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Feeling Beautiful After Breast Surgery

Post-reconstruction hope with two women.

After breast cancer, lumpectomies, mastectomies or reconstruction, many women aren’t sure how to feel about their bodies. You’re dealing with asymmetry, drainage, discomfort and more. And, not only do you look and feel different, so do your undergarments and clothing. Your physical appearance and sexuality is put to the test. Are you destined for ill-fitting garments? No. You just have to know where to shop.

Nordstrom’s 20-year strong Breast Prosthesis Program offers assistance for women in this exact situation. No matter what type of experience your breasts have been through, a certified prosthesis fitter at Nordstrom can help find the bra or camisole that fits you perfectly. And you’re not stuck with something ugly! The fitter can pull from the entire lingerie department and then alter them if necessary (at no cost). You can find products from Amoena, a leading provider of undergarments, active wear and swimwear for women post-surgery, at Nordstrom and many other retailers.

Pennsylvania physician Dr. Deb Kimless-Garber learned first hand what it was like to get dressed post-double mastectomy. Instead of accepting discomfort, she created her own line of shirts and tops that flatter and feel good while worn. Called Red Thread, her line provides bra-free tops, pocketed bras and breast-shapers and can be found in shops around the country and online.

Launched in 2013, the Alloro Collection was also founded by women who had personal experiences with breast cancer. The founders wanted to create stylish designs while also addressing contour changes, scarring, range of motion and the discomfort that can come after surgery.

You’re not alone with your body issues after breast surgery; you have options to help you look beautiful. If the above resources don’t work for you, contact your local cancer organization. They can provide a comprehensive list of resources near your home.

Other Surgery Support Organizations

What other organizations/companies do you know of that support people after cancer surgery? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.

About the Author:

Amanda Fretheim Gates is a writer and editor living in Minneapolis.

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  • By Paul Warren

    My comment comes from the man’s perspective, because I identify with the core issue of self-image after the trauma of cancer surgery and treatment, if not with issues specific to women. In my case, colon cancer has trashed my self-image.

    Surgery left me with an illiostomy – a pouch stuck to my abdomen, always there, and something I had to conceal under clothing while trying to maintain an active life. And it was simply impossible to ignore during times of intimacy. While I had the illiostomy, and after its eventual reversal, my bathroom habits became a nightmare with unpleasantness impossible to spare my wife from.

    Until my diagnosis, I always considered myself fit and athletic, with a reasonably attractive body shape. But since, I have lost – and not regained – a good 20 pounds, much of it muscle mass. My abdomen is criss-crossed with scars. And just to remind me of what I’ve been through, every time I look in the mirror I see the round outline of my medi-port still implanted in my upper chest.

    I can never give my wife enough credit for being as gracious and supportive as she has been, raising my self-esteem back to the level that it is. And yes, even as a guy, I hope others see me for the person I am, and not just see the physical affects I am left with. If the women reading this can see past those things for me, perhaps that may give them some self-confidence that others are doing the same for them as they are dealing with their specific issues.