Title:
GARMENT FOR WEARING A BREAST PROSTHESIS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a garment for wearing breast prosthesis comprising a torso front panel forming a front side of the garment; a torso back panel forming a back side of the garment; and at least a first pocket for receiving the prosthesis; the front panel and the back panel being connected at several locations forming: a right arm opening at a first side having a right arm rim around the right arm opening; a left arm opening at a first side having a left arm rim around the left arm opening; a neck opening at the top having a neck rim around the neck opening; the first pocket being located at a first half of the front panel being connected to the front panel at or near at least a substantial part of an arm rim and to at least or near a substantial part of the neck rim.



Inventors:
Van Dorp, Margreet (Wolfheze, NL)
Van Eijsden, Petra (Wolfheze, NL)
Application Number:
12/858625
Publication Date:
11/17/2011
Filing Date:
08/18/2010
Assignee:
SENSIFORM V.O.F. (WOLFHEZE, NL)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/69, 2/247
International Classes:
A41C3/08; A41D1/00; A41D27/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RENNER OTTO BOISSELLE & SKLAR, LLP (CLEVELAND, OH, US)
Claims:
1. Garment for wearing a breast prosthesis comprising: a) a torso front panel forming a front side of the garment; b) a torso back panel forming a back side of the garment; and c) at least a first pocket for receiving the prosthesis; the front torso panel and the back torso panel having a substantially similar shape and being connected at a first side, a second side, a first top side and a second top side, thus forming: d) a body opening at the bottom; e) a right arm opening at a first side having a right arm rim around the right arm opening; (f) a left arm opening at a first side having a left arm rim around the left arm opening; and g) a neck opening at the top having a neck rim around the neck opening; the first pocket being located at a first half of the front panel ranging from a first side of the front panel towards the middle of the front panel and the first pocket being connected to the front panel at or near at least a substantial part of an arm rim available at the first half of the front panel and to at least or near a substantial part of the neck rim available at the first half of the front panel.

2. Garment according to claim 1, wherein the first pocket comprises a) a first pocket front panel; and b) a first pocket back panel; wherein the first pocket front panel is connected to the first pocket back panel over at least a substantial part of c) a bottom side of the first pocket front panel and the first pocket rear panel; d) a first pocket side located at or near the middle of the front panel; e) a second pocket side located at the side of the front panel; f) a first top side located at or near an arm rim available at the first half of the front panel; and g) a second top side located at or near the neck rim available at the first half of the front panel.

3. Garment according to claim 2, wherein the first pocket front panel is attached to the first pocket rear panel at the same location of the first pocket where the first pocket is connected to the front panel at the first top side and/or the second top side.

4. Garment according to claim 4, wherein the first pocket front panel is attached to the first pocket rear panel by the same seam with which the first pocket is connected to the front panel at the first top side and/or the second top side.

5. Garment according to claim 1, further comprising a band of elastic material at or below the bottom of the first pocket that when the garment is worn by a user is located around the torso of the user.

6. Garment according to claim 1, further comprising an inner rear panel connected to the rear panel at or near a) the left arm rim available at the rear panel; b) the right arm rim available at the rear panel; and c) the neck rim available at the rear panel; The inner rear panel being further connected to the first pocket at the side of the garment below the arm rim available at the first half of the front panel.

7. Garment according to claim 1, wherein the first pocket comprises an opening located at a lower part of the first arm rim.

8. Garment according to claim 1, further comprising a second pocket being located a second half of the front panel ranging from a second side of the front panel towards the middle of the front panel and the second pocket being connected to the front panel at or near at least a substantial part of an arm rim available at the second half of the front panel and to at least or near a substantial part of the neck rim available at the second half of the front panel.

9. Garment according to claim 1, wherein the front panel and the rear panel are formed in a single piece of fabric.

10. Garment according to claim 1, wherein the first pocket comprises at a first side of the pocket adjacent to the front panel a layer a resilient material.

