GENEROUS DONATIONS! THANK YOU!

We would like to recognize our most recent contributors who generously donated bras and prostheses to the 2015 Cancer de Mama Clinic that takes place in Mexico.

Pretty in Pink

The Next Step

Custom Fit Therapies

Okuley’s Pharmacy & Home Medical

HOPE – Lymphedema Treatment Center

With the help of volunteers, Cancer de Mama provides free prostheses and bras, funds medical expenses, offers after-surgery counseling, physical therapy, and provides wigs, scarves and hats for Mexican women who suffer from breast cancer and do not have the resources. Cancer de Mama runs a yearly clinic in La Penita, Nayarit and Guadalajara, Mexico. Read More

  Donate to the 2016 Cancer de Mama Clinic

  If you would like to help out for the 2016 clinic you can contact the clinic directly by using their contact form on their website: HERE

Or you can contact us to coordinate donation shipments.

1-866-251-0076

info@wearease.com

Wish List for Donations

  • GENTLY USED BRAS (Please make sure bras are clean, and have NO FOAM CUPS, NO DEMI CUPS)
  • GENTLY USED PROSTHETIC BRAS
  • GENTLY USED PROSTHETIC FORMS
  • KNITTED OR CROCHETED TIT BITS (especially large size)
  • SLEEP CAPS THAT STRETCH TO 11″

The deadline to receive donations for the 2016 clinic is November 1, 2015.

Preparing for Breast Surgery

Once diagnosed…

You and your doctor will want to prepare for your surgery and recovery. Your recovery will be easier if you have a special post-surgical camisole or bra in advance. Such a garment can help alleviate both your physical and emotional discomfort.

During recovery…

While drains are in place, it can be challenging to find workable clothing solutions. You may feel well enough to leave the house and resume aspects of your normal life. Having a camisole that can secure your drains will make it possible to move around.

Style_903_Beth_Camisole_Front

Beth Camisole, Style 903

Post-Surgical Camisoles

A post-surgical camisole provides support and comfort for you immediately after surgery and throughout your recovery.

We offer a number of post-surgical camisoles and bra styles. Camisoles and bras by Wear Ease are uniquely designed with an inner shelf bra to support remaining breast(s).

All Wear Ease post-surgical styles include both removable drain tube pouches and adjustable fiberfill breast forms(puffs). The puff(s) fit securely into built-in pockets and provide breast shape without discomfort.

Features & Benefits of our post-surgical camisoles and bras:

- Designed for recovery and function, adaptable to your surgical needs.

- Detatchable drain tube pouches to anchor and hold surgical drain bulbs

- Soft latex-free cotton spandex fabric, smooth seams

- Comfortable, easy to wear, secure fit

- Styles for “stepping into” or “front closure”

- Fiberfill breast forms restore shape without discomfort

- Fiberfill breast forms provide additional padding over surgical site

- Loose fitting for sensitive skin from radiation

- Support for remaining breast(s)

- Helps to control pain by easing stress or pulling on incision

- Promotes healing

- May be paid by insurance or Medicare

Dawn Camisole Drainage System

Insurance Coverage for Breast Care Products

Most major private insurance companies can cover these (our) products.

Most medical insurance policies base their coverage on Medicare standards which usually cover these products for breast operated women. However, the amount is dependent on the region as defined by Medicare. Post-surigical camisoles for most cancer diagnoses are normally covered under Medicare code L8015.

Your Breast Care Specialist can help you:

-  Determine teh appropriate style and size of camisole or bra to meet your needs

- With local support group contact information

- With completing and filing paperwork for reimbursement from insurance and medicare

- Choose a breast prosthesis and bra that is best for you after your surgery

Healthcare Codes For Medicare & Insurance | Wear Ease

2013 HCPCS Codes Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released the new Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPC) codes, which take effect January 1, 2013. Specific to O&P, one L –Code has been added, and description changes were made to four L-Codes.

New Codes

L-5859: Addition to lower extremity prosthesis, endoskeletal knee-shin system, powered and programmable flexion/extension assist control, includes any type motor(s).

Code Description Changes

L-5972

New description: All lower extremity prostheses, foot, flexible keel.

Old description: All lower extremity prostheses, flexible keel foot (safe, sten, bock dynamic or equal).

Expanded Codes

These codes can be used for most Post-Surgical, Post-Mastectomy & Compression bras and camisoles.

L-8000

New description: Breast prosthesis, mastectomy bra, without integrated breast prosthesis form, any size, any type.

Old description: Breast prosthesis, mastectomy bra.

