Watsonville Pharmacy

Breast Prosthesis and Mastectomy Bras

General information on breast Prosthesis and Mastectomy bras

What is a breast prosthesis?

A breast prosthesis or breast form is an artificial breast that is used after a surgery in which the breast has been altered or removed. A breast form can be worn to simulate the natural breast and body shape. These forms come in a variety of materials (usually silicone, foam or fiberfill) and they can be worn inside a bra or attached to the body with a special adhesive.

Why would I need a breast prosthesis?

A silicone breast prosthesis is weighted and simulates the natural breast. One of its advantages is that it helps your body to be symmetrical again and remain in balance. When the body is out of balance following a surgery of this kind, other muscle-skeletal problems can develop. Back, neck and shoulder problems are common as well as a tendency for one shoulder to drop downward and inward while the other rises up. Women also often report that the bra rides up or moves around if there is no weighted breast form on one side of the bra.

What is a mastectomy bra?

Special bras are made that have pockets to hold the prosthesis. There are many attractive bras that come in varying colors (e.g., white, ivory, black, & nude/beige) that can be fitted at the time of the prosthesis. New products are always becoming available (in different shapes, weights, etc.) so it is a good idea to visit our store to see if there have been any advances since your last fitting.

How soon after surgery can a breast form be worn?

It is a good idea to consult your physician. It varies for each woman depending on her surgery and healing. Most women will be able to wear a prosthesis (breast form) within 2-8 weeks after her surgery. Camisoles that have soft attachable prostheses can be worn immediately after surgery until the surgical site is healed.

How do you obtain these products?

Watsonville Pharmacy is a special store that fits breast prostheses and bras and provides other services. Unlike some lingerie or department stores, we cater to the needs of individuals with breast cancer. There are many different brands of prostheses. The most important concern is finding one that is comfortable and fits your body. Our expert certified breast prosthesis fitters will fit the bra and prosthesis. You may schedule an appointment for your fitting. The first fitting usually takes about an hour.

How are these products paid for?

You may purchase the prostheses yourself; however, it is a good idea to check your medical insurance before doing this to find out if it’s a covered benefit. Many insurance companies will pay for all or part of a new prosthesis every 2 years and 2-4 bras every 6 months to a year. Please confirm with your medical insurance.

We are preferred providers for Medicare, Central California Alliance for Health (CCAH), Anthem Blue Cross PPO (Not HMO) and Coastal TPA. Please call (831 728-1818) to find out more about your own insurance and how we can assist you.

In order for a breast form and/or mastectomy bras to be covered by your insurance, a written prescription is required. A typical prescription for a breast prosthesis and bra would say the following

"Breast prosthesis for (right, left or bilateral) and (quantity) prosthetic bras for (diagnosis)."

Please note that if there has been a recent change in your body that requires a new prosthesis such as weight gain for weight loss, your doctor should include this information on the prescription. Any information that supports the medical necessity of the prosthesis at this point in time will help your insurance plan to understand what you need and why. This will facilitate more rapid authorization and or payment processing by your insurance plan.