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Shower Shirt helps breast cancer patients avoid infection post surgery

5:53 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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  • Inventor and survivor, Lisa Crites, shower in new Shower Shirt to protect surgery site
  • Lisa Crites, inventor of The Shower Shirt, trying to shower in a trash bag

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Lisa Crites, a former TV health reporter in Florida, said the day she had to shower in a trash bag after breast cancer surgery was "degrading."  So she's invented something to help other women.

She calls it "The Shower Shirt."  

Crites said it's "the first and only" product that resists water to protect mastectomy patients post surgery when they're still relying on drains implanted in the operating room. Those drain sites must be kept dry for fear of life-threatening infections. 

Crites said many women try showering in trash bags or saran wrap. She says mastectomies have been performed in the U.S. for 70 years and that made her think, "Why am I in a trash bag in the shower?"

The Shower Shirt comes in white or black.  It's featured in the Health Section of  Prices range from $64 to $100.

Crites is currently trying to get Medicare coverage for breast patients by the end of this year. She's working with members of Congress to push for the okay. Her feeling now is that the government program is discriminating against breast cancer patients. But she's optimistic.

Meanwhile, Crites said Medicare does cover the shirt for patients on kidney/dialysis treatment.

The shirt has elastic and velcro and can be worn as a regular item of clothing after breast cancer treatments.

Inside the Shower Shirt are pockets for the drain bulbs and specially-designed areas for the tubing.

Crites went to her brother, an architect, to help her with the technical drawings as they developed five prototypes to land on the best design they could create.

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