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Topic: Swim suits for women who go flat?

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: May 27, 2015 11:28AM

Mommy2Six wrote:

Because I'm at a loss, and I have a pool party this weekend!

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May 27, 2015 11:49AM Morwenna wrote:

There are various online options, eg https://www.southbeachswimsuits.com/swimsuits-mast...!

But most assume that you want pocketted garments to accommodate prosthetics. If you don't want to bother with that I suggest a patterned swimsuit, or tankini that would not emphasize the fact that you are flat. I picked up a lovely colourful tankini top from Sportschek, and wear it with a black speedo bikini bottom. http://www.sportchek.ca/product/index.jsp?productI... It is quite high cut at the sides, so pretty much covers my scars ...

Good luck with your search :)

Dx 11/8/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/23/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Surgery 12/12/2012 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/9/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 7/22/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/6/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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May 27, 2015 11:58AM Mommy2Six wrote:

Thanks for the reply, Morwenna!!!! So does the tankini you purchased lie flat against your chest? I've tried on a few tankinis but all were gaping open at the top and wrinkly and empty-looking. :(

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May 27, 2015 12:08PM Flounder wrote:

I have the Lands End tugless tank (the lined model) and it fits and looks good.

Dx 3/16/2015, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Surgery 5/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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May 27, 2015 12:38PM Morwenna wrote:

Ah, I can't answer that Mommy, as I have just had a reconstruction!! ... but the Speedo variety often do not have shaped areas for the bust, they just squash everything flat anyway!

Dx 11/8/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/23/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Surgery 12/12/2012 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/9/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 7/22/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/6/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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May 27, 2015 12:40PM fujiimama wrote:


I found that using a spandex tank from the work out section worked well. Sometimes I even went to the men's section.

:-) fujiimama ....a bit of a conundrum...pet/ct/tumor markers clean....but one heck of a bone met...T11 obliterated Dx 4/20/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 2/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 4/20/2011, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 2/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 5/12/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/12/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/22/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/26/2011 3DCRT: Breast Dx 6/4/2012, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Radiation Therapy 7/18/2012 3DCRT: Bone Targeted Therapy 9/12/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/12/2012 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 4/24/2014 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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May 27, 2015 01:20PM katsie wrote:

I'm so frustrated with the swimsuits available for us who have had a mastectomy, without reconstruction! I've purchased two, last year. Both are high neck, which works well for me, because my scar is high, in my opinion, and bumpy. Anyway, I wore them both, with lightweight as well as weighted inserts. When I get out of the water, the suits sag so badly, that my prosthetics almost sit on my waist! I've been looking for a new suit, but the tanks are too low, and not one has adjustable straps, which I think we need. I haven't had the courage to go flat, and even if I decided to do so, the scar is high, across my chest, and bumpy and hollow in places, and when I bend down (to pick up my granddaughters at the pool), the suits always pull away from my chest, exposing the ugly scar.

I've been to every site possible, on the net. I've tried on so many bathing suits, that I have about given up on finding one that will work well for me. I wish manufacturers would cut them high, and put real support for the prosthetics in the cup area, as well as make the straps sturdy and adjustable! I have one suit, that I bought 15 years ago, before my surgery, but it's the only well-made, supportive suit that I have, and they're not making it any longer. I have been able to use a sports bra, that I modified to accommodate my inserts, underneath this suit. The problem is that none of the suits currently available are cut high enough! I've just about worn it out with swimming at the pool, and the lake.

If anybody can offer a link to a nice supportive high-cut suit, please give me a link! I wear a size 16 misses, and most sites that I've checked here, consider a 14 an XL. :(.

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May 27, 2015 01:46PM Mommy2Six wrote:

@Katsie, I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time of it. That sounds so emotionally exhausting. HUGS. <3

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May 28, 2015 08:37AM Metta wrote:

I haven't tried my two Lands End mastectomy tankinis, but I stuffed two bath poufs in them, and they look good. I don't think they would sag, since they are so lightweight, but we will see ... I also bought a really cool "tunic rash guard" from Lands End that I've worn as a shirt. (I guess I am old enough to think Lands End is cool.) I am thinking of wearing a bikini top underneath the swim shirt and attaching bath poufs or swim forms to the bikini top somehow. I'm starting radiation today, so I'll have to wear rash guards this summer.

