Go backOften Unaware: Lumpectomy prosthesis
Three experts explain why many women choose lumpectomy breast forms.
Is a breast prosthesis only for women who have had a mastectomy? No.
In fact, women who have uneven breasts after a lumpectomy, also known as breast-conserving surgery (BCS), are entitled to a lumpectomy prosthesis (also known as a breast shaper) to balance different size breasts.
The same sometimes applies to women who have uneven breast due to natural causes and struggle with asymmetry.
Solutions for uneven breast after lumpectomy, radiation & reconstruction
Some women know to seek advice on this but do all women actually know that they are entitled to a breast shaper? What particular breast symmetry challenges do they face?
We asked three experts from three different countries.
Expert 1: "The operated breast is often smaller"
| Angela von Bülow, 64,
Breast Care Team Leader and Lymph Specialist, Sanitätshaus Stolle in Hamburg, Germany
I used to work in anaesthesia as a nurse. About 20 years ago, I retrained to be a [breast] health professional and was very inspired by all of the helpful products — in the clinic I had only come into contact with things like prosthesis very rarely. At that time, mastectomy was absolutely the norm; breast-conserving operations were very rare. One problem that I often encounter in my work with BCS patients is the lack of information: With women who have a small tumour, the difference in size after their lumpectomy is often very small. As such, they are often not informed about the use of breast shapers, because everyone is aware that breasts sometimes naturally differ in size.
Expert 2: "Many women find, after reconstruction, that their breasts are different sizes"
| Sherry Kendrick, 44,
certified mastectomy fitter for A Woman’s Place at Tallahassee Memorial Health Care Hospital in Florida
The majority of my clients who wear breast shapers to balance uneven breasts — that is, about 20% of my clients — have either had breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy with subsequent breast reconstruction. Many of them find, after reconstruction, that their breasts are different sizes and that they need some help with the asymmetry. Breast implants also lack the curvature of a natural breast. Silicone implants are rather flat at the front and as a result, the breast often doesn’t sit correctly in the bra cup.
Expert 3: "In some cases, the size difference is only visible after a year or more"
| Ingrid Sandén, 58,
breast care nurse at Skåne Hospital in Malmö, Sweden