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After breast cancer surgery

Into the ”new normal”
tailor made aftercare is crucial

By the time your doctors consider your breast cancer treatment a success and declare it finished, you have every reason to celebrate: you have your life back! And you have your everyday routine back! But – to be honest – it’s not going to be the same life as before your cancer. After all, even successful breast cancer treatment doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about cancer anymore. Even many years after the initial diagnosis, there is a risk that the cancer could return. In addition to intensive early relapse detection, aftercare will also be an important part of your new life. This is particularly true if you were unable to undergo breast-preserving surgery and a reconstruction of the amputated breast was out of the question.

In this case, THUASNE has the right solutions for you: a variety of breast prostheses from which you can choose the
one that suits you best. This compensation solution (epithesis) is then worn with special bras (or swimsuits). They have sewn-in pockets for the epithesis. This will allow you to visually feel like a woman again. No one will see a difference: not when working in business clothes or when playing sports or on the beach.

Immediately after surgery:

Initial care – check scar healing

Immediately after surgery you will have received an initial prosthesis at the hospital. It is made of a special cotton wool (fiberfill) and is particularly gentle on the scar area. If the wounds have healed after surgery (after about four weeks), you will receive a silicone epithesis at your specialist medical supply shop. In addition to your gynaecologist, the specialist advisers there will also be your first point of contact when it comes to adapting your epitheses individually to your personal needs over time.

The use of special initial prostheses after breast surgery is intended to support
scar healing and restore the silhouette. The key to this is the right pressure: even and dosed pressure prevents uncontrolled growth of scar tissue. And pressure, i.e. targeted compression, also maintains the shape of the breast that has been operated on and helps to alleviate postoperative swelling.

Objective of initial care after surgery: Targeted compression and even pressure ensure that surgical scars heal flat. The pressure prevents bulging (hypertrophic) scars caused by the excessive formation of connective tissue.
Tailor-made and perfectly fitting

Products that fit you

With perfectly fitting epitheses in special garments, now you can visually feel completely like a woman after breast amputation. Simply choose the best one for you from a variety of breast prostheses. This outer breast compensation (epithesis) is then worn with special bras or swimsuits. They have built-in pockets for the epithesis. So no one will notice a difference. Whether you’re at work, on the beach or doing sports.

THUASNE: Our solutions

THUASNE offers you a variety of different solutions so you
can wear whatever you want: we have developed special
compression garments for every task. If necessary, our
bras or jackets are made to measure for you – if
necessary, with individual details that are tailored precisely
to your surgical result. One of the features of our
compression apparel for women who have undergone
breast cancer surgery is that integrated pockets are
standard for the use of external breast epitheses.
Combined with the particularly mild first-aid epitheses, this
will get you back into shape immediately after surgery!

Breast prosthesis: What does health insurance pay?

The subsidies may vary depending on the health insurer and the federal state. Many health insurers have
established “auxiliary competence centres”. There you can find out what subsidies your health insurer will
provide. Or ask your medical supply shop! They are very
familiar with regulations and bills, and can tell you how
much your own contribution is. The specialist stores often also take over the application for subsidies. In Switzerland, breast epitheses and bras are reimbursed annually either by health insurance or by IV (disability insurance).
The specialist store usually registers with the IV or health
insurer. Some specialist stores also charge IV directly,
which is not possible with health insurance.

Breast prosthesis: What does health insurance pay?

In Germany, the costs of a breast prosthesis are covered by statutory health insurance. Subsidies are available for the required special bras and swimsuits. The following costs are generally covered by health
insurers:

After amputation:

After breast-preserving surgery:

Epitheses and special bras:

In Germany, the costs of epitheses are covered by statutory health insurance.
Subsidies are available for the required special bras and swimsuits. The following
costs are generally covered by health insurers:

The “initial equipment”:

The “regular supply”*:

*Also, in case of a significant change in weight: a completely new supply. However, the change in weight must be confirmed by a doctor.

Swimsuits, bra and
epitheses: Specialist
shops help with

Tips and tricks

Find your way back to yourself

Sometimes it’s the little things that make life easier. We have collected tips and
tricks to help you follow your own path. Have a look – or ask!

