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    No.421: Custom Breast Forms 101

    Custom Breast Forms 101 

    There are nearly 300,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer every year that will have to make the choice to undergo a lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery as a form of their treatment — understanding those options after choosing the right breast surgery is also about knowing more about the outcomes. 

    The good news is that you don't have to undergo breast reconstruction to get a symmetrical appearance thanks to breast form prostheses. If you choose not to have reconstruction, wait to have it, or are not a good candidate for it, a custom breast form may be a good option for you. The appearance of breasts can be achieved with a prosthesis or with two depending on your treatment plan and surgery.

    In addition, there are a wide variety of  clothing,  lingerie,  bra, and swimwear lines specifically made for people who wear custom breast forms, such as  AnaOno, and remain an excellent option for people who want to appear to have full breasts. 

    Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about custom breast forms! 

    What is the Difference Between Custom Breast Forms and Traditional Breast Forms? 

    Custom breast forms are not made for the masses — they’re made uniquely for you! The appearance of symmetrical breasts after surgery can be challenging, and the perfect solution may be a custom breast form. With custom breast forms, you get choices that aren’t normally available with standard breast forms.Also known as traditional or off-the-shelf breast forms, standard breast forms offer less flexibility in terms of sizes, colors, nipples, shapes, and so on. Since custom breast forms are tailored to each individual, you are likely to be better fitted and be happier with the results.  

    shop pocketed bras from anaono

    Shop Pocketed Bras

    What are Custom Breast Forms Made of?

    Custom breast forms are usually made of silicone gel, foam, or fiberfil, and each one is designed to give you a realistic looking breast. Breast prostheses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, just like implants. Many prostheses have the ability to slip into a pocket in a specially designed bra or camisole, like all of AnaOno's  Pocketed Bras for Breast Forms & Prosthetics. Some prostheses are weighted to mimic the weight of a breast and others are not. Custom breast forms are unique to you and typically lay directly on the skin and stay in place with a well-fitted bra like our  Gloria.

    anaono pocketed gloria lace bra

    Shop Gloria Pocketed Lace Bra

    How Do I Choose a Custom Breast Form?

    We highly recommend scheduling a professional fitting before your surgery if you are looking to find your perfect breast form. After taking your measurements, a certified fitter will suggest which breast forms will add volume to your chest, be an ideal weight, and allow you to achieve symmetry after having surgery. 

    To find your perfect fit, try an assortment of breast forms under different garments and see what they look like. They are all different shapes, sizes, thickness, materials, and weight, so try each one before deciding which one will be great for you! 

    If you’re looking for the perfect custom breast form, we at AnaOno highly recommend  American Breast Care

    Where Can I Get Fitted for a Custom Breast Form?

    Start by calling your local mastectomy boutique, or visit our  store locator page to find one in your area. Not all boutiques are equipped for custom breast forms, so we always recommend calling in advance.American Breast Care has a store locator for custom forms  here

    How Much Does a Prosthetic Breast Cost?

    It costs about $400 on average for a pre-made silicone prosthesis. A custom-made prosthesis can cost upwards of $5,000. In addition, you will also need to purchase a mastectomy bra capable of holding your prosthetics. This exact type of pocket can be found on several of AnaOno's stylish bralettes, like our  Rora Pocketed Front Closure Bra! Fret not, however, as we talk about insurance options in the next section! 

    anaono Rora pocketed Front closure bra

    Shop Rora Pocketed Front Closure Bra

    Does Insurance Cover Breast Prosthesis?

    Yes! Health insurance plans cover your post-mastectomy bras, a breastprosthesis, breast forms, and certain pieces of clothing for your breast prosthesis. It may be possible to have your insurance cover breast prosthesis to make you look more symmetrical if your breast reconstruction was unfavorable or left you unsymmetrical or flat. See if you are covered for this benefit through your insurance! Be sure to call your provider to understand co-pays and out-of-pocket costs required, and although we continue to lobby, traditional medicare and medicaid may have limited coverage on custom breast forms. JOIN the petition to  have all breast prosthetics covered by insurance by writing your congress people TODAY:  http://LetHERDecide.org/

    In addition, we will gladly assist you in verifying your benefits, should you require any help. Please email us at  coverage@anaono.com and we will be happy to assist you with your insurance questions! 

    Other Helpful Information About Custom Breast Forms

    • How Long Does a Breast Prosthesis Last? An average breast prosthesis lasts from two to three years.
    • How Do You Take Care of a Breast Prosthesis? Upkeep to care for your custom breast form will depend on the type of breast prosthesis you move forward with. Most require that you can hand wash them in unscented soap and pat dry. In addition, be sure to avoid sharp things such as handling a pet as to not puncture the breast form! Speak with your fitter to find out the specific care your breast prosthesis will need.
    • Are Breast Forms Waterproof? Some custom breast forms are waterproof! There are even breast forms specifically made for swimwear!  

    For everything you need to know about custom breast forms, watch AnaOno sit down with Lori Miller of  Studio I Boutique! We chat about everything from flesh-matching technology to being comfortable and so much more! 

    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.