Questions about breast prostheses and breast reconstruction
Asking your breast care nurse, a breast prosthesis fitter and breast surgeon questions will help you make an informed choice on wearing a prosthesis or having a breast reconstruction. You may want to include some of the questions below in your own list.
Learn more about:
- Questions to ask the breast care nurse or fitter
- Questions to ask the fitter about the fitting
- Questions to ask yourself about the fit
- Questions to ask your breast surgeon
Questions to ask the breast care nurse or fitter
- Do I need to wear a breast prosthesis?
- What kind of prosthesis would work best for me? Is there something suitable after breast-conserving surgery?
- When can I start wearing a breast prosthesis?
- How will wearing a prosthesis affect me if I have lymphoedema?
- What can I do if I find the breast prosthesis too heavy?
- How long might it take to get used to the prosthesis?
- Do I need to buy pocketed bras or can I wear regular ones?
Questions to ask the fitter about the fitting
- How long will the fitting take?
- Can I bring a support person to the fitting?
- If I don’t want to remove my bra, is it possible to be measured for a prosthesis and/or pocketed bra without doing so?
- Do you have a wide range of styles and colours?
- Can you order other styles if the ones in stock aren’t suitable?
- Is there a prosthesis that keeps me cool?
- If the prosthesis feels heavy, can I get a lighter breast prosthesis?
- What is the price range of the prostheses and bras you sell?
- Can I wear a prosthesis without wearing a pocketed bra?
- How do I care for the prosthesis?
- What can I do if the prosthesis I bought is not suitable?
- What happens if I puncture my prosthesis?
- What is the warranty period for the prosthesis?
- How long will my prosthesis last?
- What should I do if my breast size changes before I’m due for a replacement?
- Can I have a copy of the receipt for my records?
Questions to ask yourself about the fit
- Is the bra comfortable when I take a deep breath?
- When I lean forward, is the bra sitting flat against my chest?
- Does the prosthesis feel secure in the bra?
- Does the prosthesis match my skin tone?
- Do I feel balanced? Does the surface of the bra look smooth?
- Can I see edges of the prosthesis sticking out of the bra?
- Do I like how I look with the prosthesis in place?
Questions to ask your breast surgeon
- Do you think I can have a reconstruction?
- When would you advise me to have the reconstruction?
- Which type of reconstruction do you recommend for me, and why?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of this type of reconstruction?
- Do you specialise in this type of surgery?
- How long will I have to wait to have the reconstruction?
- How long will I be in hospital and how long will my recovery be?
- How much will it cost? Are there any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare or my private health cover?
- How will the reconstructed breast look and feel?
- Do you have any photos of other women who have had this type of reconstruction?
- Can I talk to other women who have had a similar operation?
- Will the reconstruction hide any new problems? Do I still need regular mammograms?
- How can I get a second opinion?
A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Sydney, NSW; Dragana Ceprnja, Senior Physiotherapist and Health Professional Educator, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Jan Davies, Consumer; Rosemerry Hodgkin, Consumer; Gillian Horton, Owner and Director, Colleen’s Lingerie and Swimwear, ACT; Ashleigh Mondolo, Clinical Nurse Consultant Breast Care Nurse, Mater Private Hospital South Brisbane, QLD; Dr Jane O’Brien, Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Cancer Surgeon, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, VIC; Moira Waters, Breast Care Nurse, Breast Cancer Care WA; Sharon Woolridge, Consumer; Rebecca Yeoh, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland.
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