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Publication numberUS3173420 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 16, 1965
Filing dateJan 8, 1962
Priority dateJan 8, 1962
Publication numberUS 3173420 A, US 3173420A, US-A-3173420, US3173420 A, US3173420A
InventorsArlean Taylor, Mazzoni Elinor C
Original AssigneeMazzoni
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Garment for use following breast surgery and the like
US 3173420 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 16, 1965 E. C. MAZZONI ETAL GARMENT FOR USE FOLLOWING BREAST SURGERY AND THE LIKE I Filed Jan. 8, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS EL INOR C. MAZZONI ARLEAN TAYLOR ATTORN EY March 1965 E. c. MAZZONI ETAL 3,

GARMENT FOR USE FOLLOWING BREAST SURGERY AND THE LIKE Filed Jan. 8, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 IOO.

MAZZONI ARLEAN TAYLOR yaw a INVENTORS ELINOR C- ATTORNEY FIG.

United States Patent 3,173,420 GARRIENT FOR USE FOLLOWING BREAST SURGERY AND THE LIKE Elinor C. Mazzoni, Latino, and Arlean Taylor, Creve Coeur, Mm; said Taylor assignor to said Mazzoni Filed Jan. 8, 1962, Ser. No. 164,699 3 Claims. (Cl. 128-478) This invention relates to garments for use following breast or chest surgery and for affording comfort under conditions of extreme tenderness of various portions of the upper part of the body.

Unlike ordinary post-mastectomy brassieres worn to improve personal appearance and the fit of clothing, the principal criterion of the present invention is to relieve the nearly intolerable discomfort which breast surgery patients frequently experience. In so doing, the present invention provides a garment which may be worn as a bed garment immediately after surgery, and as a sleeping garment thereafter; and yet also fills the style requirements of a post-operative brassiere. Furthermore, the present garment is useful when one or both breasts have been wholly or partially removed.

It is usual practice in the design of brassieres, to give form and structure by the use of hems, seams and stitching; and to use relatively firm fabrics and elasticized material, alternately to provide firmness and elasticity. The present invention goes contrary to this practice.

As shown in the drawings and more fully described hereafter, the present invention provides a garment having a body portion much like an abbreviated vest made of a single piece of soft fabric material. A material such as knitted jersey is chosen, having resiliency in more than one direction. Except at the center front fastenings, the edges are stitched with expansible stitching. Breast region overlays over the body portion provide spaces for prosthetic pads. The body portion beneath each overlay has finished lines of expansible stitching along which it may be readily cut to accommodate an unoperated breast or a remaining breast portion. To secure the overlays to the body of the garment along their outer and lower edges, expansible stitching is used. The edge of each overlay which extends from the center front fastening to the shoulder strap is free from the body of the garment, forming openings through which prosthetic pads, etc. may be inserted and removed. Along this free edge each overlay may have an elastic reinforcement to carry the tension load from shoulder strap to front fastening and hold the free edge closed against the corresponding edge of the body portion beneath, retaining a prosthetic pad in place.

In the accompanying drawings:

FIGURE 1A is a plan view of the right one-half of a garment embodying this invention, showing details being of an embodiment preferred for immediate post-operative use.

FIGURE 1B is a similiar view of the left one-half of a substantially similar garment, showing details of a slightly different embodiment preferred for use after recovery from surgery.

FIGURE 2 is a view from the right edge of FIGURE 18, showing the garment as held loosely and an inserted prosthetic pad.

FIGURE 3 is a front view of the garment portion shown in FIGURE 1B.

FIGURE 4 is a front view of the garment portion shown in 1A.

FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary view, partly in section, taken along line 66 of FIGURE 18, the surface shown 'ice in said fragment being the same surface as shown in FIGURE 1B.

