Let's kick off our Q&A with the basics: What exactly is mastectomy swimwear in the first place?
In a nutshell, mastectomy bathing costumes and bikinis are swimwear which has been specially designed for women who have undergone a range of breast surgeries. Some women may have had lumpectomy (a partial breast removal), or complete single or double mastectomies. Some women choose to have one of the different types of breast reconstruction. In all cases, these surgeries will have caused some degree of scarring.
After breast surgery, some women recreate a breast shape to conceal the breast tissue using a breast form (also known as a breast prosthesis). Made of silicone, or a breast shaped pouch filled with little beads, breast forms mimic the shape of a breast.
Women can use their breast forms to customise their swimwear to suit their shape. How do they do this? By placing their breast form (or in the case of double mastectomy breast forms) into the specially-designed pockets of the mastectomy swimsuit. Some women wearing prosthesis feel more confident in their mastectomy swimsuit or bikini knowing the post-surgical chest that symmetrical. Other women choose not to wear breast forms, preferring the freedom of 'going flat and fabulous' in their swimwear! Ultimately, this a matter of personal choice.
Mastectomy swimwear is, therefore, for any woman searching for a bathing suit or bikini which makes her feel confident and comfortable after breast surgery.
And in case you didn't know, mastectomy swimwear is also called 'post surgery swimwear' because it is worn after breast surgery.
Designs and features vary but any good mastectomy swimwear range will include
high neck options
swimsuits with pockets for optional breast forms
styles which fit a wide range of body types comfortably and stylishly
Clover Lewis Swimwear, for example, includes a wide range of specialist features developed with women who have undergone breast surgeries in mind, such as soft, chafe-free seams with no rough edges to rub on your skin or scar tissue, wire-free boning to ensure optimum comfort and support for your breast forms. We've developed easy-to-use pockets with elasticated openings that hold your prostheses securely but won’t get in the way if they're not needed.
Do you have any questions about mastectomy swimwear you'd like us to answer?
We love to hear your thoughts, learn about your experiences and answer your questions. Leave a question for Clover and the team below, or contact us directly with your query.
Clover, Creator of Clover Lewis Swimwear
Clover started designing mastectomy swimsuits and bikinis after struggling to find a stylish, beautiful post-surgery bikini to wear on her first holiday after a breast cancer diagnosis. The holiday? A trip to Bali to overcome her fears by learning how to scuba-dive.
She made her first mastectomy bikini, got her PADI diving certificate wearing it, at that moment personally realised the connections between body image, clothing confidence for women with breast cancer.
So despite the expectation to carry on with “life as normal” after cancer, this experience had a profound effect on Clover. It became the fuel for her mission creating beautiful swimwear for women to feel good about their bodies so they can swim again.
Through Clover Lewis Swimwear, Clover helps women feel body confident… and feel like they belong on a beach.