Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040029484 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/357,495
Publication date12 Feb 2004
Filing date4 Feb 2003
Priority date4 Feb 2002
Publication number10357495, 357495, US 2004/0029484 A1, US 2004/029484 A1, US 20040029484 A1, US 20040029484A1, US 2004029484 A1, US 2004029484A1, US-A1-20040029484, US-A1-2004029484, US2004/0029484A1, US2004/029484A1, US20040029484 A1, US20040029484A1, US2004029484 A1, US2004029484A1
InventorsR. Smith
Original AssigneeSmith R. Scott
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Breast supporter
US 20040029484 A1
Abstract
The disclosure provides a breast supporter which can be worn or held to a person's breast to provide protection and comfort, and particularly to reduce discomfort during or following breast implant surgery. The breast supporter can provide one or more depressions or cups for resting of breasts, wherein the breast supporter can be inflatable, and wherein the size(s) of the depression(s) or the cup(s) or the opening(s) is/are adjustable.
Images(11)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(31)
What we claim is:
1. A breast supporter suitable for use by a breast surgery patient comprising at least one depression or opening to accommodate the patient's breast or a substantial portion thereof.
2. The breast supporter of claim 1, having a size and shape that adjusts to at least one of the patient's breasts.
3. The breast supporter of claim 1, having two depressions or openings of different sizes for different size breasts.
4. The breast supporter of claim 1, wherein the depression or opening shape is circular, oval, circular-edged oval, rectangular, square, or hexagonal.
5. The breast supporter of claim 1, wherein the breast supporter has a conventional pillow size selected from the group consisting of king, queen, twin, double, and single.
6. The breast supporter of claim 1, wherein the breast supporter comprises a material selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, and air.
7. The breast supporter of claim 1 comprises a cushion between the opening or the depression and the supporter edges.
8. The breast supporter of claim 1 further comprises cushions on top and bottom of the opening or the depression.
9. The breast supporter of claim 7, wherein the cushion thickness is between about 0.1 and 10 inches.
10. The breast supporter of claim 7, wherein the cushion thickness is between about 1 and 5 inches
11. The breast supporter of claim 7, wherein the cushion comprises a material selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, air, and a combination thereof.
12. The breast supporter of claim 1, wherein the breast supporter is inflatable.
13. The breast supporter of claim 1, further comprising a fastener for removable attachment to the patient.
14. The breast supporter of claim 1, further comprising a fastener for removable attachment to medical equipment used in a surgical procedure.
15. A method of using a breast supporter suitable for use by a breast surgery patient comprising at least one depression or opening to accommodate the patient's breast or a substantial portion thereof.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein the size and shape that adjusts to at least one of the patient's breasts.
17. The method of claim 15, wherein two depressions or openings of different sizes are for different size breasts.
18. The method of claim 15, wherein the depression or the opening shape is circular, oval, circular-edged oval, rectangular, square, or hexagonal.
19. The method of claim 15, wherein the breast supporter has a conventional pillow size selected from the group consisting of king, queen, twin, double, and single.
20. The method of claim 15, wherein the breast supporter comprises a material selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, and air.
21. The method of claim 15, wherein the breast supporter comprises a cushion between an opening or a depression and the edges.
22. The method of claim 15, wherein the breast supporter further comprises cushions on the top and the bottom of the opening or depression.
23. The method of claim 21, wherein the cushion thickness is between about 0.1 and 10 inches.
24. The method of claim 21, wherein the cushion thickness is between about 1 and 5 inches.
25. The method of claim 21, wherein the cushion comprises a material selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, air, and a combination thereof.
26. The method of claim 15, wherein the breast supporter is inflatable.
27. The method of claim 15, wherein the breast supporter further comprising a fastener for removable attachment to the patient.
28. The method of claim 15, wherein the breast supporter further comprising a fastener for removable attachment to medical equipment used in a surgical procedure.
29. A medical equipment comprising a breast supporter suitable for use by a breast surgery patient comprising at least one depression or opening to accommodate the patient's breast or a substantial portion thereof.
30. The medical equipment of claim 29, wherein the breast supporter is operably linked to the equipment.
31. The medical equipment of claim 29, wherein the firmness, size, and shape of the breast supporter, depressions or cups, or openings are electronically adjustable to the patient's need.
