Medicare will help with the cost of an external breast prosthesis after breast cancer surgery. You can get up to a maximum of $400 for each prosthesis.
To get this you must:
be enrolled in Medicare
have had breast surgery as a result of breast cancer - includes mastectomy and having a lump removed
not have purchased and claimed under this program in the past 2 years.
For the full rebate conditions see the External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program
How long should I wear my post surgical bra?
As a guide it is recommended that you wear a post surgery bra immediately after surgery and continue to wear it for at least 6 weeks. This will depend on the type of surgery, how well the wounds have healed, the presence of fluid or swelling and recovery in general. Your surgeon or breast care nurse will be able to advise on how long you will need to wear it.
Bras will keep their shape longer if hand washed. Think about washing them in the shower, if that saves you time - avoid rubbing the fabric.
If washing your bras in a washing machine we recommend using a lingerie washbag to ensure you get the best from your bras. Always ensure the hooks and eyes are fastened prior to placing them in a wash bag.
Use a mild detergent, cool water on a gentle or delicate cycle and a low spin dry.
Avoid drying garments in direct sunlight and do not tumble dry.
Your swimsuit should be rinsed in cool, tap water after each time you wear it whether for swimming or sunbathing. If you have time to allow the suit to soak for 30 minutes, even better. This will remove most of the chemicals and sand and body soil that harm the fabric. The chlorine in pools can harm a swimsuit's elasticity and cause the fabric to yellow. Almost every swimsuit contains spandex or Lycra, so again prompt cleaning is important.
After rinsing out the suit, it is recommended that you hand wash it. Plain water does not remove all the salt or chlorine. Refill the sink with water and add just a tablespoon or less of liquid detergent or suit saver (guaranteed to remove harmful chlorine). Don't use powders because they may not dissolve completely or rinse away well. And, never use bleach. Turn your swimsuit inside out. Swish for several minutes and then rinse well. Gently squeeze - don't wring - the water out of the fabric. Spread your suit flat to dry in a spot out of direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can both fade and break down the fibers in your suit. Never use a dryer.
Using a hydrotherapy pool regularly or sitting in spa jets may break the lycra or spandex down quicker. It is recommended that you purchase a chlorine resistant bather and ensure you care for your swimsuit by following the instructions above.