What Is a Mastectomy Bra?

J. Beam

After a mastectomy, a patient may or may not elect to have breast reconstruction. When a patient chooses not to have reconstructive surgery, they may elect to use a prosthetic device to provide symmetry to their body. A mastectomy bra is a specially designed bra for use with breast prosthesis forms.

Some types of mastectomy bras may be similar to sports bras.
Some types of mastectomy bras may be similar to sports bras.

Breast prosthesis are silicone forms made to look and feel like mature breast tissue. Tehse bras are used in conjunction with these prosthetic devices to help recreate the normal symmetry of a woman’s body prior to a mastectomy. Mastectomy bras are available in a wide variety of styles and colors, just like traditional bras, however they are designed especially for use with breast prosthesis.

Breast reconstruction may be performed during a mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction may be performed during a mastectomy.

A mastectomy bra is made with a specially designed pocket in each cup. The silicone breast form is slipped inside the pocket, where it is held firmly in place against the body for a natural recreation of symmetry. Designed especially for this purpose, the bra may also be made with features similar to traditional bras, such as both front or back hook closures and a choice of satin, lace, or cotton.

A well-designed bra will keep breast forms in place, looking natural, for nearly any purpose. With a wide variety of styles, from elegant to sports bras, these bras are ideal for those patients who have undergone a mastectomy on one or both breasts, but chose not to have their breasts reconstructed.

Mastectomy bras are sold from a variety of retailers, usually those that sell other products, such as wigs and headwear, designed especially for cancer patients. In addition to the mastectomy bra, a mastectomy swimsuit is another available option. Similar to the bra, these swimsuits are also made with specially designed pockets in the breast cups that hold breast prosthesis firmly in place for swimming and water activity.

To find retailers of mastectomy bras and other products, you can ask your surgeon or oncologist’s office for catalogs or websites that are reputable retailers.

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