11. Garment according to claim 8, wherein the resilient material is one of the following: a) foam; and/or b) rubber

12. Inset for a garment for wearing a breast prosthesis comprising: a) a back panel; b) a first front panel; c) a second front panel being aligned with the first front panel and connected to the first panel at the extremities of the front panels and the middle of the front panels by at least one seam; The ensemble of the first front panel and the second front panel being connected to the back panel at a first side, a second side, a first top side and a second top side, thus forming: d) a body opening at the bottom; e) a right arm opening at a first side having a right arm rim around the right arm opening; f) a left arm opening at a first side having a left arm rim around the left arm opening; g) a neck opening at the top having a neck rim around the neck opening; wherein the seam is interrupted at a first location near the bottom of the right arm rim and at a second location near the bottom of the left arm rim to provide a first opening and a second opening, respectively, for receiving the breast prosthesis.

13. Inset for a garment for wearing a breast prosthesis according to claim 12, further comprising a band of elastic material at the bottom of the inset that when the garment is worn by a user is located around the torso of the user.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a garment for wearing a breast prosthesis.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,915 discloses a garment for wearing a breast prosthesis. The garment comprises one or two pockets in the breast area of a facing that is attached to a bodice of the garment. In one or both of the pocket areas may be placed a breast prosthesis, preferably constructed of a light-weight, flexible material. The pockets disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,915 are small and locally connected to the facing, in the breast area.

OBJECT AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is a need for a garment for wearing a breast prosthesis that provides more comfort in wearing, in particular for wearing silicon based breast prosthesis. Such breast prosthesis are usually heavier than light-weight flexible material as discussed by U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,915.

The invention provides in a first aspect a garment for wearing a breast prosthesis comprising a torso front panel forming a front side of the garment; a torso back panel forming a back side of the garment; and at least a first pocket for receiving the prosthesis; the front torso panel and the back torso panel being connected at a first side, a second side, a first top side and a second top side, thus forming: a body opening at the bottom; a right arm opening at a first side having a right arm rim around the right arm opening; a left arm opening at a first side having a left arm rim around the left arm opening; and a neck opening at the top having a neck rim around the neck opening; the first pocket being located at a first half of the front panel ranging from a first side of the front panel towards the middle of the front panel and the first pocket being connected to the front panel at or near at least a substantial part of an arm rim available at the first half of the front panel and to at least or near a substantial part of the neck rim available at the first half of the front panel.

Such garment is particularly suited for wearing silicon breast prosthesis by for example women who have undergone a mastectomy. Additionally or alternatively, such garment may also be worn by women who would like to augment their breast size and/or by men and/or women in general.

By connecting the first pocket to the front panel at or near at least a substantial part of the arm rim and the neck rim available near the location of the first pocket, the first pocket is directly connected to a supporting structure of the garment formed by the rims available at the first half of the front panel. In this way, the force exerted upon the garment by the breast prosthesis by virtue of the force of gravity, is linked to said rims which are directly supported by the shoulders of the wearer. Additionally, this prevents unwanted tension to the fabric of the garment, resulting in wrinkles in the garment that would occur if the pocket would be connected to the garment in the breast area. The pocket is not necessarily connected to the full parts of the rims, though well enough to transfer forces well and even enough for comfortably wearing the garment.

In an embodiment of the garment according to the invention, wherein the first pocket comprises a first pocket front panel; and a first pocket back panel; wherein the first pocket front panel is connected to the first pocket back panel over at least a substantial part of a bottom side of the first pocket front panel and the first pocket rear panel; a first pocket side located at or near the middle of the front panel; a second pocket side located at the side of the front panel; a first top side located at or near an arm rim available at the first half of the front panel; and a second top side located at or near the neck rim available at the first half of the front panel.

This embodiment provides a high pocket, that allows smoothing of any curves or ruptures in curves that may be caused by a transition from the prosthesis to the human body.

