Pocketing Surgical Drains

Breast cancer survivor Carol Hunter created the unisex It’s My Secret jackets and shirts after undergoing a double mastectomy herself to “help patients heal with dignity.” Ms Hunter believes that the sooner patients can get out and about, the better they feel and the faster they will heal. Her goal is to provide postoperative patients who need surgical drains with a discreet solution for a common situation. These garments are designed to help women and men through the entire healing process.

The garments open down the front and have internal pockets that can accommodate up to eight drains. The pockets are crafted to hold the drains upright to prevent spillage. The jackets are made from cozy soft and washable fabric that is lightweight but warm. They can be worn over bandages and compression garments, and are comfortable enough to sleep in. The garments are available in sizes from small to 3X, and are ideal after many operations that require postoperative surgical drains, including mastectomy, reconstruction, and breast reduction.

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“After the drains are no longer necessary, the patient can remove the pockets from the garment, or she can use them for money, keys, cell phone, and other items,” Ms Hunter explained. A portion of all proceeds is donated to cancer research.

Magnetized Buttons Open, Close Easily

Have you ever watched a patient struggle with the buttons on a dress shirt or blouse? MagnaReady shirts look like they button up like a traditional shirt, but the small magnetically infused buttons simply snap together, thus enabling recovery and independence. Maura Horton created MagnaReady when her husband developed Parkinson disease and had difficulty with regular buttons on his shirts. Ms Horten also realized her garments could work well for patients with breast cancer.

The magnetic buttons look like properly closed buttons but are easy to open, making access to ports or drains easy. The shirts are also helpful for the recovering surgical patient who is getting back to his or her normal schedule and wants to dress well, but still has limited arm or shoulder dexterity. Shirts are made of machine washable, wrinkle-free fabric, and because the placket conceals the magnetic strip, they look no different from any other shirts.

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Adding Comfort to Head Coverings

Many women find that full wigs are uncomfortably hot and itchy. For them, Headcovers Unlimited has many alternative options including halo wigs, partial wigs of hair attached around the perimeter of a soft, stretchy cap made of a comfortable wicking fabric. The halo wig is then worn under any hat and looks like the wearer has a full head of hair. The halo wigs are available as an undercap or as detachable ponytail or bangs to wear under any baseball-style cap. Other products with attached hair include scarves, headbands, turbans, and even warm hats for cold weather. In addition, Headcovers Unlimited offers a line of hats for men.

Founded 22 years ago by a breast cancer survivor, the Internet-based company is also known for its designer turbans and large selection of head coverings, hats, and garments made from bamboo fiber, which is especially soft and comfortable. If scalp sensitivity is a concern, Headcovers Unlimited suggests patients try pairing one of their hat hair options with a bamboo hat. Hats made with bamboo are especially great for cancer patients because of the cooling and antibacterial properties of the bamboo fabric.

Note, insurance companies may cover 2 therapeutic garments per year with a prescription (insurance code #L8015).

Bette Weinstein Kaplan is a medical writer based in Tenafly, New Jersey.