Using a comforting mastectomy pillow provides relief in all the right areas after breast surgery, but with so many choices it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Below we’ve outlined the 3 best mastectomy pillows that provide relief in the hospital, at home, when you are in the car, and while sleeping.
What Is A Mastectomy Pillow?
Depending on the type of mastectomy and your health in general, recovery from breast removal surgery generally takes 4-8 weeks. During this time, a mastectomy pillow can help to protect your chest area, relieve pressure from surgical incisions, secure surgical drains, and provide a sense of comfort while healing takes place.
Designed with breast surgery patients in mind, mastectomy pillows are made with the softest of materials to soothe tender skin, shaped to perfectly fit against the body in a comforting way, and many include adjustable straps to fit every size.
Whether you’re seeking comfort while recovering after surgery, laying in bed, or driving your car, mastectomy pillows have got you covered.
The Top 3 Mastectomy Pillows
Mastectomy pillows come in various sizes and numerous designs, each aimed at providing comfort during everyday situations while healing. Based on the opinion of breast cancer survivors, the list below reflects the 3 best mastectomy pillows you’ll want on hand while healing from breast removal surgery.
1. Post-Surgery Mastectomy Pillow
The best types of post-surgery mastectomy pillows are designed to feel like a comforting hug. Consisting of three soft pillows encompassed in a gentle, non-irritating fabric, they protect incisions and soothe the tender post-op chest area as well as the underarms if lymph nodes were removed.
These pillows can be worn immediately after surgery and are easy to slip on by laying the center pillow protectively across the chest and placing the side pillows under each arm.
Not only do they prevent the arms from rubbing against the chest but some brands, like Intimate Rose, also come with conveniently placed pockets to hold phones, TV remotes, and gel packs for hot and cold therapy. Intimate Rose Mastectomy Pillows also include adjustable shoulder straps to displace the weight on the shoulders instead of the chest or back.
In addition to offering relief to women who have undergone a single or double mastectomy, these chest-protecting pillows are also ideal for those with tissue expanders in place during breast reconstruction.
Used to gently stretch the chest muscles and skin in preparation for a breast implant, tissue expanders can feel uncomfortable for a few days after each increase. And many women report feeling a sense of relief and comfort from post-surgery mastectomy pillows during this process.
2. Mastectomy Seatbelt Pillow
Produced with both breast surgery and heart surgery patients in mind, seatbelt pillows provide a cushioned barrier between tender surgical incisions on the chest and the pressure of a seatbelt. Perfect for the ride home from the hospital, it’s a great idea to have one of these ordered before you go in for your procedure.
Bearing in mind that even though your chest might feel tender for some time after surgery, you will feel more comfortable within a few weeks and possibly return to driving yourself. In this case, mastectomy seatbelt pillows provide continued relief from the pressure of seatbelts until you are completely healed.
While it’s also possible to use a small pillow from home for this purpose, the best seatbelt mastectomy pillows, like those from Intimate Rose, come with perfectly positioned Velcro straps to keep the pillow in place, and removable fabric covers for washing.
3. Wedge Pillow
Number three on our list is not necessarily a bonafide mastectomy pillow, but in our opinion, a wedge pillow provides vital comfort to you and your body during the healing process after breast removal surgery.
For example, after breast surgery, your surgeon will request that you sleep on your back for a few weeks until surgical drains and dressings have been removed. Placing a wedge pillow under your head and shoulders will help to keep you in position and prevent you from rolling over onto your surgical drains while you sleep.
When positioned at the upper back and shoulders, a wedge pillow also makes it easier for mastectomy patients to get in and out of bed without putting too much strain on the chest muscles.
In addition, wedge pillows help to relieve the sort of back pain that comes from lying down all day during recovery. Placing a wedge pillow under the knees, for instance, helps to straighten the spine into a more relaxed position and relieves pressure on the lower back muscles.
Recovering from any type of breast removal surgery like a mastectomy or lumpectomy can be physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Mastectomy pillows are widely available for purchase online and are designed to offer welcome relief and physical comfort during the healing process. To decide on which mastectomy pillow is best for you, check out our list of the 3 best mastectomy pillows above.
Mastectomy: What to Expect - https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/mastectomy/expectations
Checklist For Recovery After Mastectomy - https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/blog/checklist-for-recovery-after-mastectomy/
What Happens After Breast Surgery - https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/treatment/surgery/after-surgery/what-happens-after-surgery
National Library of Medicine – Exploring Women’s Support Needs After Breast Reconstruction Surgery - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6392201/