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Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

63 REPLIES 63
Rhian
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

hi

For a practical, comfortable, soft bra at a fab price ( i had bought 10 various sports or soft cup bra previously all uncomfortable or digging in ) try figleaves, 'Emma Jane' £15.00 a maternity bra with really soft cotton lined cups and in a great range of sizes i was a 36 E so need to cater for her ( left breast) it works for me so thought I would pass on

rxx

feline
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

dear all,

i am sorry to see the negative feedbacks re m & s i didnt realise this thread was running otherwise would have put my comments here instead started new one re lingerie. please take a look!

I have been to Betty and Belle in Altrincham and purchased one bra there and can say there service is excellent etc but bras are expensive and its a long journey for me. The quality and femininity etc of bras i bought from m & s manchester are certainly of the same standard and a lot less expensive and also you get the VAT knocked off.

hope this helps x

GrannyScouse
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi, ladies

I haven't read every post so don't know if this shop has been mentioned. It's in Altrincham, Cheshire, called Betty and Belle. One of the owners had a mastectomy at 37 and she teamed up with lingerie designer who had completed a holistic therapy course and was a regular volunteer for a cancer support charity.

I haven't been there yet but intend to. It sounds like a very nice experience. Here's a bit of the blurb from the booklet I've got:

"Our luxurious unique lingerie and holistic therapy shop based in Altrincham, Cheshire, caters specifically for women who have had surgery or struggle to find regular bras in large or small sizes. It is an oasis of gentle perfumed calm with spacious fitting rooms, big fluffy pink dressing gowns, soft music and tinkling chandeliers. Our aim is to provide the comforable and the secure, but the pretty and sexy too. All expertly fitted with a smile, in lovely surroundings and parcelled up with a great big bow."

www.bettyandbelle.co.uk

They do pamper day packages and gift vouchers.

Hope this helps.
Maureen xx

YCM1980
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Thanks Louise I'll pop in soon (Im in the gyle loads too, just avoid the M and S sometimes as my old boss works there and would be a bit awkward- but I'll brave it)

Yvonne x

lmlauder
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

They were in the Gyle branch yesterday morning, Im there every few days (sad I know) so could be just in

Louise x

YCM1980
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

hi Louise please can you tell me what M and S you saw those bras in (I phoned gyle branch last week and they said I would have to go through to glasgow) I did get one out of john lewis but rather pricey would love to try the m and s one
Yvonne x

lmlauder
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Mand S have some in now with pockets, saw them yesterday in Edinburgh, no use to me now as I have just been reconstructed. They are £18. Being M and S though godness knows how they will fit people
Louise

gentle
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi Ladies,
What a great thread this is. I found a little gold mine of a shop near where I live that was set up by three ladies, two of whome just like us have had bc and were frustrated by this very issue.
Anyone reading this who lives in the west midlands area may find just what they need from Lingerie Illusions, based in Willenhall. Their web site is www.lingerieillusions.co.uk Most of their stock is ameona and they will order what you require if not in stock. It is easier to get a better fit when trying on in a shop than by mail order .

Some time ago I was really cross with M&S selling t-shirts for breast cancer and failing so miserably to provide decent underwear and out-wear that is suitable. We are quite a sizable group of people and one would have thought a worthwile target group of shopper!! Where are the designers?

Rant over
Gentle

holden
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi LouLou,
Good luck for Nov. I had mine in Feb and the softie they give you is pretty good. Ive now got an Amoena Boob which is not bad. Lovely new bra and briefs just come in at Nicola Jane. Ive bought all mine thru them. They all suggest that you buy your bra before you get your boob so they can put it into the bra whilst fitting. Oops & Downs is another one to try. Plus Amoena do Bras too. My scar is quite high up so i cant wear any low cut bras so perhaps your initial bra should be a high fronted one. Also have a look at the ones that have lace inserts.

xx

justme
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

My hospital has a service whereby they sew pockets into bras and swimsuits free of charge. Do ask your breast care nurses if your hospitals do the same.

