US 3619819 A
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NOV. 16, MANN MAMMARY PROSTHESIS 3 Shoots-Sheet 1 Filed June 5 1959 Nov. 16, 1971 J. MANN 3,619,819
MAMMARY PROSTHES I S Filed June 5, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet B Nov. 16, 1971 J. MANN MAMMARY PROSTHESIS 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed June 5, 1969 United States Patent 3,619,819 MAMMARY PROSTHESIS Joyce Mann, Prospect, South Australia, Australia, as-
signor of a fractional part interest to Lance L. Mann, Prospect, South Australia, Australia Filed June 3, 1969, Ser. No. 830,017 Claims priority, application Australia, June 3, 1968, 38,645/ 68 Int. Cl. A41c 3/10 US. Cl. 3-36 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A mammary prosthesis in which loose granular material is held in a pocket to give minimum moving weight to the prosthesis but in which weights can be added to increase the total weight according to conditions f the patient existing at the time, a further feature being the use of sheepskin as the backing member with the wool in contact with the body and the use of a Woven wool fabric for the forward part which is cut diagonally to the lines of the thread and sewn together to give the required shape but allowing stretch because of the diagonal positioning. A forward pocket is provided to take the added weights and also to contain wool top padding material by means of which the shape can be varied so that a prosthesis is provided in which both shape and weight can be altered at will.
This invention relates to an improved mammary prosthesis.
It is the practice at the present time after a patient has had an operation for the removal of a breast, to fit a prosthesis which will restore the shape of the wearer so that the operation is not apparent.
Such a prosthesis naturally must simulate the normal breast not only in shape but in feel and action because of the unbalancing of the body by the removal of a breast particularly where there is a medium to large breast formation involved. This viewed from the pyschological point leaves the defect of which the patient is very conscious.
Thus it is not suflicient to simply build up the shape of the patient but also to so construct the prosthesis that the weight of the prosthesis approaches that of the removed breast and also is capable of an action similar to that of the breast so far as movement of the weight is concerned.
With the object of providing a satisfactory prosthesis, an earlier application of ours resulted in the grant of Letters Patent No. 272,327 in which the problem was solved to a very high degree by utilizing a woolskin back on the prosthesis and a shaped front and to interpose between the back and the front, partitioned by a material membrane, a free-flowing granular weighting substance and also wool tops or the like which built up the necessary shape. The reasons for this assembly being firstly that we have found that a sheepskin back is very advantageous as the contact medium between the prosthesis, the skin, skin grafts and scar tissue which is a characteristics of these operations, the use of the free-flowing granular material adds weight to make the feel of the prosthesis as near as possible to the natural breast, the fact that the weighting material is free-flowing allows motion of the prosthesis as the wearer moves or stoops or bends, and the wool top or similar filling allows the prosthesis to be shaped to match the still remaining breast or both breasts if these have been removed, the prosthesis at the same time having softness which closely approaches that of a natural breast.
One of the most important factors in a prosthesis is weight adjustment, and we have found that a wearer may require to change the weight from time to time due both 3,619,819 Patented Nov. 16, 1971 to bodily weight changes, to tiredness and other functional factors, and an object of this invention is to provide an effective method of construction and weighting which not only will allow ready conforming to shape but also allow changing of the total weight of the prosthesis, while at the same time adding a still further advantage in approaching the simulation of a natural breast. A further object is to allow correct stretch of the material of the prosthesis.
The object of correct stretch is achieved by forming the cloth or similar membranes which form the prosthesis front and disvision walls of two pieces formed by cutting at an angle to the lines of thread, the weight adjustment object being achieved by the utilization of weighting units of a somewhat flexible nature which can be inserted at will and preferably containing a free-flowing granular material so that these units can be selected by the s r and the weight of the prosthesis varied from time to time to achieve the maximum comfort and balance. Thus the weight can be gradually built up or lowered to suit the patient.
The actual construction of this invention can be considerably varied, but to enable the nature to be fully appreciated embodiments will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. It is to be clear that the invention need not necessarily be limited to these.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front view of an improved prosthesis,
FIG. 2 is a rear view thereof,
FIG. 3 is a perspective view thereof showing in dotted lines a further weight adjusting member,
FIG. 4 shows such weight adjusting members indicating how weight and dimension can be varied, and
FIG. 5 is a transverse section of the prosthesis.
A piece of tanned sheepskin is cut to shape to form the backing piece 1 of the prosthesis, the wool face of which is to lie against the skin of the wearer to form a soft skin-contacting back, and to this are marginally sewn a plurality of membranes, in this case 2 and 3, the internal membrane 2 being preferably formed of cotton and the other, the front membrane 3, being a piece of woven wool fabric, the woven wool fabric being shaped to correspond approximately to the front surface required of the prosthesis, preferably by cutting the cloth angularly across the. weft, joining by a seam 4 and shaping so as to give a somewhat conical shape to this front piece which can, however, flex due to the forming of two half sections 5 and 6 substantially medially and approximately diagonally to the lines of the threads of the cloth. It will be realized that this allows stretch of the material in various planes on each side of the seam 4 varying with the actual angle of cut. The wool spun yarn from which the fabric is made also has considerable elasticity and more than two of such pieces could be sewn together for the required stretch.
