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MoonDragon's Women's Health Procedures Information
SELECTING A BREAST PROSTHESIS
After A Mastectomy / Breast Surgery


"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.




If you are a caregiver for a woman who has had a mastectomy, you will want to help her select a prosthesis that best suits her needs. When recommending a product, always consider your client's comfort, breast size, and finances. Remind her that many insurance companies will pay part of the cost if the prosthesis is prescribed by her health care provider.

Advise your client against buying a permanent prosthesis until her health care provider says it is okay. The health care provider will probably want her to wait until the incision is healed and complications are unlikely. Explain that in many cases, money spent on a prosthesis soon after surgery is wasted because the incision site changes greatly during the first few weeks following surgery.

In the meantime, help your client make a temporary prosthesis she can wear in the hospital and during her first days at home. To do this, try putting cotton inside a pre-mastectomy bra. When your client feels up to it, suggest she sew a pocket inside the bra to hold the padding.

When advising your client about her permanent prosthesis, consider giving her one to examine.

breast prosthesis


Remember to cover these points:
  • Emphasize the importance of wearing a well-fitted prosthesis. If she does not have one, she may develop poor posture or muscle strain because of unequal weight distribution (particularly if she has large breasts).

  • Tell her that the American Cancer Society "Reach To Recovery Program" can help her obtain a prosthesis.

  • American Cancer Society (ACS): Reach To Recovery

  • Inform her about the types of prosthesis available. Some are filled with silicone gel or liquid; others contain small pellets of plastic or birdseed; and a few are made of foam. They may be covered with soft rubber, plastic, or cloth and may or may not have nipples. Most prostheses are placed inside a pocket in a bra, but some are attached directly to the chest skin with adhesive.

  • Remind your client/patient that no matter which type of prosthesis she selects, she should follow the manufacturer's instructions to care for it properly. She will probably have to wash it each night, pat it dry and place it in its container so it will retain it's shape. Tell your client/patient that the prosthesis will lose its soft consistency after a year or so and she will have to replace it.

  • Breast Prosthesis Products





  • MOONDRAGON'S BREAST CANCER LINKS

  • Learning About Breast Cancer
  • Understanding Breast Tumor Staging
  • Familiarizing Yourself With Diagnostic Techniques
  • Understanding Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • Guide To Types of Mastectomies
  • Patient Preparation For A Mastectomy
  • Mastectomy Care After Surgery
  • Learning About Breast Reconstruction
  • Selecting A Prosthesis
  • Applying An Arm Sleeve and Gauntlet
  • Preventing Complications After A Mastectomy





  • MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breast Cancer
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breast Reconstruction
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Fibrocystic Breast Changes
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Mammography
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Mastectomy
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Partial Mastectomy






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