Home » What You Need to Know about Breast Replacement Forms

What You Need to Know about Breast Replacement Forms

(Click here for printable version)

About our Custom Bras

Many women call and write to us asking for advice on which breast forms are recommended for their type of surgery. We hope the information here will be helpful.

Right after surgery, a very Lightweight (Featherweight) Form is recommended. Some are filled with fiberfill so that you can adjust the size, if needed, by removing some of the fiberfill until the form fits. These forms are also good to wear while sleeping.

Once your surgical site has healed, if you have had a single surgery (one side), you need to wear a weighted form in order to balance the weight of the remaining breast. Otherwise, your posture may be affected, which often causes back pain. You can wear either a weighted foam form or a silicone form.

After a double surgery, weighted forms are not necessary. You can wear unweighted foam forms, as well as adjustable fiber-filled forms, in any size you choose; it’s up to you. Or, you may opt for silicone forms, even though weight is no longer a consideration.

After partial mastectomy, lumpectomy or reconstruction, one may choose from special hollow-back forms in either foam or silicone. These forms are lighter-weight than regular forms because of the hollow back and are designed to supplement existing breast tissue. They should not be used after mastectomies.

Silicone forms look and feel more natural than non-silicone forms. They are the most popular type of form, but they are more expensive than foam forms. Like natural breast tissue, they mold to the chest wall to provide a secure fit, even if your surgical site is uneven or concave. They are made with or without nipples in both lighter and darker shades, as well as colorless, which blends with any skin color.

Aside from the price, silicone forms have some other disadvantages. They are much heavier than foam forms, especially in the larger sizes. This can put a strain on the shoulders, making the forms uncomfortable to wear. While some weight maybe be necessary after a single surgery to balance your other breast, too much weight can create problems. Also, even when worn in a pocketed bra, silicone forms can cause you to perspire, particularly in warm weather and during exercise.

Although there are some silicone forms that are about 30% lighter than the norm, they tend to feel less soft and natural than regular silicone forms. Silicone forms that stick to the body are also available. They will adhere for about five days. The forms can be worn with regular, unpocketed bras. But be warned, these forms cost a lot and they may irritate your skin. Ask your doctor if she/he recommends self-adhering forms for you, and whether your skin has healed well enough to make wearing them possible.

If you do decide to go with self-adhering forms, you can save money by using our Self-Adhesive Silicone Security Strips with your regular silicone form(s). The strips are reusable up to one hundred times and may be hand washed.

To solve the problems that silicone forms present, we have introduced the Comfort-Lite Form, which is unlike any form previously available. It's a unique three-layered prosthetic that combines silicone gel, polyurethane beads and a hypo-allergenic wick-away fabric backing. This triangular form is our most popular shape. It is ultra lightweight, yet soft and natural-looking. It can be worn in a regular bra and is an excellent choice if the weight and warmth of silicone is a problem for you. If you want a form with the naturalness of silicone that is 50% lighter than other silicone forms, this is the one to choose.

In selecting a form, you will also need to consider shape: Teardrop, Asymmetrical or Triangle. The Triangle, by far our most popular shape, fills in tissue on both sides, as well as on the top. Both the Teardrop and the Asymmetrical shapes extend further on one side, to fill in any tissue lost there. The Asymmetrical shape also extends slightly higher up on the top. The Triangular and Teardrop shapes can be worn on either side; the Asymmetrical must be ordered by left or right side.

Silicone forms are completely waterproof, but should not be used in a hot tub. They should be stored in the cover that comes with them and in the box in which they are sold.

If you decide to buy a Foam Form, you can choose between a contoured back, flat back and a built-up back, depending on how much tissue remains. A contoured back is the best choice if less tissue has been removed; a flat back provides more fill-in when more tissue has been removed; a built-up back is best for very extensive surgeries, where a great deal of chest tissue has been lost. Foam and silicone hollow-back shells and push-ups are also available and can be used after breast conserving surgery (like lumpectomy) to fill in lost tissue.

Our new Micro-Bead Form is an excellent lightweight, longer wearing, alternative to foam. 80% lighter than foam, it's made of thousands of tiny plastic beads that mold to your body for a very natural look and feel. It can even be worn in the water because, unlike foam, the beads will not absorb water. It is covered with a soft, hypo-allergenic, breathable material.This form is highly recommended for leisure wear after single surgeries and anytime after double surgeries (when balancing the weight of a remaining breast is not a consideration).

Another choice: we are now offering 4 of our most popular bras with a unique and affordable customization option. Our new Especially for You Bras with permanently sewn in lightweight breast forms make worrying about a prosthetic a thing of the past.  Just specify the side or sides you'd like us to fill.  We will customize the bra by sewing in a form filled with tiny, soft plastic beads that mold naturally to your body. No more worries about airport security, either. The beads are non-metallic and will not set off airport alarms. Best of all, no more struggling to fit a form in a bra pocket. Just put an Especially for You bra on and wear it!

After surgery, a fitting by a trained fitter is best, if possible. For those for whom this is impractical, many catalogs and online sites offer many choices. Be sure that there is no extra restocking charge for returns or exchanges, and that the time allowed for returns is realistic. Check also to see if silicone forms are covered by a 2- year manufacturer’s warranty for defects.

All TLC products can be returned for 60 days after receipt by the customer. We do not charge a restocking fee. Our silicone forms are covered by a 2-year manufacturer's warranty.

Breast forms are covered by Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurers. You will need a prescription from your doctor to get reimbursed. If you lose or gain a significant amount of weight, you may need a different size breast form. Medicare requires a letter from your doctor confirming your weight gain or loss in order to provide reimbursement for the new size forms.

Medicare reimburses for one silicone form every two years or one foam form every six months after a single surgery. The allowable is doubled for double surgeries.

Click here to view our breast replacement forms to find the one that is right for you.

Para solicitar información en español, llame al 1-800-227-2345. Un especialista en información sobre el cáncer le asistirá en español.

Return anything for any reason within 60 days of receipt of the item(s).

Our Liberal Return Policy:

"I smiled, looking in the mirror for the first time in two years…"

What Customers Say: