Breast forms after mastectomy

After mastectomy restoration of body symmetry, a very important aspect of coping with daily life, may be achieved either using breast forms that are suspended in a brassiere or by a new system in which breast forms are attached by adhesive strips to the thorax walls. The system promises free and easy movement, favourable effects on lymphoedema, and improvements with respect to dressing. Brassieres are not necessarily needed.

The influence of improved prosthetics on patients’ self concept and well-being was investigated. A group of 67 patients after unilateral mastectomy tested custom breast forms and self-adhesive breast forms. Using the Frankfurter Selbstkonzeptionsskalen (Frankfurt Self-Concept Scales), plus additional questions concerning problems after mastectomy, self-concept was assessed before study and after 3 months. Analysis of variance with repeated measures revealed significant differences with respect to the scale Social Contact and Relations (FSKU).

Most patients were better satisfied with epicutaneous self-adhesive breast forms. The weight and type of movement of the self-adhesive breast forms were considered natural, and adhesive strips were well tolerated. A total of 78% were able to wear more fashionable clothing.

Breast reconstruction became less important for 62%. The new concept of self-adhesive breast forms is an improvement with respect to social and pyschological rehabilitation.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

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