As medicine and surgical techniques advance, so do breast surgery options for people who are affected by breast cancer or genetic mutations like BRCA. While surgical options differ from person to person due to the uniqueness of everyone’s specific diagnosis, it is exciting to see surgical techniques like Nipple Sparing Mastectomies become successful. Here at AnaOno, we like to joke that we are in the same business as iPhone case makers. Surgery types change, evolve and develop almost as rapidly as smartphones do. And when surgeries change, we must upgrade and improve our bras to accommodate and fit bodies perfectly in the same way phone cases must upgrade to new fit your iPhone 11.
According to the Center For Restorative Breast Surgery, Nipple Sparing Mastectomy or NSM is a surgical advancement for women undergoing a mastectomy that removes “all of the breast glandular tissue from beneath the overlying skin and nipple while leaving the full breast skin envelope and nipple completely intact.” In other words, this surgery saves your nipples from being completely removed during your mastectomy!
Pretty cool, huh?
There is also something called a skin-sparing surgery (not to be confused with a Nipple Sparing Mastectomy), where, all of the breast skin, except the nipple and the areola, is preserved. According to BreastCancer.Org, “this makes reconstruction easier and most importantly avoids making any scars on the breast, allowing for better results after breast reconstruction.”
According to Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo, President of PRMA Plastic Surgery and creator of the Breast Advocate® app, “saving the nipple doesn’t necessarily preserve feeling. In fact, most women experience numbness after a mastectomy, irrespective of whether they save the nipple-areola complex. We do know that saving the nipple and areola improves sensation that returns over time, both in terms of quality and speed.”
He shares that nerve reconstruction is also an option when having your “breast reconstruction, but is only possible with certain types of procedures at this time. While nothing restores the feeling Mother Nature provided, nerve reconstruction helps improve the return of feeling, both in terms of the amount and quality. We have been performing sensory nerve reconstruction at PRMA for over a decade, but unfortunately, this technique has not yet been widely embraced by plastic surgeons. My hope is that patients will help change this by advocating for themselves, doing their homework, and discussing procedure options with their plastic surgeons.”
A new technique, Resensation™, is available to some patients having flap surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon connects nerves from the chest wall to nerves in the free flap and can lead to nerve regeneration that relieves numbness in the reconstructed breast.
For those of us who have had nipple sparing surgery, we know our nipples are either always relaxed, or always at attention. No matter where on the spectrum you fall, you’ll need a bra with extra-soft material lining and removable molded cups that provide modesty if you need it. Both The Monica and Front Closure have cups that are extremely soft against the skin. Made of the super-smoothing modal fabric, these post-surgical bras are perfect if you’ve had nipple sparing surgery. The modal fabric of both the Front Closure and Monica is stretchy, breathable and smooth under your favorite t-shirts. The material is cool to the touch and cozy enough to sleep in or wear around town all day long. Both styles have plush wirefree cups, adjustable straps, and comfy support plus subtle feminine details that will give you a flirty look while keeping you perfectly comfortable.
The Rora Bra is extra gentle on your post-surgical skin.
Our all-time favorite bra to relax in is The Front Closure aka The Rora Bra. Tried and true, this silky-smooth, super-stretchy modal bra is the most HEAVENLY bra ever. It is so soft, you will barely be able to tell you’re wearing a bra at all. This style provides relief to any sensitive areas affected by breast surgeries or radiation treatment, and it offers unparalleled softness to tender scars or incision points. Never restrictive, The Front Closure is award-winning, and extremely practical due to its signature front closing hook and eyes. Perfect to rest in post-surgery and as an every day bra once you’re recovered.
The Monica Bra is a full coverage style that provides next-level support and comfort to your two best girls, all while keeping them cute. The radiation-friendly nipple-sparing bra features wirefree cups that provide support through the strong, yet stretchy modal fabric, convertible straps and wide back bridge. All these features increase support across your back and underarms, and allow your f(oo)bs to rest comfortably.
The Monica Bra is made of silky smooth modal fabric that ensures ultimate comfort as you heal post-surgery and beyond.
Having a nipple sparing surgery can amp up your confidence. Take it a step further by slipping into a pretty, soft, supportive bra that will help you heal after surgery and look beautiful for years beyond.
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At AnaOno we love sharing information with our community when the information can help with successful treatment, recovery and wellbeing. Artist, parent, philanthropist and BRCA1 previvor Samantha Paige follows up her popular guest post about her explant decision, with her Last Cut process, a six-step decision-making framework.