According to the Women’s Health and Cancer Act of 1998, Insurance companies are required to provide benefits to post breast surgery patients. Benefits are provided to women who have had a mastectomy, reconstruction, lumpectomy, or surgery to achieve symmetry between the breasts. Benefits provided are subject to deductibles, co-insurance applicable to your policy.
I have recently had breast surgery. What products will I need?
Depending on the type of surgery you’ve had, we offer several products. If you have a lumpectomy or portion of your breast removed, a silicone partial works great to smooth out and create more symmetry. If you have had a mastectomy, we carry post surgery camisoles for immediately after surgery. The post surgery camisoles have pouches for drains and special pockets to accommodate a light weight post surgery breast form. Once your doctor tells you are ready, you’ll be fitted for a breast prosthesis and mastectomy bra. Check out what to expect from your journey.
What products are there for lumpectomy & reconstruction patients?
A partial prosthesis is a natural feeling overlay that slips into the pocket of a mastectomy bra & corrects the asymmetry. They come in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses.
I’ve elected to have reconstruction on one side following a mastectomy. I find that my breasts are noticeably different in shape & size and the reconstructed one is higher than my natural side. I don’t want further surgery and there are no guarantees the problem can be fixed. What can I do?
A partial prosthesis can be the perfect fit. They come in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses. The method for most reconstruction dictates that the reconstructed breast will have a slightly flattened effect even if you elect to have your surgeon construct a nipple area after the implant is in place. While visually things look good, retail bras aren’t made to fit this shape, a problem which sometimes shows through your clothing.
I’ve lost/gained weight since my reconstruction and now my reconstructed side is larger than my natural size.
Restoring weight and balance after breast surgery and getting symmetry back sometime means wearing a partial on the natural side. We gain or lose breast tissue when we gain or lose weight. This is perfectly normal.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a painful swelling that happens when your body’s lymphatic fluid is unable to circulate properly and builds up in you soft tissues instead. It usually occurs in an arm or leg.
How do I keep lymphedema in check?
Treat the symptoms as soon as possible. Along with swelling of the affected limb, the most common problems are pain, hardening of the skin and loss of mobility. If left untreated it can get worse and may cause permanent damage
Exercise can help – Ask your doctor to refer you to a program with trained physical therapist.
“MLD” massage is a method of treatment. It’s a special massage called manual lymph drainage, or MLD. This massage helps move the fluid out from where it is settled. The affected limb is then wrapped in bandages that are padded with foam or gauze.
Compression Sleeve. This garment can help drain the lymph fluid. It’s important to wear a compression garment when flying.
Scratches, cuts, and insect bites. Clean the affected area and apply an antibiotic ointment. If you notice redness or swelling, contact your doctor immediately. If getting a manicure bring your own supplies and ask them not to cut your cuticles.
Avoid carrying heavy luggage, packages or shoulder bags. This puts stress on the affected limb and may cause additional pain.
Avoid extreme temperatures
Will my activities be restricted?
Wearing a breast form should not restrict you from enjoying any of the activities you enjoyed before surgery. If you are very active it may be more comfortable to wear a lighter weight form. If you enjoy swimming, we carry swim forms that fit into the pockets of the swim suits we carry. Be sure to wash the chlorine and salt water off your prosthesis after each use.
What is the importance of wearing my prosthesis?
The fitting of breast prosthesis is not only for aesthetic appearances, it’s also a therapeutic measure that replaces the weight of the breast. When fitted with a breast prosthesis that matches is size to the remaining breast, the weight equilibrium of the body is kept in balance.
Not wearing a prosthesis or wearing one that is to heavy or to light can result in the following – spinal curvature, shoulder drop, muscle contracture with accompanying discomfort such as neck or back pain and balance problems.
Do I need an appointment?
YES, fittings are by appointment only – Our hours are 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Friday and
10am to 2pm Saturday
Call 916-480-9501 to make an appointment.
I have an appointment for my first fitting. What can I expect?
When you arrive, we will discuss the type of surgery you’ve had, your lifestyle and activities to help decide what breast form is best for you. You will be measured by our certified fitter. We will then assist you in trying on breast forms and bras in your size to help you find the perfect fit and style. We carry a selection of different breast forms and bras in many styles and colors. If it is your first fitting your appointment will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Can I bring someone with me?
Absolutely! Many patients bring someone. This is your time and we want it to be an informative and pleasurable visit. You can come alone or bring someone with you; it’s up to you.
Insurance billing – what information do I need to bring with me?
Current insurance card(s) – If you have more than one card be sure you know which is primary & which is secondary. This will help expedite payment of the claim.
Current prescription – We will be glad to request this from your physician.
ID – we will need a copy of your ID
Will my insurance cover these products?
Most insurance providers allow new products on a yearly basis. Your plan may have a co-pay and deductible that you are responsible for. We will be happy to contact your insurance carrier to determine what benefits you are eligible for. We can assist you by filing your claim.
How much will Medicare pay for my breast forms and bras?
Medicare will pay up to 80% of what they consider allowable. You can check with your local Medicare Carrier regarding allowable amounts.
What if I don’t have insurance?
We will help you to explore all possible options.
How do I care for my prosthesis & bras?
Wash your breast form once a week with warm water & mild soap. (do not use perfumed soaps). A bar of ivory soap is the purest. Rinse thoroughly & pat dry. Allowing perspiration, body acids, oils, chemicals from perfumes, bath powders, etc. to build up for an extended period of time will reduce the life of your product.
Remove jewelry from your hands before handling your breast form. The edges & stones could damage your products. Sculptured nails can also cause damage.
Place name tags and any jewelry on your clothing before you dress. A small pin point puncture can go unnoticed for weeks before the skin will weaken enough to split the form. Take care when playing with your pets. The claws can puncture the product through your clothing.
Store your breast form in its original box. Your product can be damaged if closed in a drawer or suitcase.