Lymphoedema

A common and unpleasant illness resulting from surgery – What should be done?

Removing lymph nodes during breast cancer surgery can have long-lasting consequences: if this prevents the lymphatic fluid from draining off sufficiently well in the lymphatic vessels, it can
penetrate the surrounding tissue and accumulate there. Such fluid build-ups in the tissue are called oedema. Lymphoedema is a common secondary disease following breast cancer surgery. Almost
one in three patients is affected.

The tricky thing is that lymphoedema may develop even years after surgery. On average, it develops around 15 months after surgery (1). And this usually happens subtly. Lymphoedema is most
common on the arms, armpits, chest or chest wall, and sometimes also on the hand. Without treatment, the affected part of the body usually swells. Over time, the tissue of the affected areas
changes, and the swelling becomes hard. This can restrict mobility – with varying degrees of severity.

In fact, one often sees that a patient is affected by lymphoedema. Many women suffer psychologically as a result. To prevent lymphoedema, THUASNE has therefore developed tailored
compression solutions. And you, too, can do a lot to prevent the formation of lymphoedema or eliminate any oedema that has occurred.

Take countermeasures yourself: how to recognise lymphoedema

Be careful!

Because lymphoedema develops slowly and gradually, it’s all down to you. So pay attention to your body’s signals – and get in touch with your doctor at the slightest sign of swelling, a feeling of pressure or restricted movement.

Simply measure!

This is the safe and easy way to detect oedema in a timely manner: measure the circumference of your arm regularly with a measuring tape.

Get active!

These exercises also help against lymphoedema

Gymnastic exercises boost circulation. And they also improve your ability to move
after breast surgery. Above all, however, movement exercises support the return flow of the lymphatic fluid. And this effectively protects you from lymphoedema.
You can do these exercises at home, some even sitting down.

Treat lymphoedema: breaking the traffic jam with brains and discipline

First things first: with the right and, above all, early treatment, you can also manage your oedema using conservative methods – i.e. without having to undergo further surgery. This conservative treatment consists of several interlocking components. In order to be as effective as possible, all of
them are important. Before treatment, however, a clear diagnosis must be made. After all, treating lymphoedema is a lifelong challenge that requires discipline and makes it necessary to wear compression clothing permanently.

Back into balance with ease

No body is perfectly symmetrical. This also applies to the female breast. In fact, the majority of women have breasts of different sizes. While the difference in size is barely visible in some, others develop a disturbing sensation due to the asymmetry – whether after breast-conserving surgery, during breast reconstruction or due to a congenital peculiarity.                                                    

In each of the cases mentioned, partial or compensating breast forms can provide the optimal balance of volume differences. With our SILIMA products, we have developed suitable breast forms for the different needs and requirements to (re)create a natural-looking symmetry of the breasts.

For a natural well-being. Your breast. Your shape.

Our SILIMA range for a natural balance

Did you know that about 80 percent of breast surgeries today are breast-conserving? With the partial and compensating forms from SILIMA, women can find their individual balance after breast-conserving surgery (BCS), but also after breast reconstruction. In this way, the natural symmetrical silhouette is restored. 

Once again, as a reminder, hardly any two breasts are alike. Even those women who desire greater symmetry in their natural breasts have numerous safe and comfortable options with SILIMA to feel more comfortable in their skin.

Do you want a breast counterbalance? Then discover the possibilities that our SILIMA range offers you. Whether partial or compensatory breast forms – find the shape that makes you a bit happier, more feminine, and more satisfied.

The benefits of SILIMA partial and compensating forms at a glance:

  • Confidence
  • Womanhood
  • Comfort
  • Silhouette
  • Optimum support

Good to know: Even after breast-conserving surgery, you don’t have to give up your favorite sport. Breast forms and sport are not a contradiction but enrich you twice over: with self-confidence and vitality!

Back into balance with ease.

In combination with the matching SILIMA underwear, the breast forms form a harmonious and aesthetic unit. Your silhouette and thus your feminine appearance are individually restored down to the last detail.

