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DaSilva-headshot-webBy Christina DaSilva, Certified Mastectomy Fitter

There’s no bigger compliment than when a breast cancer patient looks at you and says, “You changed the way I feel about myself!”

As a Certified Mastectomy Fitter at the Image Recovery Center (IRC), I love to hear that I’ve made a difference. I see patients at various points during their healing journey. I may meet with them early on for post-mastectomy garments like camisoles and temporary forms. I often continue to follow them throughout their life—whether they’ve had a mastectomy, a lumpectomy or even reconstruction. Some women with a lumpectomy or reconstruction need a little balance and the Image Recovery Center has partial prosthetics to help them achieve that. Women who have had a mastectomy usually will get a prosthetic or two. Depending on their needs, their insurance and their physician, patients receive two to six bras a year. Their needs can change with weight gain or loss and with aging.

There are hundreds of shapes and sizes and my training and experience helps there. To become a certified fitter, one must attend a class, work with a certified fitter for 500 clinical hours and pass a certification test administered by one of two national credentialing organizations.

Many of our patients at IRC come to see us at least every six months, so we really get to know them. We get many thanks and hugs for helping them feel and look like they did before surgery but what our patients don’t know is that we get so much more from them than we give. I am so lucky to help these amazing women and to work with such supportive physicians!

For more information, call the Rita L. Cassling Image Recovery Center at Bergan Mercy, 402-398-6464; the Lyal McCaig Image Recovery Center at the Midwest Cancer Center, 402-717-4700; or the Mary Ann Beavers Image Recovery Center at Immanuel Medical Center, 402-572-3366.

Financial assistance is available. You do not have to be an Alegent Creighton Health patient to use the Image Recovery Center’s services.

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