Whether it’s being engaged in daily activites or spending time doing things you love, like traveling, being outdoors, or participating in your favorite hobbies, you can continue to engage in daily activities while receiving the therapeutic benefits of compression.
Compression garments are designed to provide support, assist with circulation and minimize swelling. The compression is graduated, with the strongest support at the base and gradually decreasing towards the top of the garment. The gradual support works in conjunction with the pumping action of muscles, which also assist with circulation.
A common myth is that compression garments will cut off circulation. When fitted and worn properly, compression garments help with your circulation, not reduce or restrict it.
Compression garments are categorized by classes. These classes consist of compression ranges, which are measured in mmHg-meaning millimeters of mercury, the universal form of measurement used for this type of garment. There are designated medical indications for each compression class.
Breast Cancer Patients: What you should know about Lypmhedema and compression therapy
Lymphedema may develop after breast surgery or treatment because there is a change in the pathway that drains the fluids in your lymphatic system. It may occur within a few months after a procedure, years later or not at all. What are the symptoms?
- Swelling characterized by “pitting’ which is when skin is depressed for a few seconds and the indentation does not immediately disappear.
- Swelling in the arms, hands, fingers, shoulders, chest or legs.
- A “full” or heavy sensation in the arms or legs.
- Decreased flexability in the the hand, wrist, or ankle.
- Skin tightness.
- Difficulty fitting into clothing in one specific area.
- Tight fitting bracelet, watch or ring that wasn’t tight before.
Mastectomy Fittings & Custom Size Bra Fittings
Scarlet’s Unmentionables carries a large variety of bras suitable for mastectomy clients or any woman who has a difficult time finding a bra that fits. Cheryl Schlote, our Certified Mastectomy Fitter, is experienced bra fittings for all shapes and sizes of women. She has specialized training in post-surgery fittings for mastectomies and external prostheses as well as Lymphedema concerns.
When you have a bra fitting at Scarlet’s Unmentionables you can be confident that you’ll leave with a great fitting bra that offers you comfort, support, shape and symmetry. We work with your expectations to deliver service and a product that delights you.
Cheryl knew that bra fittings and helping women was her calling when she helped a woman who was shy, scared and traumatized by her recent experience with breast cancer. This woman felt helpless about her appearance, but after allowing Cheryl to fit her into a new bra with prostheses she burst into a glowing smile the first time she saw her reflection. That moment changed the lives of both of the women for the better.
We suggest that you make a pre-surgery appointment to meet Cheryl and discuss fitting options so that you know what to expect when including your post-surgery fitting into your treatment plan. Cheryl can also help you choose compression garments for your recovery time and answer questions you may have about garments and insurance coverage. Please note fitters are available by appointment only on Saturday’s and evenings.
Pre-Surgery Meeting with Fitter
Our Certified Mastectomy Fitter, Cheryl, is here to be a part of your treatment support team to provide your personal mastectomy fitting. To help with the post-surgery transitions you might want to make an initial appointment to meet Cheryl before any surgery is scheduled to discuss your post-surgery healing plan and answer questions you might have about garments and the timeline for fittings. You may also want to consider custom fit compression garments for post-surgery healing. We carry a number of products that are nicer than the standard garments available in the hospital. Post surgical garments can be fit prior to surgery for general sizing, then taken with the patient to the hospital for fitting after surgery.
Post-Surgery Bra/Prosthesis Fitting
Mastectomy fittings normally take place after the patient has completely healed from her surgery, approximately 4-6 weeks. Tenderness and tissue changes may occur 6 months or more following surgery.
What to expect at your Scarlet’s Unmentionables mastectomy fitting
Each woman should expect complete privacy during her fitting, caring and compassionate staff to assist her, and confidence that she will be properly fit. Our goal is that when our client leaves our boutique, she will be wearing both a comfortable, supportive bra and a breast form that fits as if it were made for her alone.
Mastectomy fitting appointments last approximately one hour. Family and friends are welcome to join the fitting process if that makes the patient more comfortable. We also have a wonderful area to relax (including a massage chair) and have a cup of coffee while waiting.
