A cancer survivors Guide to the Breast Prosthesis

Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women and for many women post surgery is a traumatic time when they are low in confidence and adjusting to their new shape. Thankfully, a wide range of mastectomy wear now available and fashionable making it possible for a woman to feel feminine and confidant again. At some stage you may select to wear a breast prosthesis after surgery.

What is a breast prosthesis?

A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast that can be fitted into the pockets of mastectomy bras. Depending on the women’s preference they are made of many different types of material and keep to the textures of real breast tissue. Typically however they are made of silicone gel inside a soft flexible shell and they generally come with a nipple. The benefits of using a breast prosthesis after a mastectomy is to keep the body in balance which helps prevent further back and shoulder pain. You can be fitted for a prosthesis between four to eight weeks after surgery.

Insurances for Breast Prosthesis

You medical insurance may cover the cost of buying a breast prosthesis so check the guidelines and give them a call. You can have a new prosthesis that is paid in part or completely after every 2 years or 2 or 4 mastectomy bras per year on receipt of a medical prescription. Your medical prescription should indicate – Breast prosthesis for (right, left or bilateral) and (quantity) prosthetic bras for(diagnose).

Also check you government for any reimbursement programs. In Australia there is the National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement which provides reimbursement of up to $400 for both new and replacement external breast prostheses to all eligible women who have had a mastectomy as a result of breast cancer. The $400 limit applies for each prosthesis for each breast.

When shopping for a breast prosthesis find stores that honours your insurance before you buy your prosthesis. You may be required to pay the amount which will be refunded later.


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