Description
  • [0001]
    The present application claims priority to U.S. Serial No. 60/353,170, filed on Feb. 4, 2002, the entire contents of which are expressly incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD
  • [0002]
    This disclosure provides, among other things, pillows and supports that can reduce discomfort during or after breast surgery.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    During or after breast surgery a patient's breasts need support to reduce discomfort and to facilitate healing. Generally a conventional head pillow is used to provide this support. The patient may, for example hold the head pillow against a breast or someone else may hold the pillow. Such use of a conventional pillow, in the form of a simple soft rectangle shape, however, suffers several disadvantages. More specifically, it is difficult for the patient to rest breast while flat or wavy surfaces of conventional pillow would impose unnecessary pressure on breast.
  • [0004]
    Special purpose pillows have been designed for post surgical patients and particularly those who have had open-heart surgery. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,261,420 describes a support pillow that maintains severely disabled persons in an erect posture. The support pillow has a planar frontal element that positions beside the patient's chest. The pillow provides lateral support to the patient's neck such that in combination with the chin rest, the patient's head is held in a substantially normal attitude. Unfortunately this pillow generally does not alleviate post surgery breast pain.
  • [0005]
    A chest pillow, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,692,246, for use by a post-surgical patient is suitable for a patient having undergone heart surgery. Such pillow, however, is not suitable for use to rest or comfort breast implant patient and does not address suitably physical tension on healing breast tissue.
  • [0006]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,683,601 also describes a pillow design that comforts patients who have undergone open-heart surgery. This pillow design facilitates and eases the pain associated with coughing of phlegm from lungs, but does not support the breast tissue of a patient who has undergone breast implant surgery.
  • [0007]
    Supporting pillows also are used in hospital beds. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,067,679 describes a pillow that props a patient on his/her side while resting in a hospital bed. Such supporting pillows are rectangle in shape. This shape may create discomfort even when the pillow is wide enough to wrap around a patient's sides to allow the patient to hold the pillow around the upper torso, as the pillow lacks empty area to accommodate the patient's arms. Furthermore, conventional pillows primarily are intended to support a patient's head and are soft for this reason. Such pillows generally are not of suitable texture or shape for a post-operative breast surgery patient. In contrast breast supporters of this disclosure have characteristic conformations that match physical needs of a patient who has undergone breast surgery.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0008]
    [0008]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a breast supporter, depicting circular openings.
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 2 is a front view of a breast supporter, depicting oval openings.
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 3 is a front view of a breast supporter, depicting rectangular openings.
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 4 is a front view of a breast supporter, depicting an oval opening.
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 5 is a front view of a breast supporter, depicting a rectangular opening.
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 6 is a front view of a breast supporter, depicting a square opening.
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 7 is a front cross sectional view of a breast supporter depicting depressions.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 8 is a front cross sectional view of a breast supporter depicting inner rigid structure (86) with a soft compressible cover (10).
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 9 is a front view of a breast supporter depicting cup-shaped depressions.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 10 is a front view of a breast supporter, depicting a circular-edged oval opening.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0018]
    An object of this disclosure is to provide a breast supporter that can be worn or positioned at a breast to protect and reduce pain to the breast, particularly for patients who have undergone a breast implant operation.
  • [0019]
    One embodiment described herein provides a breast supporter for use by a breast surgery patient having one or more openings of sufficient size to accommodate the patient's breast(s) and/or a substantial portion thereof. In one embodiment, the size and/or the shape of the breast supporter, and one or more openings therein are adjusted for a patient's breast size, wherein the supporter comprises a means for attaching or holding the supporter to the patient's chest. In another embodiment the breast supporter further comprises a fastener for removably attaching the breast supporter to equipment used in surgical procedures, for example, a bed used during a breast augmentation operation.
  • [0020]
    Another embodiment provides a breast supporter comprising a cushion between the opening(s) or depression(s) and the edges.
  • [0021]
    Yet another embodiment provides a breast supporter comprising cushions on top and bottom of the opening(s) or depression(s) and the edges.
  • [0022]
    Yet still another embodiment provides a breast supporter comprising one or more openings with a cushion thickness between the opening and the outside edge of between about 0.1 and about 10 inches, preferably between about 0.5 inches and about 6 inches, more preferably between about 0.75 and about 5.0 inches, and yet more preferably between about 1.0 inch and about 4.0 inches.
  • [0023]
    Another embodiment provides a breast supporter, wherein the cushion comprises materials selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, air and a combination thereof.
  • [0024]
    Another embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter that comprises one or more openings to accommodate the patient's breast(s) or a substantial portion thereof.