xxx

curtainqueen
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I found when I wore the comfie after the op, I could safety pin it into my usual bras! With a skinny T shirt over the top if it was going to show.
After the prosesthis fitting I hav ehad more trouble.
M and S don't stock them, Debenhams were ignorant and don;t stock them,, Asda had 1 cheap one in white only! and not over pretty tho comfy. Jenners/Frasers ( who should surely have plenty of enquiries) were very helpful, but nothing pretty again, and gave me a fitting then releived me of £45 to take home a bra that I can barely beath in.
So wearing 1 asda bra and 1 adapted old bra. (using the old t-shirt method..ie put a piece of soft fabric against your skin then the prosthesis then the bra, draw round with a pencil and you have your shape. I then made it in 2 pieces, overlaped in the centre and hand-sewn all round.)
dream of opening a shop called "One-off underwear" for all us frustrated and upset shoppers (I too got tearful almost everwhere)
Gillian

LouLou1
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I will be having a mastectomy rhs in November, followed by radiotherapy, then possibly econd mastectomy followed later by reconstruction. Can anyone advise me what to buy and what I will be given at hospital, I've read about softies etc. Has anyone been to Rigby and Peller in London for advice? My very kind Dad has offered to fund my wigs and underwear, so thought it might be worth trying these famous coresetieres as their range looks attractive and they have a mastectomy fitting service.

Lou

aroma
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

hi puppydog you ok? this bra thing is never going to go away is it ! so frustrating when all we want is to look feminine and not bound up in miles of elastic!!! recently i bought a new bra from eloise but had to return it as the size of the pocket didnt match the protheseis must say i was really disapointed asit cost a bomb ,now ive been into asda and lo and behold ive got a lovey cotton one with lacy cups for only £6 it has wide bands under my arm and wide straps ,really comfortable . its about time these companies listened to what WE want . !! keep up the good work ,do hope all is well with you .speak soon .lynn xx

missimodo
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Gosh what a great thread. Puppydog you are doing a great job on the crusade for post op bras. I had a dreadful time when i first ahd surgery and wasnt able to find anything nice. I am 38F and had pretty much many of the experiences written about on here. Just a few things I ahve found work for me. I am one year post surgery and find I can wear an underwired bra without a pocket providing it fits snug. I went to Womanszone and tried on lots of different ones which they then ordered in different colours(where available) I also made a 'pocket' for a cheap strapless bra I picked up to wear with a dress I would only wear once. It was quite crude but did the trick I sort of used a fabric strip which I sewed from the side bit under my arm to the centre cleavage bit it just helped to hold my soft pros in place. On my full prosthesis and its full(!!) I slip it into the cover off my post op softee prosthesis as I find without a pocket the problem I have is that it rubs my skin and gets itchy and sore.If I feel this is a bit unsecure I just put a pin through the cover and my bra at the bottom. I have a pocket template that I got with my prosthesis and I am sure if anyone needs a template their BC nurse could help or indeed with a softee so they can use the cover. Great idea about the bath puff for swimming! Also one last yadder on but if anyone feels more comfortable wearing camisoles, Red Herring at Debenhams do a fantastic cotton one with lace trim, they come up really high and look really pretty and are a bargain at £7. They come in loads of different colours and dont gape when you bend forward. Not the solution to the ongoing problem with decent/pretty/comfortable/cheap/practicle and coloured range bras we all so want and need but in the meantime ever bit helps.
Great thread
Missi

ForumMember
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

sorry I havent been on here for a while, busy with researching still on bras.....!!

Next do a White mastectomy bra, although their sizes are limited, I am a 32DD but bought a 34D (smallest size), but just to see what it was like, and it was on sale at £5.00. I tried it on, and it was a really good fit (for once), the frontage was nice and curved shape, rather than triangle. it came up high, and covered my two prosthesis, even when I didnt put them in the pockets.
However the pocket lining is made up of Lycra, and Polymead, and felt like nylon, and after my body temperature rose, it felt quite hot and sticky, (usually the pocket linings are either cotton or microfibre), but I contacted Next head office, and got a contact in their Lingerie Buying department, and gave her the comments I had, and asked if she could find out more about the material used for the pockets, but also to see if they will be doing more styles or sizes (more importantly),

She was going to discuss this with their team and get back to me, and I did stress that I wanted a response, and not to be left for weeks without nothing, but that if that happens I will be contacting her regularly to chase up answer. She did agree that she would work with me, on this. At least it is another start, However, for some reason it is only on their website or catalogue in summer, but not on their winter ranges, Again I stressed that we need these bras all year round, it isnt a seasonal item...! she was going to look into that also, I am pleased she was taking what I was saying all on board and wanting to help us. Maybe this is another shop that could help us.

