Lumpectomy is the removal of the breast tumour (aka 'bastard lump'). It is a form of “breast-conserving” or "breast preservation" surgery that is often described as a partial mastectomy because only part of the breast tissue is removed. Unlike a mastectomy, lumpectomy removes only the tumour and a small rim of normal tissue around it, leaving most of the breast skin and tissue in place. But the amount of tissue removed can vary greatly depending on your diagnosis so do ensure that you have a clear understanding from your doctor about how much of your breast may be gone after surgery and what kind of scar you will have.
Not everyone is able to have a lumpectomy. It is generally only a viable option if cancer only affects one area of your breast or if the tumour is relatively small compared to your breast size. If you have multiple tumours in one breast or have a large cancer, regrettably you may not be a candidate for this procedure. However, where it's an option, many women choose to have a lumpectomy over a mastectomy to keep their breast and have it look (as much as possible) like it did before surgery.
In addition to surgery, many women will receive radiation therapy shortly after a lumpectomy in order to eliminate any cancer cells that may be present in the remaining breast tissue. Radiation therapy can also affect the look and feel of your breast, causing shrinkage, or change in texture of feel.
So not only are you having to contend with scars from the surgery that require consideration (your old bras may rub and cause discomfort), your breasts may be reacting and changing due to the treatment, and your skin may be greatly sensitive after radiation... which is a lot to contend with. It essentially means you want a supremely soft bra and anything that directly touches your skin needs to be gentle, which eliminates lace or any abrasive materials for now.
If you choose to use a Breast Form or Prosthesis then we would always recommend a pocketed bra to start with, while you get comfortable wearing it. Pocketed bras will hold your breast form securely in place away from your skin for maximum comfort, no irritation and your peace of mind. You don't want to be fretting about it falling out mid downward dog/run for the bus/reaching for the wine etc.
So first...Breast Forms
A breast prosthesis/or breast form is an artificial breast that replaces the shape of all or part of the breast that has been removed. It fits in a bra cup with or without a bra pocket. Many women who have had surgery for breast cancer and have not had reconstruction wear a breast prosthesis.
For some women, wearing a prosthesis may be a temporary choice prior to reconstruction. Other women may choose not (or be unable) to have breast reconstruction and find wearing a prosthesis an effective and suitable long-term choice.
Wearing a breast form is a great option for women who have decided not to get reconstructive surgery but want to keep the same look under their clothes. They come in many different styles, shapes, weights, skin tones, materials and prices. You can view our selection on our website here.
Thankfully the days of sewing a little pouch in your pre-surgery bra are behind us, with an inspiring number of forward thinking, inclusive lingerie brands designing for this very purpose.
Read on for our favourite bras suitable after a lumpectomy; with the focus on discreet details to support, enhance and give you peace of mind, but all hidden under loveliness that doesn't reveal the deeply functional aspects of your new 'work-horse' bra!
Royce | Luella Soft T-Shirt Bra | Black & Pink
The beautiful printed lace Luella bra is a fantastic option for post-lumpectomy. Delicately detailed, it's both stylish and comfortable. The soft, moulded cups are lightly padded which create a smooth appearance under clothing whilst being non-irritating to delicate skin. The addition of a pretty lace modesty panel attaches with discreet buttons and comes with cotton lining/pockets as standard. Available to purchase with matching briefs for a luxurious set, find it on site here.
Megami | Allure Padded Bralette | Black & Skin
The Bralette look for post-op is possible! The unique silhouette makes for a very striking look whilst practical and well thought out design ensures you have all the security and support you need. A full-coverage wireless padded bra is discreetly hidden under a plunging neckline in black lace creating a very sexy bralette effect. High back for maximum support and smooth skin, plus straps with stay-in-place sliders mean you're as snug as a bug in a rug! Available with matching briefs for a luxe look, this is pre-op lingerie for your post-op self! View on our website here.
Love Rose | Hey Good Lookin’ Pocketed Wire-Free Bra | Lotus Pink
This Love Rose bra is a fabulous option for any lady who wears a prosthesis. Designed with signature recycled lace and trimmed with silk. It’s bilateral soft bra pockets hold a breast form or enhancer securely in place whilst the higher centre front is designed to provide modesty to ladies who have had a single or double mastectomy. A timeless foundation piece; an extra layer of confidence.
Available with a selection of matching knickers, you can find it on our website here.
Perfect support and maximum comfort - this mastectomy bra leaves nothing to be desired. The cup with soft cotton lining gives you a secure feeling and protects your sensitive skin. A special detail is the playful lace above and below the cup which gives a wonderfully luxe feel, without disclosing the practical features hidden beneath! Available to buy on our website here.
AnaOno | Gloria Pocketed Lace Bra
All of AnaOno's designs are thoughtful and generous, but the Gloria features stretch lace, fully lined soft cups, elegant decorative seams and a pretty little satin bow that we appreciate! Looks lovely from the outside...what's happening underneath? A versatile, wire-free bralette you'll wear well beyond your recovery, the Gloria bra has built in pockets on both sides making it easy to slip in breast forms. Simply use the adjustable straps and the four-hook back closure to get the perfect fit. Thanks to the lovely stretch lace, this bra is incredibly comfortable and undeniably sexy and available on site here.
Just please do make sure you have a fitting to be confident that whichever bra you choose works perfectly for you. As always we're happy to offer advice and guidance all the way and we do have a couple of available times on our next Bespoke Fitting Day, so get in touch if you fancy your boob/boobs squeezed by a Bra Sister! (professionally, of course! 😂)
x Kate & Sarah