comscoreWhat To Expect From a Certified Mastectomy Fitter

What To Expect From a Certified Mastectomy Fitter

A certified mastectomy fitter is a healthcare professional who has completed training in how to fit women for breast forms.
 

If you’re interested in wearing breast forms, you may want to consider working with a certified mastectomy fitter. A certified mastectomy fitter is a healthcare professional who has completed training in how to fit women for breast forms. According to the American Cancer Society, you can be fitted for a breast form once your scars have healed. Some experts estimate that people can be fitted about six to eight weeks after mastectomy. If you’ve had radiation treatments, you may need to wait a little longer, until your skin is no longer red or tender. Your breast cancer treatment team can advise on the best timing for you.

At your first appointment, the fitter generally needs the following:

  • a prescription from your doctor for the breast form and the mastectomy bras

  • your health insurance card (you may want to ask the mastectomy fitter whether billing the health insurance company directly is possible)

  • one or two of your best-fitting bras that you wore before mastectomy surgery

Sometimes mastectomy fitters have different articles of clothing available for you to try on over the breast form. But you can always take some of your own clothing to see how they look.

You can expect your fitter to ask you about your lifestyle and preferences, such as:

  • your typical daily activities, both at home and at work

  • how physically active you are, and what types of exercise you enjoy

  • whether you plan to wear a breast form all the time, most of the time, or just some of the time

  • whether you prefer comfort rather than appearance, look, and feel

  • whether you have concerns about having a realistic-feeling breast

  • whether you want to wear a breast form without a bra sometimes

  • whether you want to be close to the same size you were before, especially if you had a double mastectomy or implant removal

  • whether you have concerns about out-of-pocket costs

You may want to get fitted for both a non-silicone leisure breast form as well as a silicone breast form so you can wear them on different occasions. You can try on different types of breast forms until you find one or more versions that you like best. The fitter can help guide you so you pick something that’s right for you.

The fitter also measures you for a mastectomy bra and can show you all the different available styles and colors. You may also want to ask the fitter to show you pocketed lingerie and bathing suit tops. If you already have a bra or bathing suit top that you’d still like to wear, you may want to ask about having a pocket sewn in to hold the breast form.

If you choose a custom-made breast form, the mastectomy fitter uses a scanner to take 3D measurements of your chest and upper body for the manufacturer. You can also choose the breast form’s skin tone and the color and shape of the nipple and areola. Getting custom-made breast forms typically requires one or two trips to get fitted. Some companies may send you a preliminary breast form to try on so they are sure you are satisfied with the shape, weight, and fit before manufacturing the final product.

You may be able to find a mastectomy fitter at a cancer center that has an in-house boutique. Some specialized lingerie shops and department stores also have certified mastectomy fitters on staff. The American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program may also be a good resource.

Written by: Kristine Conner, contributing writer

Reviewed by 1 medical adviser
 
Farrell Friedenberg
Jay Ann Intimates, Southampton, PA
Learn more about our advisory board

— Last updated on July 29, 2022, 2:50 PM