What is a Mastectomy Swimsuit?

by | Apr 7, 2019 | Shopping

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A mastectomy swimsuit may sound like an unusual looking garment that will make you stand out from the crowd but it’s far from it. Coming in an assorted range of stylish designs, mastectomy bathing suits appear to be the same as any other ordinary swimsuit but with subtle differences.

They are specifically made for women who had breast surgery. After any type of breast operation, there is scarring over the chest area so mastectomy swimsuits are made for comfort and discretion so you can wear a bathing suit with confidence. Some designs allow for a breast prosthetic to be inserted while others are pre-fitted with soft breast cups.

Although not generally found in conventional clothing shops, mastectomy swimsuits are widely available at specialized stores.

The Unwanted Journey

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a traumatic moment that gets prolonged into an unwelcome journey when going through treatment, surgery and recovery. Whether it’s a partial, single or double mastectomy, it is a life-altering event in any woman’s life. It shakes you to the core and challenges every aspect of life.

Life After A Mastectomy

For a woman to lose one of her most defining, feminine (and desirable) parts can destroy any shred of self-confidence that might be left. It takes time to heal and rebuild from the inside out and when the time comes to step out in the world again, you want to do so happily and confidently.

Mastectomy Swimsuits: The Options

So, it’s all about personal preference when it comes to choosing a suitable mastectomy swimsuit. Some women prefer wearing a bathing suit specially made to hold a prosthetic, some prefer suits with pre-fitted breast cups, and some women feel more relaxed wearing neither form.

Breast Prosthetics

Technology advances have given women the option to recreate their breast shape post-mastectomy through the use of breast prosthetics. Made from foam, silicone, or fiberfill, the artificial breasts are versatile and can be positioned inside the built-in pockets of a bathing suit, post surgical bra or any post-operation garment.


Most mastectomy swimwear includes discreet pockets that safely hold the prosthetics or breast form shapes. The pockets are designed to keep the insert securely in place to prevent anything from slipping out unexpectedly – which is a valid concern.

Pre-fitted Breast Cups

Wearing breast forms or prosthetics after surgery could be uncomfortable for some women who might then want to try a mastectomy swimsuit with pre-fitted soft breast cups that include pockets for optional use.

Elegant Adjustments

The purpose of mastectomy bathing suits is to ensure the utmost comfort while providing a supported round and natural shape. Although designs vary, a good swimsuit will have high neck options, pocketed or soft cup features, or both. The suit should fit comfortably, making you feel self-assured and content to enjoy the beach and pool.

Comfort is Key

Adjustable shoulder straps that are easy on the shoulders and back are important to support the breast inserts and avoid any strain. Various styles are designed with padded straps while maintaining a slimming look. Choose from one- or two-piece swimsuits, a bikini or tankini – whichever fits most comfortably.

What to Avoid

Underwire bras and rigid and ill-fitting bras don’t provide the correct support and can become a source of discomfort that impedes the healing process. Choose a soft fabric for swimwear that doesn’t agitate sensitive skin. Surgeons will usually provide guidance on what should or shouldn’t be worn post-surgery.

Mastectomy Support

Having to find new swimwear can be overwhelming and emotional as life, and wardrobe adjustments are made. Be informed about what options are available and try different styles to find the most comfortable and suitable. If the need arises, there are many American breast care organizations and foundations that offer support and advice for breast cancer survivors.