Overall I was really impressed with their style of bra, although very basic and in the dreaded white, at least it was a start.

Also, I have received the Multi-way bra from Royce to trial wear, and I am really impressed with it, at last a multiway that is based on Cup sizes and not bandana style, making shopping for nicer tops and dresses a bit more exciting.

Womanzone have a strapless bra, it is a really good fit, and in cup sizes, it is really tight fitting, making you feel secure, and the prosthesis in the pockets fitted well, it sat across my flat chest wall really good. My friend also tried it on, and found it fitted really well, and she has one prosthesis and a natural breast. At the moment you have to phone Womanzone to enquire about it, they havent updated their website with it yet. Or if you are near their shop then do pop in, and see it.

These two styles of bras are well worth the wait, and now shopping for Ballgowns or different style necklines are good now, I cannot wait for xmas now...

hope this helps, and I am still pushing the companies to get their backsides in gear, and really start delivering what we want. So I am still not giving up this, and sometimes my head is sore from all the bashing against the brickwalls I have done, but just dust myself down and start again....

xx

lyndu
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hmm, if they're the soft lacy ones I got - they weren't really big enough to hold the prosthesis for me (don't know if I said, I'm between a 36F in a sports bra and 38E in Anita) - the cup wasn't high enough.

And of course that's what I was wearing (unpocketed) when I fell in the street and broke my wrist - looking down, I could see this big pink blob on the road and had to say to the lovely man who'd picked me up "Er, and could you put my prosthesis in my bag please". Wonderful man, didn't turn a hair, bless him.

Lyn

ForumMember
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I have just gone to M&S today and bought 2 non wired lacy bras 40D & 40DD to try. Will then fit a pocket and try and get a prothesis to fit. I agree try before you buy and buy locally so can take back.

lyndu
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Irene, that's a bright idea - I have some of my old underwired stretch cup bras still (and I don't know why I keep them, they're stuck away in a bag because they upset me) - but the cup would probably make a good pocket and it's shaped already.
And I'm fed up too with the low cut everything - I seem to be living in t-shirts. Fortunately I now work from home, so I don't need to look professionally smart very often. Can't imagine finding something dressy, I'd have to sew it.

I struck lucky in BHS a little while back and found a swimsuit with a straight across front and moulded cups - and ON SALE - £17.50! Bargain, and a nice bright cherry red, not black! I cut the spare cup out of one of the bought bras and used it to make a prosthesis holder across the moulded cup - since my swimming prosthesis is a bath puff, it doesn't need to support anything heavy.

Lyn

IreneM
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Just had an idea, charity shop bras. Soft type should be easy to cut up and make 2 new pockets. Will look tomorrow!

Mrs wc, how right you are about this seasons fashion. I have had terrible trouble getting a dress for my daughters wedding and sadly, I have had to resign myself to wearing a cami underneath and yes, this will make me hot esp during flushes.

Irene

Soprano
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I have to comment on this, as finding decent post surgery bras is becoming an obsession of mine. I'm a 38F (dear god!!) and very few shops stock that size - M&S have some but either a wierd shape or the straps are too thin. I have bought some nice bras from Contura Belle and Eloise and found both to be really helpful - just discovered that Eloise have a RED bra in my size - so guess what I'm buying next.
I bought a tankini from M&S which fits well and has good pocket for prosthesis.
I don't know about anyone else, but as I'm still struggling with body image issues it's so important to have good bras - by that I mean comfortable and pretty. Theres a tread on here called 'Remember when ...' on which several people have mentioned walking through lingerie departments without wanting to cry. Who do we need to lobby?????

lyndu
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

MrsWC - I think it's cheaper for them to put pockets in both sides and then there's no complication with adding pockets afterwards. So the pocket has to be big enough for the remaining breast.

