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Mastectomy Care Specialists: Mastectomy Bras

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In  1967 Stella Chavos and her husband James F. Chavos founded Newport Center Orthopedic. Since then, Stella Chavos has been helping Post-Mastectomy patients recover and return to their regular lifestyle by finding and properly fitting her patients with mastectomy bras and breast forms. 

Stella wanted to reach out to friends and family outside of Southern California who were looking for assistance in finding the proper intimate apparel following cancer surgery, and that is when she founded NuLife Medical. With her over 40 years of experience, Stella guides her trained staff with her vast knowledge and trusted expertise in the field of mastectomy care products.Many patients asked Stella how to find the right mastectomy bra. 

Here are some helpful tips on finding the proper mastectomy garment for you:

  • Not all bras fit all figure types and not all bras are designed for every need.
  • Just as every woman needs a clothing wardrobe to accommodate her life, every woman needs an intimate apparel wardrobe to compliment her activities.

There are Five Categories of Mastectomy Bras:

Post Surgical Mastectomy Bras:
This is a woman’s main garment while she is healing from surgery.  This garment is designed to be worn home from the hospital.  A post surgical garment looks like a camisole, has built in pockets for drain pouches and pockets for fiber filled soft forms.  This garment can be stepped into for easy dressing. Post operative garments are soft and breathable and give shape to a mastectomy patient immediately following surgery.  Wearing a specially designed post operative garment makes a difference because the breast area where surgery has been performed is supported. A post operative garment has pockets to contain and hold the pouches so that nothing pulls on the incision site.

Leisure Mastectomy Bras
The leisure bra gives shape and confidence to a mastectomy patient during healing.  These garments open in the front for ease and are made of soft cotton for comfort.  Leisure bras have pockets for breast forms.  This bra is ideal for a woman who is not yet ready for a traditional bra but one who is beginning to return to her normal activities and lifestyle.  Some mastectomy patients use the leisure bra for night wear.

Traditional Mastectomy Bras
A traditional bra is usually worn 6 weeks post operatively based on a doctor’s authorization. Building an intimate wardrobe to include more than one traditional bra will ensure that one is on hand while the other is being laundered. Stella’s advice is, NEVER BE WITHOUT A GOOD BRA TO WEAR!  NuLife Medical offers 2 bra sets at a discounted rate to allow you to always have a good bra on hand.  It is never a good idea to go without your prosthesis and mastectomy bra.  By keeping it on at all times, your body stays in balance.  Not wearing your prosthesis and mastectomy bra can contribute to bad posture, since the weight of the breast keeps the chest cavity expanded.

Athletic Mastectomy Bras
An athletic bra is designed for maximum support in conjunction with and active lifestyle.  A sports bra offers comfort and security with full coverage and durable elastic by design while microfiber fabric and mesh panels ensures breathability.

Fashionable Mastectomy Bras
Fashionable bras lend an extra feminine feeling by utilizing lace and trims without compromising comfort and security.  Many fashionable bras are complemented by a coordinated panty.

Fit is the #1 key to choosing the proper mastectomy bra

To determine the right fit consider your figure type. Your figure type specifically refers to your breast matter. 

There are three figure types: (see bra by fit)

  • Shallow
  • Average
  • Full

The support of a bra comes from the side panel and the width of the back of the bra not from the shoulder straps. Most women adjust the shoulder strap for additional support however this brings the back of the bra higher than the front and does not give proper support to the chest wall and breast.  The side panels of a bra should not buckle when worn.  Bras that have an inner lining will shape the breast and offer more support.  The inner lining of a bra acts in the same way that an underwire use to.  Following breast surgery, it is of even greater importance to find intimate apparel that fits securely.

In order to assist our customers with determining the proper mastectomy bra size, we have created a video demonstration featuring Stella Chavos giving step by step instructions on measuring for bra size.

Mastectomy bras provide women with a natural feeling of well being.  NuLife Medical carries a line of beautiful intimate apparel offering the perfect combination of comfort, design and security. In addition, women with neck and shoulder tension or lymphedema will find a selection of products benefiting their needs as well.  All bras have pockets for breast forms.

Proper Care of Intimate Apparel:
Proper care of your mastectomy bra will maximize the life of your garment.  Never wash your garments in water hotter than your hand can tolerate using any liquid detergent.  Never use a cold water wash because cold water will not extract body oils from the fabric and body oils will break down the elasticity of the garment.

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Amoena’s fashionable intimate apparel will bring a splash of color and style in a woman’s life. Bras matching the latest trends emphasize a woman’s style.

Truelife bras feature quality fabrics, components and construction. With a wide selection of styles and sizes that are specially designed to incorporate features that accommodate specific needs after breast surgery.

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