Mastectomy Breast Forms and Prostheses

Breast Cancer Survivor in RobeAfter a surgery that alters or removes a woman’s breast, mastectomy breast forms and prostheses are worn to simulate the former breast shape.  Breast forms may be worn temporarily while a woman is waiting for reconstructive surgery, or long term if she elects not to have reconstructive surgery.  Breast forms can be worn inside specially designed pockets in a mastectomy bra or attached to the body with a special adhesive.

Mastectomy breast forms and prostheses come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials including silicone, foam, or fiberfill.  When choosing a prosthesis to replace breast tissue due to a full or lumpectomy, it’s important to get the help of a Certified Mastectomy Fitter so that the prosthesis or form fits your body properly – ill fitting breast forms can irritate sensitive post-surgical skin or slip out of place during wear, making you uncomfortable and distorting your body shape.  In addition to ensuring your comfort, a Certified Mastectomy Fitter will work with your insurance company to determine coverage for prostheses and bras and your insurance company may require a fitting to approve your insurance claim.

Full Breast Prostheses

mastectomy breast forms

Women are likely to require a full breast prosthesis after a modified or simple mastectomy or a radical mastectomy.  These breast forms are weighted and shaped to simulate the full look and feel of a natural breast.  Weighting the breast prosthesis helps to keep the body in balance. Wearing a full breast prosthesis can also protect your chest and surgical scars, allow you to wear the same clothing you wore pre-surgery with minimal change in body shape, and help prevent problems with muscle pain and  curvature of the spine or shoulder drop.Full breast prostheses are covered by insurance if you meet their guidelines for fittings and replacements.

Partial Breast Prostheses

Partial breast forms are often worn after a lumpectomy, breast reconstruction or to correct a genetic imbalance.  The goal of partial breast prostheses is to create symmetry in body shape. These breast forms can be worn attached to the body with adhesive or held in pockets of a mastectomy bra.  Lumpectomy breast forms can help protect your surgical scar, balance the weight on your shoulders and help your bra fit properly.

Reconstruction Breast Prostheses

In the time between mastectomy surgery and reconstructive surgery a woman might choose to wear breast prostheses in a mastectomy bra or camisole to maintain her body shape and prevent muscle fatigue in the back, neck or shoulders.

We will check with your insurance plan to verify coverage.

Adhesive Breast Prostheses

Stick on prostheses or contact breast prostheses allow you to attach your prosthesis directly to your body so that you can wear your pre-surgery bras and lingerie.  The prostheses attach with adhesive allowing the forms to move with your body.  Contact breast forms are available in full and partial breast sizes.

Adhesive Nipples

Adhesive nipples for post-mastectomy wear.Adhesive nipples are meant for women with reconstructive surgery who elect not to include nipple reconstruction.  Stick on nipples attach directly to the skin – latex nipples are attached to the skin with a liquid adhesive.  Silicone nipples do not require adhesive.  Both are re-usable and come in a variety of colors to match your skin tones.

We will check with your insurance plan to verify coverage.

Silicone Swimwear Breast Prostheses

Silicone swim forms are constructed with a concave back which allows water to flow through them so that they retain their shape.  Mastectomy breast forms that are identified as swimwear forms are made to hold up in chlorinated water and salt water, other silicone forms may deteriorate if exposed to those factors.  Check with your fitter to determine whether your standard breast forms can be used with swimwear as well as bras.  Swimwear breast forms can be worn with mastectomy swim suits or sewn into traditional swimwear.

Please bring any questions that you have about types of breast prostheses with you to your fitting appointment or email

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