I did take a tuck in the pocket, but it's not very comfortable - my chest wall is still a bit tender, don't know how long that will go on, I had the mastectomy in December.
I made my mother-in-law a couple of mastectomy bras last year from taking apart her Anita one - it's not that hard to do if you are fairly confident at sewing. When I get a minute I'll do a couple for myself from one that fits me.
I bought one Anita that looks really pretty - and it's as uncomfortable as #### under the armpit, really saws away at it, so I'm not willing to buy without trying.

Lyn

Catfan
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I bought a mastectomy bra on ebay too, it's a Royce, brand new and is great - and much cheaper than in the shops. I've also bought a spare prosthesis and a swim one on ebay and they're great. Well worth a look!

MrsWC
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Lyn
I have an Anita bra with the same problem but the label which came with the bra said that sometimes the pocket is too big. To overcome this they suggest making a tuck and stitch it to make it smaller!
Why cant they make it the right size for the bra size? Mystery to me.

lyndu
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Irene, for what it's worth I make my own pockets from old, soft, well-worn tshirts.
The first one I made using the pocket that came with the prosthesis as a pattern, but I can't get on with trying to shove the prosthesis in under the armpit, because then you have to get the whole weight on at once. (I had a broken wrist and elbow in spring, so this was a real problem).

So now I trace the shape of the cup, and make the pocket in two halves, split vertically at the strap but overlapping at the bottom of the cup. That way, I can actually get the prosthesis in when I'm wearing the bra.
The pockets in bought bras that I have (only two, Anita I think) are oversized and I find them uncomfortable when they crease up behind the prosthesis, and with them, the prosthesis slides across the middle of my chest and pokes out of the top of the cup.

Lyn

MrsWC
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Have just spent ages reading through this thread! Hadn't seen it before but was very interested to read all the comments. I agree with all the points. They are far too expensive,very little choice of colour, nothing very feminine and very limited stock. Just because we have breast cancer doesn't mean we will be satisfied with white, white and more white!
And the fashion styles this summer have been demoralising.(hope that's right). Everything is too low - even button up blouses shoot off at an angle making them impossible to wear. I spent ages in a large M & S and came to the conclusion that there was only one style of blouse available- they just look different because they produce them in a variety of colours and materials but they are basically all the same. Very disappointing. And no I don't want to wear a camisole under everything. Two layers in the warm weather is just too hot. Oh and I won't mention the hot sweats!
Will get off my soapbox now - feel better for that rant.

IreneM
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Does anyone know a good supplier for the pockets to sew into normal bras? I a have had enough of paying £30 on average when I am handy with a needle and thread! Just bought a gorgeous bra on ebay, very comfy too and a lovely red but need a pocket.

Have tried my usual Ameona and Nicola Jane, 1 out of stock, the other only have black or white.

Made my own pocket for a swim costume but it didn't work and when wet, the stretchy material could be seen on neckline.

Irene

ForumMember
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

What a marvellous thread. I will definitely being paying a visit to Debenhams.

I have just had the depressing experience of trying to get a bra and a prothesis. I arranged a visit to Amoena having waited since March to pluck up the courage.

They were very helpful but I was informed I was a 40DD and have been happily wearing a 38DD all these years. Having told me I was a 40DD they appeared to have little or no choice in that size and this seems to be borne out by their catalogue and web site. I wore the bra and prothesis from 3 until 10.00 pm and by that time I had red marks around both armpits which were becoming sore. The straps were very tight on my shoulders and there was little left to slacken off. I had seen a lovelly chocolate bra in the catalogue but of course not available in my size.

Today I visit M&S in Camberley. Again little choice. Lots of padded bras which I certainly dont want at a 40DD. And of course no 40DD let alone 38DD. But plenty on line by the look of it.

All very depressing. I am now more depressed that I was before. As if its not bad enough losing a breast you cannot get lovely underwear easily anymore. I am 56 but still want to feel feminine even more so now with no hair as well at the moment!

shaz590
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I bought some super brand new mastectomy bras on e-bay. Just search for mastectomy bra!

