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Frequently Asked Questions

Article Index
Frequently Asked Questions
Silicone Lite Prosthesis
Lymphedema and Compression Therapy
Wigs and Turbans
Incontinence
Advanced Skin Care
Prenatal and Postnatal
Breastfeeding
Women's Health Awareness Quiz
All Pages

Frequently Asked Questions for Breast Surgery

Pre- and Post-Breast Surgery Brochure (PDF)
Preparation for Breast Surgery and Recovery Brochure (PDF)

As you prepare for your surgery, Women’s Health Boutique will assist you to have the right garments to help you through your recovery, and as you heal and go about your life.

However long it has been since your surgery, Women’s Health Boutique will work with you to find the product right for you.

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Most of the questions we get asked are whether use of our products will be noticeable in public, such as our wigs, bras or swimwear. And the good news is that we can honestly say “no” in most situations.

What are my options after breast surgery?

You have three alternatives: wearing an external breast form, external breast reconstruction, or surgical breast reconstruction.

Will my skin need special attention after breast surgery?

Yes, your skin needs deep moisturizing to prevent dryness and sensitivity, and to promote healing, especially if you undergo radiation or chemotherapy treatment.

What can I wear after breast surgery?

We offer a cotton undergarment that will protect your incision. This garment contains no metal hooks or elastic bands and has fiber-filled pockets to give you a natural look.

What is a breast form?

A breast form is a breast prosthesis worn inside a bra to closely simulate the natural contours of your own breast. Forms are made from silicone, foam or fiberfill.

Why is a weighted form necessary?

The form will balance the weight of the remaining breast and alleviate shoulder, neck and back pain.

Why do I need to be custom-fitted for a breast form?

There are hundreds of shapes and sizes of breast forms available. Every woman, every surgery and every breast is different, so the fitting is very individualized. Our certified mastectomy fitters are specially trained to help you find just the right form.

What do I wear when I swim?

Mastectomy swimsuits have pockets to hold the breast forms. Foam and silicone swim forms are designed to be worn in the hot tub, pool or ocean.

After breast surgery, am I at risk for lymphedema?

You may be at risk if lymph node dissection or radiation is involved. Preventive tips are available.


Introducing Our Unique Silicone Lite Prosthesis

Who designed your prosthesis?

Our founder, Vicki D. Jones, along with a team of prosthesis design experts.

What makes your prosthesis unique?

It has a softness that will allow the prosthesis to be shaped by the bra just like a breast. The drape is very natural and the triangular shape has an anatomical curve that allows a natural fit.

Is your prosthesis really lighter?

Yes. It is made from air whipped silicone and is much lighter than traditional silicone forms.

How often can I get a new prosthesis?

Generally every two years. However, Medicare and most insurance companies will allow you a new prosthesis anytime it is medically necessary, such as weight loss, weight gain, or shoulder pain from wearing a prosthesis that is too heavy. We will work with your insurance and file your claim.


Lymphedema and Compression Therapy

Compression Therapy Brochure (PDF)

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Crystal assisting a client with lymphedemaWhat is compression therapy?

Compression therapy is sustained, graduated pressure which improves circulation of blood and lymphatic flow.

When would I need compression therapy?

If you have tired, achy legs; after certain surgeries; and to minimize the effects of lymphedema.

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is swelling caused by an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid. Surgical removal of lymph nodes, trauma, or a congenital defect can interfere with lymphatic systems, causing fluid to pool in your arms and legs.

How can compression therapy help my varicose veins?

Weakened vein walls and valves that can cause varicose veins can be controlled and managed with proper support products.

What can I do to prevent circulation problems?

Avoid crossing your legs at the knee, and standing for long periods. When resting, elevate your legs higher than your heart. Exercise to improve blood flow.

Is it true compression hosiery are no longer ugly and hard to put on?

Compression hosiery are now available in many fashionable colors and styles. An optional stocking aid can make donning simple, fast and easy.

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Wigs and Turbans

Wigs and Turbans Brochure (PDF)

What is alopecia?

Alopecia is the abnormal loss of scalp and body hair. The cause is a mystery, and there is no known cure. Alopecia strikes random, at any age, and affects more than two million Americans.

Do chemotherapy and/or radiation always cause hair loss?

No, it depends on the drugs given, the number of treatments, and the type of treatment.

Are there alternatives to a full wig?

Yes, there are turbans, wraps, hats, caps and scarves. Bangs and capless hair extensions can be used with turbans and hats to give the look of a full head of hair.

Are there special turbans made for sleep?

Yes, sleep turbans are available without a back seam and are made of cotton blends or nylon. They protect the scalp and help maintain head warmth for a restful night’s sleep.

Does my scalp need to "breathe?"

Yes, your scalp is very sensitive. Wear a wig with a breathable mesh cap and avoid tight turbans.

Will hair grow back after chemotherapy or radiation?

Yes, hair growth usually begins around three months after treatment ends; however, color and texture may be different. Radiation to the head usually causes permanent hair loss.

Can hair be colored or permed after it grows back?

Hair will be weak for up to six months, so be careful with coloring, perming or excessive brushing. Otherwise, manage as usual.

How do I care for my scalp?

A specially formulated shampoo which stimulates the scalp is recommended. Massaging your scalp, especially as you shampoo, also helps stimulate hair growth.


Incontinence

Incontinence Brochure (PDF)

What is incontinence and can it be cured?

Incontinence is an involuntary leakage of urine and may be termed as stress, urge or overflow incontinence. Incontinence is not a disease, but a condition that can be cured with a combination of behavior modification, exercise, medication and/or surgery.

When I sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object, I "leak." Is this normal?

