I’ve noticed that the blogs I read tend to be by women in their twenties. Thus we have bridal lingerie and bras good for nursing and pregnancy as blog topics, but there’s a kind of bra I haven’t mentioned before because I can find very little literature for it, and can’t find my size.
Breast surgery is serious business. Whether you’re getting augmentation, lift, reduction, or modification, post-op one needs different bras to support and not irritate the healing tissue. I’ve heard of/seen bras by Amoena, Trulife, Jodee, Anita Care, and Carefix for post-op, but it seems they only come in the 34-40 A-D spectrum! Not really my size at all, and probably don’t really fit most women. Ideally one only needs post-op bras temporarily, but it’s not always an elective surgery.
The surgery I’m most familiar with is, sadly, the mastectomy. The NIH (of the US) estimates one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. My grandmother had breast cancer ten years ago and had a single mastectomy. She’s still alive today (in her late eighties), and…puts newspaper in her bra. I asked her if that was comfortable, and she just shrugged and smiled benignly. Since Chinese is her third language and also mine (she doesn’t speak English), we had trouble communicating beyond that. Sometimes only part of one breast is removed (partial mastectomy or lumpectomy), sometimes both are.
The standard options today seem to be reconstructive surgery or wearing a prosthesis. Reconstructive surgery is usually done with saline implants or with tissues from other parts of the body (called flap reconstruction). My former roommate worked in an implant factory once and noted most of the orders they got were for singles. After recovery, nipple reconstruction may be performed. Unfortunately, getting the new breast to match its partner is difficult, and may require a lift, augmentation, or reduction of the other breast- further surgery to recover from. I don’t know what I’d opt for as a patient. It seems a tough decision. Options may be different by the time I’m at higher risk.
Wearing a prosthesis doesn’t require extensive surgery, and after radiation or chemo, the body may just not be ready for the knife for a while. Additionally, reconstruction is expensive and may not be covered under health insurance in the United States. A breast form or equalizer will make one look more symmetric under clothing without surgery, but may have different density within the bra and change how a bra fits. Some bras are termed ‘mastectomy bras’ and have heavy-duty construction and pockets for prostheses. Nordstrom will make pockets on bras for you free of charge, or you can sew your own. However, I’m not sure what kinds of bras work for this- I assume fabric and lace bras would be difficult to do, and at larger cup sizes breast forms may strain wires and fabric differently.
What have you found about prostheses and post-op bras? What are good options in the DD+ range for post-op, and what bras work best with a prosthesis?