Complete Shaping ® clothing was created by a breast cancer survivor who had a bilateral mastectomy with flat closure and the removal of many lymph nodes. Like many breast cancer survivors, she searched unsuccessfully to find a non-irritating and painless way to wear breast prostheses. After living flat for 8 years and hearing the same complaints from other breast cancer survivors, she decided to develop a way to wear breast forms that was non-restrictive (a precaution because of the heightened lymphedema risk), soft on the surgical scars, and could be worn comfortably all day long. She is so pleased with the shaping and comfort of her all-inclusive garment made especially for mastectomy survivors that her goal is to assist other brave survivors trying to comfortably regain their natural form.
This is her story…
- Tell us about your invention/product? What problem does it solve?
Complete Shaping offers patented mastectomy clothing with integrated prosthetics created by a breast cancer survivor. We hope to help breast cancer survivors and previvors who have undergone a mastectomy with flat closure regain their pre-surgical shape in a comfortable and easy way.
Our all-inclusive tops have eliminated the heavy and restrictive bra band of the mastectomy garments, so there is no irritation on the scars and sensitive skin, and there’s no restrictive band across the torso – a precaution against the heightened lymphedema risk. We have also built in or integrated ultra-lightweight breast prosthetics into the garment so they stay in place. It’s an all-in-one top, so there’s no assembly and can offer cost savings since you don’t have to buy additional breast forms. It’s also easy to wear and easy to care for. Just put on and go!
- What was the inspiration for your invention/product?
I am a breast cancer survivor who had a double mastectomy with an aesthetic flat closure. I was unable to wear the traditional prosthetics because of the mastectomy bra band, which was irritating and painful on my scars and sensitive skin, and was restrictive across the torso, potentially increasing my risk of developing lymphedema.
I am comfortable living flat but clothing choices are limited since women’s clothing is made to accommodate breasts. If you don’t have breasts, there’s extra material in the chest area that you just can’t fill out. I basically created this garment because I wanted to expand my clothing options.
After 8 years of unsuccessfully searching for a solution, and hearing the same complaints from many other survivors, I created this all-inclusive prosthetic mastectomy garment and felt compelled to share it with my community.
- What is the number one goal you have with regards to your invention/product?
I initially created this system out of necessity for myself. Now I can choose to wear prosthetics or not, depending on the clothing I’m wearing and whether I need to fill out the chest area of the garment. But I am happy to say that I have been able to help many women facing the same struggles as I had, find a comfortable way to regain their shape and expand their clothing options. I hope to continue to do so in the future.
- Who is your product for?
My garments are made especially for breast cancer survivors or previvors who have undergone a mastectomy with a flat closure (no reconstruction).
- When you had your idea, what was the first thing you did?
When I had my idea, the first thing I did was gather some materials and make a mock-up of what I was hoping to achieve. I then called my sister, who assisted me with the sewing, so I could actually construct and wear the garment.
- What has been the greatest challenge getting your idea from your head to something tangible?
The greatest challenge was finding a designer / manufacturer who could help.
- How do you currently market your invention/product?
We currently sell our patented all-inclusive prosthetic mastectomy garments online, as well as in medical supply stores.
- Who are your favorite female creators and why?
Sara Blakely for sure. She came up with a solution to her own challenges, and brought her garments to market to help other women.
- What’s been the most surprising part of your creative journey so far?
This garment has made an incredible difference in my life, and it is so heart-warming to hear from other survivors who say how this simple garment has given a boost to their self-esteem and confidence, and has ultimately contributed to a better quality of life.
- What’s the best way for the readers/audience of Inventing Women to connect with you?