Post-mastectomy swim prosthetics come in a variety of styles. You probably have more to choose from than you think.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. Here you can learn about some of the commonly seen features of mastectomy prostheses for swimming and the style choices available today.
Materials: Silicone, Foam and Fibrefill
Although they may be more expensive than foam or fibrefill, silicone breast forms are currently the most popular choice for regular wear for several reasons. Many women feel that silicone forms have a more natural look.
For swimming, waterproof silicone has another advantage. Foam or fibrefill forms can absorb water. This means they start to look and feel larger while you are swimming. The extra water weight can make swimming more difficult.
Some women do choose non-silicone forms for exercise, swimming and hot weather for two reasons.
First, some women find that silicone can feel too warm or become sticky feeling when the weather gets hot. Cotton covers put a barrier between the body & the silicone which can help solve this problem.
Second, unless they absorb water, foam and fibrefill forms are lighter weight than silicone swim prosthetics. You may want to try the different types of swim prosthetics that are available to decide which one is most comfortable for you.
Styles: Post-Mastectomy Swimwear vs. Regular Swimwear
Regular swimwear can often accommodate the forms described above but there are disadvantages for a woman who has had a mastectomy. Many modern swimsuits include under-wire or other support features that are fine for natural breasts but truly uncomfortable following a mastectomy. Unless the suit fits snugly, a prostheses could shift position or fall out of the suit while you are swimming.
Post-mastectomy swimwear varies from one manufacturer to the next but there are some common features, such as the pockets and higher cut arm openings mentioned above. Other desirable features include adjustable straps to help balance the inserts and necklines that fit closer to the chest.
You may wish to look for a regular swimsuit that fits well and then have pockets sewn in to hold the breast prosthesis in place. It can take a little trial and error to find the right combination of swim prosthetics and swimwear, but keep looking because once you find the right combination you can get back to enjoying your active lifestyle.