New data from WREST (Women’s REcovery after Sternotomy Trial) supports the use of a special bra in women after heart surgery:
Unlike conventional bras, the post-operative bra that was tested fastens in the front, doesn’t have any metal clasps that can interfere with x-rays, provides extra compression, and can be adjusted to accommodate changing breast sizes, which sometimes occurs after surgery.
“On the whole, the women loved it,” King says. “It’s easy to put on, and it also helps protect their modesty.”
Women have usually been advised to wear a comfortable undergarment after a sternotomy, which is the procedure that opens up the breastbone, but until now the assumed benefits have never been substantiated by research. Several women in the study wore it right out of the operating room whereas today, women often wait until three or four days after surgery before putting on a bra.
King notes that one of the interesting findings from the study is that women typically didn’t have a lot of pain while they were in hospital. “But when they got out of hospital their pain scores went up significantly and we attributed that to the greater amounts of activity they have when they go home.”
“I am very pleased with the outcome of the study because not only are we able to offer something to help ease the suffering of women after sternotomy, but we were able to evaluate it with a high degree of scientific rigor,” Tsuyuki says.
Adds Dr. Andrew Maitland, Chief of Cardiac Surgery for the Calgary Health Region: “This is an excellent example of patient-centred collaborative research.”
Sternotomy is no joke, so we at Medgadget look forward to more rigorous, collaborative studies on this matter.
More from WREST…