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?
Something often forgotten in the shock of getting a cancer diagnosis are some of the little things which become big things. One of these is proper garments after the surgery, whether it is a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. With either surgery, you will have drains and bandaging. Nowadays, you are sent home from the hospital within a day so the drains are still there and need to be managed.
Having a proper mastectomy camisole makes life much easier. There is room for the bandages and a drain pouch so you can be discreetly mobile. The camisoles are made of soft cotton, some with velcro fastenings at the front if you are having mobility issues with your arm after node dissection. Also some have no seams at the side eliminating the friction on incisions. These mastectomy camisoles are then convertible to wear with breast forms once you have healed from the surgery.
Lymphedema or swelling of the arm or leg is not well understood but at least more common. There is a lot of education and awareness around this subject that is absolutely needed.
What is less known is swelling of the torso. It can come from breast cancer surgery and radiation treatment. I’ve also seen torso swelling in those who have had cancer and surgery in the neck area.
In order to manage this swelling, look for a compression bra or mastectomy camisole that has the compression factor. There are garments listed as slimmers or shapers, not to be confused with the Spanx garments. Compression garments for torso swelling have a graduated compression which moves the lymph fluid.
Some of the slimmers or camisoles are very fashionable and can be worn in place of a bra under a suit or sweater. They also work nicely in layering for a more casual look. Definitely chic!
No need to sacrifice style and comfort after a mastectomy. Yes, at first, you are sore and it might be a challenge to adjust to your new image. However, there are lots of options available on the market that provide the support you need for prosthesis and the subsequent comfort and ease of wear.
Sometimes it’s nice to just wear a top without a bra or in this case, have a bra built in. I remember the wonderful summer dresses with built in bras. I had several – they were so easy to wear and comfortable, especially in hot, muggy weather.
Take some time and have a look around. There beautiful toppers to dress up jeans, wear for lounging or exercise wear. A mastectomy camisole can serve the same purpose (top and bra combined) under a jacket or sweater and be very dressy.
Many women opt for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. It entails another two surgeries – one for the insertion of the tissue expander, followed by several stages of expansion of the tissue, and then finally, the final insertion of the permanent implant.
During this time, a comfortable bra that gives you the support and comfort you need is very important. You will be tender, so soft cotton will feel gentle against your skin. Plus you want to minimize seams which can cut into areas of scarring. It pays to be prepared, have a look at the options available and make sure you have a compression bra that works for you.
There are often some surprises when one is released home from the hospital after a mastectomy.
1. The drain and tubes go with you. How do you cope with it? Where do you put it and/or carry it around with you at home and discreetly away from home. You need a camisole with a pocket or holder for the drain and a place to attach the tubes.
2. Your surgery site is sore so you don’t want anything tight around it, often times at the side of your body. Something soft and cozy is the answer and no side seams.
3. You may have trouble lifting your arm. This means pajamas that button in front and a camisole that you can slip into without pulling over your head. Find one that has a velcro front closing.
4. Something versatile that will still serve you when the drain and tubes are gone. Look for a camisole that has pockets for a prosthesis which you will use later.
If you have chemotherapy, you will doubly love a snuggly mastectomy camisole. Feeling cold and chilly often are side effects both from the treatment and also from the fatigue that seems to be part of the journey. Being prepared and in the know helps so you can be ready before your surgery.
Feeling good about oneself after a mastectomy, especially in intimate situations, can be a challenge. Finding something to wear that makes one feel whole, sexy, and beautiful can be difficult. However, there are options out there for nightgowns that have mastectomy bras as part of the garment. And, they are truly gorgeous – feminine and practical at the same time.
Life inside doesn’t change, even though the image on the outside might be modified. We all still need to feel that we are attractive, not only for our own self-esteem, but also for our significant other. Attitude makes a huge difference. Your attitude can take a huge lift by finding the right garment for those special moments.
Nowadays, women are sent home from the hospital very soon after their operation. This entails having the drains still in place as well as bandages. So how do you manage the drains, etc.? It can be very cumbersome, not to mention awkward socially if you are feeling well enough to be out and about.
There are several options now available. With a mastectomy camisole, you will find a convenient and discreet system for your drains, room for the bandages, plus the ability to use the mastectomy camisole after the drains are removed. They come with breast forms, soft fabric which is important around the surgery site, and styles to make them easy to put on when range of motion is an issue.
You can forgo the functional T-shirt look along with the safety pin fix for a more comfortable, fashionable, compact choice. Just looking “normal” will make you feel better.
Who would have thought wearing mastectomy camisoles and bras could be stylish and fashionable. This is probably one of the reasons a lot of women opt for breast reconstruction – to be able to wear clothes without the consideration of their new image. But, breast reconstruction isn’t for everyone. Those who have had a mastectomy can still find comfort and style in a variety of mastectomy garments available.
Some are meant to wear under clothes, such as the bras and some of the camisoles. However, there are camisoles that can also be worn in place of a bra, look stylish and presentable with or without a covering top, and in the summer, this is a bonus. When it gets hot and humid outside, wearing less is cooler. Thank heavens for options.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you have had to face the very real possibility of a mastectomy. And if you’ve actually undergone this surgery, you are certainly familiar with the ramifications of this procedure. Of course, health and personal well-being are the number one concern. However the loss of one or both of your breasts brings up issues of physical body balance, self-image, and self-esteem.
Fortunately, there are products to overcome some of these issues, including breast prosthesis. Breast prosthesis generally come in the form of a mastectomy bra, which can mask the loss of either one or both breasts. Women have responded positively to these products because they create a natural look, even under clinging clothing.