Your Fitting Appointment
About four to six weeks after breast surgery it will be time to make your fitting appointment with one of our certified mastectomy fitters. Women who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy should be able to wear a prosthesis at this time since their incision should be healed. Women who experienced breast conserving surgery will also benefit from a post-mastectomy fitting as there are partial prostheses to help fill in the missing portion of their breast and provide symmetry.
Medicare and most private insurance plans have coverage for breast prostheses and bras. If you are in doubt about your coverage, call the number on your insurance card and inquire, and write down what was quoted by your insurance representative, including a "call reference number". Some policies have network provider restrictions to consider that can influence coverage benefits.
Who does the fitting?
Our (CMF-Certified Mastectomy Fitters) fitters are trained and licensed to fit bras and prostheses. We are trained and certified to determine which products work best with different surgery type, and how to handle special circumstances.
The Fitting Process
Our fitter will first assess the condition of the skin at the mastectomy site. There should be no drainage or open wounds at the surgery site, or incision. Either of these conditions would require permission from your physician before proceeding. Our certified mastectomy fitters will talk about your lifestyle and the activities you enjoy so that you will have everything you need to get back to your new "normal."
We will determine the proper bra size by taking measurements at strategic points on the chest wall and around the rib cage. The fit of the bra is crucial to how well the prosthesis will be tolerated, and how natural the fit will be. Mastectomy bras today are pretty and feminine while providing the support needed to keep the prosthesis in the correct position. Although it is not mandatory to use a mastectomy bra with a breast prosthesis, it is recommended.
Next comes the prosthesis recommendation. We will note the shape and drape of the existing breast and try a prosthesis that best approximates those dimensions. Prostheses come in many shapes such as teardrop, triangle, heart shaped and more. Some taper the material into the underarm area to fill in missing tissue. Some prostheses are symmetrical, meaning they can be worn on either side. Others are asymmetrical and are side specific. For women who have lost both breasts, we will make suggestions for prostheses that are flattering to the patient's body dimensions.
We want to know if you are happy with the results or if you would like to try something else. Most importantly, if you are not happy, speak up!
A yearly visit to our boutique is a good idea. Women's bodies change in response to hormonal changes and weight fluctuations. The natural breast will change in response to these factors and a change in prosthesis may be needed to maintain symmetry.
Silicone breast prostheses have a two year warranty against manufacturer's defects. This does not include punctures or damage from perfumes or other personal toiletry items.
To schedule your fitting with one of our certified mastectomy fitters, please feel free to call 215-942-0120.