Referring to the portions of the garment by detail part numbers, the garment consists principally of a onepiece body portion generally referred to by the numeral 10; but marked 10a in FIGURE 1A and 10b in FIGURE 1B. The body portion ltlb for use after recovery from surgery may be of somewhat lesser depth than that for immediate post-surgical use. Either such body portion ltla, 10b resembles an abbreviated vest, made of a soft fabric material having resilency in more than one direc tion, such as knitted jersey. It extends from a center front margin 11a at the right side of the garment, sideward, around the back of the garment, and thence forwardly to the other center front margin 11b. Since FIGURES 1A and 1B show the inner side, the positions appear as reversed; likewise the margins 11a and 11b appear to be diagonal, but it will be recognized that this follows from depicting the garment as opened and laying out flat. On the wearer, these margins will extend substantially verti cally upward along the breast bone, and hence sometimes are referred to hereinafter as the substantially vertical center front margins. The margins 11a, 11b are releasably secured to each other with a center front fastening, preferably a disengageable fastener or zipper generally designated 12, having a right half 12a (shown at the left of the drawing) including an underlaying protective tape, and a left half 12b including the complementary parts which engage the right half 12a. The region of the breast bone is likely to be less sensitive, after breast surgery than adjacent regions, and discomfort is lessened by locating the fastener in the manner shown. The zipper halves 12a, 12b may be tightly sewn to the margins 11a, 1112 by ordinary straight lock-stitching.

In no other area, however, is straight lock-stitching utilized. As will be apparent to those familar with lockstitch sewing, its laying out of two non-elastic threads in straight lines limits the lengths to which the garment may be extended. In the present construction, the body portions 10a, 10b are sewn generally with expansible stitching, as with a zig-zag machine stitch. Thereafter, when the resilient fabric is extended, zig-zag lines along which the two threads are laid, will be extensible. The body portions 10a, 10b have a straight lower edge 13 which may follow the texture of the material, when bidirectional materials such as jersey are used. To finish the lower edge 13 without the bulk of a conventional hem, the material is folded outward and upward in a lower fold 14, and secured by two zig-zag stitching lines 15, 16. The fold is to the outer side of the garment as shown in FIGURE 6, so that the wearer shall experience a minmum of discomfort. To finish the upper edge of the body portions 10a, 10b at the back and beneath the armpits, are upper outward folds 17 sewn with zig-zag stitching as illustrated.

In the embodiment of FIGURE 1A, to avoid pressure in sensitive areas near the shoulders, the body portion 10a continues upward in the formation of integral front and rear shoulder strap portions 18, 19 respectively, on both the left and right sides of the garment; and in this embodiment, the upper edge folds 17 will continue into and serve as the edging for such integral shoulder strap portions. Such integral shoulder strap portions 18, 19 may be adjustably fastened merely by overlapping and pinning together.

The construction shown in FIGURES 1B, 2, 3 and 5, intended for dress wear well after recuperation from surgery, or in surgical cases of less severity, uses on both left and right sides a conventional front buckle-type shoulder strap 29 and a conventional rear shoulder strap 21.

Pockets for the insertion of the prosthetic pads, etc. are fashioned in the following manner:

An outwardly-projecting front overlay generally designated 25 is provided in the breast region on each side of center. The overlay as shown consists of two pieces of preferably the same resilient material which is used for the body portion 10. These pieces are designated as left and right upper overlay portions 26 and left and right lower overlay portions 27; and are so sewn to each other and to the body portion as to project to the front, thus creating pocket-like spaces situated beneath the front ends of the shoulder between the overlays and the body portion 10. These spaces extend downward along the center front margin 11, then sidewardly outward of the front shoulder strap portions 18, 20. In the case of the construction designed for immediate post-operative use, as shown in FIGURE 4, the upper overlay portion extends upward to the full extent of the integral front shoulder strap portion 18, to serve as a reinforcement therefor. Except along the center front margins 11, all the sewing is by the same expansible stitching as described.

Each upper overlay portion 26 has an upper inner front overlay edge 28 which is reinforced on its outer side by an elastic tape 29. The overlay edge 28 is in registration with a corresponding unfolded edge 30 of the body portion, but they are not sewed or otherwise secured together. Thus is provided an opening or access-way into the spaces or pockets between the overlays 25 and the body portion 10.