  • [0025]
    Another embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter, wherein the size or the shape of the breast supporter, depressions or cups are adjustable to patient's breast.
  • [0026]
    Another embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter, wherein the breast supporter is inflatable adjustably with patient's breast size, and wherein the breast supporter comprises a means for removing it by the patient.
  • [0027]
    Another embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter, wherein the breast supporter comprising a means for mounting or removing on medical equipment used in surgical procedures, for example, a bed for breast implant type of operation.
  • [0028]
    One embodiment provides a medical equipment comprising a breast supporter for use by a patient in need, wherein the breast supporter comprises one or more depressions or cups of sufficient size to accommodate the patient's breast or a substantial portion thereof.
  • [0029]
    Another embodiment provides a breast supporter operably linked to the equipment, wherein the firmness, size, and shape of the breast supporter, depressions or cups are electronically adjustable to the patient's need.
  • [0030]
    These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent to the skilled artisan in view of the description set forth below.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
  • [0031]
    A breast supporter, according to embodiments disclosed herein comprises a compressible structural supporting material with one or more openings to accommodate one or more breasts. Preferably the material is made from a polymer such as polyurethane and has a density of between 1 to 50 pounds per cubic foot, more preferably between 3 to 10 pounds per cubic foot and yet more preferably between 4 to 8 pounds per cubic foot. In one embodiment the breast supporter comprises a single material such as polyurethane, that compresses at least 10% of its thickness in response to a heavy weight such as 20 pounds in an area under a 4 inch square surface exposed to this weight.
  • [0032]
    In one embodiment, the breast supporter comprises an inner rigid structure (86) with a soft compressible cover (See FIG. 8). In another embodiment, the inner structure is covered by at least 0.1 inch of compressible material on the side that contacts a user and the compressible material gives at least 1 percent and more preferably at least 10% in thickness in response to a breast patient placing her weight upon the breast support. In another embodiment, the inner structure is covered by at least 1.0 inches of compressible material on the side that contacts the user. The compressibility of the pillow is adjustable to suite a patient's personal preference.
  • [0033]
    FIGS. 1 to 10 illustrate representative breast supporters according to embodiments described herein. FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a breast supporter that uses depressions. As best seen in FIG. 1, a patient in need may contact breasts with the breast supporter by placing the breasts inside circular openings 12. Depressions may be made in various shapes (12, 22, 32, 62, 112) and depths, for example, shown as best seen, oval shaped in FIGS. 2, 4, and 10, rectangular shaped in FIGS. 3 and 5, or square shaped FIG. 6.
  • [0034]
    Breast supporters comprise one or more depressions or cups of various shapes. As best seen in FIGS. 4, 5, 6, and 10 showing examples of breast supporters having single depression or cup having oval, rectangular, square, or circular-edged oval shapes, respectively. Patient's one or both the breasts can rest in breast supporter having a single depression or cup. The diameter or the depth of depression or cup are adjustable to patient's breast.
  • [0035]
    Breast supporter comprises an inner rigid structure (86) with a soft compressible cover (10). FIG. 8 is a front cross sectional view showing the inner rigid structure (86). The front view also depicting the openings (82) on the top and the depressions (84) in a breast supporter.
  • [0036]
    Breast supporter comprises a cup-shaped depressions. FIG. 9 is a front view showing openings (92) on the top, and the cup-shaped depressions (94) hanging out of the bottom of a breast supporter (10).
  • [0037]
    In one embodiment, the breast supporter comprises cushions between the openings or the depressions and the outside edges. The cushion thickness or the distance from the edges can be variable. As shown in FIGS. 1-10, for example, cushion thickness or the distance from the edges (16, 26, 36, 46, 56, 66, 76, 88, 96, 116) can be between about 0.1 and about 10 inches, preferably between about 0.5 inches and about 6 inches, more preferably between about 0.75 and about 5.0 inches, and yet more preferably between about 1.0 inch and about 4.0 inches. In another embodiment, the distance or the cushion thickness between the openings or depressions in breast supporter can be variable and adjustable to patient in need. As shown in figures, for example, FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 7 shows the cushion thickness or distance (18, 28, 38, 78) between the openings or depressions can be between about 0.1 and about 5.0 inches, preferably between about 0.5 and 3.0 inches and more preferably between about 1.0 and about 2.0 inches.
  • [0038]
    In another embodiment the cushion comprises materials selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, air and a combination thereof.
