Breast Reconstruction, Lumpectomy , Partial Breast Forms

A: There is some variance among insurance companies regarding coverage of prosthetic devices and mastectomy bras. Medicare, and some other insurance plans, will pay for one breast prosthesis per year. Most insurance companies will cover 2 to 4 mastectomy bras per year, provided that you submit a prescription from your physician.

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There is some variance among insurance companies regarding coverage of prosthetic devices and mastectomy bras. Medicare, and some other insurance plans, will pay for one breast prosthesis per year. Most insurance companies will cover two to four mastectomy bras per year, provided that you submit a prescription from your physician.

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The compassionate and caring staff at the Comprehensive Breast Care Program can help patients make the adjustment to life after a mastectomy. That includes finding a comfortable post-mastectomy prosthesis. They can also write a prescription for a breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras so that the cost will be covered for insurance purposes. Although breast cancer affects each woman individually, no one has to face the disease alone. Several ongoing groups offer an opportunity to talk with other patients who have been treated for breast cancer.

A physician's prescription for your breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras is necessary for insurance purposes.

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One factor is fear. Some women are very afraid of recurrence and choose mastectomy because the chances of recurrence in the same breast are reduced when the breast is removed. Some women are afraid of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy does cause side effects, but they are usually relatively mild, such as fatigue or skin irritation. Only very infrequently does radiation therapy cause long-lasting problems. However, there is the issue of access to radiation. In rural areas, patients sometimes must travel hundreds of miles five days each week for 5-8 weeks to get radiation treatment after lumpectomy.

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Go for a professional fitting, and wear a snug-fitting blouse when you do. Breast prostheses aren't sized like bras, so you can't count on getting a form that fits by referencing your bra size. A professional prosthesis fitter can help you find a model that's the right shape and size, as well as one that is a proper weight and match for your lifestyle.

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External Breast Prostheses Options After Breast Cancer

There are various types of post-mastectomy and lumpectomy prostheses, also called breast forms. Manufacturers make a wide selection of types, shapes, sizes, and colors.

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For some women, a lumpectomy is minimally invasive and only leaves a dimple in the breast. But for others, a lumpectomy may cause a change in size or a distortion of breast shape. You can use a partial prosthesis to compensate for the difference or you may choose to go natural. You might also choose to have your other breast reshaped to restore your symmetry. If you choose to have a mastectomy, you may also consider how to balance your appearance after surgery. Think about what options would appeal to you.

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Older doctors are more likely to recommend mastectomies. For decades, mastectomy was the standard treatment for breast cancer at any stage. Research showing the safety of lumpectomy, dates from the mid 1980’s. A study of 157 hospitals in North Carolina found that patients were more likely to undergo breast-conserving surgery if their surgeons were trained after 1981.[8] One logical explanation is that doctors trained after 1981 were trained to do lumpectomies and are more knowledgeable about the research showing the safety of lumpectomy.