3 Options For Regaining Self-Esteem After A Mastectomy

A mastectomy can be a life-saving procedure, so it's not something that you would want to avoid due to vanity reasons. However, having part or all of one or both of your breasts removed can certainly affect your self-esteem and can make you feel a lot less attractive. Luckily, you do have your options for looking and feeling "normal" after this procedure.

1. Looser-Fitting Clothing

Obviously, a mastectomy is going to be a lot more obvious in tighter-fitting clothing, particularly if the clothing is tight on the chest or has a low neckline that is designed to show cleavage. After your procedure, you might feel more comfortable wearing loose-fitting T-shirts and other loose-fitting garments which might not call as much attention to your chest. This can also be a more physically comfortable option when you are recovering from surgery.

2. Wear a Prosthetic

The great news is that shortly after your procedure, you can purchase a prosthetic breast. There are prosthetics that are designed to fit inside your bra, or you can purchase a special bra that has the prosthetic built-in. Prosthetics come in all different shapes and sizes, so you can choose the one that is most similar to what your breast or breasts looked like before -- this might be especially important to you if you still have one of your natural breasts and want your breasts to look "natural" alongside one another -- or you can choose a different size or shape to try something new. These can often be purchased from medical supply stores, or your physician might be able to guide you in the right direction.

3. Have Reconstructive Surgery

Just because you may have had to have part or all of your breast or breasts removed does not mean that it has to stay that way. You can actually have breast reconstructive surgery done by a qualified plastic surgeon. When looking for a surgeon, consider looking for someone who has experience in helping breast cancer patients, not someone who has only done more traditional reconstructive surgery for cosmetic purposes. Then, you can ensure that your surgeon knows and understands your specific needs during this sensitive time.

Undergoing a partial, full or double mastectomy can be a big challenge. However, if you want to regain your self-esteem, consider one of these three options. Then, you can relish in the fact that you are beating breast cancer rather than stressing over the change in your appearance. Talk to your doctor, such as at Southwest Oncology Centers, to learn more.