For women who have undergone mastectomies, lumpectomies, breast conserving surgery, or reconstruction surgery a variety of options are available. The Personal Touch department at the University of Michigan Orthotics & Prosthetics Center offers a variety of services for post-mastectomy care, including fitting post-mastectomy prostheses (also known as breast forms), stylish post-mastectomy bras, camisoles and swimwear, compression garments and education on how a bra should fit. We offer several brands of post-mastectomy products, including Amoena, American Breast Care, Jodee and Trulife. We strive to provide you with complete, compassionate care in a private, comfortable setting to satisfy your unique needs.
When you visit the Personal Touch department, you will be seen by a certified fitter, who will work with you to select the ideal breast prosthesis and post-mastectomy bras based on your surgery, body type and lifestyle. We will work with you to determine what style and shape compliments your body shape and dimensions the best.
Breast prostheses not only enhance appearance, but they also are important for resolving musculoskeletal issues following mastectomies and lumpectomies. Breast prostheses improve balance, posture and shoulder drop that can occur due to the imbalance of weight that comes from having one breast. A well-fitted bra and breast prosthesis will also help restore self-confidence and a sense of well-being.
There are various styles of breast prostheses. It is important to discuss your goals and lifestyle with the certified fitter to determine the best option for you. Typically, the breast prosthesis fits inside a pocket of a special post-mastectomy bra, which holds the prosthesis firmly in place. There are also breast prostheses that adhere directly to your skin. Breast prostheses can be weighted or non-weighted. Weighted prostheses help provide balance and can address musculoskeletal issues. Lightly weighted prostheses are often used for swimming and non-weighted prostheses can be worn while sleeping. Partial breast prostheses provide a more symmetrical shape for women who have had lumpectomies or surgery that has resulted in a partial breast.
Many insurances reimburse for breast prostheses (or breast forms). A prescription from your physician is required. Check with your health insurance plan to determine what coverage your insurance company offers.
Post-mastectomy Supplies (Bras, Camisoles, Swimwear)
The bras and camisoles are an important component of post-mastectomy care. The bras and camisoles contain pockets to hold the breast prostheses in place. They are comfortable and fashionable. The camisoles are particularly comfortable to wear immediately after surgery or during radiation treatment.
A prescription from your physician is required. Many insurance companies will reimburse for post-mastectomy bras. Check with your health insurance plan to determine what coverage your insurance company offers.
Stylish post-mastectomy swimwear is also available in one-piece suits and tankinis. The swimwear, which provides excellent coverage, is designed with pockets to securely hold the breast prosthesis in place. Swimwear is not covered by insurances.
Janet Hutchinson, CFom, CFm
Janice Powers, CFom, CFm