Breast Cancer Awareness: Post Op Provisions Case Study

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we wanted to share a little bit about a project we recently worked on with a company that will contribute to the movement. 

Most of us know at least one friend or family member that has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Debby Nowak, MD & Founder of Post Op Provisions saw a need when her family member underwent surgery. Like 65-70% of current cases, it was an outpatient surgery, so most aftercare would take place at home. Surprise, surprise, most homes aren't equipped for optimal aftercare. Steeped in the industry as a surgeon, Debby sent a very surgically-informed care package. Little did she know that this care package would soon turn into a nation-wide delivery option that would help comfortable aftercare find its way into the homes of many many more beyond her family member.


Within the POP Box, you can find:
1. Supplies: Wound care items, products to help with common postoperative problems, stain remover, etc.
2. Personal Care Items: These products help streamline patients' routines, fill in for some things that they may temporarily be unable to do, and add a touch of pampering.
3. Garments: Clothing that's easy to get on and off around sore areas, accessories to support surgical drains.

Garments, that's where Clothier Design Source stepped in. We worked with Post Op to finalize the design, refining construction and function to best suit the patient. We sourced the great fabric options- to be comfortable, easy to wash (this garment must be washed after each wear due to fluids) and phobic to stains. We made sure it was in the brand's signature color, purple. The hook and loop we sourced is a special low profile that performs after many washes/uses and is as soft as possible (to avoid scratchiness). We created the pattern and prototypes, taking special note that the garment must be worn loosely to be comfortable for patients. The straps are designed to detach bia hook/loop for easy access to the body, without having to change into a hospital gown for chemo treatments or changing to drain tubes. We had to be careful ensure the neckline was modest, yet comfortable. Same with the underarm - there are often incisions made under the arm that the garment should not touch. The side comes up high under the arm and is very loose to be as comfortable as possible. We made a production run and are already refilling an order.

As you can tell, a lot of thought went into this process, with a focus on comfort and convenience.

Debby was very pleased with how things turned out. "This is BIG (for me anyway).  The Tank-Tops I’ve been designing with Clothier Design Source (Thanks!) are here!! These were one of the first things I thought to put in my breast surgery care packages and (as I am crafty) I altered store-bought tanks to start with.  For the longer term I didn’t want to do that so we got to work.

The result is the POP-Top.  They’re quite simple really but (to my knowledge) not available anywhere else.  They’re made from super soft heathered cotton fabric with just a bit of stretch and have straps that detach completely with low-profile Velcro attachments (I’ve seen nursing tanks that come partially apart but…).  I first envisioned them in the hospital or Same Day center when people have IVs in but quickly realized their value to patients who’ve had breast or other upper body surgery." 

We were honored to be able to partner with such an incredible organization that is improving the comfort of those affected by Breast Cancer in a very real, practical, and innovative way. Developing the perfect prototype was particularly important part of this process to ensure the product was exactly as desired. Learn more about why Prototyping is such a critical component to product development in Step 2 of the 4-step Academy.

There are boxes catered to aid in postoperative care specific types of procedures. Read more on the Post Op Provisions website here

All the best!
Your Clothier Design Source family

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Mindy MartellComment