In a further embodiment of the garment according to the invention, the first pocket front panel is attached to the first pocket rear panel at the same location of the first pocket where the first pocket is connected to the front panel at the first top side and/or the second top side. This embodiment enables simplified construction of the garment.

Another embodiment of the garment according to the invention comprises a band of elastic material at or below the bottom of the first pocket that when the garment is worn by a user is located around the torso of the user. The band of elastic material enables the lower part of the pocket to be held close to the body. This is particularly advantageous during activity.

Yet a further embodiment of the invention comprises an inner rear panel connected to the rear panel at or near the left arm rim available at the rear panel; the right arm rim available at the rear panel; and the neck rim available at the rear panel; the inner rear panel being further connected to the first pocket at the side of the garment below the arm rim available at the first half of the front panel. This provides a separate inset in a garment and enables the prosthesis to be worn close to the human body. This embodiment is particular advantageous in combination with the previous embodiment.

Yet another embodiment of the invention comprises a second pocket being located a second half of the front panel ranging from a second side of the front panel towards the middle of the front panel and the second pocket being connected to the front panel at or near at least a substantial part of an arm rim available at the second half of the front panel and to at least or near a substantial part of the neck rim available at the second half of the front panel.

The invention provides in a second aspect an inset for a garment for wearing a breast prosthesis comprising: a back panel; a first front panel; a second front panel being aligned with the first front panel and connected to the first panel at the extremities of the front panels and the middle of the front panels by at least one seam; The ensemble of the first front panel and the second front panel being connected to the back panel at a first side, a second side, a first top side and a second top side, thus forming: a body opening at the bottom; a right arm opening at a first side having a right arm rim around the right arm opening; a left arm opening at a first side having a left arm rim around the left arm opening; and a neck opening at the top having a neck rim around the neck opening; wherein the seam is interrupted at a first location near the bottom of the right arm rim and at a second location near the bottom of the left arm rim to provide a first opening and a second opening, respectively, for receiving the breast prosthesis.

A separate inset enables existing garments to be adapted for wearing together with a breast prosthesis.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention and various embodiments thereof will now be further elucidated by means of Figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of the garment according to the invention;

FIG. 2 shows a further embodiment of the garment according to the invention; and

FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of the garment according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a shirt 100 as an embodiment of the garment according to the invention. The shirt 100 has a front panel 112 and a back panel 114. The front panel 112 and the back panel 114 are preferably provided in a soft and elastic fabric like tricot-knitted cotton or other materials like wool, nylon, rayon or other. The front panel 112 and the back panel 114 are connected at the sides and at two locations at the top.

By virtue of these connections, a body opening 120 is provided at the bottom, a right arm opening 122 having a right arm rim 124 is provided at the right, a left arm opening 126 having a left arm rim 128 is provided at the left and a neck opening 116 is provided at the top having a neck rim 118. Between the right arm opening 122 and the neck opening 116 a right shoulder strap 192 is provided and between the left arm opening 126 and the neck opening 116 a left shoulder strap 194 is provided by connecting the front panel 112 and the rear panel 114 at the top at the sides of the neck opening 116.

The connections between the front panel 112 and the back panel 114 are provided as seams. The front panel 112 and the back panel 114 can also be provided in one piece, with only seams at the top of the right shoulder strap 192 and the left shoulder strap 194. In that case the torso of the shirt 100 is manufactured as a sleeve. The front panel 112 and the back panel 114 preferably have a substantial similar shape to properly from the shirt 100.

Small variations between both shapes are possible to move connecting seams to the back or the front of the torso to provide a wider front panel or back panel, respectively. Alternatively or additionally, the neck rim 150 may be lower at either the front or the back. Similarly, variations can be made to the right arm rim 124 and the left arm rim 126 and the elements for forming the right shoulder strap 192 and the left shoulder strap 192. Most important is that the front panel 112 and the back panel 114 provide elements for forming a torso and shoulder straps.

