Mastectomy bras are becoming more and more common in underwear departments everywhere. For a long time, these bras have looked medicinal and ugly, but that trend is changing. This comes as a massive boost to survivors of breast cancer. Why should pretty, fashionable underwear be out of reach for those who have had a mastectomy?
Most women who have breast cancer have surgery as part of their treatment. Some women will take this in their stride while others will find it tough to accept that they have lost, at the very least, part of one of their breasts.
After breast cancer surgery, many women feel less feminine and wish to regain their natural shape. For many, this is an essential step in getting their life back. It is important to restore self-confidence, especially after something as traumatic as a mastectomy. A lot of women find that this is a great help. Other women find that their new breast(s) may feel unnatural or odd, and may take some time to get used to a new breast.
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Having a breast reconstructed can only replicate the breast shape and for most women this is enough. A reconstructed breast will not have the same physical feelings as a natural breast or nipple.
A prosthesis is different. It is an artificial breast that fits into a specially made underwear. These bras are made with a section for the prosthetic to sit in safely and securely. Many women start off with a prosthesis and use this until they are ready for surgery. Some are quite happy with the prostheses as a replacement and opt to remain using it instead of going for surgery. Of course, not everyone who has had a mastectomy is a suitable candidate for a reconstruction. Sometimes a prosthesis may be the only viable option open to them.
What course of treatment to choose is an incredibly personal decision and one that is not to be entered into lightly. Many women opt not to have a prosthesis or reconstruction. Some prefer tattoos to cover their scars. And others decide to do nothing at all.
Facing the changes
A proportion of women will seek to have a reconstruction as soon as possible after surgery. Others may wait longer. Some may be keen not to have any more procedures for a while; others may be uncomfortable asking for help. Reconstructive surgery is such a personal process that some women feel reluctant to discuss it. Having a consultation with a female plastic surgeon can make some people feel more at ease when talking about corrective surgery.
As difficult as it may seem, it is considered best to try and brave facing up to the changes made my surgery as soon as possible. Studies suggest that it is beneficial to recovery to look at the scars sooner rather than later. Over time, they become easier to accept and more familiar. It’s never too late, even if the surgery was a long time ago.