What is a breast prosthesis?

A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast form 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 specially formed pocket. ‘Prostheses’ is the word for more than one prosthesis.

Most breast prostheses are made from soft silicone gel encased in a thin film. They’re moulded to resemble the natural shape of a woman’s breast, or part of a breast. The outer surface feels soft and smooth, and may include a nipple outline.

Read more about breast prostheses.

First weeks after surgery

Breast surgery, and sometimes radiotherapy, can make your chest area feel particularly sensitive. Your breast care nurse or one of the ward nurses will usually give you a fabric-covered temporary prosthesis known as a ‘softie’ (or ‘cumfie’) to wear during this time. You may find that the softie rides up because it’s so light. It may look and feel more secure if you adjust the stuffing and either stitch it to the bottom of your bra cup or keep it in place with a safety pin.

When wearing a bra with your softie, try one that is soft and easy to put on as your shoulder may be stiff at first.

Once your scar area is fully healed and swelling has gone down (usually within six to eight weeks) you can be fitted for a permanent silicone prosthesis. You need to make sure you have a well-fitting, supportive bra before your permanent prosthesis fitting.

Last reviewed: July 2014
Next planned review begins 2016

Sign up for our newsletter