The ruffle top swimsuit is in. I think this would work well for us! They have a ruffle that extends and flops over the top part of the tankini, providing a little extra pouf. Here's an example: http://www.amazon.com/Cole-California-Womens-Super-Tankini/dp/B00OBB7NAO

I'm slightly thrilled to still have my underarm fat (that little bulge near where my boob used to be). Who knew I'd ever say that? If nothing else, b.c. certainly teaches you to be grateful for the little things.

Dx 10/7/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 11/12/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 1/8/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/8/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/8/2015 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 4/17/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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May 28, 2015 09:45AM Lojo wrote:


I have a Lands End tankini top (not a mastectomy suit --bought pre-surgery) that has pockets, is relatively high necked. I keep the padded triangles that came with the suit (which I sometimes used pre surgery) and add padded triangles that come from my coobie bras, which I wear without any official prosthesis. The double padding gives the illusion of something there, though relatively flat, doesn't hold water, etc. I'm smaller than you (size 6, and was a small B before), but you could try it. I also have a regular Speedo tank  that smushed everything before. I sometimes wear the coobie bra under it, though it does show in back.

dx at 41, ILC, stage 2a, 4cm, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, grade 1, BMX 11/2013, tamoxif 1/2014
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May 28, 2015 09:50AM amygil81 wrote:

I just got the Beach Living Blouson Tankini Swimsuit top from Land's End, and it's working well for me. It holds my D-cup foob in the pocket just fine. I pair it with the 5" swim shorts, which cover the scars from my leg surgery as well. Hope that helps. Amy

Osteosarcoma in left leg at age 13. DCIS in left breast at 33. IDC recurrence in left chest wall at 42. Dx 12/2000, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2000 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/2009, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, 3/10 nodes Surgery 12/17/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 1/10/2010 CMF Chemotherapy 5/30/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/30/2010 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 28, 2015 11:17AM Mommy2Six wrote:

Thanks for all the responses. :) I personally am looking for something that will allow me to go entirely flat with nothing between me and my chest, but y'all have given some awesome advice. <3

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May 28, 2015 03:14PM NineTwelve wrote:

Have you done an online search for "modesty" suits? I've been looking for something with a higher neck, too, and I've seen some cute ones. I like the ones that look like I might be planning to go surfing - they're a sort of lycra T shirt and shorts style.

Right thoughts, right words, right action! - Franz Ferdinand Dx 9/12/2014, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2014 Dx 7/2016, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2016 Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy 8/16/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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May 28, 2015 08:20PM glennie19 wrote:


I wear my Land's End MX tank w/o a foob and I'm a uniboober,,, there is so much padding for the shelf bra that you really can't tell I'm half flat. Not that my remaining breast is very large, but still,,,,  I find it really comfortable and it is one of the few tanks that you can buy "long waisted" which is what I need.

Fibromyalgia and Truncal Lymphedema,,, some of the fun things I live with. Total hysterecomy 9/29/14 Prophy MX Righty 11/30/17 Dx 6/27/2013, Paget's, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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May 28, 2015 08:33PM Zillsnot4me wrote:

I have two of the rash guard tees from lands end. I wear them flat. I have two small children and LE. They work great. No worries about getting exposed or burnt.

Try JC Penney for larger size suits. I found several there for a friend that were modest.

3 cm liver 10/2019, Liver spots 1/ 2016, Xgeva 9/2015, Bones 4/2015, Lungs 4/2013 Dx 4/2013, 4cm, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/28/2013 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 5/22/2013 AC Hormonal Therapy 10/2/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 11/5/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 9/25/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/6/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/7/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 2/3/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/23/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 11/15/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 10/2019, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Liver
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May 29, 2015 08:45AM floaton wrote:

I'll second the lands end spf swim shirts - I wear these with a compression tank underneath for my truncal LE and they're great. The patterns make it so I can go half flat without it being too noticeable. My even more sensitive after chemo sensitive skin likes the sun protection. And I like not having to put on so much sunblock

One day you're waiting for the sky to fall; the next you're dazzled by the beauty of it all - Bruce Cockburn Dx 9/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/14/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/14/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 29, 2015 02:36PM aunt_paula wrote:

Mommy2Six, I'm in the same boat (ha ha). I had BMX last year and didn't reconstruct, and want a suit that I can wear flat. I have a couple of old Lands' End suits I may try cutting the bras out of and see if I can make them work. If not, I'm considering trying the blouson tankini top from Lands' End, or the swim shirts (I also have lymphedema, and think they might be a good choice for that reason too). I hope you find something that works!