The inner membrane 2 can be similarly cut and joined medially to give flexibility but has a lower curvature as it serves merely to confine granular weighting material 7 between it and the woolen back piece 1 with sufiicient space to ensure free-flow.
In this way a pair of pockets 8 and 9 are formed, and into the rear pocket 8 is placed the free-flowing granular material which only partly fills this compartment and which is arranged to be no more than the minimum weight which the prosthesis would ever be required to have, this free-flowing material being siliconized glass beads or the like and being permanently enclosed in the pocket.
The forward pocket 9 is provided with an opening 10 having closure means 11 such as Press-studs which allow the placing into the pocket of long substantially cylindrical weight adjustment bags 12 having free-flowing or other granular weighting material 13 in them, as well as allowing the insertion of padding material 14 into the pocket 9, preferably card sliver wool or the like, so that then the prosthesis can be both weighted by the addition of the bag or bags 12 of free-flowing material and shaped by the insertion of the wool padding material 14.
By providing a pair of pockets 8 and 9 formed one on either side of an inner membrane 2 it will be realized that by providing the front pocket 9 with an opening, but sealing the rear pocket 8, a prosthesis can be manufactured which is readily washable and fully adjustable both in regard to weight and shape, it being possible to remove the additional weights 12 from the forward pocket 9, and also the padding material 14 which is loosely positioned in this forward pocket 9, and the prosthesis can then be washed in the normal manner since the freeflowing material sealed between the central membrane 2 and the woolskin back 1 of the prosthesis can be selected to be washable, the material such as siliconized glass beads being suitable for use in this way.
When the user Wishes to fit the prosthesis, it is only necessary to place into it a selected weight adjusting bag 12, if added weight is required, and to insert the card sliver wool or the like padding material 14 into the forward pocket 9 until both the right weight and shape result.
If a lighter weight is required, the added bag 12 can be removed from the front pocket and a smaller bag substituted, and the reverse effect can also be obtained by using a larger or heavier bag when added weight is required, or by using two bags with different positioning or length.
By using a bag of substantial length in relation to its area it will be realized that the bag 12 can be placed to lie in the lower part of the pocket 9 as shown in FIG. and can curve upwardly at the ends, as shown dotted in FIG. 3, by any required amount. Further, the bag 12 can readily be held in a selected position by the padding material 14 which is placed into the pocket above same. Accordingly, it will be realized that a device is provided which can be readily fitted by a person requiring a prosthesis and can from time to time be varied to enable the person to have a prosthesis of the required weight or shape.
One of the problems in fitting devices of this type has always been to so arrange it that it was not necessary for changes to be made or for the prosthesis to be selected at a clinic, and the present invention assists greatly in overcoming any of the problems associated with fitting in that once the selection has been made of the most likely shape and size and minimum weight, the user can automatically then vary both the shape and weight at will by selecting the amount of padding material 14 which is placed into the forward pocket 9 and the amount of added weight in the nature of the bags 12 which can also be placed into this compartment, leaving the rear compartment completely free so that the free-flowing weighting material 7 can move from side to side in this compartment, and the required movement of the weight will thus result.
The actual shape of the prosthesis can vary substantially, and it may have extensions to attain the correct shape or can have cut-aways to fit to portions of a breast still left in place.
Also means for attaching can be added such as the loops 15 to which tapes or the like for positioning can be sewn to the unit, or clips or the like may be used for attachment. Means to hold the bags 12 containing the free-flowing or other weighting material can be included at required localities instead of simply including same with the wool padding in the front compartment, but usually these are not essential.
Just as an example the bags 12 could have tags 16 with press-studs 17 on them to engage complementary members 18 at any required locality on say the inner membrane 2, or this membrane could have pockets such as the pocket 19 indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 5.
What I claim is:
1. An improved mammary prosthesis comprising, a soft skin-contacting back, a front shaped membrane secured marginally to said back, a membrane between said back and said front shaped membrane to form a rear pocket and a forward pocket, said rear pocket containing flowable weighting material sealed therein, said forward pocket having an opening therein through which padding material and additional weight controlling means can be inserted, said padding material substantially filling said forward pocket and said additional weight controlling means comprising weighting material substantially heavier than said padding contained in an elongated bag disposed across the Width of the prosthesis along and within the lower part of the forward pocket, whereby by the addition or removal of said additional weight controlling means the weight of the prosthesis can be varied by the user to suit changing conditions.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 938,856 11/1909 Henderson 128481 1,502,436 7/1924 Negri 128517 2,598,003 5/1952 Leo et al 2-42 3,304,558 12/1964 Mann 3-36 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,110,479 4/ 1968 Great Britain 3-36 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner J. C. MCGOWAN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 128-478, 481