Light Weight Breast Forms
Documented cases of breast cancer date back to the early Egyptians. Doctors have been performing mastectomies since the 18th century. But until the 1970s, most prosthetic breasts for post mastectomy women were small sacks filled with rice, beads and other materials and sealed with tapestry glue. Others were made of plastic and filled with liquid.
When silicone gels were first used for breast forms, it seemed like the perfect match. Silicone gels could be easily formulated to imitate the softness and response of natural breast tissue. Also, silicone gel happens to be nearly the same density as the natural breast. That means a breast form of the same size would be nearly the same weight as the remaining breast.
Density is defined as weight per volume. The standard measurement for density is water. Water weighs 1 gram per cubic centimeter (g/cc). Standard silicone weighs approximately .97 g/cc. Because breast tissue and silicone gel have a density less than water, they both float.
In recent years, the desire of women to have lighter prostheses has prompted manufacturers to take steps to lower the density of breast forms. Lighter forms feel more comfortable and place less strain on the bra strap. Manufacturers have been able to achieve lighter forms by adding lightweight fillers to silicone gels in order to lower the density. Other adjustments had to be made to the silicone gel formulations to insure the proper softness and response would be maintained. Unfortunately, one side effect of adding fillers to silicone gel is that the translucent nature of standard silicone is lost, as the fillers tend to make the silicone opaque.
Now, lightweight forms can be manufactured with densities of .70 g/cc while still looking and feeling natural. Additionally, breast forms created with moldable backs have an even lower density of .64 g/cc, as well as the ability to mold to the chest wall for better comfort, more secure support, and even lighter feel.