  • [0039]
    A breast supporter according to this disclosure can be used by a patient in need comprising one or more depressions or cups of sufficient size to accommodate the patient's breast or a substantial portion thereof, for example, approximately 10%, 25%, 50, 75%, 80%, 95% or more areas of a breast.
  • [0040]
    The size of breast supporter, depressions or cups of the invention are adjustable to the patient's breast. Breast supporters, depressions and cups can be of different sizes for different sizes of breasts, for example, any size of human breast or of any size to accommodate any portion of human breast. For convenience of marketing and use the breast supporter may be manufactured and used in a familiar pillow size such as, for example, a king, queen, twin, double, or single pillow size.
  • [0041]
    The shape of breast supporter, depressions or cups of the invention are adjustable to the patient's breast. The shape can be of any type, for example, circular, oval, circular-edged oval, rectangular, square, or hexagonal.
  • [0042]
    The breast supporter can be stuffed with various materials such as, polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, any suitable fabric, foam, gel, fluid, or air.
  • [0043]
    The breast supporter can be inflatable adjustably with patient's breast size. Air pressure can be maintained adjustably to attain desired firmness, size or shape of breast supporter, depression or cups.
  • [0044]
    The breast supporter can have a means for removably worn by a person in need. The ‘means’ can be any type of attachment to keep breast supporter in contact with breast, for example, any attachment straps known in the art that would keep the breast supporter in contact with the patient in need.
  • [0045]
    A breast supporter can comprise a means for removably mounting on medical equipment used in surgical procedures, for example, a bed for breast surgery.
  • [0046]
    One embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter for use by a patient in need comprising one or more depressions or cups of sufficient size to accommodate the patient's breast or a substantial portion thereof, wherein the size or the shape of the breast supporter, depressions or cups are adjustable to the patient's breast.
  • [0047]
    Another embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter, wherein the breast supporter and depressions or cups therein are inflatable adjustably with patient's breast size.
  • [0048]
    Another embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter for patient in need during an operation, for example, a breast surgery, wherein the breast supporter is operably linked to a medical equipment.
  • [0049]
    Another embodiment provides a method of using a breast supporter for patient in need, wherein the firmness, size, and shape of the breast supporter, depressions or cups are electronically adjustable to the patient's need.
  • [0050]
    Definitions:
  • [0051]
    “Pillow” refers to conventionally used pillow, for example, pillow used for head, leg, chest, back, body, etc., that is, any stuffed container filled with various materials used as a support to rest on. The compressibility of the pillow is adjustable to suite patient's personal preference.
  • [0052]
    “Patient in need” refers to an individual, for example, a breast surgery patient, who needs to rest breast on such a breast supporter. The term also refers to a patient, for example, a patient undergone breast implant surgery, patient in discomfort, who needs to rest breasts on such a breast supporter.
  • [0053]
    The term “depression” refers to one or more spaces in a breast supporter that accommodates one or more breasts.
  • [0054]
    The term “cup” refers to a depressed area or a concave shaped attachment to a breast supporter that can hold a breast.
  • [0055]
    The term “opening” refers to the areas on a breast supporter through which a breast is placed into a “depression” or a “cup”.
  • [0056]
    The term “cushion” refers to compressible materials that provide strength or support to maintain one or more depressions, openings or cups. The compressible material comprises any natural or synthetic material, for example, polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, or air. A supporter that comprises a cushion material may have an opening that is defined by a ridge or edge of material around the opening. The cushion thickness can be variable, preferably about 0.1 to about 10 inches and more preferably about 1 to about 5 inches.
  • [0057]
    “Sufficient size” refers to a size, for example, in diameter or in depth, that can accommodate any size of breast, for example, human breast.
  • [0058]
    “Substantial portion” refers to any or all portions of a breast that a depression or a cup would accommodate, providing needed rest and comfort to a patient in need.
  • [0059]
    “Shape” refers to the shape of breast supporter, depression or cup that corresponds to the shape of patient's body or the breasts.
  • [0060]
    The term “adjustable” refers to size or shape of a breast supporter, depressions or cups. Size or shape of a breast supporter, depressions or cups can be adjustable depending on the patient in need. Size or shape of one depression or cup within a breast supporter can be different than another depression or cup and is adjustable based on patient's breast.
  • [0061]
    “Stuffed material” refers to any natural or synthetic materials, for example, polyurethane, cotton, acrylic, feather, foam, gel, fluid, air, or a combination thereof, used to fill a bag to make a breast supporter.
