Custom crafted breast prostheses

MyReflection launches new 3D printed breast prosthesis option at Bendon Newmarket.

There’s a new option for New Zealand women considering breast reconstruction: custom 3D printed breast prostheses.

From 16 February, Bendon in Newmarket, Auckland has started providing MyReflection services — a facility that scans womens’ torso to create a 3D map. From this map, a prosthetic breast can be constructed.

The concept started when MyReflection director Tim Carr’s wife Fay Cobbett was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Fay opted not to have breast reconstruction surgery but was frustrated with uncomfortable silicone bra inserts. Tim teamed up with 3D print expert Jason Barnett, and the research into how to bring high-tech customised breast prosthesis kicked off.

The pair spent a year researching and developing the concept, and a good chunk of time was spent making the prosthesis affordable. New Zealand citizens who’ve had a masectomy are provided a four yearly subsidy to cover the costs of prosthesis and custom bras. Tim said that they wanted to make sure the prosthesis would fit in this category.

“The whole point was to help women, so that meant we needed to find a way to get the production cost down so it could be covered by the government breast service payment subsidy,” Tim explains.

The result is a prosthesis that’s crafted from a light, flexible inner core, coated in a hard-wearing, breathable, ISO certified silicone outer. The great thing is that because they’re custom made to each woman’s shape, they’re less likely to dislodge or gape.

So how does it work? Basically, women can head in to Bendon in Newmarket and have their torso scanned via a photographic process where hundreds of images are taken to create a 3D map. The remaining breast is scanned and mirrored to create a match. The chest wall is also scanned to create the back of the prosthesis so it moulds to the chest and wraps around the torso, contouring to any scar tissue or bumps so it’s comfortable.

Fay now uses her own custom made breast prosthesis and says it doesn’t move or hurt, and she’s not even aware of it being there.

“I look like I did before, and the best part is that it can change with me. As I age I can be rescanned and it can be remade to match my changed shape so I will still be symmetrical,” Fay says.

Learn more about MyReflections, or head along to Bendon in Newmarket.

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