Sharon

Pancake
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi

I just went into a independant lingerie shop in a town called Hitchin, I asked about post surgery bra's, the nice woman measured, asked me to try on several bra's to find ones I was comfortable with, told me she would send them of to have pockets sewn in and will chagre me the grand total of £17........beat that.

I have to wait about 10 days but as I dont even have a prothesis appointment thats OK.

I found it interesting that the measurement in this shop and M&S were 2 cup sizes different, I am now a C rather than a A cup, strange eh, although I was surprised when marks said A cup.

Signed one very happy person

Deb

DOZZ51
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi curtainqueen

I had similar problems in Debenhams with loud mouthed assistant (she only looked about 16). was then told there was probably one bra available and continued to march me towards rail. There was in fact a few styles to choose from, but unfortunatly not for us larger ladies. Husband in tow, he was annoyed at having to go thru this experience just to buy a bra, I made a hasty retreat.

i did find a local specialist shop, owner also had BC, so new exactly what I needed, tried quite a few bras and prothesis. I bought 2 Ameona swimwear/silicone. BCN advised me to have one 3 sizes smaller as I still have some swelling (3 months after rads?) new ones are both same size as they sit around swelling without pressure.

Great having that bit extra confidence and wear fashionable tops again without the need to go baggy. Department stores are all very well as long as you know your size without having to ask for help,

I wish you well and hope you open that shop. There are lots of ladies with same problems so I am sure you would have great success.

Doreen

IreneM
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Annmarie, you should have a breast care nurse at your hospital, and she should have already advised you on this, it is so maddening when people are so ill informed.

If any of you live near Crosby in Liverpool, there is a shop there that sells brand name seconds (it's near Yates'). They are selling mastectomy bras, 3 for £10. They are all the same design and not actually sold as mast bras but they have pockets. They are camisole style. Sadly they didn't have my size or I would have stocked up!

Deb if you order online from Nicola Jane, they explain how to measure yourself, and they include a free returns sticker so if it's not right they will change it or refund. They are very efficient but rather expensive.

Irene

gandt
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi there

There the Daily Express have been doing £5 off coupon for Debenhams if you spend £25, and knowing how expensive Mastectomy bras are, I though I'd be able to use it. No such luck; in my Debenhams (Leeds) they don't even stock them!

I suppose I'll have to bite the bullet and buy a full priced one. Fig Leaves on the 'net have one in their sale at £12 something at the moment (Anita I think); it's one with a lace insert at the cleavage. Depending on your size, it's in white or fawn. I wanted white but they don't have it in my size sadly. As they're in the sale, they're non returnable.

gandt

dawnflower
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi gals

I've been really worried about getting mastectomy bras as it used to be a nightmare beforehand as I'm narrow on the shoulders and they slope so straps were forever falling off.

Anyhow, i went into Bravissimo on Saturday with my comfies and the lass fitted me into a nonwired Fantasie bra that was a 38F and it fitted very well with not a tape measure in sight. I was very, very impressed by the sensitive treatment I had. I then went into M and S and ended up in tears! When you're 38F bras can be a bit industrial anyway especially not wired.

Hope you all manage to get sorted.

Dawnflower

xxxx

silversue
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Aren't any of these staff given instruction on tact!!!!!
I bought almost all of mine online, or at least over the phone, after first hiking out to Bury St Edmunds or somewhere. The staff at specialist shops are usually very helpful, but you do pay more for the bras. Annamarie would probably get sensible advise re chicken fillets from them, even if you then get them elsewhere. I tried M&S too, and the lady in the Bra section I spoke to knew nothing about them, and called across the shop to her colleague.......cringe.

I have a lovely undies shop near me which stocks some of the specialist ones, but they are even dearer than in the catalogues.
Don't forget ebay!

Pancake
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi

I am only a 36A, I went to M&S yesterday with a pre arranged appointment. After measurement they told me to go to the customer services and order in several with the logic that after they arrived I could try them on and find the best for me.

