Prostheses come in a range of skin tones, sizes, and shapes, and are made from unique materials that move naturally. The idea is that they should weigh and feel similar to a natural breast as much as possible. You might want to consider some different clothing styles you’d want to wear the prosthesis with.
At times women prefer to wear a softie (temporary prosthesis) rather than a permanent one. Let’s take a look at the different types of breast prostheses and how you can choose which one to opt for.
Types of Breast Prosthesis
- Standard/Full Prosthesis – It has different backings that are designed to fit squarely against the wall of the chest from where the breast tissue has been taken out. It will be matched in skin tone, size, and shape to the other breast. If both your breasts have been removed, you can decide which size you prefer.
- Shaped or Partial Prosthesis – This type of prosthesis is for those that have had only a part of their breast removed. It’s worn inside the bra, and its shape helps fill out the outline of the breast. It is also made of a silicone material similar to a full prosthesis.
- Shell prosthesis– This is a kind of partial prosthesis that’s recommended in case your breast sizes are different from one another. It’s made of a soft silicone shell that fits snugly over the smaller breast to that both the breasts match each other. Women that have had a breast reconstruction surgery can also use this type of prosthesis, in case the implant is currently being expanded or if the symmetry hasn’t been achieved.
- Stick-on prosthesis– This could be either partial or full and will be stuck on the skin. If you prefer to wear a bra with fewer supports or you are very active, this prosthesis would be suitable for you. This is because not all of the weight has to be taken by the bra. These prostheses can also be easily worn with strapless tops and dresses if the attire is supportive enough.
In most cases, women are told no to wear these stick-on prostheses for at least 12 months after their surgery as it can affect the skin. The prosthesis has a sticky portion and can be attached directly to the chest wall or with some protective backing on the stick-on surface.
Different Breast prostheses Shapes
Breast prostheses come in asymmetrical, symmetrical, or teardrop shapes.
- The symmetrical form is generally triangular/oval shape, and you can wear it either on the right or left side.
- An asymmetrical prosthesis is typically better suited for women that have had a more extensive surgery as these have extensions that fit under the upper chest wall or arm.
- The teardrop shape is suitable for women that have fuller lower and outer breast area and less fuller above the nipple.
- Made-to-measure or customized prosthesis cane constructed in any shape and will match your chest wall and color completely.
Most prostheses are made using silicone, while you can also get foam prosthesis. The latter are cooler and lighter, and some women prefer these. It may be better suited if you’re very active, and you might find this style far more comfortable during warmer weather. Some types of prostheses are filled with tiny polypropylene beads.
These get molded into the bra shape, and air can circulate in them. These are also cooler to wear. You can discuss these options with your surgeon and their medical team so that you can make the right choice based on your needs and situation.