Mastectomy

 

Mastectomy Services


We provide mastectomy fitter services. Upon eligibility, insurance companies will cover items such as fitted silicone forms and accessories. In addition to these products, we can provide post-surgery garments and, through the American Cancer Society, we can also provide wigs and hats. We are here to help you with what works best for you.

About six to eight weeks after breast surgery it will be time to see the post-mastectomy fitter. Women who have had a mastectomy should be able to wear a weighted prosthesis at this time since their incision should be healed. Women who experienced breast conserving surgery will also benefit from a post-mastectomy fitting as there are partial prostheses to help fill in the missing portion of their breast and provide symmetry. Medicare and most private insurance plans have coverage for breast prostheses and bras. If you are in doubt about your coverage, call the number on your insurance card and inquire. Some policies have network provider restrictions to consider that can influence coverage.

Who does the fitting?

The fitters are trained by manufacturer based education programs, to fit bras and prostheses. They are taught which products do best with different surgery types, and how to handle special circumstances.

 

The Fitting Process

The fitters are trained by manufacturer based education programs and certified by the American Board of Certification (ABC), to fit bras and prostheses. They are taught which products do best with different surgery types, and how to handle special circumstances.

The fitting should be conducted in a manner that offers the person being fitted complete privacy.Mastectomy fitter room

  • The fitter will first assess the condition of the skin at the mastectomy site. There should be no drainage or open wounds at the surgery site, or incision. Either of these conditions would require permission from the patient's physician before proceeding.

 

  • The fitter will determine the proper bra size by taking measurements at strategic points on the chest wall and around the rib cage. The fit of the bra is crucial to how well the prosthesis will be tolerated, and how natural the fit will be. Mastectomy bras today are pretty and feminine while providing the support needed to keep the prosthesis in the correct position. Although it is not mandatory to use a mastectomy bra with a breast prosthesis, it is recommended.

 

  • The prosthesis recommendation will follow. The fitter will note the shape and drape of the existing breast and try a prosthesis that best approximates those dimensions. Prostheses come in many shapes such as teardrop, triangle, heart shaped and more. Some taper the material into the underarm area to fill in missing tissue there. Some prostheses are symmetrical, meaning they can be worn on either side, others are asymmetrical and are side specific. For women who have lost both breasts, the fitter will make suggestions for prostheses that are flattering to the patient's body dimensions.

 

  • The fitter will place a soft drape or smock on the patient and show the patient in the mirror how she looks with the products chosen. This is where the patient should let the fitter know if she is happy with the results or if she wants to try something else. Most importantly, if the patient is not happy, speak up!

 

  • A yearly visit to the fitter is a good idea. Women's bodies change in response to hormonal changes and weight fluctuations. The natural breast will change in response to these factors and a change in prosthesis may be needed to maintain symmetry.

 

  • Before leaving the fitter's facility, instructions on use and care as well as the retailer's return policy should be given.

 

Post-mastectomy Care FAQs

Mastectomy RoomWhat is a mastectomy fitter?

A mastectomy fitter is a healthcare professional who is specifically educated and trained in the provision of breast prostheses and post-mastectomy services. This includes patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, follow-up and practice management.

 

What questions should a patient ask the mastectomy fitter?

  • How long will my first fitting take?
  • Do you have sufficient inventory available to meet my particular needs?
  • What insurances do you take?
  • Will I have any out of pocket expenses?

 

 

 

 

 

How soon after surgery can a patient be fitted for a prosthesis or post-mastectomy bra?

A non-weighted form can be worn immediately after surgery. Fitting of a weighted external breast prosthesis is dependent on proper healing after surgery. While everyone is different, the typical time frame is six to eight weeks after breast removal surgery, allowing for removal of drains, reduction of post surgical swelling and complete healing of surgical scars.

Is a prescription required?

Yes, if you are seeking insurance reimbursement.

What should patients wear for a fitting?

Comfortable clothes and a blouse that is easily removed is suggested. During the fitting, privacy wraps will be provided.

What is the post-mastectomy fitting process?

The Certified Fitter will measure and evaluate the surgical area for pressure marks, scaring and sensitivity. The patient and fitter will discuss all appropriate treatment options including styles, shapes and materials as well as the patient’s goals and expectations. Instructions on use and care of the items will also be provided during the fitting.

Will the prosthesis be noticeable?

While no fit can replace the removed breast, a well fitting external breast prosthesis should be fairly unnoticeable and provide physical and visual symmetry.

What happens if a patient’s body size changes due to weight loss or weight gain?

If there is a change in condition: reduction of swelling, changes in post surgical swelling, torso lymphedema, weight change, additional surgery, or any other changes, a reevaluation of the fit of the prosthesis, garments, and accessories is necessary.

References: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10116.pdf; http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002992-pdf.pdf; http://www.cancer.org/treatment/findingandpayingfortreatment/managinginsuranceissues/womens-health-and-cancer-rights-act;

 

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