Has anyone been offered a routine appointment to fit a prosthesis after WLE. I last saw the surgeon and BCN for results at 2 weeks post op when I still had a seroma.
By 6 weeks post surgery I realized the true discrepancy in size and requested an appointment for a prosthesis. The BCN was not available but arranged for the outpatients sister to supply me with one. (a cursory appt and no proper explanation how to place it in the bra for maximum effect and a “does that one suit”).
Today (9 months post surgery) I have been to a fitting clinic (again at my request) and been fitted with a prosthesis that is two sizes bigger and fills my bra. What an improvement!!
What is other people’s experience. Have you been offered a prosthesis? Were you seen by the BCN and /or surgeon after once the swelling had subsided. Am interested in finding out if this is an isolated incident.
Interesting question - although now 3+ years on, I have to say I was somewhat dismayed that I had to initiate action to get my prosthesis, after having been told that I would be contacted 6 weeks after my surgery to be fitted with silicone prosthesis, after using the soft fabric one immediately after surgery.
6 weeks came and went and I waited patiently, not wanting to burden them, 7 weeks came and went. At 8 weeks I could wait no longer, so I rang, spoke to one of the bcnurses who said, yes you should have had one by now, and did indeed arrange for my own bcn to contact me.
She is an excellent nurse and the fitting was fine and I was very pleased with the prosthesis I got because I felt it was a good ‘disguise’ unlike the fabric one, to conceal which I wore big cardies and jackets and scarves (fortunately it was winter) and which I could not wait to get rid of. But I was disappointed that I had had to wait, it is so traumatic to go through that operation, and to face the world with disfigurement - well, okay, it is character building, but I was dxxx glad of my disguise.
I have found them slow to respond whenever I have contacted them; my bcn is part-time, and I dare say they are overloaded and the more immediate cases are priority - but it is difficult to wait, and I have found it disappointing. I have learned that you have to ask if you want something, and ask again, and again, and I personally find that very difficult and it adds stress, but I push myself to do it because the alternative, going without the help I feel I need, is unthinkable. How women used to cope years ago…?
Hi snowhite and crispy
Breast Cancer Care runs a prothesis fitting service which might be of interest to you. You can get more details at breastcancercare.org.uk/content.php?page_id=3677 on this site.
I have to praise my BC nurses. I was given a ‘softie’ before leaving hospital and then a proper prosthesis fitting 5 weeks after surgery. My fitter was really helpful and gave me loads of good advice. I had to stop using it for the rads, but now they are done I can wear it and it is perfect - really pleased with it although eventually I want my breast back!
I was given a softie immediately following mastectomy in March this year. Nothing since. No one has rung me to arrange a fitting. So I have made an appointment and will pay myself for a prothesis from Amoena who apparently supply NHS anyway. I cannot be bothered with it all. I am ill with the chemo and coping with it and do not see why I should chase them all the time for everything. At least I will be properly fitted and measured for a bra (havent been measured since a teenager 40 years ago) and know that I will be even again!
Starfish - you have a right to a prosthesis on NHS - and it is bad that you have not been contacted about this. Amoena only sell Amoena prostheses, and you may well find a really good one, but equally, there are other makes that they don’t sell - and they are expensive. You could go to BCC fitting if can get to London - they have loads and will let you try them and then tell you the name of the one you like so you can get one free from your hospital.
I know you haven’t the strength to deal with hassles while you are on chemo - you could mention it to a nurse at next session and ask her to help you with this, it is wrong that you should have to make your own arrangments when you are not strong.
Hi I had WLE i n April and after various problems am now noticing the difference in size.Nothing has been mentioned in after care.I am due to see consultant on Weds next week so will ask the question
just wondering who i should ask about this, my affected boob is considerably smaller, i had WLE nearly a year ago and whenever i mention the fact to healthcare team its implied that i should feel lucky to still have a boob, they have also said that because my boobs are on the larger side its not important but you can see the difference, and i feel unbalanced.
Why don’t you give our helpline a ring? They should be able to help you find out who to contact about this. It is free and confidential. The number is 0808 800 6000 and the hours are
Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
Saturday, 9am - 2pm
Thanks for your responses. I wondered if it was felt that because you had a WLE you didn’t need a prosthesis. It was suggested that a prosthesis might be a possibilty when I was discussing which surgery but there didn’t appear to be a way of flagging up to the BCN that one might be helpful.
Do contact the helpline. It is well worth pushing for a prosthesis and the earlier link explains the types of prosthesis available.
I had a quadrantectomy which removed a ‘melon slice’ across the front of my left breast, including the nipple. No prosthesis seems to fit properly as they are just not made in the right shape to fill the ‘slice’ that has been removed. The BC nurse did try to help however.
With reconstruction I can’t have an implant as after rads it would cause problems with mammograms, I can’t have a traditional reconstruction as I don’t have enough muscle to pull around without causing further problems. However I have had a discussion with a plastic surgeon who is trying to get permission to do it with a fat implant - a bit of liposuction from another part of my body and implanted into my breast. I have a follow-up appointment with him on 27th Feb. Will let you know how it goes.