Breast Prostheses Products
What is a Breast Prosthesis and Mastectomy bra fitting?
A breast prosthesis and mastectomy bra fitting should be done by a professional fitter. Specific measurements will be taken and the correct shape and size will be determined by the fitter.
How Soon After Surgery Can I Get Fitted?
It is recommended that you wait at least six to eight weeks after your surgery before getting fitted. By allowing the swelling and discomfort to reside, you will get a better fitting. If you are not sure it is time for a fitting, check with your Breast Care Coordinator at 510-752-2718 or the Breast Clinic at 510-752-7447.
What can I wear before I get my breast prosthesis?
A post-operative camisole garment (“Softee”) can be worn immediately after surgery. These garments are made of soft and stretchy cotton/polyester material. On the side that had the mastectomy, there is a soft breast form that can be worn to give your chest a more symmetrical appearance. If possible, it is best to obtain these before your surgery. This way, you will have them to wear immediately after your surgery if you choose to. For more information on obtaining post-op camisoles, please contact the Breast Care Coordinator at 510-752-2718 or the Breast Clinic at 510-752-7447.
What is covered by Kaiser, Senior Advantage, and Medicare?
Some members may pay a co-payment for all mastectomy products unless they have supplemental DME coverage.
- Breast Prosthesis – All women who have had a mastectomy are entitled to a breast prosthesis every other year or when medically necessary (significant weight gain or loss). Medicare and Senior Advantage are covered up to the Medicare allowable.
- Mastectomy Bras – 3 bras every 12 months.
- Postoperative Camisole Garment (Softees) – All women who have had a mastectomy may receive two “Softee” postoperative camisole garments within thirty days of surgery. Camisoles may received in lieu of bras if a patient requests this.
How do I arrange for a fitting?
- Six weeks after surgery, call Kaiser DME (Durable Medical Equipment) at 1-877-317-6230. Press option 1 for DME, then option 1 again to speak to a coordinator. They will give you vendor options and locations, answer questions about co-payments, and process all necessary paperwork. Please be sure you obtain the vendor’s phone number from DME before ending your call.
- If you have not heard from the vendor within a week of speaking with DME, you should call the vendor directly to set up a fitting appointment. Select vendors have fitting appointments available here at Kaiser Oakland upon request. Please mention this preference to them at the time you make your fitting appointment. They will inform Kaiser to expect you. There is no co-pay for a fitting appointment at Kaiser.
How are these products paid for?
- The Breast Clinic will initiate the authorization request (prescription) on behalf of your provider before your surgery date. Tell them you are ready for prosthesis and bras.
- DME will send authorization to the provider of your choice.
- The vendor will collect any co-payment if applicable.
Tips for shopping for a breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras
- There are different types of breast prosthesis on the market. The traditional types are ones that are held in a bra with a pocket. The other types adhere directly to your body so you are not required to war a pocketed bra.
- Take a close friend or relative with you when you go shopping. This person should be able to give you an honest opinion on how you look with the various products on.
- Bring a sweater or fitted blouse/shirt with you to the fitting which hugs your chest so that you can see a clear outline of your bosom through your clothes.
- Try on several different forms before you buy. It should not only look good but should feel comfortable as well.
- Sometimes women can wear the same bras they had always worn. Bring your bra to the fitting to see how it holds the prosthesis.
- A prosthesis pocket may possibly be put into your usual bras by the prosthesis provider, yourself or someone who does alterations.
- If you want a breast prosthesis that attaches to the skin with the adhesive strips, place a sample of this strip on your skin to ensure you are not allergic to the products (allergy is rare).