Mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast to prevent or treat breast cancer. Women with high genetic and familial risk of breast cancer may opt for a preventive mastectomy procedure. There are some patients who undergo a double mastectomy, the complete surgical removal of both breasts, to prevent the onset of breast cancer. During a mastectomy, all of the breast tissue that extends between the collarbone and ribs from the side of the body to the breastbone is removed. Some women have breast reconstruction that can be done at the time of mastectomy or later, to help restore the look and feel of the removed breast.
Recovery from Mastectomy: Recovery from Mastectomy can be challenging and even overwhelming. Patients will typically experience temporary soreness in the chest, underarms and shoulders. There are incisions that must heal healing externally that affect muscle movement and strength. Persistent tingling and itchiness in the chest is felt as the brain continues to send signals to the organ that once resided there. Exterior drains and drainage tubes are sewn to drain out the fluid from the surgical wounds.
Mastectomy support products: Mastectomy is a life transforming experience. Managing the pain and discomfort of post-surgical drains while still trying to grasp what has occurred in the body can be challenging. Mastectomy support products are available to help women through the healing process and beyond.
* Post Mastectomy Surgical Camisoles: Provide inner pockets for holding the post-surgery drain bulbs and temporary breast form.
* Post Mastectomy Leisure Forms and Bras: Once the drains are removed, a post mastectomy bra can provide mild support with the interior space for a light weighted leisure form. This can be worn for up to 3 months.
* Mastectomy Bras: These are similar to the post mastectomy bras but with the greater supportive fit and they also have an interior pocket to keep the breast prosthesis (such as silicone or foam breast forms) in place. These bras for mastectomy for women in recovery are also helpful in enhancing their appearance and sense of emotional being.
Insurance coverage: Medicare provides partial reimbursement for bras for a mastectomy, breast forms and camisoles. However, most private insurance companies follow their own guidelines and should be contacted by prospective patients.
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