Speaker offers solutions for fitting challenging post-mastectomy patients

BOSTON – Fitting patients with off-the-shelf breast prostheses can be difficult, especially if the patient has had a radical mastectomy, lumpectomy or has holes in her chest wall, according to a presenter at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly here.

“Issues can be caused by the patient’s actual bra or cup size ago, remaining natural breast, type of reconstruction or mobility,” Judi Simon, CMF, president of Nearly Me Technologies, LLC in Waco, Texas, said. “The fitter has to recognize what that issue is and what is causing the problem. And after determining the problem, you have to figure out how you are going to solve it.”

Judi Simon 

Judi Simon

Simon offered several solutions for these common issues, such as modified and partial forms for a woman who had a lumpectomy or partial surgery. If a woman needs to fill in her chest wall but does not want to go up in form size, a foam pad can be adhered to the breast form to provide depth and will lay flat on the chest wall. Camisole bras, a bra with an extra layer of material connecting the two cups, will also help hide any holes or gaps left by radiation that may sit above the area typically covered by a bra.

“I can’t stress enough that a fitter needs to know as much as possible about breast forms and mastectomy bras,” Simon said. “If you don’t know how the bra or form fits, [then] you will be wasting her time and your time.”

For more information:

Simon J. Fitting the challenging patient. Presented at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly 2012. Sept. 6-9, Boston.

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