Customer services had a very open discussion about me needing a bra for a mastectomy; all the people in the queue behind me then knew I had had surgery and that I was a 36A. After all of this I was told, sorry we can’t order you a bra in, we have none nationwide in a 36A. I took this to the lingerie manager who said she would do some research, she rang me later yesterday and said the same, as they are in the process of changing over their ranges they have no bra’s available. I felt I should apologise for having a mastectomy at the wrong time of they year. I do not live near a Debenhams or John Lewis.

I am reluctant to order online as I would feel more comfortable having a fitting.

Deb

annamarie
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

although i only had a WLE i have been left lobsided and quite a high up scar, i am now looking into a chicken fillet and have looked for a pocketed bra, however although im not particularly large body frame im a 38G and recently went into a shop and asked for "post surgery bras" and the assistant said rather loudly i think you can just wear normal bras after enlargements, i was deeply embarrased, I have had no help in this area at all and dont even really know who to ask about the fillet!
Anna

ForumMember
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi ladies

Just to let you all know that im a large woman 42DD and the only bras i could get (which didnt bankrupt me) was from Asda (they had a good size range) I got a moulded sports bra for £6 and it was double layered so I made a slit in the side and slipped my prosthesis into it it works very well, unfortunately they are not pretty but they are comfy, they only come in black and white and until I get rich or the 'proper' ones come down in price i'll make them do. Roll on October when I see about getting my implant back in lol.

Best wishes to all

Jo xxxxxxx

silversue
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi Puppydog, and all the ladies posting here, sorry I'm a bit late catching up on this thread....
As a 36A I don't have that much of a problem finding mastectomy bras, (apart from the price, and mainly black or white) but I am sick and tired of trying to find fun/glamorous clothes that aren't too low. Most of the camisoles, even the mastectomy ones, do not come up high enough to cover my dent left after mastectomy, and all "normal" clothes manufacturers seem to think we want everything showing off the cleavage. I wrote to M and S after the TV program when Kerry was transformed as they were supposed to be part of the Fashion against breast cancer thing, and pointed out that I could wear hardly any of their clothes! Needless to say, I didn't get a reply.
So, Puppydog, if you are still campaigning, count me in. There are a lot of us out there, they are missing out on a large market, we are not a minority and we deserve to be heard, not to mention clothed.

Liverbird
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Glad this thread is still running just wanted a moan on it.
I spent about £116 at womanzone yesterday, in a state of shock. I got 3 bras, and expander. A swimming costume ( in sale) and a swim prosthesis.I couldnt believe she measured me at 40AA, I mean who the heck is that size??? Where has my 34C or 36B gone???????? NO bras hardly so we stuck to my 38A and an expander but hardly any bras in that size either. 2 the same as my old ones (boring)
Gosh i felt like a freak sweat pouring off me with hot flushes and i am so fat, maybe i should have done a interview on BCC for Body Image and said how it really is for me CRAP!!

But I am alive sooooo have to be thankful.

Rx

curtainqueen
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

As with everyone else, I was incensed by the lack of provision in department stores, the only bras they did have were ugly and painful to wear. I decided not to torture myself and throw vanity out the window by just wearing t-shirts with that built-in extra bit of support. It was th eonly thing that was comfortable after surgery.

I am a large and floppy lady so it wasn't easy, but was actually very liberating. Now (6wks post op) I just wear my old comfy bras and have sewn a pocket in, to hold my not-so-bloomin-comfie. I go for a prosthesis tommorrow.

When in John Lewis I asked the young lady in the lingerie dept if they had any mastectomy bras..."any what?"....she then proceeded to repeat the question at the top of her voice to her fellow assisitant on the other side of the floor! God I was livid.

So I to want to open a shop too, I have deceided to call it either "one off lingerie" or "the post op bra shop"

A comfortable night's sleep to you all
Gillian

DOZZ51
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Well done puppydog for your determination and hope your fight pays off.

