A Post-Mastectomy Guide to Breast Form Maintenance

After your surgery, you are given a choice on whether you can get breast form fitted, breast reconstruction, or leaving your chest as it is (this is a completely valid and not so uncommon choice.) If you do decide to go the route of having a breast form/prosthesis then this guide will help you understand its proper care so you can extend its use instead of having to frequently replace it with a new one. 

Understanding Breast Forms

Breast forms are designed to help post-mastectomy patients feel more balanced, confident, and comfortable in their skin. They come in various materials, such as silicone, foam, and fiberfill, each catering to different needs and preferences. Silicone forms are popular for their realistic feel and weight, offering a natural silhouette. Foam and fiberfill options, on the other hand, are lighter and ideal for temporary wear or during physical activities. When selecting a breast form, consider your skin’s sensitivity‚ÄĒopting for hypoallergenic materials can prevent irritation and ensure comfort throughout the day.

Knowing about the type of breast form you’re getting is crucial because different materials require different care methods, directly affecting maintenance and longevity. Silicone breast forms, for example, mimic the look and feel of natural tissue but require gentle cleaning to maintain their shape and texture. Foam and fiberfill forms are lighter and may be preferred for sleeping or leisure, requiring different cleaning methods. Understanding the material of your breast form ensures you can care for it properly, ensuring comfort, durability, and the preservation of its appearance over time.

It is also helpful to note that silicone breast forms tend to last longer in general due to their durable material and construction. They are designed to withstand daily wear and tear, maintaining their shape and texture over time with proper care. Silicone forms can often be used for several years before needing replacement, provided they are cleaned regularly and stored properly.

Read more: Understanding Custom Breast Prostheses: 5 Essential Insights

Daily Care and Maintenance

To ensure your breast forms serve you well and last long, adopting a regular cleaning routine is essential. 

For silicone forms: 

  1. Before cleaning, gently wipe the surface with a DRY cloth to remove any residue or coarse debris on the surface (to avoid tear of the silicone)
  2. Use mild soap and lukewarm water to gently clean the surface.
  3. Pat dry with a soft cloth, avoiding direct heat or sunlight.
  4. Place in a shaded area to air dry.

For Foam or Fiberfill Forms:

  1. Use a soft brush or clean cloth to remove any debris or residue sticking on the surface
  2. Hand-wash in cold water with gentle detergent. (make sure this detergent is not irritating to your skin)
  3. Ensure they are thoroughly air-dried before the next use. Make sure your drying area is well-ventilated to avoid mold growth. 

Storage and Handling

Proper storage is key to maintaining the shape and quality of your breast forms. Store them in a cool, dry place, ideally in the original packaging or a soft pouch to protect them from dust and deformation. While a cold, air-conditioned environment can be beneficial, positioning them away from direct airflow is crucial to prevent the material from drying out or changing shape. Extreme temperature conditions can speed up the wear and tear of breast forms. 

Be mindful when putting on or removing your breast forms to prevent accidental tears or punctures. Regularly inspect them for signs of wear and tear, ensuring they remain in good condition to support you comfortably.

Common Questions Answered (FAQs)

Q: How often should I replace my breast forms?

A: Usually, breast forms should be replaced every two to three years, but this can vary based on daily wear and care practices. The best answer to this would be, when your breast form is no longer in a usable condition.

Q: Can I wear my breast forms while swimming?

A: Yes, many silicone forms are designed for swimming. Just ensure you rinse them in fresh water afterward. Exposure to chlorine without rinsing afterwards can speed up its deterioration.

Q: What is the best way to choose the right size and shape?

A: Consult with a fitting specialist who can help you find the perfect match for your body type and lifestyle needs.

We offer personalized custom fitting for Breast Prostheses

Caring for your breast forms doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right knowledge and a bit of daily attention, they can remain a comfortable and cherished part of your life. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Embrace the process with confidence, knowing that every step forward is a step towards reclaiming your comfort and confidence post-mastectomy.

If you have any more questions about breast forms, their use, maintenance and options, you can reach out to us here: Contact us!

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