FIG. 2 shows a cross-section of the shirt 100 from back to front. As the cross-section in FIG. 2 shows only the right pocket, embodiments of the invention will be further described in conjunction with FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 simultaneously. The shirt 100 comprises an inset 130 comprising a right pocket 132 as a first pocket and a left pocket 134 as a second pocket for carrying a breast prosthesis 200. The inset 130 comprises a pocket front panel 174 and a pocket back panel 176 forming the right pocket 132 by sewing the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 together. The left pocket 134 is provided in a similar way. Optionally, additional pocket front and back panels may be provided specifically for the left pocket 134.

The inset 130 comprises an optional elastic band 136 at the bottom of the inset 130. The elastic band 136 is intended to be worn around the middle of a person wearing the shirt 100. The elastic band 136 being attached at the bottom of the inset 130 allows the inset 130 comprising the breast prosthesis 200 to be worn comfortably and close to the body. Any unevenness of the body, be it natural, caused by tension exerted by the elastic band or by both is on the other hand covered by the torso formed by the front panel 112 and the back panel 114.

FIG. 1 discloses several seams provided in the shirt 100 to connect and in particular attach the insert 130 to the front panel 112 and/or the rear panel 114. The dashed lines are locations where the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 are sewn together. The dashed-dotted lines are locations where the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 are sewn together and sewn to the front panel 112, preferably by one and the same seam. The right pocket 132 is formed by sewing the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 together with several seams. At the bottom of the right pocket, a right bottom seam 142 is provided. The right bottom seam 142 preferably has a curved shape to properly accommodate the breast prosthesis 200. The actual curvature of the right bottom seam may be adapted to the size of a specific breast prosthesis to be inserted in the right pocket 132.

Alternatively, the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 are provided in one piece of fabric that is folded at the bottom of the right pocket 132. In that case, the right bottom seam 142 may be omitted. In another alternative, a single piece of fabric is folded at the top of the right pocket 132.

At the left side of the right pocket 132, a right middle seam 154 is provided. Also the right middle seam 154 has a curved shape to accommodate the breast prosthesis 200. At or near the right arm rim 124, a right arm rim seam 146 is provided. The right arm rim seam 146 preferably follows the contours of the right arm rim 124 to camouflage the right arm rim seam 146 and/or to provide a stable structure of the shirt 100. This applies as well to a right neck rim seam 150 provided at or near the neck rim 118.

Both the right arm rim seam 146 and the right neck rim seam 150 are located at or near the top of the right pocket 132, along the sides of the right shoulder strap 192. In this way, the right pocket 132 and the weight of the prosthesis 200 is supported by the right shoulder strap 192 and in particular the right arm rim seam 146 and the right neck rim seam 150 as a supporting structure.

At the top of the right shoulder strap 192, a right shoulder seam 196 may be provided. The right shoulder seam 196 does not necessarily have to connect the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 or to connect the right pocket 132 to the front panel 112 and/or the back panel 114; this is optional. Though the rights shoulder strap 192—as well as the left shoulder strap 194—should be broad enough to conveniently wear the shirt 100 with at least one breast prosthesis 200 inside, the width of the shoulder strap 192 is preferably small compared to the right neck rim seam 150 and the right arm rim seam 146.

Furthermore, the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 may be sewn to each other together with the elastic band 136 at a band seam 138.

Close to the right arm rim 124 a right pocket opening 162 is provided for putting the breast prosthesis 200 in the right pocket 132. At this location, the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 are not sewn together. The pocket front panel 174 is sewn to the front panel 112. The right pocket opening 162 may alternatively be provided at another location of the right pocket 132, for example along the right neck rim 150 or at the centre side of the right pocket 132. However, having the opening 162 at the lower part of the right arm rim 124 results the opening 162 at a discrete location that is yet well accessible while the shirt 100 is worn, for example for adjusting the prosthesis 200 in the right pocket 132.