L-8001

New description: Breast prosthesis mastectomy bra, with integrated breast prosthesis form, unilateral, any size, any type.

Old description: Breast prosthesis, mastectomy bra, with integrated breast prosthesis form, unilateral.

L-8002

New description: Breast prosthesis, mastectomy bra, with integrated breast prosthesis form, bilateral, any size, any type.

Old description: Breast prosthesis, mastectomy bra, with integrated breast prosthesis form, bilateral.

To view the complete list of 2013 codes, click here, and download the file.

Lymphedema Symptoms & Causes

Lymphedema Symptoms and Causes

 

Have you noticed unusual swelling in your body?  Do you have swelling in an arm or a leg or even in your torso?  You might be suffering from lymphedema, a buildup of lymph fluid.  The swelling indicates that your body’s lymph system cannot handle the amount of fluid.  Do not ignore these symptoms because complications from infection can occur.  Contact your therapist or physician.

Symptoms of Lymphedema

  • A limb or body part is swollen
  • Swelling worsens over time
  • Repeated episode of infection
  • Sensation of heaviness and limited motion
  • Clothes, jewelry  or shoes no longer fit

Possible Causes of Lymphedema

  • Treatment of cancer
  • Birth defects
  • Infections
  • Trauma (injury or surgery)
  • Circulatory disorders

General Recommendations

  • Protect the area below the surgery from injury, even many years after surgery.
  • If you have had lymph nodes removed from under your arm
  • Do not have blood drawn from the arm on the side of the lymph node surgery.
  • Do not allow a blood pressure cuff to be placed on that arm. If you are in the hospital, make sure you notify your nurse and other hospital staff of your condition.
  • Avoid razors, use an electric shaver for underarms.
  • Wear gloves when gardening or doing other activities that may lead to cuts on your fingers or hands.
  • Wear strong sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
  • Practice good skin care to reduce the risk of infection
  • It is important to keep your weight within normal limits as much as possible.

For more information, check out these helpful websites:

National Lymphedema Network, http://www.lymphnet.org

StepUp-SpeakOut  www.stepup-speakout.org

Lymph Notes www.lymphnotes.org

Lymphovenous Canada www.lymphovenous-canada.ca

Lymphedema Support Network  www.lymphoedema.org/Isn (Britain)

Lymphoedema Network Australia  www.lymphoedema.org.au

Lymphedema

Topic Overview

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a collection of fluid that causes swelling (edema) in the arms and legs.

What causes lymphedema?

One of the causes of lymphedema is surgery to remove lymph nodes , usually during cancer treatment. Normally, lymph nodes filter fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances, which are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes. Without normal lymph drainage, fluid can build up in the affected arm or leg, and lymphedema can develop. Medicines such as tamoxifen (Nolvadex), radiation therapy , and injury to the lymph nodes can also cause lymphedema. This type is called secondary lymphedema.

Primary lymphedema can be present at birth or develop during puberty or adulthood. The cause of primary lymphedema is not known.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of lymphedema include feeling as though your clothes, rings, wristwatches, or bracelets are too tight; a feeling of fullness in your arms or legs; and less flexibility in your wrists, hands, and ankles.

How is it treated?

Treatment for lymphedema depends on its cause and includes wearing compression garments such as stockings or sleeves, proper diet and skin care, and fluid drainage.

Elevating an arm or leg that has swelling can help ease the drainage of lymph fluid from the affected limb. Whenever possible, rest a swollen arm or leg on a comfortable surface, above the level of your heart. Don’t put pressure on your armpit or groin area, and don’t hold a limb up without support for very long since this can increase swelling.

Gentle exercise can help reduce swelling. The use of muscles during exercise naturally helps lymph fluid to circulate, which can reduce swelling. But exercise also increases blood flow to the muscles being used, which can increase the amount of lymph fluid present. If you have swelling, it is important to properly bandage an affected limb before exercising. Ask your doctor how to use a bandage for this purpose and what exercises are appropriate for your condition.

After surgery or radiation treatment

If you have had surgery to remove some lymph nodes, use your affected arm or leg as normally as possible. Most people are healed about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, and able to go back to their normal activities.

If you have had lymph nodes removed or have had radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment, you may be able to avoid lymphedema or keep it under control by following the tips below.

