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Many women find that wearing a prosthesis is a comfortable and natural looking way to restore symmetry following a mastectomy. With proper care and maintenance, a prosthesis will provide years of service. Certified Mastectomy Fitters usually give thorough instructions on the care and wearing of prostheses, but occasionally questions do arise.
Some of the most common questions are:
Q: Is there any way to make wearing my breast prosthesis cooler in warm weather?
A: Wearing the breast prosthesis inside the bra pocket keeps the prosthesis off the skin. This creates more ventilation to evaporate perspiration. Some women claim that a lighter weight prosthesis feels cooler. It is very important to wear a bra that supports the breasts and prosthesis and keeps them from resting on the abdomen, as constant moisture in this area can create skin irritation. You can also try the Comfort+ breast forms by Amoena. They use Comfort+ temperature-equalizing technology to keep a woman cool when her body temperature rises and keeps her warm when her body temperature lowers.
Q: How do I clean my breast prosthesis?
A: AmoenaÂ® Soft Cleanser is recommended for daily use. Skin oils can break down the outer skin of a breast prosthesis and shorten the useful life of the prosthesis. It is a good idea to clean the prosthesis every night and store it in its cradle.
Q: What is the expected lifetime of a silicone breast prosthesis?
A: Most Amoena breast prostheses are warranted against manufacturerâ€™s defects for two years from the date of purchase. The warranty does not cover damage to the prosthesis from punctures or erosion to the skin of the prosthesis from perfume or lotions. Premium breast prostheses may last longer than two years with proper care. It is still a good idea to see a Certified Mastectomy Fitter yearly to have a fit assessment, as womenâ€™s bodies change with age and weight.
Q: My prosthesis feels heavy. Is it too large?
A: The first thing to evaluate in this situation is the fit of the bra. Bras have a lifespan of three to six months of constant use before they need to be replaced. If the bra doesnâ€™t adequately support the prosthesis and hold it snugly against the chest wall, then the straps of the bra end up supporting the weight of the prosthesis and pulling down on the shoulder area.
Another option to consider is a Contact adhesive breast form. These help distribute the weight of the form onto the chest wall so the bra straps don’t have to hold so much support, and thus, sometimes feels “lighter.”
Q: Is a lighter weight breast prosthesis appropriate for me?
A: Many women who cannot tolerate a weighted silicone prosthesis find that a lightweight prosthesis is much more comfortable. Some medical conditions such as lymphedema or osteoporosis of the spine warrant a lightweight prosthesis.
Q: I had a lumpectomy, breast conserving surgery or reconstruction. Is there a prosthesis for me?
A: Balance Symmetry Shapers are partial prostheses or “shells,” made of the same high quality silicone used in premium Amoena prostheses. The difference is that Balance is much thinner, and can go over a breast that just needs a little more fullness in front or on the side to provide symmetry.