Surgery and/or radiation scars are often high on the chest wall which makes them difficult to disguise or hide. Nowadays, most T-shirts, bras, camisoles, etc. are cut low and often designed to be worn with multi-layers.
I haven’t found any mastectomy bras that come up high, but I have found a camisole that comes with a high neckline. It has several style options that are both practical and dressy. The mastectomy camisole was also designed to be worn over a bra.
This mastectomy camisole is extremely comfortable – it has stretch to the fabric. It was designed with input from many women who had undergone breast cancer treatment – women who know.
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.
For women who undergo a mastectomy, it involves changing how you wear your clothes, especially bras. For some, there is scarring on the chest from either surgery or radiation. These scars are visible when wearing some necklines, especially if they gape at the neckline when you bend over.
Also finding something for those dressier occasions can be a challenge. These women want something a little special. Something with pizazz.
I found just the item – beautiful mastectony camisole tops which are made of stretch lace, hug the body and are worn over a bra, come up high enough in the front and also under the arm to hide all scars, and look fabulous.
In fact, what woman wouldn’t want one of these. They are so versatile – and comfortable.
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.
Under normal circumstances, sex can be a difficult subject to broach. After a mastectomy, the thought of resuming sexual activity can make some patients feel emotionally uncomfortable. Some women have reported feeling less desirable without their breasts intact. Fortunately, there is good news when it comes to getting your groove back.
According to an American Cancer Society study, there is no physical reason breast surgery or radiation to the breasts should decrease sexual desire. Another fear, that men won’t find a woman who has had a mastectomy attractive, is unfounded. Men have reported having little difficulty adjusting to their mate’s new form; they’re only wary of initiating sex because they don’t know how far their partner wants to be pushed and may not know how to communicate about the issue. Still, just because a study essentially says “it’s all in your head” doesn’t mean a woman will feel comfortable baring her body. Wearing a mastectomy camisole during intimate moments can help. Nowadays mastectomy camisoles are not only functional, they are highly attractive; some even have lace details and sexy, plunging necklines.
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.
I keep hearing this and it makes me upset. The issue of not knowing that moving your arm and shoulder – doing the exercises – as soon as the drain is out reduces the risk of getting lymphedema as well as frozen shoulder. Most hospitals will advise you of exercise for lymphedema but some do not or the message is not heard when you are still in shock.
Here are a few exercises you can do:
Walking up the wall – standing facing the wall, walk your fingers up the wall and extend the arm as far as you can without pain.
Arm circles – you can do these both standing and leaning over. These arm circles help the flow of lymph fluid and keep the shoulder flexible.
Head tilts – a) chin to chest and up to upright; b) tilt ear to shoulder, and c) head roll – make a smile on your chest with your chin making sure not to take the head back. These movements open up the lymph system to drain the lymph fluid.
These are just a few of the exercises, but they are so important to do daily. Look for exercise classes in your area that understand lymphedema and the issues around breast cancer. The Healthy-Steps™ program (formerly known as The Lebed Method) is excellent if there is one in your area.