I have had similar problems having had bilateral mastectomy. tried M & S but being rather large (was 42C with boobs) i found mastectomy bras only went up to a size 40, why?? I suppose I could of asked to order, but I am not one for pushing sales assistants, and just want to pick something from rails.

have tried Nicola Jane, some bras OK, but others not high enough around sides, i have a lump of fatty tissue on one side under arm. have also tried Asda. the £6 bra is great as a stand by, but found it does not give enough support.so still looking for the perfect fitting bra.

as to prothsesis, the pair BC nurse at hospital supplied were to big and heavy so resorted to buying lighter ones from Nicola Jane. still trying to get used to these, but if i find the right bra, they may look better.

going abroad on hols soon so hope to find comfortable bra, will try Debenhams.

Dozz

sappho
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Good for you puppydog. I hope your persistence pays off.

Thanks for the tip about Debenhams now stocking the Royce surgery bras. I'll have a look next time I go. My local Debenhams has a really good fitter who used to attend the breastcare support group so is really interested and well informed.

Wendy x

ForumMember
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi all.
I havent been on here for a while, however, I am still campaigning for better lingerie for women who have had breast surgery, including like me wearing prosthesis (i wear 2 after bilateral mastectomy and I am 32DD/E so it was a nightmare to find bras to fit me of any styles,).

I have been campaigning for better lingerie for over 6 years now, and raised a lot of awareness on the problems we have, I have done previous articles in Breast Cancer Care Newsletter last year on bras, and our need for better sexier ranges, and also my story on lingerie on here under Support for you, Prosthesis, (an article in the Sun newspaper is also attached on there). I have also done loads of articles on lingerie in both local newspapers and magazines. So hopefully this will help you all to know that I am passionate about getting us all lingerie for our requirements, including surgery, sizes, (especially the areas of small back big cups, and big backs small cups, as this is the area that is most needed to be filled, as the standard 34-42 a-d seem to be the usual sizes that companies use, but I am working to get it so that bras are for all sizes, especially for pocketed ranges, (as in hot weather plays havoc on the adhesive of the stick on prosthesis, and a pocket is better for those really hot days, ).

Debenhams stores are now stocking Royce post surgery lingerie, as does John Lewis, they are both really nice and sexy ranges, including a new Royce Multiway bra, I trial wear for them, and they are really good fittings. At last a multiway bra that is cup based and not bandana style (like a bikini top, straight across). I love their Chocolate bra and matching briefs, it fits great and there is another one that is pink and chocolate, also antique pink lace, all of which are matching sets, and at last Not The DREADED white we keep getting.! Some John Lewis stores do a pocketing service too, so check with your store.

I have had discussions with management at a large number of specialist companies including, Womanszone and Eloise, M&S, Nicola Jane, Amoena, Triumph, on getting more sizes on offer and better ranges for us to feel feminine sexy, and so that we can wear todays fashionable colourful tops and dresses, instead of wearing a vest or coloured camisole underneath as the bra we have is white and boring...

I do hope this helps, and I will not be giving up on getting us what we want on lingerie post surgery, I am very determined on standing my ground on getting them to listen, and if they dont then I will keep on knocking at their door until they do. I know it will be a slow process but hopefully it will get there.

Any comments or suggestions I could add to my list, for the next meetings I have with the companies to bring to their attention what we are still awaiting on lingerie for us, please feel free to send me a PM if you want or to add it on this topic and I will do my best to help.

Ps I have already raised the issue surrounding the costs, as I find it hard to pay extra for a bra because it has pockets, and even the price of pockets (especially like me you need two), is rediculous, and we shouldnt be any different on a pocket they use for their gel fillets, on their pump up cleavage bras....! I keep being told it is because it is a specialist garment, but it is like the word Petite on a garment we pay more and yet they use less material...!!

I have also had some doors slammed on my face too, but again I pick myself up and try again, NOT GOING AWAY !!
xx

sappho
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I am 32E and really struggled to find suitable a mastectomy bra. Like Christineann, I tried a M&S one but couldn't get my prosthesis through the small slit in the pocket either. I really can't get my head round the designer failing to check this out.

I got a nice lacy bra from Womanzone ( although there was very little choice in my size ) and a pretty bra from the Fantasie range at Debenhams which I then had pocketed. I think both bras were over £20.