Within each such space a prosthetic pad 31 may be readily inserted or removed, as might be done if both breasts were completely removed. Such a pad 31 is conventionally formed of soft foam imitation rubber to the contours shown in the cross-section FIGURE 5. The elastic tape 29 on the outer surface of the overlay edge 28 serves as an elasticized reinforcement which, when the garment is being worn, affords sufiicient force to prevent the prosthetic pad 31 from working out of position, as above mentioned.

Since either or both breasts may be surgically removed in whole or in part, it is desirable the garment as manufactured be adaptable to individual conditions. Although the fabric of the body portion 10 will yield to a significant extent, without being cut or slit open, we provide pairs of closely spaced lines of expansible stitching in those parts of the body portion 10 over which the overlays 25 are sewn. Between these lines the body portion 10 may be cut or slit to the extent desired. Such lines of stitching are shown best in FIGURES 1A and 1B as the pair of horizontal lines 32 and the pair of vertical lines 33 which cross them. Even to accommodate a normal breast, it may be necessary to cut between the horizontal lines 32 only. Cuts between such lines 32, V33 may also be made for the purpose of accommodating bandages and other requirements.

The invention described is inherently capable of a variation to meet varying needs from the immediate postoperative period, when dressings and bandages must be held, to the period after recuperation when the appearance and fit of outer clothes are important factors. Obviously, changes may be made in the details of construction without departing from the scope of this disclosure. Therefore, the invention is not to be construed narrowly, but rather as broadly co-extensive with the claims which follow.

We claim:

1. A garment for use following breast surgery and the like, comprising an abbreviated vest-like body portion having substantially vertical margins at center front and extending from one of said margins sideward around the back of the garment and thence forwardly to the other said margin,

a center front fastening along the two center front margins,

left and right shoulder strap portions extending upward at the front and rear sides of said body portion,

and an outwardly projecting front overlay sewed to the body portion sidewardly adjacent to each said center front margin and situated beneath the shoulder strap portion, whereby to provide a space between the body portion and each front overlay portion,

said garment being characterized in that the body portion is formed of a soft fabric material having resiliency in more than one direction, and

has upper and lower edges which edges have expansible stitching, whereby to permit the material of the body portion to elongate and contract resiliently,

further characterized in that those parts of the body portion over which the outwardly-extending overlays are so sewed, are provided with lines of expansible stitching along which cuts may be made at the option of the user, thereby to accommodate within the space under such from overlay an unoperated breast or a breast portion not surgically removed.

2. A garment for use following breast surgery and the like, comprising an abbreviated vest-like body portion having substantially vertical margins at center front and extending from one of said margins sideward around the back of the garment and thence forwardly to the other said margin,

a center front fastening along the two center front margins, I

left and right shoulder strap portions extending upward at the front and rear sides of said body portion,

and an outwardly projecting front overlay sewed to the body portion sidewardly adjacent to each said center front margin and situated beneath the shoulder strap portion, whereby to provide a space between the body portion and each front overlay portion,

said garment being characterized in that the body portion is formed of a soft fabric material having resiliency in more than one direction, and

has upper and lower edges which edges have expansible stitching, whereby to permit the material of the body portion to elongate and contract resiliently,

further characterized in that each said overlay has an upper front edge extending from the center front fastening to near the shoulder strap portion adjacent to and in registration with but not secured to a corresponding edge of the body portion,

whereby to provide an opening into the said space under said overlay through which a pad may be inserted and removed.

