best mastectomy bathing suit guide

Mastectomy Swimsuits: Everything You Need To Know

What is a mastectomy swimsuit?

what is mastectomy swimsuit

A mastectomy swimsuit is a specially designed swimwear for women with external breast prostheses.

Unlike the standard ones, these contain unique pockets on the bust to keep the artificial breasts in place while giving the most comfortable feel and natural look on the beach.

Other common features you can find in a mastectomy swimsuit are a high neckline, additional breast cups, narrow armholes, adjustable bra straps, and in some cases, UV-resistant fabric. 

While these swimsuits look just like regular bathing suits, all these designs make them distinct and specifically functional for a post-mastectomy body.

They help ensure bosom symmetry, better scar coverage, enhanced safety, and comfort. 

Mastectomy swimsuit vs. regular swimsuit

A mastectomy swimsuit is very different from a regular swimsuit in a number of ways.

Since it’s tailor-made for an amputated bosom, all its design features is made for that.

mastectomy bathing suits vs regular swimsuits - Copy

Typically, some of the most apparent differences you can spot between the two are;

Bikini top & cup designs

Unlike regular swimsuits, the mastectomy ones come pre-stitched with pockets on the bust.

These help women place swim forms before swimming. They also come attached with removable fabric breast cups as an alternative to silicone prosthesis and breast forms.

Another big difference between these swimsuits and the regular ones is that they feature no stiff underwires.

They come with wider, sturdier under-bust elastics that provide extra support and grip to the breasts. 

Neckline options & cuts

Mastectomy swimsuits do not come in a variety of necklines like regular swimsuits.

Typically, they are only available in high-neckline styles. They have high, compact underarm cuts and adjustable shoulder straps.

Besides hiding scars, these little differences in the cut of a mastectomy swimsuit also largely help keep the swim forms in place while swimming.

Sizing and fit

Regular swimsuits can be both baggy and tight. Mastectomy swimsuits are only body-hugging in fit.

It not only keeps the prostheses in place but also does away with the continuous fret of adjusting them.

In fact, this tight-fitting also seamlessly accentuates and defines your bosom.

They come equipped with tummy tucker panels, too, to make your upper body look all the more chiseled and accentuated.

Coverage levels

Mastectomy swimsuits offer more modest coverage in comparison to regular ones.

The higher neckline and armhole ensure just the arms, legs, and bare minimum of the neck and back are exposed to the sun.

This helps avoid excess UV exposure to the operated body parts while also concealing attention-drawing scars and cuts from view. 

Specific fabrics

Regular swimsuits are available in a range of fabric options like nylon, elastane, and polyester.

But good quality mastectomy swimsuits are made of skin-friendly, chlorine, and UV-resistant fabrics only, like spandex or Lycra.

What’s considered a mastectomy-friendly swimsuit?

A “mastectomy-friendly” swimsuit is one that you can wear to the beach after the procedure without any comfort or appearance concerns.

Any regular swimsuit can be made “mastectomy-friendly” by if they have some of the following features.

If you do not wish to invest in a typical mastectomy swimsuit, here are three ways through which you can adapt while buying regular bathing suits:

  • Cut out and sew in padded cups in your regular swimsuit to achieve symmetry in the bust area.
  • Swap your normal bikinis with tank tops for mastectomy to conceal scar marks and smooth out the bosom.
  • Stitch pockets in your swimsuit’s bust area to easily insert/remove prostheses.

Or alternatively, here are a few mastectomy-friendly swimwear options that you can opt for;

One-piece swimsuits

Swimsuits with breast pockets and cotton breast cups.

The high neckline and armhole cover most surgical scars, while the pockets help you swap between swim forms and breast cups at your leisure.

Two-piece bathing suits and sets

If you’re looking for more modest coverage and ease of use, look for ones that feature a padded or pocketed top with a flare bottom mini skirt or panty. 

Related: How Do You Wear A Swimsuit After Mastectomy? >

How much does a mastectomy swimsuit cost?

The cost of a durable, high-quality mastectomy swimsuit differs from brand to brand.

As this particular style exceeds an ordinary swimsuit in terms of functionality, it’s generally also more expensive.

how much does mastectomy swimsuits cost

The price also depends on the particular style, quality, and type of mastectomy swimsuit you choose to go for.

For example, a one-piece mastectomy swimsuit with breast pockets and adjustable straps can cost you $60-$80. On the other hand, if you choose to go for a two-piece mastectomy swimwear set like a tankini, the average price would go slightly up to $80-$90 or more. 

Coming to the types, mastectomy swimsuits are generally available in two varieties – pocketed and cupless.

Pocketed mastectomy swimsuits give you the flexibility to either insert your own swim forms or use the soft breast pads that come along. Cupless swimsuits are suitable for you if you wish to ditch the prosthetics and go flat. If you go for a pocketed swimsuit, the average price would be around $70-80. Cupless swimsuits, however, cost less and generally come for $50-$60.

How do I choose the best mastectomy bikini tops or one-piece swimsuits?

Measurements matter the most

It’s very important that your swimwear fits you perfectly if you choose to swim with breast forms on.

It not only minimizes the chance of your forms swaying away by holding them firmly.

A good, close-fitting swimwear also flatters your natural body shape and enhances bosom symmetry.

Designs are important too

When looking for a mastectomy swimsuit, check for features like breast pockets, adjustable straps, and high neckline and armholes.

These key elements make the swimsuit super functional and perfect for a postoperative body from both comfort and appearance points of view.

Get the correct swim forms

Swim forms are breast inserts designed exclusively for use while swimming.

Made of high-quality silicone, they are water-resistant and do not dislodge easily.

Get yourself swim forms that are similar to your breast’s shape and size and slip them inside your suit’s breast pockets for better protection underwater.

Pay attention to the fabric

Investing in a mastectomy swimsuit that’s made of superior-quality fabric is necessary as that makes it last longer.

It also protects you against chlorine-triggered skin irritations and UV damage. So, always pick swimsuits made of spandex, Lycra, nylon, or similar fabrics.

Comfort over anything 

Lastly, pick the swimwear that feels the most comfortable to you.

If you wish to wear swim forms, look for swimsuits with breathable, mesh insert pockets for a relaxing experience.

Go for a mastectomy tankini or bikini set if the idea of your scar marks peeping out makes you anxious. They offer extra coverage than one-piece swimsuits.

The post-mastectomy body is the body to be loved

It’s all in the video.

Luna Wilde covers the latest swimwear collections, designer collabs, tutorials and industry innovations. She brings over 5 years of digital journalism experience to crafting clever, conversational content about all swimwear-involved things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.