  • [0062]
    “Inflatable” that a breast supporter can be inflated with air or any other useful gaseous material to obtain a desired shape and size.
  • [0063]
    The term “inflatable adjustably” refers that the size or shape of a breast supporter, depressions or cups can be inflated and adjusted to the size or shape as needed by a patient. Size or shape of one depression or cup within a breast supporter can be inflated and adjusted differently than another depression or cup depending on patient in need.
  • [0064]
    “Means for removably worn” refers to attachment straps that would keep the breast supporter in contact with the patient in need. Straps can be of any kind known in the art, for example see U.S. Pat. No. 5,692,246.
  • [0065]
    “Means for removably mounting on a medical equipment” refers to attachment straps or a built in system known in the art, that would keep the breast supporter attached to a medical equipment in order to provide necessary contact of the breast supporter with the patient in need.
  • [0066]
    “Medical equipment” refers to an equipment that can be used in surgical procedures, for example, a breast implant type of operation, or an operation, wherein a breast supporter accommodating breasts can facilitate the operation or post-operative recovery of a patient.
  • [0067]
    The term “operably linked” refers to a contact of the breast supporter with an electrical or electronic operating system of a medical equipment with which the breast supporter is attached to. The “link” further refers to a switch triggering a power source whereby the size or shape of the breast supporter, depressions or cups can be adjusted.
  • [0068]
    “Electronically adjustable” refers to a system that allows triggering of a power source by electronic or electrical contact, whereby the size or shape of the breast supporter, depressions or cups can be adjusted.
  • [0069]
    All above cited publications, including patents and patent applications are hereby incorporated in their entireties by reference.
  • [0070]
    It is further to be understood that the description, specific examples and data, while indicating exemplary embodiments, are given by way of illustration and are not intended to limit the invention(s) described by the appended claims. Various changes and modifications within the invention(s) defined by the appended claims will become apparent to the skilled artisan from the discussion, disclosure and data contained herein, and thus are considered part of the invention(s) described by the appended claims. In the appended claims, the articles such as “a,” “an,” “the” and the like can mean one or more than one, and are not intended in any way to limit the terms that follow to their singular form, unless expressly noted otherwise. Unless otherwise indicated, any claim which contains the word “or” to indicate alternatives shall be satisfied if one, more than one, or all of the alternatives denoted by the word “or” are present in an embodiment which otherwise meets the limitations of such claim.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5782670 *16 Aug 199621 Jul 1998Whisman; Mary K.Post-operative open heart surgery brassiere
US5797786 *2 Aug 199625 Aug 1998Smith; Joey PaulettePost operative brassiere
US5976099 *18 Dec 19972 Nov 1999Kellogg; Donald L.Method and apparatus to medically treat soft tissue damage lymphedema or edema
US6042604 *30 Jan 199828 Mar 2000Gennetti; DebraExtremity support apparatus and method
US6402586 *23 May 200111 Jun 2002Claire WinikPost-surgical bra
US6428564 *30 Nov 19996 Aug 2002Patricia A. FergusonMedical condition seat cushion system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US705993523 May 200513 Jun 2006Anita JamshidiBreastfeeding support
US84588358 Oct 201011 Jun 2013Amy MuratallaBreast support pillow
US8832879 *24 Sep 201016 Sep 2014Ilse RubioCushioned support devices
US20060037835 *14 Feb 200323 Feb 2006Michael DoranMethods and systems for exchanging and or transferring various forms of value
US20060089085 *27 Oct 200527 Apr 2006Chris RuggieroNovelty ladies swimsuit
US20070125620 *3 Jun 20047 Jun 2007Sorenson Timothy NMethods and systems for providing products, such as digital content including games, ring tones, and/or graphics; and services, such as computer network service including internet service
US20110010863 *24 Sep 201020 Jan 2011Ilse RubioCushioned support devices
US20110083278 *8 Oct 201014 Apr 2011Amy MuratallaBreast support pillow
CN102892390A *2 Mar 201123 Jan 2013保罗埃文斯A breast protective system and orthosis therefor
WO2011106836A1 *2 Mar 20119 Sep 2011Paul EvansA breast protective system and orthosis therefor
WO2014026232A1 *15 Aug 201320 Feb 2014Paul EvansUpper torso protective orthotic devices and uses thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification450/1
International ClassificationA61F5/03
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/03
European ClassificationA61F5/03