3. A garment as defined in claim 2, further characterized in that the said unsecured edge of the overlay is provided with an elasticized reinforcement extending from the upper end of the center front margin to the shoulder strap portion,

whereby to retain an inserted pad securely in place.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,825,579 9/31 Christoff 128425 2,540,631 2/51 Nelson 128-479 2,717,602 9/55 Radler 128-479 2,880,730 4/59 Lilienfeld 128498 2,953,133 9/60 Seller 128479 3,014,484 12/61 Osborn 128-479 RTCHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. JORDAN FRANKLIN, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1825579 *Feb 28, 1930Sep 29, 1931Vaska ChristoffBrassiere
US2540631 *Apr 12, 1947Feb 6, 1951Hildred NelsonBrassiere
US2717602 *Sep 1, 1953Sep 13, 1955Radler Helen BSimulated breast and surgical brassiere therefor
US2880730 *Apr 14, 1958Apr 7, 1959Edgar Lilienfeld JuliusShape-controlling garments
US2953133 *Aug 5, 1959Sep 20, 1960Seller Emma ESurgical brassiere
US3014484 *Apr 24, 1959Dec 26, 1961Shlesinger And ShlesingerBrassiere
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3447538 *Oct 7, 1966Jun 3, 1969Keown Elsie SMastectomy brassieres and garments for same
US3950792 *Feb 7, 1975Apr 20, 1976Williams Marguerite RMastectomy accessory for bra
US4292975 *Aug 20, 1979Oct 6, 1981Carolyn ChampionBrassiere
US4369792 *Nov 10, 1981Jan 25, 1983Miller Margaret YBrassiere for supporting prosthesis
US4412542 *Jul 19, 1982Nov 1, 1983Reichert D JeanieRobe garment for mastectomy patient
US4917651 *Sep 6, 1988Apr 17, 1990Rainville Francine JFront opening brassiere for easy access and removal by a handicapped person
US5032104 *Jan 24, 1990Jul 16, 1991Rainville Francine JFront opening brassiere for easy access and removal by a handicapped person
US5257956 *Apr 14, 1992Nov 2, 1993Ewen Carol JPost-mastectomy garment
US5429593 *Dec 23, 1993Jul 4, 1995Matory; Yvedt L.Post-surgical, drainage accommodating, compression dressing
US5839942 *Jul 18, 1996Nov 24, 1998International Medical Supplies, Inc.Post-partum breast engorgement bra
US5966740 *Aug 15, 1997Oct 19, 1999Barbe-Vicuna; Albina Maria LucreziaLadies' asymmetrical support undergarment
US5976099 *Dec 18, 1997Nov 2, 1999Kellogg; Donald L.Method and apparatus to medically treat soft tissue damage lymphedema or edema
US6168497 *Sep 10, 1998Jan 2, 2001Vita Joann EdmondCombination supporting bra and pouch cover lining for a commercial breast prosthesis
US6394879 *Feb 9, 2001May 28, 2002Christine M. PaigePostpartum brassiere
US6860789Jul 1, 2002Mar 1, 2005Lightning2 LlcCompression garment
US7144294Aug 9, 2005Dec 5, 2006Lightning2 LlcCompression garment
US7549971Aug 3, 2004Jun 23, 2009Lightning2 LlcCompression garment
US7584755Dec 1, 2003Sep 8, 2009Tony ReidMultiple sleeve method and apparatus for treating edema and other swelling disorders
US7767874Nov 28, 2006Aug 3, 2010Telesto Holding, LLCMedical device and process
US7922682Jun 22, 2009Apr 12, 2011Lightning2 LlcMethod of providing compressive forces to a human torso
US20090062843 *Aug 4, 2008Mar 5, 2009Heston Brian KTourniquet cuff with a tightness indicator
USRE36869 *Nov 2, 1995Sep 12, 2000Ewen; Carol J.Post-mastectomy garment
WO2005115183A1 *May 17, 2004Dec 8, 2005F & E Ges Fuer BekleidungsinnoPiece of corsetry, especially bra, for wearers that have undergone breast surgery
Classifications
U.S. Classification450/54, D02/708, 450/58
International ClassificationA41C3/00, A41C3/14
Cooperative ClassificationA41C3/148
European ClassificationA41C3/14D