Guide to Breast Forms
With so many different types of breast forms available with different weights, colours and volumes to choose from and new developments being made, choosing the right kind of prosthetic can be confusing. Don’t worry though, it’s not as difficult as it seems and we’re here to help you make that decision.
First things first, find your bra size. A prosthesis won’t look right if you’re wearing the wrong size bra. If possible, get the two fitted at the same time, however if this is not an option, it’s always best to choose your bra first. If your bra doesn’t fit well, neither will the prosthesis. Can’t access a bra-fitting service? Try our size and fitting guide here.
Types of Breast Form
There are a few different types of breast forms available on the market, each with their own unique benefits. Let’s take a look at them and why you might want to choose each different one.
Silicone forms are made using a soft, gel-like substance within a polyurethane skin. They look and feel very much like a natural breast and are available in a variety of styles including whole breast forms, partial shells and enhancers. You should get your prosthesis fitted when you have healed and the swelling has gone down, usually around 6 weeks after surgery.
This type of breast form normally lasts around two years and should be replaced when they lose their shape and firmness, or if your weight and shape changes. The shape of your prosthesis is dependent on your body shape after surgery and the shape of your remaining breast if you have had a unilateral mastectomy.
- Natural look and feel
These are made of foam or fiberfill and are designed to be worn straight after a mastectomy. They are often also marketed as sleep forms, leisure forms, or post-surgery forms because they can be used during workouts or in hot weather, as they are light and comfortable. While they can look natural, they don’t have the same feel as silicone forms. They may not also have sufficient weight to hold your bra in place over a longer period. Remember too, that they should only be worn for shorter periods of time as your body needs to be evenly balanced to prevent back and neck aches, a dropped shoulder and other subsequent discomfort.
- Helps regulate body temp
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Ideal for sleep, leisure and menopausal symptoms
Attachable breast forms
These can be adhered to the chest wall due to the adhesive surface on the back of the breast form. They can offer more freedom of fashion choice as they don’t need to be pocketed and can be worn with different necklines as well as giving the feeling of security. They can also feel a little more natural as they follow the body’s movements more naturally and weight is more evenly distributed.
- Adheres directly to the body
- Relieves shoulder pressure
- For use with different necklines
These breast forms are made of a slightly more resilient and water resistant silicone. This means they can withstand regular use in chlorine and saltwater. They are often a concave shape or feature grooves at the back which let the water drain away. This helps prevent ‘drag’ in the water.
These breast forms are made from a thin layer of vented foam and are filled with lightweight monoprene beads and moulded with fast-drying spacer fabric. The beads do not absorb water, dry quickly and will conform to your body shape when reclining to give a natural shape.
- Ideal for keen swimmers
We hope this helps! The key things to think about are whether your current bras fit correctly (and if they don’t, get resized!) and to think about your personal preferences and needs before you buy.
We’re always on hand to offer our suggestions and advice on buying the right kind of bra or breast form, so please get in touch if you need any further information.