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Topic: Prosthetic recommendations for concave and sensitive chest?

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: Feb 6, 2019 07:59PM - edited Feb 6, 2019 08:00PM by buttonsmachine

buttonsmachine wrote:

I everyone, I'm hoping that someone can make some prosthetic suggestions. I have still not been able to find a prosthetic that works well for me, and I am still wearing baggy clothes to mask the asymmetry of my remaining breast and my knitted knocker.

Here's my situation: I had a chest wall resection (sort of like a radical mastectomy) on my right side about a year ago. My mastectomy side is concave, sensitive, hard, uneven, I can see all my ribs, and I have truncal lymphedema. Yep I'm a mess.

I also have a large remaining left breast that I need to match. My silicone prosthetic (which is supposedly lightweight, but still way too heavy) is a size 12 or 13 I think. Also, many so-called leisure forms are just too rigid in shape - I am so concave that the firmer foam won't lie right against my ribs.

So this is what I'm looking for:

  • something malleable that can mold into my concave chest and uneven ribs
  • something that is super lightweight (i.e. weighs about as much as a knitted knocker)
  • something that comes in large cup sizes (as I said, my remaining breast is large)

I would really appreciate any recommendations, brands - anything! I am getting really discouraged and disheartened about this. Thank you!

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/26/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/30/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/9/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 6/30/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/14/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Feb 7, 2019 09:59AM amygil81 wrote:

Buttons, it is nice to finally meet you, though I'm sorry for the circumstances. Our situations are quite similar. I had a UMX for DCIS in 2000. It wasn't too bad, just a flat area where my breast used to be and the line of my scar. I didn't have chemo or rads, because it was only DCIS.

Then my BF found a lump under my scar in 2009. On biopsy, it turned out to be some of my original tumor cells, now turned invasive and growing into my chest wall. They did scans on me to detect distant mets, which they did not find. That made me stage III and not stage IV.

They had to take my pectoral muscles, as the tumor had started to invade them. I call it my upgrade surgery, upgrading me to a full radical mastectomy. I'm concave up to my collarbone and under my arm. I'm down to the bone where my breast used to be. Not many ladies today need or get surgery this extensive. But we do what we must to get cancer-free.

It's sometimes hard for me to find a prosthesis that fits well. The silicone ones are heavy, as you've already found. I mostly wear a knitted knocker these days. I push extra stuffing into the places where I need it. I put a small smooth river stone in it to get the amount of weight I want. That's my everyday foob. It's not perfect, but if anyone has a problem with the way my chest looks, it's theirs, not mine.

I've been thinking about trying a custom prosthesis. American Breast Care makes one, so does Radiant Impressions. I don't know how heavy they are. Bressante has an interesting one, but they seem to be only in Canada. After 9 years with this chest of mine, I've pretty much gotten used to it. My LE, in my arm and hand, bothers me more. Maybe the next time I go to my regular prosthesis fitter, I'll see what she recommends. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. I wish you the best in your search.

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 12/10/2000 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 1/11/2010 CMF Chemotherapy 5/31/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/31/2010 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Feb 7, 2019 01:23PM - edited Feb 7, 2019 07:03PM by exercise_guru

I have very sensitive skin. This is what I ordered 6 Pairs Large Bra Pad Insert for Sport Bra and bikini tops 5.9x6.69 Inch (Beige) they are for larger breasts like a D but they have smaller ones if needed. You could place one in the mastectomy bra on the non mastectomy side and then place as many as needed on the other side along with a nitted nocker or whatever lightweight filling you need.You could also look into microbead inserts as well.

The shape is good and it evens both breasts out. I needed something very lightweight because I have had reconstruction and my implants are misshapen. My skin is very sensitive. I have prosthetics but they weigh down my arm and I have all kinds of neuropathy issues.

In response to a lightweight custom prostetic, I have even thought of looking for a seamstress to sew layers of these together to form a custom prostetic to fit to my chest wall which is not a great shape. I had thought about filling a set with microbeeds and sewing them together.

These inserts are quite inexpensive.I can't have them right next to my skin so it has to go in a mastectomy bra. Because I have something solid behind them ( my implants) they don't indent and are pretty good even if I hug someone. It really just feels like I am wearing a REALLY padded bra. Doe someone with a mastectomy I bet a knitted knocker or some.padding sewn between two of these would yield a nice result. I like that they are stiff enough to hold a breast shape but the foam holds well even if you hug someone etc.

Hope that helps. If you find any great solutions please update.


Age 42 05/15/2015 PALB2 mutation, DBL Breast Cancer Type 1A Grade 3 ER+PR+(right 1.3cm,.5cm) HERr+(left1.6 cm), 06/26/2015 BMX with TE 8/27/15 Chemotherapy TCH 12/30/2015 TAH/BSO/Reconstruction 1/29/16 Arimidex 3/1/16 Femara 5/6/16 Tamoxifen
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Feb 8, 2019 01:39PM Cpeachymom wrote:

Hi Buttons- I bought some soft weighted forms on Etsy from Annie Blue studio. They’re a little bit like knitted knockers but less lumpy. The fabric is smooth. And they were inexpensive. They have micro beads in them to give some weight, but mostly fluff. Maybe check them out and see if they might work for you?

39 at Dx. Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.' Dx 6/21/2017, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/5/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 9/18/2017 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/10/2018 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/24/2019 Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Feb 8, 2019 05:28PM exercise_guru wrote:

I saw this on youtube through TLC direct but I couldn't find it on the website. It looks very promising.


customizable Mastectomy Bra

Age 42 05/15/2015 PALB2 mutation, DBL Breast Cancer Type 1A Grade 3 ER+PR+(right 1.3cm,.5cm) HERr+(left1.6 cm), 06/26/2015 BMX with TE 8/27/15 Chemotherapy TCH 12/30/2015 TAH/BSO/Reconstruction 1/29/16 Arimidex 3/1/16 Femara 5/6/16 Tamoxifen
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Feb 22, 2019 12:40PM buttonsmachine wrote:

I just wanted to thank everyone who replied to my question - I really, really appreciate it. And amygil81, it is nice to "meet" you too! It's true that not many of us have such extensive surgery these days. Your story and strength are very encouraging, and I've really needed some encouragement.

I've been so down in the dumps about this lately. Since finishing active treatment I've been having a hard time adjusting to my post-cancer body. It's not just about the way it looks (although I can't say I love how it looks), but it's also that I have daily discomfort from the whole thing. Not to mention the lymphedema. I am in PT, and I'm doing what is medically possible to improve things. I suppose I should just be glad I'm alive and that things aren't worse. I am glad, but I also feel a lot of grief about everything that's happened. I think it'll take time to come to terms with where my body is now - although sometimes I wonder if I ever will. In any case, I think finding the right prosthetic would help me feel better.

Anyway, I am investigating your suggestions, and I'm more hopeful I can find something that works better for me. Also, your suggestions made me realize that I could even sew something of my own! I'm not much of a seamstress, but I think I could make something work.

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/26/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/30/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/9/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 6/30/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/14/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)

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