[ADVERTISEMENT] For many women, breast-conserving surgery is already possible. However, the breasts may look uneven. You can choose to surgically reconstruct the breast or to use a special bra with inserts.
Around 70 percent of women suffering from breast cancer undergo breast-conserving surgery. The aim is to conserve as much natural breast tissue as possible. Whether a breast-conserving therapy is possible depends on different factors such as the type and size of the tumor, the exact location of the carcinoma and the question if a subsequent irradiation can be done.
What happens during breast-conserving surgery?
During breast-conserving surgery, the tumor is surgically removed with a certain safety distance of 1-2 millimeters from the healthy tissue. In addition, lymph nodes are removed during the surgery which are immediately examined for metastases. This is to make sure that the surgeons removed all the cancer tissue. This means that today, statistically speaking, breast-conserving therapy is just as safe as a complete breast removal, also called ablation or mastectomy.
Will my breasts still be symmetrical after a breast-conserving surgery?
In order to avoid asymmetries, the surgeons try to move the healthy fatty tissue so that it closes the “gap” that is created. However, whether this process is sufficient depends on the size of the tumor in relation to the volume of the breast. Therefore, it may be possible that breast-conserving surgery creates an asymmetry and that the silhouette isn’t balanced anymore. Women that got one breast removed often don’t feel well due to the change of their appearance which decreases their quality of life.
Which possibilities are there to restore the symmetry of the breast?
There are different methods for the reconstruction of the breast. In general, a distinction is made between building the breast with an implant which is usually made of silicone and the use of endogenous tissue. The choice of the most suitable method depends on the body type, the size of the breast, the scars and personal preferences. It also plays a role whether radiotherapy has been carried out or is planned. A reconstruction of the breast has advantages and disadvantages which are discussed with the treating doctor. In case of doubt, a second opinion should be obtained.
Some women don’t opt for a reconstruction of the breast and decide to balance asymmetries and deficits of the tissue with a breast forms. This restores the symmetrical silhouette – without surgery.
Breast forms for a symmetrical silhouette
A breast form is a bra insert made of silicone which compensates for missing breast tissue and restores the visual balance. Handling is very simple: The breast form is inserted into the bra and directly onto the skin. That way, it fits snugly to the breast and is almost invisible in the cup of the bra.
How do I find the right breast form?
There are breast forms in different shapes, thicknesses, sizes and technologies. Triangular full breast forms with an anatomical design for example cover the whole breast and compensate perfectly for different cup sizes. Partial breast forms in different shapes can be used variably and compensates for missing tissue for example in the lower area of the breast.
The best way to find the right balance is to get counseling from a specialized medical supply retailer. You can talk about personal preferences and needs with the consultant and thus find the perfect breast balance fitted to your body and lifestyle.
Are the costs covered by my health insurance?
The costs for treatment after breast cancer surgery are usually covered by the statutory health insurance in Germany and Austria. Treatment includes the breast form itself as well as consultation and fitting in the medical supply store. The doctor’s prescription has to include the remark “Mamma Ca”. For patients with private health insurance, it is recommended to contact their health insurance beforehand concerning the reimbursement of costs.
As a producer of breast prostheses, first aid products and special underwear for women after breast surgery, Amoena offers innovative solutions that support women to win back their self-confidence after breast cancer. The extensive range of Amoena Balance products offers partial and full prostheses in different shapes, sizes and volumes with the highest wearing comfort – every day and for every occasion.
This article was kindly supported by Amoena.
All pictures: ©Amoena Medizin-Orthopädie-Technik GmbH