Inova Breast Care Center
Local resources for prostheses
After having a mastectomy or lumpectomy, many women use a breast prosthesis (or a breast form) to attain their pre-surgery symmetrical appearance.
Prefabricated prostheses are made out of silicone gel, foam, or other materials that are similar to natural breast tissue. They vary in size and weight and help to restore symmetry in clothes. They either adhere directly to the chest area or fit into pockets of post-mastectomy bras. They can also feature mock nipples or special shapes.
Prostheses help women be in control of their appearance while boosting their self-esteem. With the proper fit, a breast prosthesis can go undetected by the naked eye and can help in several ways:
- Keep your bra from moving around
- Balance the weight put on your shoulders
- Balance your appearance
- Protect surgical scars
Custom made and fitted breast prosthetics are available and function as a replacement for the lost breast. A light scanning device captures the exact anatomy of the healed chest wall and the remaining breast enabling the prosthetic to fit perfectly like a puzzle piece.
They are held in place with regular bras and swim suits and do not require pocketed mastectomy bras. Custom prosthetics are color matched to skin tone as well as to aerola and nipple size and color. They feel natural and permit attachment to the chest wall via magnets and adhesive tabs permitting women security and stability during strenuous activity.
Partial prostheses, also called equalizers or enhancers, are available for women who have had part of their breasts removed.
Costanza Cocilovo, MD