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If you have undergone a mastectomy or a lumpectomy or are preparing for one of these procedures for the treatment of breast cancer, it's natural to be concerned about your appearance. Even though both of these procedures can effectively treat cancer, they can have a profound impact on a woman's emotional well-being during recovery. Using breast enhancers and breast prostheses can help to improve your self-esteem and your appearance following surgery for the treatment of cancer.
A traditional breast prosthesis is an artificial breast that is designed to simulate the look of a natural breast. The prostheses are worn inside of a special post mastectomy bra, which is outfitted with pockets for keeping the artificial breasts secure. If you have only undergone a mastectomy on one side, the other side of the mastectomy bra will support your natural breast just like a traditional brassiere. Studies show that up to 90 percent of women who undergo mastectomies wear breast prostheses for at least some period of time following surgery. Some women elect to only use prostheses following surgery while others utilize them until reconstructive surgery can be completed.
Breast prostheses come in different colors, shapes and sizes to help women get the most natural look possible and to match their remaining breasts in the event that they only require a procedure on one side. Not only can a prosthetic breast help you to feel more confident, but it can also help to improve your posture to reduce bone and skeletal discomfort. The prostheses may also provide protection for scar tissue and warmth for the body. Walgreens has a complete range of traditional breast prostheses that can be used with a mastectomy bra. These may be the right choice for your needs and can be viewed in the mastectomy department.
Breast enhancers or breast enhancing prostheses are slightly different than traditional prostheses. Although they also help give a woman a more natural silhouette following a mastectomy, breast enhancers are generally smaller in size, and they usually weigh less than a traditional prosthetic. This makes them good options for women who do not like the feel of heavier prostheses. Women who have undergone a lumpectomy may prefer a breast enhancer for filling in their bra cups because of the reduced size.
While breast prostheses are designed to be as comfortable as possible, some women do experience discomfort when wearing them due to friction caused by the foam or silicone. If you're hesitant to wear your prosthetic because of discomfort, wearing a pressure pad beneath it can help. These pads provide insulation and protection for the skin, cutting down on friction to make a prosthetic more comfortable. Pressure pads are available in different thicknesses to offer different levels of protection. The thinner the pad, the less it will affect the shape of the breast.
Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions regarding which type of breast enhancer or breast prosthetic is right for you and how soon you can begin wearing one after surgery.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.