When most people hear the term “prosthetics”, they think of artificial limbs to replace ones that have been lost, but the term actually applies to a greater variety of devices. For example, many people who undergo mastectomies due to breast cancer choose to wear prosthetic breasts following the procedure.
In our experience at Tierney Orthotics and Prosthetics, some people can be dismissive about this use of prosthetics, believing them to be purely cosmetic and therefore less important than other types of prosthetics. In this article, we will go over some of the benefits of prosthetic breasts to shed some light on this topic.
- Balance – In many cases, mastectomy patients only have one breast, or part of a breast, removed, which results in the body becoming asymmetrical. When your body becomes imbalanced in this way, the difference in weight can cause pain in the back, shoulders, and neck. Wearing a prosthetic breast will help even the body out and prevent these aches and pains.
- Protection – Wearing prosthetic breasts can also aid in recovery, as the prosthetics will protect your scars and chest wall. After surgery, any friction against the scar tissue can be painful, which makes it difficult to wear clothes comfortably and makes everyday activities more difficult (or at least less enjoyable). By wearing prosthetics, you can protect the healing skin on your chest and improve your comfort.
- Self-Image – In our introduction, we noted that some people believe prosthetics are less important or necessary because they assume they are purely cosmetic in nature. As we’ve covered above, this claim is not true, but even if it was, so what? Losing breast tissue can seriously affect your self-image, which can in turn impact your mental health, and wearing prosthetics is an effective way to feel more at home in your body even after this big change.