Finding the Right Time for Breast Prosthetics Fitting After Mastectomy

When is the right time to get a breast prosthesis fitting done after your mastectomy? Should you do it immediately after the mastectomy or is there a window period? Typically, the recommended time frame is once our surgeon gives you the clear and the wounds have sufficiently healed. This is usually around 6 to 8 weeks post-surgery, but this can vary based on individual healing processes and the advice of your medical team. It’s essential to ensure that the surgery site is healed to avoid any irritation or discomfort during the fitting.

Speed Up Recovery Through a Healthy Lifestyle

If you’re looking to get your fitting done as soon as possible, you may want to consider helping the recovery process through a healthy regimen which is important for healing. This includes:

  • Balanced Nutrition: Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins aids in wound healing and overall recovery.
  • Adequate Hydration: Keeping the body well-hydrated is essential for all aspects of health, including recovery after surgery.
  • Gentle Exercise: As advised by your healthcare provider, gentle exercises can improve circulation and speed up healing. However, it’s crucial to follow medical advice on the type and extent of physical activity.
  • Stress Management: Stress can impede healing, so practices like meditation, gentle yoga, or other relaxing activities can be beneficial.
  • Adequate Rest: People take this for granted and often forget that getting your much needed sleep is necessary for a better recovery. A lot of the healing happening in your cells occur during your sleep.

Read More: Mastectomy Must-Haves: Preparing for Treatment and Recovery

Breast Forms vs. Reconstruction: A Choice to Make

For many, choosing between breast forms (prosthetics) and reconstruction is a significant decision post-mastectomy. Each option has its own set of considerations. It is also of significant note that the timing for reconstruction vs fitting for a breast form is also different.

  • Breast Forms: They are non-surgical options that allow you to regain the shape and look of breasts. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be fitted into specially designed bras. The advantage is that this is a non-invasive approach, and you can change the size or shape as you wish.
  • Breast Reconstruction: This is a surgical option where the breast shape is reconstructed using either implants or tissues from other parts of your body. It can be done immediately after mastectomy or delayed until a later time. The timing of reconstruction is a complex decision involving various factors like the need for additional treatments (like chemotherapy), overall health, and personal preferences.

Read More: Are you considering Breast Reconstruction or Going Flat?

How Soon Can Breast Reconstruction Be Done?

Breast reconstruction can be immediate (at the time of mastectomy) or delayed (months to years later). Immediate reconstruction can be beneficial as it involves fewer surgeries and can be less emotionally taxing for some women. However, it might not be suitable for everyone, especially if additional treatments are required. Delayed reconstruction offers time to heal, complete other treatments, and make a more informed decision. The choice greatly depends on individual medical circumstances, personal preferences, and discussions with your healthcare team.

There are others who also delay breast reconstruction as it gives them time to process their feelings about the surgery or mastectomy. What is most important is that if you do opt for a breast reconstruction it should not be out of pressure from external decision makers because you need to be comfortable with your own body. Focus on what works for you especially as you start to accept your new body. 

Embracing the New Chapter

Choosing when to get a breast prosthetics fitting, or deciding between prosthetics and reconstruction, is a deeply personal decision that should be made in consultation with your medical team. What’s most important is that you make a choice that aligns with your health, comfort, and sense of self. Remember, this journey is not just about physical healing; it’s about embracing a new chapter in life with confidence and grace. Your post-mastectomy journey is a testament to your strength and resilience, and each step, whether it’s a fitting for a breast prosthetic or a decision about reconstruction, is a stride towards reclaiming your body and your confidence.

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