SILIMA breast forms are made of a combination of soft silicone and a wafer-thin, tear-resistant polyurethane outer film. They offer you safety, well-being and a pleasant and natural body feeling.

Different volumes and designs provide the best possible support for individual adaptation. The anatomical shape was developed together with medical experts and adapted to the contours of the body. The matt, velvety surface is modelled on natural skin. The breast forms also adapt optimally to the natural breast in terms of movement behavior. The materials are kind to the skin, easy to care for and resistant to salt water and chlorine.

Our SILIMA breast forms have been developed in a diverse range of sizes, colors and volumes – for maximum wearing safety and freedom of movement in every situation.

SILIMA Xtra – Partial form with adhesive pads

Perfect hold on the skin and in the bra

  • Position it beneath the bust or at the outer side for support and/or lift
  • Adhesive pad for positioning it just where you want it
  • Versatile application: In the area of the breast tip, below or on the side
  • The matt outer skin enhances the natural appearances
SILIMA Shell – Shell form ideal for compensating unevenness

Perfect hold on the skin and in the bra

  • Anatomical, symmetrical shape, mirrors the curvature of the chest wall
  • Restores the natural appearance
  • Can be worn directly on the body using the adhesive strip, with and without adhesion possible
  • Adhesive strips can be reactivated by cleaning and purchased separately
  • Flat natural transition at the top edge, the outer edge blend softly and gently with the skin
SILIMA Conform – Soft compensating form

A particularly aesthetic soft and smooth fitting form

  • Ideal for sensitive scar tissue and suitable for initial care
  • Particularly soft inner layer made of transparent silicone
  • The standard cup has a deep hollow on the underside, making it particularly good for moderate loss of tissue
  • The full cup offering more volume to compensate greater loss of tissue
  • Thin, soft tapering edge for smooth transition
  • Velvety matt outer skin
  • Best worn directly on the skin
SILIMA Ultra light – For a perfect balance

Up to 60% lighter than conventional gel breast forms thanks to the use of a special lightweight silicone

  • Deep cavity on the body side protects the sensitive scar are
  • Unique ring structure ensures natural swinging behavior
  • Edge recess on the underside ensures pleasent air circulation and allows water to run off easily when swimming
  • Anatomical, symmetrical shape
  • Especially recommended for amr or lymphedema patients
  • Also a good solution after breast-conserving surgery with considerable tissue removal
Your way to breast balancing

If you would like to get a personal impression of our products and/or your individual possibilities, it is best to contact your doctor or gynecologist and ask for a prescription. You will find professional advice at a medical supply store of your choice. Here you will also be accompanied from the exact measuring to the fitting of your natural feel-good form.

For whom is the compensating useful?

For women…

… after breast-conserving therapy (BCS)

… after a reconstruction with unsatisfactory results

… after a reconstruction with previous expander therapy

… with natural breast asymmetry or a breast malformation

What about the costs?

Whether in a medical supply store or in a rehabilitation clinic – find the product that exactly meets your needs. Please note that the refund may vary from country to country. In most cases, costs can be covered by health insurance or the state healthcare system as in the UK.   In some cases, breast forms are available free of charge due to the local hospital – if you have any questions, please contact your breast care team, the team form a health care supply store or medical equipment stockist.

Would you like to know more about the SILIMA partial, compensating or full breast forms?

Questions, questions, questions…:
Never get tired of asking. Your contacts at the medical supply store, at the health insurer or at your doctor’s office will be happy to help. And if this gets to be too much, just write everything down!

Don’t be shy:

Try everything out in the medical supply store to get a feel for the different products. Nothing beats your personal impression and your feelings!Try out everything at your leisure in the medical supply store to develop a feeling for the different products. There’s nothing like your personal impression and feelings!

Use the aftercare card!
It is a useful tool which everyone involved (doctor, physiotherapist and medical supply store personnel) can use to quickly get an idea of the relevant data.

Be present with yourself! Dedicate time to yourself
– your body and soul.
Do you notice any changes? Do you have any questions? If you do – see above! – ask! Better one too many times than one too few. It’s about your health and well-being.