From the lightweight foam form recommended after surgery to the most comfortable and attractive prosthesis to wear after your recovery, Scheck & Siress offers a variety of forms to suit each woman’s unique needs.
Our experienced staff will work with you to determine the ideal solution for you. Some of the options available include Radiant Impressions, breast forms, mastectomy garments, custom nipple, and areola prostheses, partial or shell breast prostheses.
Joanne Schack, CFO, COA, is a certified orthotic and mastectomy fitter. She can help you find the garments you need for your new shape. Joanne works at our Oak Park office.
Sandra Bendel, CFM, is an American Board Certified Mastectomy Fitter and works out of our Hickory Hills office.
Scheck & Siress offers specialized post-mastectomy care at most locations.
Wearing a breast prosthetic after surgery is a personal choice and should be one based on your comfort and personal preferences. There are many varieties of breast forms available that come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials, and you can customize prosthetics to fit the shape of your body as naturally as possible. If you have decided that a breast form is right for you, this page provides an overview of breast prosthetics so you can choose the best fit for you.
What to Consider When Choosing a Breast Prosthesis
Before heading in for a fitting, there are several things to consider when choosing your prosthetics. Essentially, you want your prosthetics to be as comfortable as possible, so it’s important to think about the size, weight, shape, and material you would like your prosthetic to be.
Size and Weight
Breast prosthetics come in a variety of sizes and weights. Typically, the weight of the prosthetic depends on the material that’s used to make it. If you have an active lifestyle or regularly participate in sports and fitness activities, a lightweight mastectomy prosthesis is something to consider for flexible comfort. Heavier breast prosthetics are also available, and you can customize the weight and size to match your natural breasts.
If you’ve had a double mastectomy, you can choose a size up or down from your natural size, and you can find both heavier and lighter materials that fit you comfortably. Additionally, most mastectomy prostheses come available in all regular cup sizes A through D, along with custom sizes if you need an asymmetrical cup size or to customize the size of a partial prosthetic.
Breast prosthetics and many mastectomy products are made from silicon, but there are a few other materials you can have your prosthetic made in:
- Foam and fiber-filled material prostheses are lightweight, breathable, and perfect for active lifestyles. Foam and fiber-filled prostheses also fit well with post-mastectomy bras and are gentle on sensitive areas.
- Silicon and silicon gel prosthetics provide a more natural appearance and can be made to match your natural breasts. This material is heavier and fits well with form-fitting outfits and bras. Another benefit to silicone is that it’s water-resistant, so if you’re an active swimmer or beach-goer, this may be the material for you.
- Polypropylene beads are another material used in breast prostheses. The beads mold with the shape of your bra and offer a more breathable and flexible alternative to traditional silicone prosthetics.
In addition to the available sizes, materials, and weights, you can choose to have a prosthetic customized to match your skin tone. While it may not provide an exact match, customizing the color of your mastectomy products to your skin tone can be an excellent choice for wearing under a swimsuit.
Types of Breast Prosthetics
There are also several shapes to choose from that are perfect for pairing with your favorite outfits and suiting the needs of your lifestyle:
A full breast form fits your chest to replace the entire breast. You might consider this type of breast prosthetic if you’ve had a full mastectomy and want an alternative to reconstructive surgery or if you are still undecided.
Typically, a full prosthetic is fit to match your natural breasts’ size and shape and fits for both single and double mastectomy bras. You can also customize the size and shape of full forms if you want to veer away from your pre-surgery size and shape. Full forms are available in most materials and can be fitted with a custom nipple or without, depending on your preferences.
Partial or Shaped Prosthesis
A partial or shaped breast prosthetic works well for using after breast-conserving surgery and partial mastectomies. You can wear a partial prosthesis with your mastectomy bra for a more balanced look and feel. Partial forms also come available in lightweight and silicone materials, and if you’re considering a partial mastectomy prosthetic, you may want to have your bras fitted for your new form.
If you’ve had reconstructive breast tissue, you might also consider a shell prosthetic. A shell is a hollow breast form shaped to fit over the reconstructed breast. This breast form can be an excellent choice if you want to create a symmetrical appearance and fill in your bras. Shell forms are also available in the same silicone and foam materials that full, partial, and shaped prosthetics are and offer an alternative to partial and shaped forms.
Custom Nipple, Areola, and Adhesives
It’s quite common to find full breast prostheses available with nipple forms as part of the prosthetic. However, if you choose a partial or shell and it doesn’t feature a nipple form, you can choose to have custom forms made to fit. If you decide to add custom nipple forms to your mastectomy products, you can also customize the color of the nipple and areola to match your natural skin tone.
Another alternative to full forms that include the nipple is an adhesive nipple form that you can apply to your prosthetic or directly to your chest. Adhesives are generally less expensive than other available mastectomy products, and they are a great alternative if you’re waiting to have reconstructive surgery done. Breast forms also come as premade adhesives, which can provide a short-term solution if you’re waiting to have a custom breast prosthetic made.
No matter what you look for in a breast prosthetic, it’s important to choose a product that makes you feel comfortable and confident in your body. At Scheck and Siress, we’re here to help you find what you’re looking for, every step of the way. We’ll help find forms that fit your body and lifestyle, discuss comfortable materials, and show you where to buy mastectomy bras.
We’ll also help you customize your prosthetics to suit your preferences. If you have questions or would like more information about our services, including post-mastectomy care and caring for your breast forms, get in touch with us to speak to one of our professionals so we can help you find the perfect fit.