Nearly one in four women suffer from stress incontinence caused by pregnancy, childbirth, stress, menopause or age. Weak pelvic floor muscles need proper exercise and can be restrengthened.

I do Kegel exercises, but it doesn't help. Why?

It is sometimes difficult to isolate the pelvic floor muscle. Vaginal weights or pelvic muscle exercisers can help.

Is there an effective and cost-saving alternative to disposable pads?

Yes, reusable panties are designed to eliminate moisture, offer discreet protection and look like undergarments. They also represent a significant savings over disposables.

Can odor as a result of incontinence be effectively controlled?

Yes, we offer a clear, scent-free product that eliminates strong biological odors on contact.

Can skin breakdown from incontinence be prevented?

Yes, proper skin care using a gentle cleanser, plus a moisture barrier, can help prevent skin breakdown.


Advanced Skin Care

Why is it important to moisturize my skin?

Dehydration caused by age, environment, disease or medication induces dry, flaking, itching or chapped skin. Water evaporates off the skin unless it is sealed in. Elta skin care products are designed it seal moisture into healthy, hydrated skin.

Why does my skin feel dry after washing?

Soap and water strip the skin of all natural oils that maintain moisture. The skin hardens as a defense mechanism to prevent further water loss, causing dryness and tightness.

Can I use Elta cremes on my face?

Yes, all of our cremes and lotions are safe for sensitive skin and can even be used around the eye area. Our Elta Block SPF 30 (waterproof) is recommended to protect the skin from sun damage.

Why is proper skin care important for the radiation therapy patient?

Routine application of restorative, deep therapeutic moisturizing emollients, such as Elta creme, is essential to condition the skin before and after radiation therapy. It helps protect and restore moisture, and soothes dryness.

Can Elta Lite Lotion be used under compression garments?

Yes, because it doesn't contain lanolin. You must wash the garment in warm water after each wear to remove the lotion, and to restore elasticity.

Is skin care important for diabetic skin?

Yes, keeping the skin supple enough to resist skin cracking and infections is vital. Our penetrating Elta Creme keeps skin soft and moist.


Frequently Asked Questions for Prenatal and Postnatal

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What can alleviate the pain in my lower back?

A properly fitted maternity belt, girdle or lumbo-sacral support relieves abdominal pressure, pelvic pressure and low back pain.

Are swollen ankles and achy legs during pregnancy something I just have to endure?

No, but this is very common due to the increased pressure on your veins from weight, greater blood flow to and from the womb, and hormone changes. Light or moderate-pressure maternity hose will relieve leg fatigue. For varicose veins or persistent swelling, your doctor may prescribe a tighter compression stocking.

Is there a difference between maternity and nursing bras?

Maternity bras should be custom fitted during the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy; they are designed to expand with the breast and rib cage. The cup size of your nursing bra will be at least 1 to 1 1/2 sizes larger than your maternity bra and should provide more support.

Can stretch marks be prevented?

While no product is guaranteed to take care of stretch marks, our products provide deep penetrating moisture to the skin, which aids in the prevention of stretch marks.

Should I buy or rent a breast pump?

If you are going back to work, you may want to purchase a pump for convenience, especially if you plan on long-term pumping. If your baby is premature or you have breastfeeding problems that a breast pump can correct, you may prefer to rent. If you only need to pump occasionally, you may prefer a manual or battery-operated pump.


Frequently Asked Questions for Breastfeeding

Why should I breastfeed?

Breast milk provides perfectly balanced nutrition for your baby and is ideally suited for a baby's immature digestive system. Breast milk provides your baby with important immune resistance to allergens and illnesses. Breastfeeding benefits the mother by causing the uterus to contract to the pre-pregnancy size more quickly and by producing the hormones prolactin, which stimulates relaxation.

Where can I get books and information about breastfeeding?

In our Educational Library we carry a selection of books, videotapes and literature about successful breastfeeding. These resources can be checked out free of charge.

What if my nipples become sore or cracked?

Correct your baby's latch on and sucking. Keep your nipples dry. Wear a good fitting nursing bra. Nurse more frequently. Alternate nursing positions. Massage your breasts. Avoid using soap on your nipples. We offer products that soothe and help heal sore, chapped or cracked nipples.

Is there a right or wrong style of nursing bra?

Yes, you need a properly fitted nursing bra that supports your breasts adequately. A bra cup that is too tight can constrict the milk ducts, causing mastitis and discomfort. There are many styles available. Let our certified fitters assist you in finding the right fit for you.

Can I continue breastfeeding when I return to work?

Yes, if you plan ahead, you can pump and store breast milk for your baby's nourishment. Today's breast pumps are designed for the working or active mother on-the-go. We even carry adapters suitable for travel, as well as manual and battery operated breast pumps.

Can I breastfeed if I have inverted nipples?

Yes, breast pumps are effective in pulling out the nipple to allow the baby to latch on properly.


Women's Health Awareness Quiz

  • Do you have trouble finding a bra that fits properly?
  • Are you constantly adjusting your bra?
  • Do your bra straps "dig" into your shoulders?
  • Do you want to enhance your breasts without surgery?
  • When you cough, sneeze or lift heavy objects, do you accidentally leak urine?
  • Do you have problems with bladder control?
  • Are you at risk for osteoporosis?
  • Would you benefit from additional posture support?
  • Do you have special skin care needs?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Are you breastfeeding your baby?
  • Do you have alopecia or medically-related hair loss?
  • Do you have difficulty managing your hair or just have "bad hair" days?
  • Have you had a mastectomy? A lumpectomy? Breast implants removed?
  • Are you taking chemotherapy or radiation treatments?
  • Do you have tired, achy legs, swollen ankles or varicose veins?
  • Do you have lymphedema, chronic edema or venous insufficiency?