Donating your old breast formsEven though your breast form may not be worn out, your medical insurance may allow for you to get new forms on a regular basis. If this is possible for you, or you have old breast forms in good shape that are not being used, please consider donating your old breast forms to the American Cancer Society/Reach to Recovery programs in your area. They have a program in place to give breast forms to post-mastectomy women who can't afford them by other means.
Repairing a damaged formEven if you take constant delicate care of your breast forms, accidents, friction or just plain age may take its toll. Breast forms may get punctured, their outer envelope seams may split, or other unforeseen damage can occur. Can a breast form be "repaired"? It definitely depends on the degree of the damage, but there might be some things you can do. I originally created this section and left it blank, asking for ideas and suggestions from readers - and I have received some (if you have other suggestions, please send them to me.)
What follows are some of the more interesting and useful suggestions, but remember: if you use special materials in your repair, you need to make sure that they, too, are safe to be used in contact with your skin. Just be careful. A painful mistake can often be more costly than a new form.
- Make the repair as soon as possible after it is found.
Material may continue to leak out if this is not done, and the material in the form may break down over time with air contact.
- Find a suitable adhesive material to use on the silicone form.
Many materials may not stick or stick well to the materials in silicone breast forms, but here are some suggested patching materials:
- Smooth surface tape used for gauze bandages
- Clear silicone glue
- The ends of Band-aid adhesive bandages
- Gaffer/Duct tape, if you can find a suitable color (some "duct tapes" do not have the right adhesive properties though)
- Tegaderm dermal adhesive patches (medical grade - from 3M) can be found in most drug stores in the first aid department with other bandages or adhesives
- Make the repair.
Probably only small seam splits or punctures can be repaired with a patch. You may need to use your imagination for larger damage or just give in and purchase a new form.
A reader named Sarah recently sent me a thorough set of possible instructions that I am including here with her permission:
- Go to a well stocked automotive store (Auto Zone worked for me), and get some "3M Clear repair tape", (part #03405NA.) It's described as "Clear poly backing, extra stretchy, holds firmly", and is used to repair torn vinyl.
- Gently wipe all traces of leaking silicone goo off of the urethane covering. An old clean cotton tee shirt works reasonably well.
- Clean the urethane with paint thinner. Let it dry, then wipe off any dull film with a clean cotton tee shirt. These 2 steps must be done very gently, or more silicone is likely to squeeze out. I wouldn't try any stronger solvents. My first instinct was to use acetone, and it instantly dissolved a hole in the urethane without warning. (Even that hole got repaired successfully!)
- If you have a puncture or tear, stretch the urethane out nice and smooth, and simply tape over the damaged area.
- If the seams are split, so that the front and back are both affected, first tape the back, letting a half inch of tape extend past the form. Do this wherever there are splits. Then tape the front, again letting a half inch of tape extend past the form. Where the tape on the top and bottom meet, press the sticky sides together very firmly, and you have just created a new seam. Trim the excess tape, but allow 1/8" to remain past the old seam. And that does it!