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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: What Type of Bra Do I Need For a Unilateral Mastectomy

Topic: What Type of Bra Do I Need For a Unilateral Mastectomy

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 01:57AM

TripleNTifferella wrote:

I had a UMX and am not having resonctruction this past Thursday. I need to find a bra that I can wear and have NO clue where to start. I apologize if there is a thread for this already. But, I could not find one for UMX only BMX. Thanks so much for any assistance :)

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Jul 24, 2013 07:50AM Ariom wrote:

Hi there!

I am a Uni too!

Welcome to this site. It is a great place for support and information.

I also decided against reconstruction and have done lots of research and bought lots of different bras and camis etc.

The bras are all made for BMX, although I have seen some advertised for a UMX with a permanent soft prosthesis built into them, they are not common.

The BMX bras have two pockets sewn inside to take a prosthesis, so you purchase the bra in your regular size and then get the prosthesis to fit. Using just one side for a UMX.

It is too early for you to be wearing a prosthesis, that fitting is usually done at about 6 weeks. If you feel you need something now, could I suggest an Ahh Bra, or Wonder Bra from a department store with a soft puffy inside? Do you have a camisole with a puffy inside it?

I also wore soft camisoles with a little dacron padding in the early days.  

Let me know if you need any more information. I hope this may help you. It's hard to navigate your way through all this. We are here to help, just ask. ((((Hugs))))

Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodesSurgery 12/19/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)
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Jul 24, 2013 07:59AM BayouBabe wrote:

I see you are in the USA. To get you through in the meantime, places like Joanne Fabrics or other sewing stores have really inexpensive forms that you could get now. Most allow you to add or remove stuffing to get the right size and you just slip them in any bra.

Insurance will usually cover a portion or all of your bras and prosthesis. You will need a prescription from your doctor. Here in MI we have a few boutiques, often in cancer centers or major cities that specialize in breast cancer items. TLC online is another source. Lands End carries nice swim suits.

BRCA1+, multifocal, LVI

Dx 10/10/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/13/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 01/11/2013 FemaraRadiation Therapy 02/06/2013 ExternalSurgery 08/02/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 10/23/2013 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 12/13/2013 TamoxifenSurgery 04/22/2014 Reconstruction (Both)
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Jul 24, 2013 11:31AM TripleNTifferella wrote:

Thank you both so much for the information! I greatly appreciate it! I feel lost in a sea of information but yet could not find the info that I needed ha :)

I am only wearing a BMX bra right now, a friend gave me, without the forms inside. Just to keep things from rubbing or irritating my staples/stitches. I go Friday to have staples/stitches removed. I anticipate the drains coming out then too as I am hardly having any fluid there now.

Will definitely check out the bra fitting in 6 weeks as you suggested Ariom. And, BayouBabe, we have a Joanne Fabrics here. Thanks for that suggestion and the insurance info. I was able to get procedure codes so I can call my insurance company today and find out how much they will pay so I won't be too suprised when I finally do go to purchase one.

Again, thank you ladies so much and have a blessed day!
Tiffany

I have cancer. Cancer doesn’t have me! Psalm 94:18-19

Dx 3/20/2013, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-Chemotherapy 04/17/2013 TaxolSurgery 07/18/2013 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 07/24/2013 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, fluorouracil
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Jul 25, 2013 02:32PM ShawnaBCfreeJuly2013 wrote:

I'm glad you got your answer. My insurance is paying for two tank tops- I chose one in black and one in white. They have the pockets that open from the outside and come with forms and stuffing. I also have good friends who have knitted me boobs (very lightweight) for fill and the knitting pattern is available free online.
To go out in public, I wear the tank top with the prosthesis, another very stretchy tank top or short sleeve shirt over the top of it that I can get on and off, and a long sleeve button up the front structured shirt that I leave open. Seriously, no one can tell that I only have one boob!
Just so you know, the two tank tops were paid for by insurance and insurance is aware that I have Appointments with cosmetic surgeons as I do intend to do a reconstruction on my right side. My bra size was a 34 double D, this means that I am very uneven looking so I'm going to seek reconstruction.
Best of luck with everything, this is really really scary for all of us. Feel free to ask any questions that you may have of me.
Shawna

Surgery 06/04/2013 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 06/12/2013 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 06/24/2013 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 07/01/2013 Mastectomy (Right)
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Aug 12, 2013 11:08AM celtictrek wrote:

Thanks for posting this question and for all the answers.  I'm having a UMX on August 20 and have been wondering the same thing.  I'm quite large, so there is no way my lop-sidedness won't be noticable. All my tops are either t-shirts or tunics, so having one flat side will definitely be noticabe!  Believe it or not, I don't own one button shirt!  LOL!  I like the idea of findng a temporary insert at Joann's.  Also, I totally forgot about the knitted boob!  I remember seeing those on Ravelry. 

