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Decisions to Make After Having a Mastectomy

Updated on March 14, 2018
Just Ask Susan profile image

Susan is a breast cancer survivor who is now in remission after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

After having a mastectomy there is that big decision looming over your head as to whether you are going to have implants or not. Give yourself time to emotionally and physically heal first. I found there were many things to consider. Talk to health care professionals, visit with surgeons and find out what exactly is involved with implants and the different options available for this type of surgery. Be sure to discuss complications that can occur with such said surgery.

When I had my first of two mastectomies I had considered breast reconstruction with abdominal tissue.This is done by taking skin, muscle or fat from one area of the body and constructing it into your breast area. To read about this please follow this link Redefine Yourself.

My Decision

My decision was to opt out of implants and reconstruction for many reasons and sometimes I regret it but for the majority of the time, I am fine with the choice I made.

Breast Prosthesis

Should you choose to use a prosthesis, there is quite a number available to choose from. Most are made from a polymer gel or silicon, which are quite realistic in feel and in shape.

If someone happens to bump into you and touches your breast area they will in no way be able to tell that you are wearing a prosthetic.

These can be purchased in four skin tones and come in regular and plus sizes. When worn they move with you in the same way that any breast would. They can be worn in bathing suits and will not be harmed by salt water or chlorine but should be washed with a mild soap regularly.

You can wear a prosthesis in your regular bra but I would recommend purchasing mastectomy bras as they are made to hold the prosthesis with a sewn in pocket.

Attachable Breast Prosthetics

This type of prosthetic attaches directly to your skin and is wonderful to wear in a bathing suit or strapless dress.

Prosthetic Sizes

One would think that prosthetic sizes would be sized the same way in which a bra is but that is not the case. The sizes may vary according to which company makes your prosthetic so it is always best to be fitted by a surgical appliance technician for your first one.


There are many swimsuits available online, at pharmacies, specialty shops and from Surgical Appliance Technicians. I personally buy mine at a local mall in a bathing suit store that just happens to carry many bathing suits for women that have had mastectomies.

© 2011 Susan Zutautas


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