Mastectomy Breast Forms and Swim Wear
Swimming any time of the year is a terrific way to get moderate exercise and strengthen your body before, during, and after breast cancer treatment. Ensure you check with your doctor before jumping in.
Several bathing suit brands are designed for women who have had breast cancer surgery (mastectomy or lumpectomy). These suits have higher necklines and armholes to conceal scars. They also have built-in bra pockets for securing breast forms (prostheses).
Some suits have other features, such as figure-smoothing panels and skirts, that are popular with many women whether or not theyve had breast surgery. And, yes, experts agree that dark solid colors are the most flattering.
Many women like the comfort of swim forms, which are lik e conventional breast forms but much lighter. Although weighted forms are good for everyday use to maintain balance and protect against back and neck pain they may be uncomfortable or just downright heavy when swimming. Both swim forms and weighted forms will fit in a mastectomy swimsuit bra pocket.
Swim forms are less dense and float better, but theyre no substitute for a life jacket. Made from clear silicone, theyre designed to allow water to flow naturally across the chest. Some attach into the bathing suit with fabric tabs, to prevent unexpected pop-up moments. Built-in pockets also hold them in successfully.
Chlorinated water, saltwater, heat, and sunlight wont damage silicone breast forms. They should be washed by hand and kept dry between uses.
Try sun protective clothing or another kind of cover-up if that makes you feel more comfortable when youre out of the water.
Ultralight swim forms must be correctly fitted, just like regular breast prostheses. Health insurance often reimburses for swim forms as prosthetic devices. Bring your insurance card and doctors prescription to your fitting.
If youre going through radiation treatment, protect your skin from the drying effects of chlorinated water by using a barrier product like A&D ointment or petroleum jelly. After underarm lymph node dissection, try to avoid poison ivy, bug bites, cuts, or any other outdoor risks for infection or allergic reaction.
If youre currently in breast cancer treatment, avoid hot tubs. There have been many reported cases of hot tub folliculitis a condition caused by invisible bacteria in hot tub water. Bathers emerge with painful and ugly red sores on their skin. Although the condition is not serious, it could be worse for someone whose immune system is weakened.