US 3401407 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 17, 1968 M. R. PITTMAN PROS'IHETIC BREAST Filed May 18, 1966 Fig.
Mildred R. Pihman INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,401,407 PROSTHETIC BREAST Mildred R. Pittman, 1800 Acker Drive, Albany, Ga. 31705 Filed May 18, 1966, Ser. No. 550,975 6 Claims. (Cl. 3-36) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in prosthetic appliances, and the principal object of the invention is to provide a prosthetic breast to be worn after a mastectomy.
As such, the device of the invention is particularly intended to be worn at night for the purpose of properly balancing the contour of the torso to thus provide proper support for comfortable resting and sleeping. However, if so desired, the device of the invention may also be worn in daytime.
An important feature of the invention resides in providing an artificial breast member which has a sagging form conforming substantially to that of an unsupported natural breast, as distinguished from an unlifted form such as is imparted to a breast by a tight-fitting brassiere. The sagging form of the artificial breast member on the surgical side of the body thus matches in a balanced fashion the natural, unsupported breast on the normal side, for attaining the comfort in resting and sleeping as above mentioned.
The prosthetic device of the invention also includes a chest encircling strap and a shoulder strap attached to the artificial breast member, the arrangement of these straps being such that the same artificial breast member may be used on either side of the body, as necessary.
The device of the invention is simple in construction, pleasing in appearance, easily washable, and adapted to convenient and economical manufacture.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the prosthetic breast of the invention applied to a wearers body under a transparent nightgown.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, rear elevational view of the artificial breast member, also showing portions of the associated straps; and
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary vertical sectional view, taken substantially in the plane of the line 33 in FIGURE 1.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings in detail, the invention comprises a prosthetic breast which is designated generally by the reference character and which is primarily intended to be worn while resting or sleeping so as to balance the contour of the torso for proper and comfortable support under such conditions.
In FIGURE 1 the device 10 is illustrated in position on the wea'rers body under a transparent negligee or night gown 11, although it will be understood that the device of the invention may also be worn during daytime, if so desired.
The prosthetic breast 10 comprises an artificial breast member 12 consisting of a closed casing 13 of suitable fabric material and a spongy filler 14 which is permanently contained in the casing. Any suitable material may be used for the filler 14, such as for example, chipped plastic foam, or the like.
It is to be particularly noted that the artificial breast member 12 has a sagging form conforming substantially to that of a natural breast 15 unsupported by a brassiere. In vertical section, the breast member 12 has a substantially tear-drop shaped form, tapered at the top and havice ing a depending bulbous portion 12a. Also, it will be noted that the breast member 12 has a substantially fiat rear surface 12b to lie against a chest wall 15 which has been left substantially flat by a mastectomy.
The front of the artificial breast member 12 is equipped with an artificial nipple 16 which, as in an unsupported natural breast, is located on the sagging or depending portion 12a of the breast member. The nipple 16, as such, may consist of an element 16a molded of rubber, or the like, and covered by a fabric layer 16b which is stitched or otherwise secured to the casing 13 of the breast member 12. Preferably, the fabric casing 13 is flesh colored and the nipple layer 16b is of a darker color to provide the contrast which is found in natural environment.
The breast member 12 is supported in position on the wearers body by an elastically stretchable chest strap 17 which has its opposite ends adjustably connected to conventional fastener elements 18 which are provided at the respective opposite side edges of the breast member 12. It will be understood that the chest strap 17 extends around the sides and across the back of the wearers body as indicated by the dotted lines 17a in FIGURE 1.
In addition, an elastic shoulder strap 18 is provided, the same having a front end adjustably connected by a conventional connector element 20 to the upper edge of the breast member 12. The rear end portion of the shoulder strap 19 is provided with a loop 21 which, for purposes of adjustment, is slidably positioned on the intermediate portion 17a of the chest strap 17 at the back of the body. If desired, the straps 17 and 19 as well as the casing 13 of the breast member 12 may be equipped with lace trimming 22 to enhance the appearance thereof.
In FIGURE 1 the prosthetic breast is shown as being applied to the left side of the chest, but where the right side has been effected by mastectomy, the same device may be used on that side. In such instance, the shoulder strap 19 is placed over the right shoulder instead of over the left shoulder, and the loop 21 of the shoulder strap 19 is slid longitudinally along the intermediate portion 17a of the chest strap 17, so as to accommodate positioning of the artificial breast member on the right side of the chest.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the, invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A prosthetic breast comprising in combination an artificial breast member being tapered at its upper end and having a depending bulbous portion conforming substantially to that of an unsupported natural breast and also having a substantially flat rear surface for engaging the chest wall of a wearer, a chest encircling strap having its ends connected respectively to opposite side edges of said breast member, and a shoulder strap having a front end connected to the upper edge of, the breast member and a rear end connected to an intermediate portion of said chest strap.
2. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said breast member comprises a closed casing of fabric material, and a filler of spongy material permanently contained in said casing.
3. The device as defined in claim 2 together with an artificial nipple provided at the front of said casing substantially on the sagging lower portion of the breast member.
4. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said chest strap and said shoulder strap are elastically stretchable.
3 4 5. The device as defined in claim 1 together with fasten- References Cited ers separably connecting the ends of said chest strap and UNITED STATES PATENTS Ll: front end of said shoulder strap to said breast mem- 2,651,783 9/1953 Wright et a1 3 36 3,285,247 11/1966 Morin 128-479 6. The device as defined 1n claim 1 wherein the rear 5 3,3482 10/1967 Dodds end of said shoulder strap is slidably adjustable longitudinally on the intermediate portion of said chest strap. ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner.