US 3807412 A
A universal style pad for aid in positioning a breast form or prosthesis on a wearer. The pad comprises a compressible foam plastic layer with a pair of end portions extending therefrom, the layer having beveled edge surfaces and being received in a fabric cover having a plurality of pockets therein for receiving a breast form therein with one end portion of the pad being free or exposed at all times to lie against a wearer's body. The pad has a cover with two side pockets and an overlapping base or end pocket therein.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Connelly Apr. 30, 1974  REVERSIBLE (UNIVERSAL) RADICAL PAD AND BREAST FORM COMBINATION Inventor: William N. Connelly, Brimfield,
Assignee: ATCO Surgical Supports C0.,
, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Filed: Oct. 30, 1972 Appl. No.: 302,099
s. 01. 128/481, 3/36 Int. Cl. A6lf 5/10, A410 5/03 Field of Search 128/463, 477,478, 479,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,814,808 12/1957 Berrnan 3/36 2,959,173 11/1960 Douthit 128/481 X 3,278,947 10/1966 Silverman 128/481 X 3,516,414 6/1970 Greenough 128/481 Primary Examiner-Werner H. Schroeder Attorney, Agent, or FirmOldham '& Oldham C0.
[ ABSTRACT A universal style pad for aid in positioning a breast form or prosthesis on a wearer. The pad comprises a compressible foam plastic layer with a pair of end portions extending therefrom, the layer having beveled edge surfaces and being received in a fabric cover having a plurality of pockets therein for receiving a breast form therein with one end portion of the pad being free or exposed at all times to lie against a wearv ers body. The pad has a cover with two side pockets and an overlapping base or end pocket therein.
10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF INVENTION When a women has had a radical mastectomy, not only is the breast completely removed, but, depending upon the particular condition of the wearer and the techniques of the attending surgeon, normally a number of muscles or fat layers covering the person s chest also are removed. Thus, for the woman to have a normal appearance, she will wear a breast form or prosthesis which is designed to simulate the natural breast. However, because of the removal of the muscles, such asthe pectoral muscle, fatty layers underneath the breast, and the lateral breast portion, there is a hollow area formed on the wearer's chest extending towards the shoulder adjacent the breast and extending over part of the side of her chest. Hence, heretofore, in many instances, women who have had radical mastectomies would wear some type of a support pad or insert between their chest and the breast form or prosthesis. These support pads have heretofore been designed as either rights or lefts to be worn by a woman who has had either a right or a left radical mastectomy to aid in filling the cavity in the axilliary area over her chest. Inasmuch as the breast form prostheses themselves must be supplied in a number of different sizes and/or types, and the company selling these articles must also stock a number of different styles of support pads, and particularly rights or lefts, some appreciable inventory of articles must be maintained.
It is the general object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved support pad for a breast form, and particularly to provide a support pad which is of a universal design and has a pair of end portions extending from a'support layer of the pad whereby the support layer is adapted to be used as either a right or a left support pad, depending upon the relationship of the breast form with the support pad and positioning pockets provided thereon.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved support pad for a breast form for use by women who have had mastectomies and wherein the support pad has one base pocket provided therein and two inner side pockets thereon with a breast form being adapted to be received in the base pocket at all times, and to be received individually in one or the other side pocket of the support pad, dependent upon whether a right or a left mastectomy has been performed on the wearer.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved breast form and support pad combination which facilitates a woman in simulating a natural feminine contour after a radical mastectomy has been performed on such woman.
A further object of the invention is to provide a breast from support pad including a resilient foam plastic layer and a fabric cover therefor and wherein the plastic layer can readily be removed from the fabric cover for washing the pad or cover, as desired.
Another object of the invention is to reduce the amount of inventory required for suppliers of breast forms and support pads therefor and to provide a very satisfactory combination of a breast form support pad and a breast form for operatively positioning the same on a wearer.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will be made more apparent as the specification proceeds.
Attention now is particularly directed to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. I is a plan view of the universal style pad of the invention, a breast form being indicated in the pad in the position for use by a wearer having had a radical left mastectomy;
FIG. 2 is an elevation of the pad of FIG. I with a breast form received therein in the position to apply to a wearer having had a right radical mastectomy;
FIG. 3 is another elevation of just the breast form pad of FIG. 1 with a portion of the cover removed to show details of the support pad;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevation of a portion of the support pad and fabric cover with portions removed to ,show the slit in the cover for use in withdrawing the pad from the cover or inserting the pad into the cover;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are detail vertical sections showing the contour of thepad at edge portions thereof;
FIG. 7 is a reduced scale side elevation of the pad and breast form combination of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 8 is an elevation of the pad and breast form as worn by a person having had a radical left mastectomy.
