- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Breast prostheses and reconstruction
- Breast prostheses
- Material used in prostheses
Material used in prostheses
Temporary forms – tend to be made with foam, fibre-fill or fleece; these are usually worn in the first couple of weeks or months after surgery. Some women continue wearing a soft form at night-time.
Another option is to use the temporary soft form with a cotton cover called a knitted knocker, which often includes the shape of a nipple. To request a prosthesis, visit Knitted Knockers Australia.
Long term or permanent prostheses – made from medical grade silicone gel. The silicone is moulded into the natural shape of a woman’s breast or part of a breast. The front surface feels soft and smooth. The back surface that rests against the body varies depending on whether the prosthesis is designed to go into a bra pocket or attach directly to your skin. It can be firm and smooth, flat or hollow, have ridges that are soft and flexible, have adhesive spots, or be made of fabric.
Most permanent prostheses are weighted to feel similar to your remaining breast (if only one breast has been removed), but lightweight styles are also available. Some prostheses include a nipple outline, or you can buy a nipple that attaches to the form.
|What is silicone?
Silicone is a non-toxic, synthetically-made substance that is heat-resistant and rubbery. It can be moulded into the shape of a natural breast. If a prosthesis tears or punctures, the silicone can’t be absorbed by the skin.
A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and Clinical Associate Professor, University of Sydney, NSW; Jo Cockwill, Consumer;
Suzanne Elliott, Consumer; Bronwyn Flanagan, Breast Care Nurse, Brightways, Cabrini Hospital, VIC; Maina Gordon, Consumer; Gillian Horton, Owner and Corsetry Specialist, Colleen’s Post-Mastectomy Connection, ACT; Kerry Nash, Sales and Marketing Manager, Amoena Australia, NSW; A/Prof Kerry Sherman, Macquarie University and Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, NSW. We are grateful to Amoena Australia Pty Ltd for supplying the breast form images, which appear on pages 14 -16. The breast reconstruction images on pages 37, 45, 48, 51 have been reproduced with permission from Breast Cancer: Taking Control, breastcancertakingcontrol.com © Boycare Publishing 2010.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.