Knowing Your Neighbors: Heide’s Mastectomy Store in Duluth

Heide's specializes in post-mastectomy care and compression garments for men and women with vascular and lymphatic disorders.

DULUTH, Minn.- Getting fitted for medical garments post-surgery or procedure can feel like a dry expressionless experience. But the folks at Heide’s Mastectomy Store in Duluth are hoping to change that.

“So it feels almost like a boutique but we bill insurance for the products,” said Nicole Wrazidlo, a mastectomy fitter and Lymphedema master fitter.

The mastectomy and compression store on East 6th Street has been offering style as well as much-needed comfort for patients since Kathy Heide Wrazidlo opened it in 1982.

“It’s wonderful to see how they’ve kind of bounced back and it’s such a rewarding job getting to know these ladies and we develop a lifetime relationship,” Kathy said.

Heide’s specializes in post-mastectomy care and compression garments for men and women with vascular and lymphatic disorders.

“It’s wonderful we see them when they’re first diagnosed and we fit them with a post-surgical camisole, and then there’s a couple weeks that they recuperate in the hospital and then we see them back again,” said the owner.

Recently Heide’s has also started serving people with lymphedema, a build-up of fluid in the body’s soft tissues when lymph can’t flow through the body the way it should.

“So many people go undiagnosed they may go to their physician and say my legs are getting heavy and they’re bigger and bigger and the physician may tell them well let’s try Lasik‚Äôs or time to lose weight but really there can be an underlying condition,” Nicole Wrazidlo said.

The store now has a new completely online service, called “lymphedeafitters.com”

“We will help Lymphedema therapists and physicians to provide their patients with custom compression garments and no custom garments we will help the patient and physician work through the decongestive phase of therapy and we work with the patient one on one for the rest of their lives during the maintenance phase,” she said.

They say it’s all a part of the effort started 40 years ago to help these patients get closer to looking and feeling normal again.

“My favorite part of the job is when we have someone come in who’s had a breast cancer surgery and we fit them with prosthetics and bras and the proper garments and they feel whole again and they look in the mirror and they say wow I feel like myself,” said Nicole.

Heide’s has a location in Edina and in Duluth, which takes walk-ins Monday through Friday from 9-5.

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