A bra purposely designed for sternotomy patients - New comic explains it all
Recent research has shown that comic-style drawings can help patients who just had surgery to better understand the interventions they have had. When they get information as illustrations, it helps to clarify their procedures in a much quicker way compared to the traditional written or oral forms. According to the research led by Anna Brand, MD, of Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research, reporting online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.(1), patients who got informative information as comic-style drawings, strongly agreed to feeling "well prepared" for cardiac catheterization (71.7% vs 41.0%, P=0.001).
Our goal is to help patients understand more easily why they should not use their normal bra and how QualiBra Advanced works to their benefit after heart surgery. QualiBra Advanced is a purpose-designed product for patients with a sternotomy wound, and should not be confused with a normal bra. See the Comic-style Explainer below.
- Nurse: Good morning Linda. I would like to show you the special bra you need to wear after your heart surgery. It’s called QualiBra Advanced.
- Patient: Why can’t I just wear my own bra after surgery?
- Nurse: Because standard bras create cleavage. You have probably experienced heat build-up and moisture there, right?
- Patient: Yes, I think all women can relate to that.
- Nurse: Heat and moisture on fresh wounds can cause infections or other problems that we want to avoid after surgery.
- Patient: Oh yes, definitely.
- Nurse: Also, normal bras close behind your back. After surgery, you have to avoid reaching behind your back like this while your breast bone is healing as that strains your bone and may delay healing.
- Patient: I understand. So what is different about the bra I have to use?
- Nurse: The QualiBra Advanced keeps the wound area free, dry and clean. This will also get a nicer looking wound healing.
- Patient: That would be fantastic! I worry about having an ugly scar afterwards.
- Nurse: And it closes at front so you don’t have to reach behind your back. Let me show you how to regulate the space between your breasts.
- Patient: It feels very comfortable and soft.
- Nurse: Yes, and we can also regulate the bra at the sides of the breast like this. It will prevent the breast weight from pulling on the wound.
- Patient: That is really something! But tell me what this blue band is for?
- Nurse: Of course, Linda, The blue band is to give constant support from the lateral sides of your sternum bone. This will help to stabilize and protect the bone during healing.
- Patient: Looks really like everything was considered about how I can protect my wound!
- Nurse: Yes, and there’s more. These 2 pockets act like handles and when you bring them together with your fingers it gives you more support around your chest. This lowers pain when you need to cough, sneeze, or if you have to strain during visits to the bathroom!
- Patient: Now I see why I cannot use my own bra after surgery.
- Nurse: Good. And QualiBra Advanced helps us nurses too! We can easily access your wound without having to open the bra!
Being informed empowers you... You can better protect your breast bone and wound to achieve a healthier, less painful and faster recovery without complications. QualiBra Advanced protects you, not only in the hospital but at home and for 6-8 weeks until your breast bone and wound have completely healed.
Decrease potential sternal wound infections, control pain and get more esthetic wound healing.
Decreasing sternal infections:
QualiBra Advanced complements the internal closure by providing constant lateral stabilization of the sternum, and the patient can use the integrated pockets to reinforce support at peak internal thoracic pressure (e.g. coughing, sneezing, straining).
Vertical breast bands at each side of the bra cups prevent pulling on the wound by the weight of breasts and they keep the breast tissue gently away from the sternal wound. This prevents the buildup of moisture and heat which helps to protect the sternal wound from the risk of infections. It also promotes a more esthetic healing of the wound that women of all ages will appreciate.
QualiBra Advanced gives patients better control of pain and respiration, which helps to stimulate earlier mobilization thereby advancing recovery. The chest encircling tension can be increased to counteract increased internal pressure and to control pain during coughing, sneezing or straining simply by inserting thumbs or fingers in the integrated pockets of the sternum band and bringing the hands together or over each other.
The sternum band is positioned above the breasts and has a left-sided, adjustable closure. The level of tension can be adjusted to be as tight as possible, while still being comfortable. The benefit is comfort and a better posture, which improves breathing and can help with clearing secretions from the lungs thereby decreasing the risk of pulmonary complications. Pain from pulling on the wound during wound care is reduced as the vertical bands permit easy, painless access to the wound without the need to open or remove QualiBra Advanced thereby maintaining breast support.
The sternum band allows for quick and straightforward access to the wound in emergencies, and for easy inspection and care without the need to open QualiBra Advanced or to uncover the breasts. Wound inspection and care is easy and cause less pain with QualiBra Advanced. Only one of the bands need to be opened, either the sternum band or the under-bust band, and the health care staff has full access to the wound while the support of breasts is maintained. Which band to open will depend on the position of the wound and the body shape.
Unmatched comfort and support:
The wound and breast bone are constantly protected by QualiBra Advanced. The soft, elasticized cotton bra cups have no seams or labels against the skin, and the remarkably light material of the sternum band is elastic, firm and ventilated. The vertical breast bands can be adjusted to prevent the pull of gravity on the wound and to keep it free from breast tissue to avoid heat and moisture buildup. When a wound is not squeezed, healing will be more esthetically pleasing. The easily adjustable closures of both the vertical breast bands, the sternum, and the under-bust bands provide exceptional comfort and enhanced compliance for usage at home while the sternum and surgical wound heal.
Improve wound care and protection beyond the hospital:
QualiBra Advanced acts as a constant “reminder” to protect the breast bone and wound, both in the hospital and at home, and it helps to encourage deeper breathing, early mobilization and to get support when coughing. The sternum band pockets are always ready to grasp when needed.
QualiBra Advanced is a unique, nurse-designed sternum and breast support device for women who need heart surgery with opening of the breast bone (sternotomy):
- It may decrease potential complications such as infections, pain, and pulmonary issues and advance the recovery process to get patients home and back to normal life sooner.
- The sternum band is integrated with the breast support at each side and dictates the choice of size.
- Grasping the pockets in the sternum band with the thumbs or inserting fingers and bringing them together can increase chest encircling support during coughing, sneezing, straining to decrease pain.
- The sternum band is closed by Velcro on the left side, leaving the wound undisturbed.
- The sternum band can be opened for wound care while the under-bust band remains closed.
- Depending on wound position or body shape it could be more convenient to open the under-bust band with the sternum band closed during wound care.
- Adjustable vertical breast bands prevent pulling on the wound from the weight of breasts and keep the sternal wound dry to decrease the potential for infections.
- The vertical breast bands keep the wound free to heal neatly.
- Medical Graphic Narratives to Improve Patient Comprehension and Periprocedural Anxiety Before Coronary Angiography and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: A Randomized Trial” https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/2/651.short
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Heart pillows and sternum protection devices - Very different functions yet important roles in advancing a patients recovery.
The intention is to educate about the patient's recovery and experience after sternotomy procedures, and how to best avoid complications.