I think the problem is that following a mastectomy, it is really important to have a comfortable well fitting bra but it is not commercially viable for manufacturers to produce a selection in the smaller and larger cup sizes at reasonable cost.

Wendy x

Christineann
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I have always gone through Nicola Jane who are very good and do some nice lacy feminine bras but can be costly. Last year I bought a couple of bras from M & S as they were much cheaper but when I got them home I could not get my prosthesis in the pocket as the slit in this was too small. So I took them back and told one of the assistants the problem with them and she said she would pass on my comments. Last time I looked they are still selling the same bras and no improvement with the pocket.

Laraine
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Hi I too was fed up with the high price of mastectomy bras and then I found some really comfortable ones in Asda! They have a pocket in both sides and are just £6 would you believe.Laraine

waitingangel
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Don't forget that you can clain back all VAT for mastectomy products - all cancer products too , like wigs - you need a VAT receipt from the supplier, then go to www.hmrc.gov.uk or ww.cancerlink.org for more info. Palaver, but it does save money...

For those who are bigger around (36 C +) Bon Marche do an excellent non-wired T-shirt bra with 3 hooks at the back and nice wide sides, very soft for £6 in black & white - not pocketed but full cups and nice shape (even got a slight nipple shape in the mould!)

If you have a local 'BC Club' (ours is called bosom buddies!) - ask them to get a speaker from the ladies that do the pocketing & have a demo - it really isn't difficult - it's just getting the shape of the pocket right in the first place and using the right type of fabric...

I've just bought a costume from Asda for £6 with pre formed cups which has pocketed well......

And I agree - a nightmare!!!!

Td x

JMaddy
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

Haven't read all of your comments above but www.nicolajane.com is the company my bras were from. I bought mine though the BCN at the hospital at a reduced price. Everyone is wonderful at Castle Hill Hospital, Hull.

Maddy x

CazMc
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I too went to Nicola Jane in Chichester and agree they are really helpful. They made me feel so much better coming out than going in. I am so glad we made the effort to travel there as I was measured properly and now that I know my correct size I can order online.

They have a great range of stuff including swimwear and have recently introduced some lovely summer tops.

Good luck. Love Caz xxx

dippykate
Member

Re: Purchasing a mastectomy Bra??????

I don't even bother with M and S or John Lewis as their stock is limited. M and s think a prostheisis is about 2 inches wide and are mainly ujnderwired so find they rub on rads scarringg which is a shame as lots of women here worked really hard to get M and S to listen and they wouldn't. I get 25% discount at John Lewis so gutted all they can be bothered to stock are very plain white Anita bras.
Amoena, nicolajane and eloise all do wonderful bras, costumes and tankinis online and their helpline is good and I have often returned them when i got my size wrong and they are very quick at sending new stuff out.
I need high fronted and high underarm swimming stuff and they all do those plus the fitted prosthesis pockets for spaghetti string tops. Those tops are expensive but very useful for camisole type layering but last year I know they had ran out of them by June as the spring stuff comes out early. Yes - they are more expensive but well worth it for the peace of mind and you would never know I had a prosthesis. They do have regular sales so worth searching and once you are registered they post/email all the sale stuff out and give discounts.
I can not wear a bra without a pocket as the prosthesis doesn't sit right (38c) and I just feel i will lose it unless its in a pocket.
This subject has been discussed so much before and the same info and problems crop up so we must be doing something wrong not to be listened to about this. Embarassment will not help us either but after my problem at Primarck when that couple walked on in me when I was in my underwear I wouldn't feel comfortable showing all and sundry what us mastectomy women have to put with. I do sometimes feel I should appear with my bra on in public as I'm not always convinced these so called 'proper women' with mastectomies' are used for the photos for their underwear or else they use an awful lot of photoshop to get 'pretty' but not 'normal' looks.. At Nicolajane in Chichester, one of the assistants has had a mastectomy and that makes such a difference as she understands the problems we encounter.

Ruth - sorry that although these companies are quick mail order - i think it is too late for you to order now which is a shame. Have a wonderful holiday and hope you feel OK about yourself.
be in touch - daycare closing
Kate