  • Contact your doctor promptly if symptoms of an infection—such as redness, pain, or increased swelling—develop in your arm, hand, leg, or foot.
  • Protect the area below the surgery from injury, even many years after surgery.
  • If you have had lymph nodes removed from under your arm:
    • Do not have blood drawn from the arm on the side of the lymph node surgery.
    • Do not allow a blood pressure cuff to be placed on that arm. If you are in the hospital, make sure you notify your nurse and other hospital staff of your condition.
    • Use an electric shaver for underarms.
    • Wear gloves when gardening or doing other activities that may lead to cuts on your fingers or hands.
  • If you have had lymph nodes removed from your groin:
    • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm, not hot, water. Use a mild soap, preferably one that has moisturizers, or use a moisturizer separately.
    • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes that fit properly.
    • Wear the correct size panty hose and stockings. Avoid wearing constricting garters or knee-high or thigh-high stockings.
  • Ask your doctor how to handle any cuts, scratches, insect bites, or other injuries that may occur.
  • Use sunscreen and insect repellent when outdoors to protect your skin from sunburn and insect bites.
  • Do not ignore a feeling of tightness or swelling in or around your arm, hand, leg, or foot. Let your doctor know about it immediately.
  • Ask your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in lymphedema. Many insurance companies will not pay for physical therapy evaluations and treatments without a doctor’s referral.

If you have lymphedema, you may want to wear a lymphedema alert bracelet. These bracelets, available through the National Lymphedema Network, are worn to protect those who have lymphedema from receiving treatment such as blood pressure readings, injections, or blood draws to their affected limbs that could make their condition worse.

LYMPHEDEMA OVERVIEW

Lymphedema is swelling caused by a build-up of fluid, usually in the arm in women who have been treated for breast cancer.  Lymphedema is one of the most troubling complications that can develop after breast cancer surgery.  Many women find that lymphedema worsens the physical and emotional strain of dealing with breast cancer.

The risk of developing lymphedema depends upon the type of surgery you had, the time since surgery, and if radiation therapy was used. Generally, women who undergo more extensive surgery, have many lymph nodes removed, or have radiation therapy to the axilla (arm pit) after surgery are more likely to develop lymphedema

WHAT IS LYMPHEDEMA?

Lymph is a clear fluid that contains mostly protein and white blood cells (the blood cells that fight infection). Lymph vessels drain lymph from the body’s tissues and organs. The fluid is filtered through lymph nodes (also called glands) and eventually drains into the bloodstream.

Lymphedema can develop if surgery or radiation treatment affects the lymph vessels.

Women who have multiple lymph nodes removed (a full axillary node dissection) are more likely to develop lymphedema than those who have only sentinel lymph node biopsy. Women who have both surgery and radiation treatment are at even higher risk.

LYMPHEDEMA SYMPTOMS

The initial symptoms of lymphedema may include:

  • A heavy sensation or an aching discomfort in the arm
  • Swelling of the affected arm or upper chest
  • Difficulty moving the arm
  • Stiffness, weakness, or numbness

PREVENTING WORSENING OF LYMPHEDEMA

Women with lymphedema can do several things to prevent it from getting worse over time. Expert groups recommend the following:

  • Avoid trauma and injury to the affected arm. Blood draws, IV lines, injections, and acupuncture should be avoided in the affected arm, if at all possible. Avoid tight fitting clothing, prolonged blood pressure monitoring, or any activity that could interfere with lymph flow in the affected arm.
  • Try to prevent infection. Practice careful skin and nail hygiene. Use skin moisturizers to prevent dry, cracked skin. Use an antibiotic cream or ointment on small skin cuts, such as paper cuts. Use protective gloves for household work and gardening.  Use an electric razor rather than a razor blade to remove hair in the arm pit.
  • Avoid heavy exercise and lifting heavy objects with the affected arm immediately after surgery. These activities may increase blood flow, which can worsen edema. Gentle stretching and range of motion exercises, provided by a healthcare professional, may be used immediately after surgery. Check with your doctor before resuming an exercise program after breast cancer treatment.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes during bathing or washing dishes. Hot tubs, steam baths, and spending time in hot climates may worsen lymphedema.
  • Keep your weight under control. Obesity can worsen lymphedema and may limit the effectiveness of compression pumps or sleeves.
  • Avoid resting your arm below your heart or sleeping on your arm for prolonged periods.
  • Contact your doctor or nurse if the affected arm develops a rash, becomes red, blistered, or warm, or if you get a fever (temperature greater than 100.4ºF or 38ºC). These symptoms could signal the beginning or worsening of lymphedema.
  • If you develop lymphedema many years after surgery or have worsening lymphedema, contact your doctor or nurse immediately.

IMPACT OF LYMPHEDEMA

While lymphedema is not a life-threatening condition, it can have a major impact on your quality of life. A change in how your arm looks can be distressing.

