Breast prostheses

Here you will find practical information about breast prostheses for women who have had breast surgery.

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First weeks after surgery

After surgery, the breast area will be tender, but you can choose to wear a light breast prosthesis called a soft form immediately.

The soft form can be worn in a bra that has a pocket (post-surgical bra). If the bra is too constricting or rubs against your scar, you can wear a pocketed crop top or camisole. Because it is light and made from a smooth material such as polyester, the soft form can also be worn during the weeks you’re having radiation therapy.

When you have recovered from treatment, you can be fitted for a permanent prosthesis. You may need to wait up to two months after surgery and for six weeks after radiation therapy to give the skin and other tissue time to heal. However, every woman is different so check with your surgeon or breast care nurse about how long you need to wait.

My Care Kit

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) provides a free bra and temporary soft form for women who have recently had breast cancer surgery. The bra is designed to be worn immediately after surgery. It has seams that avoid pressure on scars, and extra hooks and eyes to adjust the bra for any swelling. To order a My Care Kit, speak to your breast care nurse.

What to consider – breast prosthesis

Benefits Drawbacks
  • Can give you a more natural shape under clothes.
  • Doesn’t require further surgery, which has risks and a longer recovery time.
  • Can be worn with different clothes, including during sports such as swimming.
  • Medicare subsidises the cost.
  • Can be replaced if it wears out or is damaged.
  • Can be worn while you’re waiting for reconstructive surgery or during chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Can be matched to your breast size to correct weight imbalance.
  • Easy to change size (e.g. if the size of your other breast changes).
  • You may not like the idea of having an artificial breast.
  • You may need to wear a special bra to keep the prosthesis in place.
  • Requires special washing and storage instructions.
  • You may need to make changes to your clothes or use accessories to accommodate the prosthesis.
  • May be uncomfortable at times (e.g. heavy, hot or irritating), especially when playing sport.
  • If you aren’t comfortable wearing a prosthesis, you may feel self-conscious or embarrassed, or concerned it will move or fall out.
  • Needs to be replaced every few years.

This information was last reviewed in June 2017
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