Wonder where that statement came from? Well, one of the comments I’ve heard about mastectomy bras is the issue of the bra sliding up as there is nothing to hold it down and in place.
Other issues are the need for a soft, comfortable fabric, some stretch, and no side seams to irritate scar tissue. Finding the right bra for your situation can be a challenge
Here is one with a long line that hugs the torso providing the ‘anchor’ for your bra. Worth having a peak at this style of mastectomy bra, as well as others to see what works for you.
Finding a regular bra, without the issue of having had a mastectomy, can be a challenge for some. So imagine finding the right bra when you have had a mastectomy.
First, the mastectomy bra does need to be functional. Comfort comes up at the top of the list. No side seams, soft fabric, proper band around the bottom to keep the bra in place, and pockets for the prosthesis.
However, functional does not always need to appear functional. Looking and feeling feminine are important for one’s self-esteem and self-image. Losing a breast to cancer may be necessary for your health and life. Losing your sense of being a woman does not have to follow. We are who we are inside. That is what counts.
So have a look for the mastectomy bra that suits you and your lifestyle. There may be several looks you want to have in your wardrobe.
A mastectomy comes with a few challenges in clothing choices. Creating the look of ‘normal’ is often hard to achieve. Wearing a mastectomy bra with a prosthesis is a start. Finding one with a good fit and comfortable around the surgery site and under the arm is imperative. Usually you can find a bra that works for you.
However, what often happens is for those women who like to wear V-neck styles or low necklines, the lack of cleavage is evident. The bras aren’t the solution.
The other issue is scarring on the upper chest from radiation treatment that women want to cover up.
I’ve been asked many times if there was a garment that would add this level of coverage but still be chic, stylish and wearable. Well, I’ve found one. These camisoles worn over a mastectomy bra are lovely and absolutely smashing. The designer obviously knew the issues and came up with something unique and quite frankly are a great wardrobe addition regardless of whether you have had a mastectomy or not.
Finding great options for both casual and dressy occasions without added layers can be a challenge, especially when you’ve had a mastectomy.
Camisoles, in general, are great wardrobe staples because they can be worn under a garment such as a sweater, blouse, etc. for warmth, protection, and comfort. A well designed mastectomy camisole with lace trim and some spandex is wonderful to wear under a jacket for day or evening wear. Lots of women wear them on their own with jeans together with a casual sweater for evening when the weather chills off.
A mastectomy camisole provides fashion as well as great coverup with different necklines to choose from, built in bras to hold a prosethesis, and similar support as a bra. Some also serve as compression camisoles for those who develop torso lymphedema and require graduated compression rather than simply comfort spandex.
When diagnosed with breast cancer, a woman often faces a mastectomy. This surgery requires some adjustments to daily living in terms of what garments to wear.
Many women consider breast replacement surgery to get back their ‘normal’ look and ease of wearing clothes. However, for some women, this is not an option they want to entertain, so wearing mastectomy bras is necessary. Some women have found terrific T-shirts that have a built-in bra with a pocket for the prosthesis. The one pictured on the right is also reversible so you have a varied neckline – a stylish basic to add to your new wardrobe.
I know that some small busted women opt for a no-bra look, except for special occasions. However, if you are larger-breasted, this is not a viable solution. Not wearing a prosthesis can cause back problems due to the imbalance of weight in the front. Therefore, finding a mastectomy garment that gives secure comfort (i.e. bra stays in place and doesn’t chafe sensitive skin) is the best choice.
After a mastectomy, finding a comfortable bra to wear seems to be a big issue.
- Often there are tissue folds or scars on the side where a bra seam normally goes. Having a bra with no side seam is a big deal in this case.
- Also of note is the type of fabric. It needs to be soft, as in a soft cotton, to be gentle on sensitive skin.
- Having pockets to hold a prosthesis is obviously a requirement.
- A mastectomy bra with a no latex band under the breast to hold the bras position is helpful for those with latex allergies.
- Some come with front velcro closure for ease of getting in and out when mobility is an issue which is the case after surgery. Some women get frozen shoulder for which a front closure bra would be an added benefit.
There are many options on the market for mastectomy bras. Whatever your choice, there are many styles to choose from. Have a look around and find what works for you.
Following surgery (mastectomy or lumpectomy), it’s important to take proper precautions to reduce the amount of discomfort and swelling that may follow post surgery. Purchasing a new bra is high on the list of steps to reduce the risk of swelling and increase your overall comfort. Depending on your surgery, your doctor may recommend that you wear a compression bra.
A compression bra has a padded front zipper closure for ease of getting on and off when you arm is sore, adjustable hook-and-eye shoulder straps to ensure a proper fit and a latex-free fabric that pulls moisture away from the body and dissipates heat buildup. The bra also has a soft compression band that encircles the torso gently, has attachments to easily manage the draining tubes, and delivers comfort for the surrounding skin and muscle tissue. Patients who are susceptible to lymphedema are often told to wear a compression bra.
To determine what bra size you are you’ll want to measure your chest directly under your breasts and around your back, thus determining band size. To determine cup size you’ll want to measure the fullest part of the larger breast from the midpoint of your chest, over the larger breast, and to the center of your back. Multiply the number by two. Then check the manufacturers sizing charts for your correct size.
Not every breast cancer survivor opts to have reconstructive surgery. Those unwilling to face further invasive surgery can still achieve the look of full breasts with mastectomy bras. Mastectomy bras give the illusion of a full breast by utilizing prostheses. The bras will either have built-in prostheses or pockets to place your own prostheses.
As is the case with regular bras, mastectomy bras come in many colors and are suited for different occasions. There are basic everyday mastectomy bras, active/athletic bras, comfort bras, and even specialty bras. Specialty bras may include bras with front closures, t-backs, ¾ lengths, and bras that utilize conforming gel. For those who are sensitive to underwire bras, mastectomy bras also come in the more comfortable soft-cup.
Having a mastectomy due to breast cancer requires a new way of dressing, especially if you have not opted for reconstructive surgery. Nowadays, there are many stylish options. Not only are they practical, having pockets for your prosthesis, but they are also attractive. A mastectomy camisole can stand in for a bra, so you only have one garment to wear.
For those elegant occasions, a mastectomy camisole in a stretchy fabric with lace trim – and in black – can take you from the office to an evening out. Hot flashes often accompany a mastectomy, so something that is comfortably cool, fashionable, and eliminates another layer of clothing, is a bonus.
Some of the mastectomy camisoles are also compression garments, offering not only a slimming silhouette but also provide the necessary compression to facilitate lymph flow for those who have torso lymphedema.
Have you ever gone looking for bras that don’t have underwire? I have – they are really hard to find. And, why would I be looking for bras with no underwire?
There is a lot of controversy around the issue ‘does wearing underwire bras cause breast cancer?’ One of the main reasons to think about this issue is the fact that wearing a bra that gives the breast more freedom of movement. This movement allows lymph fluid in the breast to flush out toxins and waste materials. We’re not talking about no bra, just a bra with good support but without the underwire. Here is a link to a great article explaining this issue – http://www.007b.com/bras_breast_cancer.php.
Often when a woman has breast surgery, the underarm and side of the body become more sensitive. For myself, I find the underwire hits a nerve and causes my arm to go numb. The issue then becomes comfort. Sometimes a skin flap is left on the side of the body. You’ll notice that mastectomy bras have no seams on the side and are made in a soft fabric to provide this comfort and ease of wear.
I’d like to see the bra industry provide more options for women who are concerned about their breast health. What do you think?