Monday, August 25, 2008

Boob Prosthetic Inserts for Mastectomy in Knitted Cotton

For five years, I have not worn any "lingerie" in the form of a bra, other than a camisole. This may be TMI (too much information), but a bilateral mastectomy, radiation treatments and reconstructive surgery did a number on the pain centers in my chest. Consequently, any close contact to my front is a real irritation. (The exception is that knit cotton t-shirts don't hurt my chest area).

Because I had many Google hits on a previous post about lymphodema (see lymphodema and compression sleeves post here), there must be a need for more information of this type for women with complications from breast cancer. So I want to share this new topic with other woman who might have use for this clever invention which Beryl Tsang came up with: a knit prosthetic breast. Crystal Palace Yarns has the pattern for knitting it on their website. It is a FREE pattern and can be found at this site. Thanks, Beryl, for this marvelous pattern!

The whole insert takes only a few hours hour to make, and a beginning knitter could easily make one (or two). Shout out in a comment below, and I'll walk you through the pattern if you have questions. One pattern alteration I found is to ensure a bind off after step #7 in the pattern.

So far, I have completed one insert and put it into a bra. My DH took this picture yesterday so that the blouse front with the insert on the right side could be shown. Now I just need to complete the second insert for my right side.

The advantages of this little cotton number (for me, at least) are:

1. It is 100% cotton, so it is soft next to either skin or scar tissue;
2. Because cotton is a natural fiber, there is not a risk of either allergy or skin irritation which occurs with synthetic products next to skin;
3. It has a knitted topknot that actually looks like a nipple under a bra cup; (yea! I have nipples again!)
4. It is absorbent, and completely machine washable;
5. Cotton is cooler than any synthetic material used as a bra cup filler, so again, it is more comfortable both against the skin and scar tissue;
6. The insert, when placed inside a bra cup, actually looks like an unaltered breast under clothing (see close-up picture below).


Below is a picture of the insert about fifteen minutes into knitting it:

I used a total of 63 stitches on three needles, which is within the pattern guidelines for an "A" cup size.

To the right is a picture of both sides of the completely knitted insert.

The picture below is the insert with both sides sewn together with a running stitch. The insert was filled with cotton fleece.
(Picture of Pink Prosthetic Above is for Size A Cup)

What a wonderful idea. I'm sharing it with Charity Knitting and the Pink Out groups on Ravelry.

And thanks again, Dorothay, for bringing this pattern and concept back to my attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments mean a lot to me. Thank you so much for reading my post, and heaps more hugs and thank you's for leaving a note!