When referring to corresponding members shown in the drawings and referred to in the specification, corresponding numerals are used to facilitate comparison therebetween.
SUBJECT MATTER OF THE INVENTION This invention, as one embodiment thereof, relates to a universal style pad for aid in positioning a breast form on a wearer and it comprises a soft compressible foam plastic layer having inner and outer surfaces and a pair of end portions, the layer being beveled downwardly and outwardly from its outer to its inner surfaces, and a fabric cover for the plastic layer, the fabric cover having a base pocket thereon and two inner side pockets each of which overlaps the base pocket and extends to and covers one end portion of the pad for receiving a breast form primarily in the base pocket and one of the side pockets. The invention also relates to the combination of the breast form with the support pad.
The accompanying drawings show further details of the invention and a universal style pad embodying the principles of the invention is indicated as a whole by the numeral 10. This pad 10 includes a layer 12 of a resilient, soft, compressible foam plastic material, which material can be of any suitable composition, one example of which would be a soft resilient foamed polyethylene material. Such layer 12 has an inner surface 14 and an outer surface 16 with downwardly and outwardly beveled edges 18 connecting such marginal portions of the inner and outer surfaces of the layer.
As one feature of the pad of the invention, this foam layer 12 is provided with a pair of end portions 20 and 22 which, in general, extend upwardly of the universal style pad 10 as shown in FIG. 1, but with such end portions 20 and 22 being at one end of the pad and being outwardly directed of a center line of the pad. The center lines of these end portions 20 and 22, as indicated in FIG. I of the drawings, preferably form an angle of approximately 50 therebetween as indicated on the drawing. Thus, these end portions, in effect, diverge from each other. The pad is symetrical about its center line and the end portions and 22 extend about 2 to 3 inches from the breast form engaged therewith.
The pad of the invention is adapted to be used with any conventional breast form or prosthesis as are generally available on the market today. As indicated in the drawings, a prosthesis 24 is shown and this is generally of tear drop shape, having a base portion 26 and a reduced width and size end portion 28 formed thereon. Normally, the prosthesis 24 is made from some compressible flexible material such as a plastic or rubber material and it has some type of a liquid means received therein to provide a flexible article simulating a natural breast. Hence, when the prosthesis 24 is worn, as by being positioned in the receiving pocket or cup of a brassiere, the wearer has a natural appearance.
As indicated hereinbefore, the universal style pad and the prosthesis 24 are particularly designed for use by women who have had radical mastectomies performed thereon and wherein a portion of the muscle and fat underneath the breast has been removed as well as the breast itself. Hence, the person has a hollow spot or cavity formed over their chest and this cavity extends towards the shoulder and/or the arm pit of the wearer. Thus, FIGS. 1 and 2 indicate how the end portions 20 or 22 normally protrude from the assembly of the breast form into the support pad whereby one of these end portions 20 or 22 extends beyond the brassiere cup in which the assembly is positioned. FIG. 8 shows an end portion 22 of the support pad extending from the brassiere and aiding in filling in the cavity adjacent the breast area. In positioning the pad and breast form in a brassiere, the assemblies of FIGS. 1 and 2 are usually turned through slight angles to the left or right respectively, as required, as indicated by the arrows in the drawings, to aid in positioning the end 20 or 22 over or in the cavity over the wearers chest. The ends 20 and 22 normally are held in place by the brassiere support strap and/or by the brassiere encircling band, depending on how the prosthesis and support pad are engaged and whether the pad is being used as a right or a left.
The drawings clearly show that a fabric cover 30 receives the foam plastic layer 12 therein. This fabric cover 30 is formed from any suitable fabric means and normally a seam is provided at the edge portions of the inner layer 32 and outer layer 34 of the fabric cover to secure such cover layers together and form a pocket in which the foam layer 12 is received.
As a further feature of the invention, two side pockets or pocket forming members 36 and 38 are attached to the fabric 30 and form a part of the cover. Each of these side pockets extends substantially the length of the layer 12 and with each side pocket covering one of the end portions 20 or 22. Yet a further pocket, an outer or base pocket 40 is provided in the fabric cover. All of these pockets preferably are formed from double thicknesses of the fabric material used in forming the cover, and with the edge portions of the pockets usually being secured to the seam provided between the inner and outer layers 32 and 34 to form a compact, neat cover in which the plastic layer 12 is received. As indicated, the pockets 36, 38 and 40 are only attached around the periphery of the fabric cover whereby the inner portions of the pocket are free to receive the prosthesis 24 therein as indicated in the drawings. The pocket forming layers snuggly fit over the top fabric layer 34.
FIG. 4 of the drawings indicates how the outer layer 34 of the fabric cover may have a relatively short length slit 50 provided therein. Since the foam layer 12 is very resilient and compressible, the entire layer 12 can be placed into or withdrawn from the pocket formed in the fabric cover 30 through this slit 50. At the same time, this slit 50 is covered in operative use by at least the side pocket 36 whereby it is not visible in normal use.
