A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

What to expect from a mastectomy bra fitting

A pink measuring tape.

Breast surgery can be hard for many women because they are going through a difficult time that is very personal. Post mastectomy supplies help women feel whole again after surgery.

Breast surgery can be hard for many women because they are going through a difficult time that is very personal. Post mastectomy supplies help women feel whole again after surgery.

“During this time, women deserve the best care and compassion they can receive. That’s what I try to deliver,” said Amanda Boreen, an oncology nurse navigator for Cancer Care & Research at Marshfield Clinic Health System. Boreen provides post mastectomy fittings.

Different options

For women who have had a mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction, there are many different options available. That is why it is important to meet with a fitter to talk about options and recommendations.

Mastectomy bras have soft pockets to hold a breast form or shaper securely in place and will also provide support to a natural breast. A breast form or shaper is worn in the bra pocket. The goal is to provide support, comfort and breast symmetry for women.

“We have camisoles and forms for swimming and active women, too. You really can get items to feel comfortable and confident no matter what you like to do,” Boreen said.

Mastectomy bras are typically covered by insurance

Post mastectomy supplies are durable medical equipment (DME) so they are medically necessary and billable to insurance. A prescription and prior authorization are needed as the quantity and duration of supplies an insurance allows varies.

“Our post mastectomy fitting service helps you through the entire process including prescription and prior authorization,” Boreen said.

Post mastectomy supplies need to be in good shape to provide support, comfort, stability and symmetry. When the elastic on a bra wears out, it no longer supports the breast form or breast properly, which can cause discomfort and other concerns.

Women are given proper care and cleaning instructions and shown how to inspect items so they know when to connect with the fitter for replacements.

Mastectomy bras are available online, but Boreen stresses the importance of wearing items that fit properly and having the proper steps for insurance billing.

The fitting

The fitting typically takes an hour in a comfortable private clinic setting.

“I help women using my certification, fitting education as well as knowledge from women’s experiences,” Boreen said. “It is important to have a fitter that understands the breast cancer journey as well as the products available.”

Boreen first meets with the women for an intake assessment to determine what would fit the women’s needs best. She then shows different items and points out features as to why she chose it.

The next step is to take measurements to determine size. Once a bra is fit, Boreen then fits the prosthetic or shaper. Boreen has a robe and also recommends women bring a smooth shirt so they can see their silhouette and how everything fits with a usual outfit.

“During the fitting, we try to get everything just right so they feel comfortable, confident and happy with the choices. It is very rewarding to see and hear their happiness with the final look,” Boreen said.

To learn more about mastectomy bra fitting options in your area, talk to your care team. They usually can recommend a good option in your community or may have the option at their location.

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