  • After breast cancer surgery, many women are worry about how they look; having a swollen or misshapen arm can make this worse.
  • If lymphedema affects the ability to use your arm, this can affect your quality of life, particularly if it is your dominant arm (eg, right arm if you are right-handed).
  • Lymphedema can reduce tissue healing and occasionally causes chronic pain. For these reasons, prevention and early treatment of lymphedema are recommended
  • The following organizations also provide reliable health information.
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Lymphedema Network
  • StepUp-SpeakOut.org

Post Surgical Camisoles | Wear Ease

POST SURGICAL CAMISOLES

Pretty young woman with arms raisedWear Ease has developed post-surgical camisoles for women to wear after breast or     chest surgery.    Although there are many other camisoles on the market, we developed ours’ based

upon feedback from women who had had breast surgery and/or fitters.

 Wear_Ease2-23 (680x1024)

A post-surgical camisole provides support and comfort for a woman immediately after surgery and throughout recovery.  And may be covered by Medicare or  insurance, but the key is to purchase it and have it available to wear home from the hospital right after surgery.

A post-surgical camisole is a great solution for women to manage their care and comfort after surgery, going home and during their recovery period.  Many women have told us that they wore their camisole for up to 18 months after their surgery.

Normally, when a woman undergoes a mastectomy she goes home within a day or so, and she still has drain tubes and bulbs attached to her wound. It can be challenging to find workable clothing solutions. This can be painful because the inserted tubes may pull against the wound if not properly anchored.  She may feel well enough to leave the house and resume aspects of her normal life but has to deal with the drains.

Dawn Camisole Drainage System

The Dawn Post-Surgical Camisole was designed to provide comfort and function but also be fashionable and feminine.  Each Wear Ease camisole is packaged with a pair of drainage tube pouches which can be attached to the camisole band around the woman’s chest underneath the camisole.

*Fine, no-pill combed cotton *92% cotton, 8% spandex

*No inside seams

*Additional under-bust support/latex free

*Two removable drainage tube pouches

*Two triangular fiberfill breast forms

*Easy to slip on or step into

*Especially comfortable for fuller figures and unilateral surgery

Lymphedema Symptoms & Causes | Wear Ease Post Surgical Recovery

LYMPHEDEMA SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES

 

Have you noticed unusual swelling in your body?  Do you have swelling in an arm or a leg or even in your torso?  You might be suffering from lymphedema, a buildup of lymph fluid.  The swelling indicates that your body’s lymph system cannot handle the amount of fluid.  Do not ignore these symptoms because complications from infection can occur.  Contact your therapist or physician.

 

SYMPTOMS OF LYMPHEDEMA

  • A limb or body part is swollen
  • Swelling worsens over time
  • Repeated episode of infection
  • Sensation of heaviness and limited motion
  • Clothes or shoes no longer fit

 

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF LYMPHEDEMA

  • Treatment of cancer
  • Birth defects
  • Infections
  • Trauma
  • Circulatory disorders

 

Lymphatic System

 

The following organizations also provide reliable health information.

Benefits Of A Compression Bra | Wear Ease

The Compression Bra by Wear Ease is 83%nylon 17%spandex

The Compression Bra by Wear Ease is 83%nylon 17%spandex

A medical compression garment can assist in the body’s healing process and improve procedure results, post-operatively. Benefits and Risks Associated With Wearing Proper Compression As Directed The benefits of proper compression on the subdermal layers can reduce the risk of seromas, lymphedema, hematomas, and skin unevenness.