Surgery 1/29/2014 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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May 29, 2015 04:22PM - edited May 29, 2015 04:39PM by Erica

A few years ago, I wrote a BreastFree Blog entry about my quest to find a swimsuit I felt good about after my bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction. The post is called Swimsuit Edition: BreastFree Style. I include lots of links to places that sell swimsuits, so you can check out some different ideas and styles. I'm not sure all of the smaller companies are still actively in business, but the websites are still there.

I particularly recommend checking out Hapari, which makes some suits they label as Mastectomy Friendly.

My experience with searching for swimsuits that work was heartening. Though I started out very discouraged, I wound up finding suits that are comfortable and look good. I wear them with unweighted foam forms -- heavier forms would definitely drag them down.



BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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May 29, 2015 06:45PM Wendella wrote:

I chose one athletic bra type suit and another has ruffles at the top that hoes over the chest yo give the illusion of breasts.

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May 29, 2015 08:35PM Mommy2Six wrote:

Y'all rock!
Thanks so much for the fabulous suggestions! I ended up ordering a rash guard and board shorts online, and since they won't be here by tomorrow, I took the advice to check the work out section of department stores. I was able to get something that looks enough like swim wear that I won't be self conscious, but that doesn't have cups at all so I can go completely flat. (Since I have gone flat since my BMX 5 1/2 mos ago, I'd feel awkward showing up to a pool party wearing foobs. (Totally just my preference...no judgment at all toward women who rock the foobs full-time OR part-time!!!!)Aunt_Palua, I also have LE. High five! :/ lol

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May 29, 2015 11:24PM coraleliz wrote:

This is a 2 piece bikini style I wear. It lays totally flat. I use it to swim laps as well as beach/lake activities. Sometimes I wear a rash guard over it, but that is more to protect from the sun.

http://www.metroswimshop.com/product.DFN_6504L-254...


Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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May 30, 2015 07:41AM cp418 wrote:

Athleta brand also has some nice rashguards - as seen on EBAY. Some of their one piece suits have high neck too.

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May 31, 2015 07:53PM Moderators wrote:

Some really good ideas here! Keep sharing!

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jun 22, 2015 04:51PM Slappy-Squirrel wrote:

All the swimsuits have pockets for forms. I didn't get reconstruction and I just want a flat top swimsuit. Any ideas? Thanks!,


Oncotype score of 18 - not doing chemo. Full hysterectomy 8/4/2014 starting anastrozole 9/3/2014 Dx 4/7/2014, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 22, 2015 05:19PM SpecialK wrote:

This suit from Athleta has no shelf bra from what I can tell. 

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=97463&vid=1&pid=439071002

You may have some luck with companies like this one that sell competition type suits:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/womens-competition-swimwear-c9327/

I am currently half flat with a 650cc implant on one side and found a one shouldered suit - genius.  At Marshalls for $13.99.


BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3
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Jun 22, 2015 05:23PM - edited Jun 22, 2015 05:29PM by floaton

http://m.athleta.gap.com/product.html?dn=ap5490480...


Not sure if it's your style, but I think it's cute, and one of the reviews actually comments how there's no built in bra, so it should be comfy


SpecialK, great find! And I second the athletic swimwear. I've definately owned speedos with no shelf or paddingin the past.

One day you're waiting for the sky to fall; the next you're dazzled by the beauty of it all - Bruce Cockburn Dx 9/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/14/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/14/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 23, 2015 01:50PM Mommy2Six wrote:

adorable!!!!

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Jun 24, 2015 03:31AM ksusan wrote:

Might not be your style, but that's a men's Speedo swim top and a pair of women's swim bottoms, both with 50+ sun protection.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 24, 2015 11:28PM AKJ wrote:

I got a Nike water polo suit. I'm half flat and wear it for lap swimming. I love it!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/nike-swim-jagged-geo-water-polo-tank-31545/?color=26352

Dx 12/2/2013, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/21/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 2/27/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/18/2014 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 7/5/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 29, 2015 05:40AM DRo84 wrote:

Tons of suits here: http://www.curediva.com/surgery/post-op-swimwear.html

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Jun 29, 2015 03:23PM - edited Oct 14, 2015 08:07AM by Moderators

Great link DRo84!



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