Ask Rita: “...I know no one who’s had a breast removed [and] have never spoken with anyone else about this issue...”
We were recently featured in Calgary Herald’s “ask Rita” column when she reached out to us to get some information about mastectomy-wear. Sincerely hope this woman was able to get the products she needs and in the process, find some other women to talk to! Here is a copy of the column below:
Q: I had a mastectomy a few years ago and find the specialty bras designed to hold breast gels in place often ride up — at times the gels have even slipped out. I also find it very uncomfortable to have the gels lay against scar tissue for more than three hours at a time. I’m fairly thin, so I just go braless most of the time, but need something for dressier occasions. As I know no one who’s had a breast removed I have never spoken with anyone else about this issue. Do you have any suggestions?
A: I took your question to an expert, Saundra Shapiro, founder of Compassionate Beauty. This is an incredible shop and online resource for cancer patients and their friends and family.
Shapiro thinks there’s a chance you were improperly measured. Or the mastectomy bra you are wearing might be an older style, as she’s never known gels to pop out of the bras she sells. She recommends looking into “the new and improved world of mastectomy lingerie, because things really have changed.”
You might also want to look into mastectomy clothing, which comes in a range of styles from dressy to casual. It gives you the option of inserting the breast prosthesis into a pocket in the shelf bra of a tank top or T-shirt.
With regards to the gel laying on the scar tissue, Shapiro says having a barrier between the breast form and scar tissue could make a big difference. There are many forms on the market and a concave one might be better for you, as it wouldn’t irritate the tissue. (Compassionate Beauty carries all sorts of forms, including heat wicking, lightweight, and athletic and leisure forms.)
She recommends a consultation with a certified mastectomy fitter who would work with you to find a prosthesis that would be comfortable to wear throughout the day.
I think you’ll be as impressed as I was with the services and products Compassionate Beauty offers. Check out their website, compassionatebeauty.com, or call them at 403-686-6936 . (I was told the client co-ordinator who answers the phone has had a bilateral mastectomy herself and would be happy to talk with you.)
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