What Is Post-Mastectomy Lingerie?

Alicia Sparks

Post-mastectomy lingerie is lingerie designed for a woman who has had a mastectomy. This lingerie includes the kinds of pieces a woman normally would wear to cover and provide support for her breasts, such as bras and camisoles, and therefore usually features padding to take the place of the removed breast or breasts. Although mastectomy lingerie is available from both online and offline retailers, many women, especially first-time buyers, feel more comfortable getting a professional fitting before choosing post-mastectomy lingerie.

Mastectomy products may enable an active lifestyle, such as tank tops.
Mastectomy products may enable an active lifestyle, such as tank tops.

Since they are some of the most common articles of undergarments a woman wears on a daily basis, bras and camisoles are among the most prevalent types of post-mastectomy lingerie. Generally, these pieces are designed with padding to create a form and shape similar to that of a woman with breasts. Just as there are different types of mastectomies, there are different types of mastectomy lingerie. For example, a woman who has a double mastectomy can shop for a padded camisole or bra with two padded cups, while a woman who has had a single mastectomy can shop for a camisole or bra that is padded on just one side. Similar to regular bras and undergarments, manufacturers create post-mastectomy lingerie in different sizes, as well as with varying degrees of padding.

Of course, manufacturers recognize different preferences among women, and some kinds of post-mastectomy lingerie is designed without padding. Instead, it’s created to fit comfortably around the woman’s chest area, and snugly enough to prevent any bulking or bulging fabric. Such post-mastectomy options are entirely up to each woman’s personal preference.

It’s common to find other types of undergarments and tops in mastectomy lingerie shops, too. For example, many of these shops also sell sports bras and other athletic tops for women who’ve had mastectomies. Too, women can find mastectomy pajama tops and tank tops.

Many shops that specialize in mastectomy lingerie also provide forms women can wear with their bras, camisoles, and other tops. These forms are similar to breast implants, only they’re worn inside the bra or other top. Generally, such forms are made of a soft, lightweight material and come in various cup or breast sizes. Some women prefer these forms because they allow them to convert their regular lingerie into mastectomy lingerie. Too, these forms work well for women who had single mastectomies and simply need a form similar in size and shape to their remaining breast.

A woman can purchase post-mastectomy lingerie from both online and offline retailers. Still, she might find better fitting garments if she receives an in-person, professional fitting first. Her size requirements change after a mastectomy, and although many clothing websites provide measurement guides, she won’t know how the garment feels or looks until she tries it on. If a woman shops for post-mastectomy lingerie from a website or catalog, she should make sure she understands the company’s return policy before making a purchase. This will allow her to shop with confidence should an item not fit.

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