Thus, as indicated by the dashed-dotted lines in FIG. 1, the right pocket 132 is connected and in particular attached, preferably by sewing, to the front panel 120 of the shirt 100 at the right half of the front panel 120 at or at least near to a substantial part of the right arm rim 124 and the neck rim 118 available at the right half of the front panel 120. Furthermore, in this particular embodiment, the right pocket 132 is at the top delimited by the same seams with which the right pocket 132 and with that the inset 130 is connected to the front panel 112. In another embodiment, the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 are connected at a location other than the location where the inset 130 and thus the first pocket 132 is connected to the front panel 112 of the shirt 100.

As indicated in FIG. 2, the right pocket 132 may be provided with a padding 178 at the front side of the right pocket 132. An equivalent padding may be provided in the left pocket 134. The padding 178 is preferably sewn to the pocket front panel 174. The padding 178 is preferably provided in a material that is flexible and resilient and thicker than the fabric in which the front panel 112 and the back panel 114 are provided. Examples of such materials are foam or either natural or synthetic rubber, provided in a thickness between 0.5 and 3 millimetres and preferably between 1 and 2 millimetres. The padding 178 may be connected and in particular attached to the pocket front panel 174 at the inside the right pocket 132, at the outside of the right pocket 132 or as an inset in the fabric of the front panel 176, replacing the fabric by the material of the padding 178.

The left pocket 134 is formed in a way similar to the way the right pocket 132 is formed. At the left side of the inset 130, the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 are sewn together with equivalent seams. At the bottom of the left pocket 134 a left bottom seam 144 and at the right side of the left pocket 134, a left middle seam 156 is provided. It is noted that in this particular embodiment three more or less vertical seams are provided in the middle of the inset 130, as also an additional centre middle seam 158 is provided.

These three seams are provided to provide a stable structure for holding the breast prosthesis 200 properly at its place while the shirt 100 is worn. Additionally, these three middle seams provide a good distribution of forces that the breast prosthesis 200 (and/or an additional breast prosthesis to be inserted in the left pocket 134) exerted on the inset 130 and with that on the shirt 100 over the shoulders of the wearer. In an alternative, however, either the centre middle seam 158 may be omitted or alternatively the right middle seam 154 and the left middle seam 156 are omitted.

At the upper side of the left pocket 134, a left arm rim seam 148 and a left neck rim seam 152 are provided in a way equivalent to that of the left arm rim seam 146 and the right neck rim seam 150. Preferably, the left neck seam 152 and the right neck seam 150 are provided as one single seam. At the top of the left shoulder strap 194, a left shoulder seam 198 may be provided. The left pocket 134 is accessible by means of a left pocket opening 164.

FIG. 2 also discloses an optional inner rear panel 172 that forms part of the inset 130. This is further elucidated by means of FIG. 3. The inner rear panel 172 is connected to the elastic band 136 at the bottom of the inner rear panel 172, to the pocket front panel 174 and/or the pocket rear panel 176 by means of a lower right seam 302 and a lower left seam 304. Alternatively, the inner rear panel 172 and either the pocket front panel 174 or the pocket rear panel 176 are formed in one piece as discussed with the front panel 112 and the rear panel 114.

A person skilled in the art will appreciate that with embodiments without the inner rear panel 172, the lower right seam 302 and the lower left seam 304 may be provided nonetheless to further connect the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket rear panel 176. Preferably, the lower right seam 302 and the lower left seam 304 do not connect the inset 130 with the right pocket 132 and the left pocket 134 to the torso formed by the front panel 112 and the rear panel 114 to enable the torso to be worn relatively loosely, whereas the inset 130 is worn closely to the body for optimal wearing comfort.

At the top or upper side of the inner rear panel 172, the inner rear panel 172 is connected to the back panel 114 by means of a rear neck rim seam 182, a rear right arm rim seam 184 and a rear left arm rim seam 186. Preferably, the rear neck rim seam 182 is formed integrally with the right neck rim seam 150 and the left neck rim seam 152 as one single seam. Similarly, the rear right arm rim seam 184 is preferably formed integrally with the right arm rim seam 146 as one single seam and the rear left arm rim seam 186 is preferably formed integrally with the left arm rim seam 148 as one single seam.

