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If you're facing a mastectomy or already underwent the procedure for the treatment of breast cancer, it's natural to be concerned about the effects on your appearance. Wearing a breast prosthesis can help you to feel more confident about your body and look your best. A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast that is worn following a mastectomy. As many as 90 percent of women use them after surgery. Walgreens carries a number of prostheses and has many options available.
Typically, a breast prosthesis is worn with a special type of undergarment known as a mastectomy bra. These bras look and feel much like traditional bras, but they have special pockets, which are designed to hold breast prostheses in their cups. The shape of the pocket allows the prostheses to rest naturally against the chest, and you won't have to worry about them falling out or shifting during the day. With certain types of tops, such as those that have built-in shelf bras, you may be able to wear your prostheses without a mastectomy bra.
There are many reasons why you may choose to wear breast prostheses following a mastectomy. Not only will a prosthetic breast help your clothes to fit better and balance the shape of your figure, but wearing one can provide physical benefits as well. The weight of the prostheses can help to improve posture, reducing strain on the back and may decrease the likelihood of muscle and bone problems following surgery. Prostheses can also help to keep the chest warm and may provide coverage and protection for your scars.
Breast prostheses vary in their materials, and one of the first things that you'll need to decide is which type you prefer. One option is to purchase a foam prosthesis. Foam options are very inexpensive and can fill out the cups of a mastectomy bra well; however, they do not have as much weight as other types and do not always look as natural. Silicone breast prostheses are much heavier in weight and have a more natural look. Some are even sculpted to include a nipple, enhancing their realism even more. The cost of a silicone prosthesis will be higher than that of a foam pad, so you'll need to carefully consider your needs to choose the right type of material.
In addition to deciding which material you prefer, you'll also want to consider the color and shape. Silicone prostheses come in oval and triangle shapes, so that you can match the natural shape of your remaining breast or recreate the look of both your breasts if you underwent a double mastectomy. Different colors are available to match your skin tone, and you can purchase many different sizes. As you shop, you'll see size charts to help you determine which size to purchase based on your bra size.
Your doctor or health care provider may have specific recommendations regarding what type of breast prosthesis is the best for your needs. He or she will also let you know how soon after surgery you can begin to wear a prosthesis. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions to ensure that you recover from mastectomy surgery properly and get the best possible results from wearing a prosthetic breast.
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.