As with everything else, I'll deal with it as it comes  My husband passed away May 24 of this year.  I was diagnosed with my 3rd breast cancer 2 weeks later.  So I'm trying very hard to learn perspective!

Dx 3/1990, Stage I, 0/7 nodes, ER+Dx 12/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+Dx 6/7/2013, DCIS, ER+/PR-
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Aug 12, 2013 12:32PM Ukkate wrote:

I bought the cheapest foam insert online and used that. At the beginning, I wore a lot of scarfs around my neck. Now my tissue expander is almost the same size as my remaining breast but you can see the difference if you really stare

Dx 3/7/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 04/10/2013 Mastectomy (Left)Chemotherapy 05/13/2013 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 05/13/2013 Herceptin
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Aug 12, 2013 12:50PM BayouBabe wrote:

Celtictrek - what a year you have had! My heart and hugs go out to you!

I also found that patterned shirts (no stripes) helped greatly in hiding my lopsidedness. I figured if one's eyes had to continually move around on a pattern they couldn't focus on the unevenness. At least that's what I told myself!

BRCA1+, multifocal, LVI

Dx 10/10/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/13/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 01/11/2013 FemaraRadiation Therapy 02/06/2013 ExternalSurgery 08/02/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 10/23/2013 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 12/13/2013 TamoxifenSurgery 04/22/2014 Reconstruction (Both)
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Aug 16, 2013 11:54AM celtictrek wrote:

Thanks, BayouBabe.

My current challenge is finding a blouse that buttons.  Everyone is suggesting that for after the surgery so I don't have to raise my arm to get a t-shirt on.  I don't own one, and apparently they aren't in style, because I haven't been able to find one in my size anywhere!  LOL!  Oh well, my daughter knows how to help someone with the use of only one arm put on a pull-over shirt, so she can dress me for a while.  AFter all, I dressed her for years!  LOL!

Dx 3/1990, Stage I, 0/7 nodes, ER+Dx 12/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+Dx 6/7/2013, DCIS, ER+/PR-
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Aug 16, 2013 07:09PM, edited Aug 16, 2013 07:23PM by Ariom

Hi cetictrek,

Big hugs to you, I am so sorry to hear of your loss, and your dx.

I am a "Uniboober!" about 8 months now. I still have a C/D "rogue puppy" on the other side, but I have put together a great array of Foobs and Prosthesis. There are so many different types available. When I first had my surgery I had a softee that came with a knit bra. I just pinned it inside a cami top. I was at the fitter a week after surgery for my fitting for the prosthesis! When they discovered I was only one week out from surgery they shooed me away, and wouldn't fit me till I was 6 weeks post op.

If you have a Target nearby, just a man style shirt, cotton with some elastane is all you need. They work with capris or jeans, or a skirt. They make them in every size. A few different scarves take the eye away from the chest. I bought one black and one white, and wore them with tank tops or camis underneath, and a scarf.

If it is cool at night, or you're going out, a pashmina draped around the shoulders in a contrast color or pattern can dress this plain shirt up. I also wore jewellry high on my chest with a couple of buttons undone. The sleeves rolled up and bangles also take the eye away from the centre of the body.

I hope this has been of some help....Take care!

Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodesSurgery 12/19/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)
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Aug 22, 2013 11:19AM celtictrek wrote:

Thanks so much Ariom!  What helpful informtion!

The Friday before my surgery (which was on Tuesday!) I got one of those "oh, by the way..." phone calls and was told they had called in a prescription for a post-operative garment to one of the local fitters.  It's just the thing, especially till I get my drain out.  It's a zip-up camisole with pockets for the drain and inserts for later.  My only problem with it is that I get tape burns and it rubs on them in places!  Feels like a bee sting! I've also found that I have more mobility in my arm than I thought I would, so I can get a lot of my regular tops on.  I won't be going out for a few days, so I'm not too worried about how it looks for now!

Dx 3/1990, Stage I, 0/7 nodes, ER+Dx 12/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+Dx 6/7/2013, DCIS, ER+/PR-