Typically a mastectomy bra/prosthesis fitting visit requires two steps:
Step 1: Consultation outside the fitting room. (In street clothes)
We start by gathering a detailed patient history. Is the client experiencing any pain/discomfort with her current bra? What is her current skin condition? Is she experiencing any Lymphedema issues? What is her current range of motion? What is her general activity level? Then we discuss what products she may be interested in and we will do an introduction to bras and breast forms if the client is unfamiliar with how they work together.
We will also discuss insurance and determine what insurance allows under full coverage prior to the fitting. Some of our fashion bras and garments exceed standard insurance coverage, in that case we submit the claim for the standard price and the client pays us directly for the additional cost of what insurance will allow.
Before entering the fitting room we will discuss what to expect once we enter the fitting room and address any client concerns.
Step 2: Consultation in the Fitting Room
When we move into the fitting room we’ll ask our client to remove her blouse and bra. We’ll keep you turned away from the mirror if desired as we try on different bras and prostheses until we have a fit that we like from a medical standpoint and one that we think you’ll be happy with.
Inside the fitting room our Certified Mastectomy Fitter does an assessment of the patient’s surgical site (concavity/convexity) and skin condition. They will ask her about any pain or discomfort she is having, and discuss more in depth range of motion and activity levels.
Measurements are taken at the chest wall and that of the remaining breast (women who have undergone a bilateral mastectomy are able to help determine cup/form size). This gives us a starting point for bra fitting. There are several different styles to choose from (soft cup, underwire, fiberfill, molded seamless, leisure, front closure, sports, camisole).
Once we have a good fitting bra that the patient is comfortable in, we move on to the actual breast prosthesis. The prostheses come in a variety of shapes/sizes, and dependent on the individual and the assessment we completed, we would determine which form works best for her. Options include attachable, leisure/form, lightweight, multi-layered silicone, partial, post surgical, and swim. We try forms until the client and the fitter are satisfied with the fit, comfort, mobility, and most important, symmetry.
Then it’s time for the big reveal (or at any point during the process the client requests it), we’ll have you face the mirror and give our client a look at her new shape. Further adjustments will be made as needed.
If you’re preparing for your mastectomy surgery, contact us to schedule a fitting or request a fitting appointment online.
Custom Size Bra Fittings
Plus size women or women with large breast cup sizes often find it challenging to shop for bras in department stores or even speciality lingerie stores. Often they settle for an ill-fitting bra that doesn’t feel good and doesn’t do anything for their body shape. At Scarlet’s Unmentionables we carry a wide range of bras in extended band and cup sizes to accommodate larger women and women with large breast sizes.
Finding the right size bra
Our Certified Mastectomy Fitter, Cheryl, is trained on helping women of all shapes and sizes to find the right size and shape of bra for their lifestyle and breast size. Her experience and training with mastectomy fitting give her the background to help women with non-surgical issues choose a bra with the right band size and cup size for fit. If you have concerns with asymmetrical breasts, Cheryl can help choose the right garment to improve symmetry.
What to expect at your Scarlet’s Unmentionables custom bra fitting
We believe that every woman visiting our boutique should expect complete privacy during her fitting, caring and compassionate staff to assist her, and confidence that she will be properly fit for a bra that matches her activity level. When any client leaves our boutique, our goal is that she will be wearing a comfortable, supportive bra that fits as if it were made for her alone.
We’ll start out by getting a general idea of what issues you’re having when shopping for bras and ask you about any discomfort you’ve experienced with the bras you’re currently wearing, concerns you have about fit, and learn more about your activity level.
We can also do a walk through of the shop to look at bras that appeal to you and discuss pricing levels so there are no surprises once we get into the fitting room.
Inside the fitting room we’ll take measurements of your torso and breast size to get a starting point for bra fitting. Then we can choose bras to try on from several different styles – soft cup, underwire, fiberfill, molded seamless, leisure, front closure, sports, or camisole. (All of the bras that we carry in the shop can be worn by non-mastectomy clients.)
You can stop by the boutique to speak with our fitter about bra sizes, or contact us to schedule a fitting or request a fitting appointment online.