The Shower Shirt is a post-surgical, water resistant garment designed to protect chest surgery patients, including mastectomy, hemodialysis, cardiac, lung, hernia, rotator cuff, neuro-stimulation, and external defibrillator patients from water while showering. Lisa Crites designed the Shower Shirt. She is a breast cancer patient who underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy. Forced to resort to a plastic trash bag while showering, she designed the product so that future surgery patients could shower or bathe more safely, and in comfort.
We first shared Lisa Crites and the Shower Shirt on InventionStories.com back in Feb 15, 2014.
The clinical purpose is to reduce post-surgical infections, more commonly known as Surgical Site Infections. Many surgical procedures involve the placement of surgical drains, tubes, ports and catheters which penetrate the skin. This medical paraphernalia can act as a portal for bacteria to enter the wound site. Tap water contains bacteria. Thus exposure to water significantly increases the risk of post-surgical infections. The physicians instruct their patients to not shower until drains are removed. This spans up to three weeks for mastectomy patients, and many months for dialysis and other surgery patients. I contacted Lisa and asked her to answer the following questions:
How did the idea come to you?
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, I had undergone a bi-lateral mastectomy. My physicians were adamant that I not shower until my post-surgical drains (4 – which were sutured into my armpits and hung below my knees) were removed, normally a two-to three week timeframe. I began looking for a water-resistant product to protect myself while showering, nothing existed. Essentially, I showered with a kitchen trash bag and wrapped it around my body for protection. It was a difficult and awkward process, more importantly – it was insulting to have to shower in a trash bag after amputation of the breasts.
What made you act?
I kept thinking, women have been going through mastectomies in this country for nearly 70 years. Why was there not a product to protect a breast cancer patient like me? I began doing research with physicians, as well as other patients who had gone through breast cancer diagnosis and mastectomy surgery. The story was always the same. The breast cancer patient tried plastic wrap and/or trash bags for protection and their drains become wet.
What ultimately convinced me to ‘act’ on creating this product for breast cancer patients was this: if mastectomy patients could shower with ease, with a product designed to protect them while showering, they would feel better physically, psychologically and emotionally. Something gravely needed during the post-surgery healing process. I felt it was my responsibility to create a product to help support future surgery patients.
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Download, Listen, and Share
In conclusion, we invite you to download, listen, and share the Invention Stories Podcast Episode 17…Lisa Crites and the Shower Shirt Part 1 Therefore, a link is provided at the top of the page. Finally, thank you and please tell a friend.
For more information please visit www.theshowershirt.com