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TWU Professor Designs Gown For Breast Cancer Patients


DALLAS — Women who undergo a mastectomy experience a great deal of anxiety following the surgery. Dr. Ho Soon Michelle Cho, associate professor of nursing at Texas Woman’s University, is easing some of their concerns with a hospital gown she designed specifically for post-mastectomy patients.

“After surgery, breast cancer patients experience many physiological and psychological issues,” said Dr. Cho. “Some of their apprehension immediately after the surgery comes from the drainage tubes inserted into their chest and the way those drains are attached to their hospital gowns.

“The standard hospital gown doesn’t address all the needs of patients following a mastectomy; its basic function is to facilitate physical exams and bathing. The Papilla Gown is designed with the patient in mind.”

The Papilla Gown features pockets and tucks that securely and discreetly hold the drainage tubes and pouch that breast cancer patients wear immediately following a mastectomy. Typically, post-mastectomy patients use safety pins to attach the tubes to traditional hospital gowns. Patients say the Papilla Gown is much more comfortable than the traditional gown and relieves them of the fear that the safety pins will pop open causing the tubes to become dislodged or tug on the surgical wound.

Dr. Cho also is studying whether the gown’s larger open arm openings reduce the incidence of lymphedema, a swelling condition that affects 10 percent to 40 percent of those who undergo breast cancer surgery and radiation therapy. Dr. Gail C. Davis, professor of nursing at TWU, is a co-investigator in the study.

Aiding Dr. Cho in the gown’s development was Dr. Jae Un Pack., with Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Methodist Dallas Medical Center currently is testing the gown, which is patent-pending, with mastectomy patients.

According to the American Cancer Society, 215,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, with approximately half requiring surgery.


For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: rkron@twu.edu



Page last updated November 19, 2004

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