Accurate compression

• reduces fluid buildup in subdermal surgical lipectomy area

• increases blood circulation

• promotes proper skin adhesion to newly contoured areas

• holds surgical dressings in place until removed

The Essential Features of A Medical Compression Garment A quality compression garment will apply constant and consistent compression from all angles over a prolonged period of time to provide support to the entire surgical region without sacrificing a patient’s comfort. Fabric selection and quality construction are important in producing the proper level of compression in a garment.  Also, with recommended wear schedule of up to 23 hours a day, it is imperative that a compression garment be designed with comfort and durability in mind. Patient compliance can be directly tied to the comfort and proper fit of a compression garment. Accurate Compression Compression disperses fluid accumulation, associated with the body’s natural healing process, away from the surgical site to allow the dermal layer to adhere to the body’s new contours and assist in skin retraction. Fabric Quality Fabric selected for a compression garment should be strong and durable with the ability to allocate pressure to the body in all directions. Also, it should easily recover to its original shape after periods of extreme stress caused by constant wear. Because a compression garment is worn for the better part of 24 hours each day, the fabric needs the ability to breathe. Furthermore, the fabric should not contain agents that can cause an allergic response. For these reasons, a textile called powernet has been the accepted industry standard for over 30 years. Characteristics of Powernet Powernet consists of a flexible, open hexagonal, net construction, which is specifically developed for strength and to apply pressure both vertically and horizontally resulting in four-way, even compression. Because compression is exerted at the points of the hexagon in the knit, pressure distributes evenly throughout a garment made from powernet. Powernet Durability – Due to its construction, powernet can withstand a great deal of stress over a long period of time without losing its original shape, a concept known as memory.  Memory is vital to a compression garment’s ability to retain its consistent and constant compressive properties. The hexagonal unit provides powernet with the ability to retain a garment’s integrity after being cut or pierced, a necessary feature as holes are often made in a garment to accommodate drain or intravenous tubes. Additionally, powernet is a wash and wear fabric that makes laundering an easy task. Powernet Hygienic Properties – Powernet is made of a proprietary blend of spandex and nylon that makes for a lightweight, breathable garment that wicks moisture away from the body, and is inherently microbe resistant. The hexagon unit in powernet, when stretched over a body, will open to accommodate airflow making the fabric breathable.  Of particular importance is that powernet fabric is 100% latex and rubber free,  assuring doctors and patients alike that there is no risk of deadly allergic reactions. Natural Fiber Fabric Fabrics made from natural fibers, such as 100% cotton, should be used minimally in compression garments. Cotton should never fully line a medical compression garment. However, cotton can provide soft, soothing comfort during the healing process.  After some procedures, it is common to have open incisions that release excess fluid, commonly referred to as drainage. Cotton will absorb excess drainage fluid and can harbor bacteria, so there is a possibility that infection may occur. When using cotton in a medical compression garment, it is ideal to locate the fabric only around incision sites that are not exposed to open drainage from the body.

Fabric Content Makes A Difference In Surgery Recovery | Wear Ease

Different Fabrics for Different Applications Often,  I hear from people who think that the only acceptable fabric for post-surgical recovery is a natural fabric, primarily cotton.  Depending on the patient’s situation, other fabric choices can be  more comfortable and actually speed recovery. Identifying fabric is important. More important is the comparison of fabrics. This makes us know the true quality of a fabric by differentiating it from its substitutes. 

This table shows the comparison of the characteristics of a few fabrics. For example, water retention is very high in cotton and the lowest in polypropylene. Same with the drying time taken, a very long time for cotton and vice versa for poly- propylene.   Cotton and wool shrinks more than polyester and nylon.

Fabric Characteristics

Cotton Wool Polyester Polypropylene Nylon
Water Retention High High Low Lowest Medium
Drying Time Long Long Short Shortest Short
Heat Conduction (Wet) High Low Low Low Medium
Comfort Level (Dry) High Medium High Medium Medium
Shrinkage High High Low High Low
Durability Medium Medium High Medium High
Nylon Very strong, resistant to both abrasion chemicals. It is elastic, easy to wash and is quite lustrous. It returns easily to it’s original shape and is non-absorbent. It is fast drying,. Women’s hosiery, knitted or woven lingerie, socks and sweaters.
Cotton Cloth made of cotton is more comfortable, durable and suitable to resist all kinds of weather. The comfort quality of the cotton is due to its twisted or coiled shape.  It traps air within the fabric structure and helps for a thermal insulation process, resulting protection from heat in summer and cold in winter. T shirts and all types of underwear
Polyester It is lightweight, strong and resistant to creasing, shrinking, stretching, mildew and abrasion. It is readily washable and is not damaged by sunlight or weather and is resistant to moths and mildew.  It is a major component of microfiber. Vary, depending on blend.
Spandex It is lightweight and flexible. It resists deterioration from perspiration, detergent and body oils. It is characterized by it¹s strength and durability. Athletic wear and foundation garments.

Examples Where  Fabric Content Makes A Difference

Wear_Ease2-23 (680x1024) The Dawn Post-Surgical Camisole by Wear Ease is designed to be worn home from the hospital after breast or chest surgery.  It is made of cotton/spandex jersey.   Cotton is chosen for comfort,  and the 8% spandex also adds to the level of comfort and  facilitates donning and fitting. The Compression Bra is constructed of a special powernet, Naturexx (83% nylon 17% spandex) designed and developed specifically for compression

The Compression Bra by Wear Ease is 83%nylon 17%spandex

The Compression Bra by Wear Ease is 83%nylon 17%spandex

garments.  The powernet is designed to allocate pressure to the body in all directions and to maintain its original shape.  In addition, it wicks moisture away from the body.  Powernet provides comfort and durability.