The Upside of Wearing a Prosthetic

Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum, MD on November 12, 2021

Making decisions about whether or not to use prosthetics after breast cancer surgery depend on a particular person’s preference. While many people prefer not to use them, many other people like them for the way they make their clothing feel or simply the way they make them feel emotionally. 

Prosthetics can be great if you do not want to get breast reconstruction surgery. They are very versatile, and people who have gotten any type of mastectomy can benefit from them. Prosthetics are also a great option if you are waiting for breast reconstruction surgery or are still deciding what you want to do. You likely don’t want your mastectomy to be noticeable.

Whatever your situation may be, there is certainly a market that can accommodate you. There are prosthetics for full- or half-mastectomies, partial breast removal, nipples, or nipple covers. You can get them in silicone or foam, or you can make your own with bras and fabric. There are also special prosthetics that are waterproof for when you swim.  

You can also get customize prosthetics. These are made tailored to you from molds that fit your chest precisely. Unfortunately, custom-made breast prosthetics are not always covered by insurance and can be quite expensive. 

Prosthetics can be worn with a variety of accessories, like regular bras or mastectomy bras. Mastectomy bras are bras that are made specifically for women who have had some form of breast surgery. These bras usually have some form of a pocket for various types of prosthetics. There are also ways to change the size of each cup. 

Some types of prosthetics are attached directly to your skin. In this case, they are either taped or glued on for several days at a time. Make sure to research what kind of prosthetic or prosthetics your insurance covers. In many cases, you can get financial help purchasing mastectomy bras from your insurance. 

Show Sources

SOURCES: “Prosthetics: An Alternative to Reconstruction.” “Choosing a Prosthesis After Breast Cancer Surgery.”

University of Michigan Health Michigan Medicine: “Choosing a Prosthesis After Breast Cancer Surgery.”

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