Choosing a breast prosthesis that’s right for you can be a difficult task. For years women were advised that they should opt for a prosthesis that matched the weight of their natural breast to provide better balance. However research in recent years has found that a lightweight prosthesis is a better option. Below we examine four benefits of a lighter breast form that women should consider when choosing a prosthesis.
As recently as a decade ago, women were advised to wear a “weighted” prosthesis that would simulate the weight of their missing breast. Doing this they were told would restore balance and prevent them from developing problems with balance, with their spine or with “shoulder drop”. Unfortunately these claims that a weighted prosthesis was necessary to prevent knock-on issues have proved untrue and not evidence-based.
In particular a condition termed “shoulder drop” is one that was cause for most concern. It referred to a problem that could occur when a shoulder is lower than the other, brought on by using a lightweight prosthesis. However, research conducted by Irene R. Healey among others found that there exists no published research stating that shoulder drop may occur if a woman doesn’t wear a weighted prosthesis. These claims along with others pushing the wearing of weighted prostheses on medical grounds have all proven untrue.
So why choose a lightweight prosthesis?
Given that the wearing of a lightweight prosthesis does not produce any of the negative results mentioned above, what are the benefits of wearing one over a weighted prosthesis?
Breast prosthesis technology has evolved greatly in the last 50 years since the first commercially available breast form was created by Trulife. It’s hard to imagine women wearing a vinyl shell with glycerin inside nowadays but at the time women appreciated that they didn’t have to roll up a sock in their bra cup, or fill a sock with seeds or grains in an effort to restore a more normal appearance after a mastectomy. But weight and heat have always been factors of discomfort. Many advances have been made since then, to the relief of millions of women around the world. That brings us back to the original question, why choose a lightweight prosthesis? We outline four excellent reasons below.
Breast prostheses are usually worn for many hours in any given day; the wearer’s comfort is of utmost importance. Heavier products become uncomfortable because the bra cup and strap are supporting the weight of the prosthesis. Shoulder indentation and pain can occur. This can be alleviated by making a lighter choice – The Sublime Arís breast form by Trulife is the lightest, most comfortable breast form available on the market.
A person wouldn’t wear a heavy winter jacket during the hot summer days, would they? The same can be said when it comes to a prosthesis. Temperature and moisture on the chest wall increase significantly in hot and humid weather, to the point it becomes intolerable to wear the prosthesis. New technologies with cooling gel and breathable 100% silicone breast forms offer the relief women have been looking for – The BodiCool Triangle breast form by Trulife uses an advanced gel cushion design with TruCool technology to draw excess heat away from the body.
Approximately 35% of women will suffer from lymphedema after breast cancer surgery, due to lymph node removal or destruction by radiation. The National Lymphedema Association strongly recommends that large-breasted women wear a lightweight form “because heavy prostheses may put too much pressure on the lymph nodes above the collar bone” – Trulife breast forms offer the same lightweight properties no matter the cup size.
This bone density disease affect women as they get older, typically over 60 years of age. Bones become porous and fragile, with a risk of fracture. Heavy weighted prosthesis can exacerbate and perhaps accelerate the problem. Therefore the choice of a lightweight prosthesis should be helpful – Trulife breast forms are available in a variety of options, our Silk Curve prosthesis is designed with a natural drape to match the mature breast.
While choosing a lightweight prosthesis may not work for all women, especially those with larger breasts who find a weightier breast form to be more suitable, lightweight prostheses have been proven to be successful in dealing with the four factors of Comfort, Heat, Lymphedema and Osteoporosis.
Ultimately the reasons for choosing a breast prosthesis that is right for an individual comes down to personal choice. Finding the right prosthesis not only improves a woman’s physical wellbeing but also their mental wellbeing, making ‘you feel like you again!’