer due to perfume or lotions. With proper use, care and storage, your breast form should provide years of comfortable wear, although it is still a good idea to see a Certified Mastectomy Fitter at least once a year to have your fit evaluated, as women’s bodies change with age and weight.
What is a post-mastectomy bra?
A post-mastectomy bra is a garment that is specially designed with a pocket which securely holds the prosthesis in place. Post-mastectomy bras are soft, comfortable and pretty, and offer a relaxed support that makes them easy to wear. Choosing and wearing the right-sized bra is important. A poorly-fitted bra can cause shoulder, neck and back tension, sagging breasts, as well as uncomfortable bulges around your breasts and upper arms. A bra that fits best will depend upon style, manufacturer and fabric, so be prepared to try on several bras before you make your final selections. A trained and certified fitter may take measurements and use a formula to work out the bra size. This is helpful as a guide, but more importantly, finding the perfect supportive bra will involve trying on many different bras and having hands-on checks to make sure the shoulder straps, bra underband, and cups fit perfectly. Things to look out for when trying on a bra: Shoulder straps – should fit closely to the body without cutting in. They should lift the breasts so that they sit on the chest wall, midway between the shoulder and elbow, and stay in place when you raise your arms above your head. Front and back bands – should lie close to the body and be the same level at the front and back. Cups – should be filled by the breast without any areas of loose fabric, or any breast bulging out of the side or top, and high at the sides to cover the breast. Bras rarely last longer than a few months, especially if you wash them regularly in a washing machine. Hand washing can prolong their lifespan, and helps to keep the shape and color too. Be prepared to replace your bras each year, and always re-measure after losing or gaining weight, or following menopause. This way you can be sure your breasts will always be properly supported.
When can I be fit for a custom breast prosthesis?
We recommend you wait until your surgical site is completely healed, and the swelling at the site is diminished. You will first be fit with a silicone breast prosthesis so you become comfortable with the fit and feel. After 2-3 weeks, you will return for the custom scan. Individual healing can vary greatly, so you should discuss the best option for you with one of our Certified Mastectomy Fitters.
How long does it take to get the custom breast prosthesis?
After scanning we submit the claim to insurance and once approved, your scan is sent to the manufacturer for the design process to begin! You will usually receive a call from us 8-12 weeks* following your scan appointment to confirm shipment of your custom breast form. * Please note, manufacturing time does vary with the work load and is influenced by the time of year your order is placed.
Can I swim with my custom breast form?
Yes, you can swim with your Custom Breast Prosthesis. After use, wash with gentle soap and warm water.
Is a custom breast form appropriate for other breast operations such as lumpectomies?
The custom breast prosthesis is optimal for a partial mastectomy, breast conserving surgery, simple mastectomy, radical mastectomy, reconstruction, Poland’s syndrome, burn victims, or asymmetry of any kind.
What does insurance cover?
Most insurance carriers will cover the cost of mastectomy bras and prostheses as long as women have a prescription from their doctor. In general, plans will pay for one silicone breast prosthesis every two years, up to two foam, leisure forms every year, four - six mastectomy bras per year, and two postsurgery camisoles after surgery. Women should check with their insurance carrier before the fitting to determine what is covered under their specific plan. Please note, if a premium product is selected, the client is responsible for the upgraded cost.
What does Medicare cover?
In most cases, Medicare will cover 80% of the cost for mastectomy bras and prostheses as long as women have a prescription from their doctor. In general, Medicare will contribute towards one silicone breast prosthesis every two years, up to two foam, leisure forms every 6 months, 3 - 4 mastectomy bras each quarter, and two postsurgery camisoles after surgery. Women should check with Medicare prior to their visit to ensure their annual deductible has been met and if their secondary will cover the remaining 20% for standard products. Please note, if a premium product is selected, the client is responsible for the upgraded cost.