Thermal and moisture control performance of different mastectomy bras and external breast prostheses

Kristina Shin, Kaoru Leung, Fred Han, Jiao Jiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper introduces a project involving a thermoregulation performance experiment design to evaluate the different responses of research subjects to a range of mastectomy bras and external breast prostheses. A set of newly designed heat-reduction mastectomy bras and prostheses were mix-matched with a set of conventional mastectomy bras and prostheses for the experiment. Four combinations of mastectomy bras and external breast prostheses were used: (a) Com A: conventional mastectomy bra and conventional prosthesis; (b) Com B: conventional mastectomy bra and heat-reduction prosthesis; (c) Com C: heat-reduction mastectomy bra and conventional prosthesis; and (d) Com D: heat-reduction mastectomy bra and heat-reduction prosthesis. Nine healthy male subjects (mean age: 31.9 ± 5.9 y and mean under-bust circumference: 35.3 ± 2.8 in) participated in this study in lieu of women who had undergone surgery for double mastectomy and were too self-conscious to expose their scars for sensor attachment. Eight sets of temperature and humidity sensors were placed between the surface of the skin and the prostheses and bra to measure the changes in both temperature and humidity data in a microclimate environment while the participants performed physical activity. The results showed that Com D demonstrated better thermal and moisture control, resulting in lower body temperature and lower humidity increment throughout the entire experiment. The study proved that the heat-reduction mastectomy bra and external breast prosthesis were effective in releasing the trapped heat and perspiration underneath the bra, and thus would provide a positive impact on clothing comfort and wearing experience for women who had undergone mastectomies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-837
Number of pages14
JournalTextile Research Journal
Volume90
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • external breast prosthesis
  • humidity
  • mastectomy bra
  • temperature
  • thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Polymers and Plastics

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