The inner surface 14 of the pad 12 and the outer surface 16 of the pad normally are flat, and in most of the sizes of these pads provided, it is preferable that the end portions of the pad are beveled off at relatively small acute angles, such as about 30, whereas the remaining portions of the pads, except for the protruding end portions 20 and 22 would be beveled downwardly and outwardly at angles of about 60 to aid the pad in blending smoothly into the wearers contour.
Obviously these pads can be provided in any desired number of sizes. In some of the smaller size pads it is not necessary to have 30 angles in the end portions and 60 angles can be used there as in the other portions of the support pad.
FIG. 8 of the drawings indicates that when a woman is wearing a conventional brassiere 60, one of the assemblies of the invention indicated as a whole by the numeral 62 could be positioned within one of the cups in the brassiere and then in this instance the pad corner portion 22 protrudes slightly from the brassiere cup and is adapted to fill inthe cavity extending toward the wearers shoulder, or it may just extend over the side of the chest and be held in place by the brassiere band.
By the present invention, an improved breast form support pad has been provided to fill in surgical cavities in the chest area, and this pad is reversible and/or is adapted for use as either a right, or a left support pad depending upon the requirements of the wearer. The pad is adapted to be used to fill or substantially fill the cavity formed in the chest of the wearer and to associate with the breast form to provide the wearer with a normal contour. The specific relationship of the pads and breast forms may'vary with the type and shape of the breast form used. However, by having the two protruding end portions 20 and 22 in the pad, they can aid in filling the chest cavity on either the wearers right or left side. One of such end portions usually protrudes from the brassiere cup positioned over the pad. Hence, the amount of inventory required by the retailer of the support pad and breast form can be maintained at minimum levels. At the same time, the support pad, and the components thereof can be readily washed or cleaned, and the support pad provides an effective support means for the breast form. It is believed that the objects of the invention have been achieved.
What is claimed is:
1. A universal style pad for aid in positioning a breast prosthesis on a wearer, who has had a radical right or left mastectomy, and comprising a soft compressible foam plastic layer having inner and outer surfaces and opposed end areas with a pair of diverging end portions being formed at one end area thereof, the layer being beveled downwardly and outwardly from its outer to its inner surface, the pair of end portions having center linesinterseoting at or adjacent the other end area of the layer and forming an angle of about 50 between such center lines, and one end portions being adapted to extend from a prosthesis in the direction of towards the wearers adjacent shoulder when on a person havinghad either a right or a left mastectomy, and a fabric cover for said plastic layer.
2. A universal style pad as in claim 1 where said fabric cover comprises means forming a base pocket thereon and two inner side pockets each of which overlaps said base pocket and extends to and covers one end portion of the pad, a breast form being adapted to be primarily positioned by said base pocket and one of said side pockets.
3. A universal style pad as in claim 2 where said frabric cover has inner and outer layers forming a pocket in which said pad is received, a seam being formed between said inner and outer layers at the lateral edges of said pad, a slit being formed in a side of said pocket for insertion and removal of said pad from said fabric cover, said base and side pockets being formed from double layers of fabric attached to said fabric cover at the seam therein.
4. A universal pad as in claim 1 where said end portions are tapered at a smaller angle than other portions of the pad.
5. A universal pad as in claim 2 where a tear drop shape prosthesis is positioned in the cover and does not cover one end portion of the pad.
6. A universal style pad for aid in positioning a breast prosthesis on a wearer who has had a radical right or left mastectomy, and comprising a soft compressible foam plastic layer having inner and outer surfaces and a pair of diverging end portions at one end area of the layer, and a fabric cover for said plastic layer, one end portion extending in the direction of towards the wearers adjacent shoulder when worn by a person, having had either a right or a left mastectomy, as a support for a prosthesis.
7. A universal style pad as in claim 6 where said fabric cover comprises means forming a base pocket thereon and two inner side pockets each of which overlaps said base pocket and extends to and covers one end portion of the pad, a breast form when positioned on the pad being primarily engaged by said base pocket and one of said side pockets,
8. A universal style pad as in claim 6 where said one end portion extends generally in an upward direction and the other end portion extends generally laterally of the wearer toward the chest side-underarm area.
9. A universal style pad as in claim 6 where each of said end portions extend from about 1 inch to about 2 inches from said one end area when considered to be of the same shape as the opposite end area which is of generally arcuate contour.
10. A universal style pad as in claim 8 wherein said end portions of said layer are of similar shape and where said pad when worn by a person having a radical mastectomy on the other side from that assumed to exist in claim 8 would have the positions of said one and said other end portion reversed.