As discussed, the front panel 112 and the back panel 114 are preferably provided in tricot. Such tricot comprises preferably at least 95% cotton, where at least 98% cotton is preferred. The tricot comprises elastane as another part. It will be understood that also other materials may be used, though cotton and in particular high-quality cotton is preferred for its soft nature. The panels comprised by the inset, the pocket from panel 174, the pocket back panel 176 and the inner rear panel 172 are preferably provided in the same material, though variations in thickness may be provided.

In particular, the inner rear panel 172 and the pocket front panel 174 can be provided in a lighter quality tricot than the tricot of the front panel 112 and the back panel 114 to make the shirt 100 not too heavy. The pocket back panel 176 is preferably provided in a heavier and therefore softer quality of tricot, for example a quality similar to that of the front panel 112 and the back panel 114 as the pocket back panel 176 is worn to the skin. A relatively high quality tricot is more comfortable to wear.

Thus far, the sleeveless shirt 100 comprising the inset 130 has been discussed as an embodiment of the invention. The invention may also be embodied as a shirt with sleeves, either long or short or as a dress having a longer front panel and a longer back panel. Other variations like a lower neck rim 150 at the back of the shirt 100 have already been discussed. Similarly, the shapes of the inner rear panel 172, the pocket front panel 174 and the pocket back panel 176 can be adjusted to adapt to the shapes of the front panel 112 and the back panel 114. Such adaptation is in particular relevant if the right pocket 132 and the left pocket 134 are to be connected to the front panel at or near the various rims. It is noted that the inset 130 may be provided separately to adapt other garment to enable such garment to be worn with one or two breast prosthesis.

The shirt 100 has been described as comprising the right pocket 132 and the left pocket 134. Variations having only the right pocket 132 or only the left pocket 134 are possible as well, though from a viewpoint of supply flexibility, the variety with two pockets is preferred.

In the embodiments disclosed so far, the right pocket 132 and the left pocket 134 are at the upper side delimited by the arm rim seams and the neck rim seams. Alternatively, the pockets may also be delimited at a lower level by one or more additional seams instead of the arm rim seams and the neck rim seams.

Expressions such as “comprise”, “include”, “incorporate”, “contain”, “is” and “have” are to be construed in a non-exclusive manner when interpreting the description and its associated claims, namely construed to allow for other items or components which are not explicitly defined also to be present. Reference to the singular is also to be construed in be a reference to the plural and vice versa.

In the description above, it will be understood that when an element such as layer, region or substrate is referred to as being “on”, “onto” or connected to another element, the element is either directly on or connected to the other element, or intervening elements may also be present.

Furthermore, the invention may also be embodied with less components than provided in the embodiments described here, wherein one component carries out multiple functions. Just as well may the invention be embodied using more elements than depicted in FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and/or FIG. 3, wherein functions carried out by one component in the embodiment provided are distributed over multiple components.

A person skilled in the art will readily appreciate that various parameters disclosed in the description may be modified and that various embodiments disclosed and/or claimed may be combined without departing from the scope of the invention.

It is stipulated that the reference signs in the claims do not limit the scope of the claims, but are merely inserted to enhance the legibility of the claims.

In summary, the invention relates to a garment for wearing breast prosthesis comprising a torso front panel forming a front side of the garment; a torso back panel forming a back side of the garment; and at least a first pocket for receiving the prosthesis; the front panel and the back panel being connected at several locations forming: a right arm opening at a first side having a right arm rim around the right arm opening; a left arm opening at a first side having a left arm rim around the left arm opening; a neck opening at the top having a neck rim around the neck opening; the first pocket being located at a first half of the front panel being connected to the front panel at or near at least a substantial part of an arm rim and to at least or near a substantial part of the neck rim.





 
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