Choosing a mastectomy breast form (prosthesis) can be a bit of a headache. There’s such a wide and varied choice of shapes, weights and styles available, and everyone is individual with their own needs. That’s why we are here to help and advise you on choosing the most comfortable and suitable breast form for you. There are a few different kinds of breast form on the market, and they all have unique benefits. Let’s take a look at them and which one and why you might choose them.
Unweighted / non-silicone breast form
- Use immediately after surgery
These light breast forms are recommended when you're recovering from surgery as they are extremely light and comfortable and don’t irritate the already sensitive area.
These forms are made of foam or fibrefill. They are often marketed as sleep forms, leisure forms, or post-surgery forms. Although they are natural looking, they do not have the same feel as silicone forms. Being made from such lightweight material means they may not have sufficient weight to hold your bra in place for long periods of time, meaning it may "ride up".
Note: These forms should only be worn for short periods of time. This is because your body needs to be evenly balanced, ie. the weight of your breast form should be similar to the weight of your remaining breast. Leisure forms are so light they do not provide adequate weight balancing across the neck and shoulder, so that your bra will pull on the opposite side more (where the heavier, natural breast is), resulting in the slow progressive development of neck and upper back strain.
Silicone breast form
- Daily wear
- Natural look/feel - good for intimate use
Silicone prosthesis feel natural and comfortable, making them great for daily wear.
The silicone form’s natural feel is down to the soft, gel-like substance from which they are made - they look and feel very similar to a natural breast. They can be found in a variety of styles including whole breast forms, partial shapers and enhancers. 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 - for this reason, the forms should be fitted when you have fully healed, usually around 6 weeks after surgery.
Note: Silicone forms normally lasts around two years. When they lose their shape and firmness, they should be replaced.
You can browse our silicone forms here.
Adhesive breast form
- Use with different necklines
- Secure feeling
- Good for sports and exercise as they move around less
An adhesive form is usually made from the same materials as a silicone form, except these can be adhered to the chest wall due to the non-sticky adhesive surface on the back of the breast form. They offer a lot more freedom of fashion choice as they don’t need to be pocketed and can be worn with different necklines. This helps them feel much more secure. They can also feel more natural as the weight is more evenly distributed and the form follows the body’s movements. They need to be cleaned daily to maintain their adhesiveness.
You can find adhesive forms here.
Swim breast form
These forms are specifically made for swimming and are quite light. They can withstand regular use in different kinds of water (warm, cold, salt, chlorinated) thanks to the more robust material and water-resistant silicone. They may be found with a concave shape or feature grooves which let water drain away, preventing “drag” in the water. Swim forms can also be filled with lightweight monoprene beads and moulded with fast-drying spacer fabric. These beads won’t absorb water, are quick-drying and will conform to your body shape to look more natural. For added convenience they may be left in the pocket of the swimsuit to dry after thoroughly rinsing.
You can shop swim forms here.
It’s important that you consult individually with a trained, certified mastectomy fitter in a specialist shop, clinic or hospital if you want the perfect form and fit. Need help choosing the right form? We’re here for you! Get in touch and we can help identify your unique needs and then choose the right breast form for you.
Check out our in depth guide to choosing a silicone breast form here.
You may also find our guide to partial shapers and breast symmetry helpful - read it here.